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2005年NPR美国国家公共电台四月-Scandal Dogs AIG

时间:2007-07-17 02:54来源:互联网 提供网友:atm009e   字体: [ ]
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    (单词翻译:双击或拖选)
These are turbulent times for one of the world's largest and most powerful insurance companies. American International Group is under investigation1 over a questionable2 transaction that involves a company owned by Warren Buffet3. And last week, the company acknowledged that it was also guilty of a broad range of improper4 accounting5 procedures dating back as much as 14 years. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports this scandal is occurring at a tightly managed company that has long been seen as one of the bluest blue chip stocks.

Wall Street liked AIG, and it liked the aggressive results-oriented style of its longtime chief Hank Greenberg. During his nearly four decades at AIG's helm, Greenberg turned AIG into a global power house. One way he did that was through his pioneering work in fields like reinsurance, essentially6 a way of insuring big insurance companies. Donald Light is an analyst7 at the consulting firm Celling Communications.

There's no question Mr. Greenberg has put his stamp of personality on that company. It's a big, tough, aggressive and in many ways very successful company. Although the story is now unfolding as to, you know, how much of that success was real and how much of that success was really wallpaper. And this is gonna have to be reversed.

Greenberg was forced from office last month. His lawyers didn't return phone calls seeking comment about his role at AIG. In recent months, New York officials have been investigating a four-year-old transaction involving a company owned by Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway. AIG has admitted that the transaction was disguised as a reinsurance deal, but its real purpose was to beef up AIG's reserves. Last week, AIG said there were other improper activities as well. Among other things, the company acknowledged that it had bought reinsurance services from Bermuda- and Barbados-based companies that it controlled itself. Again, Donald Light.

This means that AIG was buying reinsurance helping8 its financial statements from itself, which is basically you take the five-dollar bill out of your right-hand pocket and put it into your left-hand pocket, you're not actually better off economically.

One reason AIG was able to get away with transactions like that may have had a lot to do with Greenberg's top-down management style. Jeffrey Sonifeld, dean of the Yale School of Management says Greenberg built up a highly complicated management structure with numerous overlapping9 divisions and subsidiaries.

The fundamental underling complexity10 of Greenberg's businesses makes it very hard for any expert analysts11 to actually disentangle what's going on in there. And that's what has people worried.

But Sonifeld says nobody really complained about the complexity. With Greenberg's strong reputation and the company's history of profit-making, AIG's board seemed to ask few questions. Once the parameters12 of the scandal became apparent, the board forced Greenberg out of the company and is said to be cooperating with authorities. Donald Light of Celling Communications says the investigation could pose some difficult questions for AIG.

The question is how many of these misleading and/or illegal transactions were there, was there a pattern. All those questions are unfolding. I think AIG is facing some very very rough waters ahead.

AIG has extensive ties to Wall Street firms and investors13, among them Warren Buffet. Although Buffet hasn't been accused of anything, he will be questioned this month by investigators14 about the 2001 transaction. Buffet is a man with a longtime reputation for integrity. Now that the scandal has touched even him, a lot of people on Wall Street are wondering how much farther AIG's troubles will spread.

Jim Zarroli, NPR News, New York.

This is morning edition from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 investigation MRKzq     
n.调查,调查研究
参考例句:
  • In an investigation,a new fact became known, which told against him.在调查中新发现了一件对他不利的事实。
  • He drew the conclusion by building on his own investigation.他根据自己的调查研究作出结论。
2 questionable oScxK     
adj.可疑的,有问题的
参考例句:
  • There are still a few questionable points in the case.这个案件还有几个疑点。
  • Your argument is based on a set of questionable assumptions.你的论证建立在一套有问题的假设上。
3 buffet 8sXzg     
n.自助餐;饮食柜台;餐台
参考例句:
  • Are you having a sit-down meal or a buffet at the wedding?你想在婚礼中摆桌宴还是搞自助餐?
  • Could you tell me what specialties you have for the buffet?你能告诉我你们的自助餐有什么特色菜吗?
4 improper b9txi     
adj.不适当的,不合适的,不正确的,不合礼仪的
参考例句:
  • Short trousers are improper at a dance.舞会上穿短裤不成体统。
  • Laughing and joking are improper at a funeral.葬礼时大笑和开玩笑是不合适的。
5 accounting nzSzsY     
n.会计,会计学,借贷对照表
参考例句:
  • A job fell vacant in the accounting department.财会部出现了一个空缺。
  • There's an accounting error in this entry.这笔账目里有差错。
6 essentially nntxw     
adv.本质上,实质上,基本上
参考例句:
  • Really great men are essentially modest.真正的伟人大都很谦虚。
  • She is an essentially selfish person.她本质上是个自私自利的人。
7 analyst gw7zn     
n.分析家,化验员;心理分析学家
参考例句:
  • What can you contribute to the position of a market analyst?你有什么技能可有助于市场分析员的职务?
  • The analyst is required to interpolate values between standards.分析人员需要在这些标准中插入一些值。
8 helping 2rGzDc     
n.食物的一份&adj.帮助人的,辅助的
参考例句:
  • The poor children regularly pony up for a second helping of my hamburger. 那些可怜的孩子们总是要求我把我的汉堡包再给他们一份。
  • By doing this, they may at times be helping to restore competition. 这样一来, 他在某些时候,有助于竞争的加强。
9 overlapping Gmqz4t     
adj./n.交迭(的)
参考例句:
  • There is no overlapping question between the two courses. 这两门课程之间不存在重叠的问题。
  • A trimetrogon strip is composed of three rows of overlapping. 三镜头摄影航线为三排重迭的象片所组成。
10 complexity KO9z3     
n.复杂(性),复杂的事物
参考例句:
  • Only now did he understand the full complexity of the problem.直到现在他才明白这一问题的全部复杂性。
  • The complexity of the road map puzzled me.错综复杂的公路图把我搞糊涂了。
11 analysts 167ff30c5034ca70abe2d60a6e760448     
分析家,化验员( analyst的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • City analysts forecast huge profits this year. 伦敦金融分析家预测今年的利润非常丰厚。
  • I was impressed by the high calibre of the researchers and analysts. 研究人员和分析人员的高素质给我留下了深刻印象。
12 parameters 166e64f6c3677d0c513901242a3e702d     
因素,特征; 界限; (限定性的)因素( parameter的名词复数 ); 参量; 参项; 决定因素
参考例句:
  • We have to work within the parameters of time. 我们的工作受时间所限。
  • See parameters.cpp for a compilable example. This is part of the Spirit distribution. 可编译例子见parameters.cpp.这是Spirit分发包的组成部分。
13 investors dffc64354445b947454450e472276b99     
n.投资者,出资者( investor的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • a con man who bilked investors out of millions of dollars 诈取投资者几百万元的骗子
  • a cash bonanza for investors 投资者的赚钱机会
14 investigators e970f9140785518a87fc81641b7c89f7     
n.调查者,审查者( investigator的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • This memo could be the smoking gun that investigators have been looking for. 这份备忘录可能是调查人员一直在寻找的证据。
  • The team consisted of six investigators and two secretaries. 这个团队由六个调查人员和两个秘书组成。 来自《简明英汉词典》
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TAG标签:   npr  公共电台  scandal  dog
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