[Not single-page] A trip to a Croatian vineyard to see Bob Benmosche, the former CEO of MetLife who came out of retirement to run AIG post-bailout:
Next, Benmosche went to rally the troops at Financial Products in Wilton, Connecticut, who were still salty about Liddy’s appearance in front of Congress and the law subsequently passed by the House taxing 90 percent of AIG pay (it never made it any further). ‘I want you to understand that what happened will not happen again,’ he told them. Then he flew to Houston, where he spoke at a town-hall meeting with 3,000 employees. After that, he headed back to Croatia. ‘It was the first Zinfandel harvest,’ he explains.
He’d informed Treasury when he’d taken the job that he needed to be in Croatia for two weeks in August, for the celebration accompanying the inaugural reaping of his vines. But they were not prepared for the image of Benmosche that flashed on their screens two weeks after he’d been hired to run one of the most troubled companies in the Troubled Asset Relief Program, showing off his villa while a British-accented voice-over noted its ‘palatial’ proportions and queried, in serious-sounding tones, whether the CEO should be so overtly relaxed.
‘I mean, I had just hired this guy,’ Millstein says now, choking back the slightly hysterical laugh that tends to bubble out of him when he talks about Benmosche. ‘And there he is, in his shorts and his polo shirt. It was just …’ he trails off. ‘You couldn’t make it up.’