Holbrooke and AIG

by Brien Jackson

It seems I share the more or les consensus view about the news that Richard Holbrooke served on the Board of Directors and AIG from 2001 to 2008. The story isn’t so much about Holbrooke as it is the company, and the board itself. The matter certainly doesn’t have anything to do with Holbrooke’s position in the Obama administration, as special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, and so really shouldn’t be much of an issue for anyone. But then, it doesn’t really have anything to do with Holbrooke’s last government job either, or any of his more well known accomplishments for that matter. And that is, I think, the real story here. Richard Holbrooke is a pretty smart guy, who is a very well respected diplomat and foreign policy thinker. He is not, however, a financial expert, so far as anyone can tell. That he was even asked to serve on the AIG board really shows you how these corporations funtion, with executives at other firms and unrelated, but high profile, people acting as nothing more than a figurehead for the firm, detached from what’s going on with the company.

And here’s hoping that the media doesn’t use this to drag down Holbrooke. His present job is far too important to let that happen.

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