as he�s better known to colleagues, is at it again. According to Reuters, AP,
and CNBC at msn.Money Maurice �Hank� Greenberg has been buying up
shares of The New York Times
Company to try to break the Sulzberger family�s �hold� on it. Watch out.
As you may
remember, Greenberg resigned as CEO from the board of AIG (American Insurance
Group) in February 2005, and left the company on March 14, following
�regulatory inquiries� made by Attorney General Spitzer (recently elected New
York governor). Subsequently AIG and its new CEO Martin Sullivan paid a fine of
over $1.6 billion.
satellite firm, Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC), the world�s largest
insurance broker, was run by Hank�s son Jeffrey Greenberg from 1993 to 2004.
Jeffrey left 11 days after Spitzer�s civil action against MMC was presented on
Oct 14, 2004. In January 2005, Marsh was forced to pay $850 million in fines to
policyholders for steering clients to insurers from which it received lucrative
Both Greenberg Sr.
and Jeffrey Greenberg are Council on Foreign Relations members.
By the way, Marsh
also bought Kroll, the security and military contracting company that recently
pulled out of Iraq. Just a bit of back story about the Greenberg
familia. There�s more linked in my September 29 article
in Online Journal. And there�s more
in my October 9 article, Answering the
mail re: Greenberg & AIG. In it, there is a notable quote by Michael
Ruppert (From The Wilderness):
"FTW has also conducted an extensive
investigation into AIG and its predecessors, including the C. V. Starr
Insurance Companies, revealing deep connections to US intelligence dating back
to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in World War II. These connections
include documented CIA operatives connected to drug smuggling from Southeast
Asia and a current board member, Frank Wisner, Jr., whose father was a key
figure in the creation of the CIA. History, as well as AIG's current operations
suggest, that these relationships continue unabated today . . .
" . . . AIG
has also been connected, albeit indirectly, to a major money laundering case.
As the insurance carrier for the Bank of New York (BoNY) they are defending
BoNY in a suit filed this year by BoNY shareholders charging mismanagement of
the bank. That suit arose from revelations (See FTW Vol II, No.7, 9/99)
in the major media that BoNY had been involved in laundering between $7 and $10
billion in criminal money out of Russia during the 1990s under its Chairman,
Thomas Renyi. A credible source has told me, but I have not been able to
confirm it, that AIG also insures the U.S. Department of Justice which was
charged with investigating BoNY and which decided not to file criminal charges
You have to ask
yourself, with a background and resume like this, is this man qualified to own
and run a major newspaper? And, if given his druthers, is he also fit to make a
bid for the Tribune Company, which owns, among others, the Chicago Tribune, the
Los Angeles Times, Newsday and a host of TV stations? He has sold more than $1.5
billion in AIG shares since May, the articles
report, it would seem he has some cash in hand for buying.
Do we need another
Rupert Murdoch, eager to envelope and steer more media to the right? Do we need
Maurice Greenberg, a man who grew out of a corporate culture with long-standing
affiliation to the OSS and CIA, an insurance company reputedly involved in
money-laundering and drug-smuggling while operating conveniently in some 135
Greenberg has had some help in his Times
Company plans from Morgan Stanley, which �submitted a proposal to the [Times] Company that is aimed at cutting
the Sulzberger family�s long-standing control of the company by changing the
voting structure so that shareholders have equal voting rights.�
It would seem that
such an act would compromise the Time�s
company�s editorial content, given a block of voters or single large
share-block voter, who might chose to interfere in policy.
Greenberg, and Morgan Stanley share another tie mentioned in my article The PROMIS of
9/11 and beyond. I think the opening paragraph underscores a darker side of
AIG and Morgan Stanley�s business. The italics are mine . . .
�As whistleblower Richard Grove points out, SilverStream (the software
company he worked for at the time of 9/11), served not only AIG (American Insurance Group), it also
built trading applications for Merrill
Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Banker�s Trust, Alex Brown, Morgan Stanley, and Marsh McLennan. With this impressive
list, according to Grove, �you pretty much had the major players involved in
the financial aspect of the 9/11 fraudulent trading activity.�
Thus, every fiber
in me smells a rat in this alliance. Let me add, too, I am a New York Times reader, online and off. I
don�t think it�s a perfect newspaper. I prefer alternative media. But I respect
its right to be, and not to be interfered with by the likes of Maurice
Greenberg or Morgan Stanley or any of the brokerage firms above listed. The
news, and whatever truth The Times
brings, should not be for sale to these power brokers. Thank you, I�ll take the
Jerry Mazza is a
freelance writer living in New York City. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.