The Bloomberg wire has an report with some interesting detail about Robert Benmosche, the new $7 million a year CEO at AIG, the insurance company that has taken a government subsidy estimated at about $35 billion, with the overall assistance clocking in at significantly more than that. Mr. Benmosche says he was goaded into taking the job by a Bosnian friend who told him, "How does it feel, here we are moving forward, and you guys are becoming socialists." American companies, Mr. Benmosche said, have to "start rebuilding themselves, without government regulation, government control, government decisions on how you pay people."
Early indications are that government control won't be easy to shake, and that Mr. Benmosche's goal of, as the article puts it, helping to "restore confidence in capitalism" may be easier spoken than actually accomplished. The article reports, "Benmosche suggested to government officials that he start at AIG in October, after the harvest, and was told to begin in August." That's he's officially started already is one signal about who is making the decisions.