They are using our money to EMPLOY FOUR PUBLIC RELATIONS FIRMS! I guess that's one P.R. firm for each bailout iteration. From our friends at BreakingViews.com
Dizzying PR binge
AIG has retained Kekst and Company, founded by Gershon Kekst, the lion of New York’s financial spindustry, to work on its asset sales. Sard Verbinnen – a longtime AIG adviser – helps the insurer present its earnings. And the company has Hill & Knowlton and Burson-Marsteller working the Washington crowd. It has its own in-house public relations team, too.
It is hard to know how much each firm is paid for its artfully crafted rhetoric. And AIG may legitimately need help talking to the crowds of journalists, regulators, legislators, and investors now that it is in crisis mode.
Whatever their price, though, the spinmeisters haven't necessarily managed to keep AIG’s bigwigs on message. During the firm’s conference call on Monday, chief restructuring officer Paula Reynolds unwisely quipped that it might be “better to go to jail” than have to deal with intricacies of securities laws as they apply to AIG's situation.
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