AIG gets a new chief

What was a rumor in the morning became a fact this afternoon. AIG (AIG) has appointed a new president and CEO, Robert H. Benmosche , who was until recently the head of Met Life (MET).

Benmosche clearly has the credentials to run AIG as did the man who preceded him in the job, Ed Liddy, the former CEO of Allstate (ALL). The trouble is that the firm that was once the world's largest insurance company is such a holy mess that no one may be able to run it.

AIG is no longer a company, it is a fire sale. The federal government owns 85 percent of the company and has put $180 billion into the firm in the form of debt and equity. AIG's major goal at this point is to sell off as many parts as it can in the hope of getting some capital back to the government.

Benmosche must have liked retirement so little that he decided to torture himself by taking Liddy's place.

Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.

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