Thursday, September 18, 2008

And who or what exactly is AIG?

LA Times (Sept 22, 2000):

The Secret (Insurance) Agent Men

They knew which factories to burn, which bridges to blow up, which cargo ships could be sunk in good conscience. They had pothole counts for roads used for invasion and head counts for city blocks marked for incineration.

They weren’t just secret agents. They were secret insurance agents. These undercover underwriters gave their World War II spymasters access to a global industry that both bankrolled and, ultimately, helped bring down Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich.

Newly declassified U.S. intelligence files tell the remarkable story of the ultra-secret Insurance Intelligence Unit, a component of the Office of Strategic Services, a forerunner of the CIA, and its elite counterintelligence branch X-2.

Though rarely numbering more than a half dozen agents, the unit gathered intelligence on the enemy’s insurance industry, Nazi insurance titans and suspected collaborators in the insurance business. But, more significantly, the unit mined standard insurance records for blueprints of bomb plants, timetables of tide changes and thousands of other details about targets, from a brewery in Bangkok to a candy company in Bergedorf.

They used insurance information as a weapon of war,” said Greg Bradsher, a historian and National Archives expert on the declassified records.
[. . .]

Mike Rupert, from a very very long article about AIG on August 14, 2001 (via

[. . .]

The whole purpose of From The Wilderness is to teach the world that it is a specific intent of Wall Street and the U.S. government to give authoritative permission and approval to the drug trade to ensure that drug profits -- the money -- comes back under the control of the people who sanctioned the trade to begin with.

[. . .]

AIG Highlights

  • AIG has the largest market capitalization (total value of all shares) of any insurance or financial services organization on the NYSE -- $198.4 billion in 2000. It has operations in 130 countries.
  • Ranked #7 on Forbes Super 100 list of companies. After GE, Citigroup, BankAmerica, Exxon, IBM and Ford.
  • The largest U.S. underwriter of commercial and industrial insurance.
  • Operates AIG Financial Services Group, which sells investments, international asset management and "advisory" services.
  • The largest seller of retirement annuities in the U.S. through its acquisitions of SunAmerica and American General in 1999 and 2001 respectively.
  • AIG is licensed to operate banks in three countries, including the US (1999) and also issues credit cards.


  • Originally formed as the Asia Life/C. V. Starr Companies in the 1930s by founder Cornelius Starr who served with the OSS during World War II. The Starr corporation shared the same office building as OSS headquarters in New York, and functioned as an intelligence conduit on shipping, manufacturing and industrial bombing targets in Asia and Germany throughout WW II. [The Los Angeles Times, Sept. 22, 2000]
  • Early business centered primarily in China and Asia. Starr interests centered in Asia and Panama.
  • 1951 - Changed name to American Life Insurance Company (ALICO).
  • Acquired major U.S. insurance companies in the 1950s and 60s.
  • 1967 - Incorporated as American International Group (AIG).
  • 1969 - First public offering.
  • First western insurance company to create joint ventures with Hungary, Poland and Romania in the 1960s.
  • In 1980 established joint venture with the People's Insurance Company of China.
  • First insurance company licensed to do business on its own in Japan (1952), Mainland China (1990), and Vietnam (2000).
  • Member and staunch supporter of the World Trade Organization. During 1997 WTO negotiations, AIG collaborated directly with Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin to negotiate Asian financial, investment and trade agreements covering 102 countries, which one report described as bullying and marked by "messages back and forth from Geneva to Washington, and� reports, between the US Treasury and American International Group." [Third World Economics, No. 175, 16-31, 12/97].
  • During the 1990s involved with U.S. investment in Russia (overseen by Goldman Sachs and The Harvard Endowment) through Brunswick Brokerage. Secured a $300 million OPIC (Overseas Private Investment Corporation) guarantee for a Russian investment fund. [Paul Likoudis, Editor, The Wanderer.]
  • AIG has "joint venture" interests in Latin America through ZonaFinanciera with Citibank which in May 2001 purchased Mexico's Banamex and will be placing reported drug money launderer and trafficker Roberto Hernandez on its board of directors.
  • AIG insures more than half of the major US airports.
  • The world's "market leader" in leasing and remarketing of advanced technology commercial jet aircraft - "the most modern fleet of aircraft in the world. " With 2000 revenues of $2.44 billion AIG owns a fleet of 494 jets, 89 of which it "manages" itself. Clients include airlines in U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South America where, in 2000, it leased, "additional aircraft to a number of established customers."

Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, 75 -- Chairman and CEO of American International Group (AIG)

  • WWII, Served with US Army Signal Corps and Army Rangers
  • LL.B., New York Law School, 1950
  • Korean War, Investigated reported massacres at POW camps run by UN/US personnel
  • Elected AIG President in 1962, CEO in 1967 and Chairman in 1989.
  • Former Chairman and Director of the New York Federal Reserve Bank.
  • Forbes 111th richest man in the world (More than $4 billion net worth)
  • Vice Chairman, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Vice Chairman, Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Member, Board of Directors, New York Stock Exchange
  • Member, Trilateral Commission
  • Member, The Bilderberger Group
  • Chairman, The Nixon Center
  • Chairman, U.S.-China Business Council
  • Chairman, The Starr Foundation
  • Accompanied President George Bush on his trade mission to China in 1992
  • Major contributor to The Heritage Foundation
  • Name floated by Senator Arlen Specter to become CIA director in 1995 (Reported in U.S. News and World Report - 2/20/95)

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