What do you do when a phone call comes in out of the blue asking you to restructure AIG — right after the government “lent” them $182 billion dollars to bail out the company?
If you are Jim Millstein, you ignore the big pay cut and respond to the call for your expertise in restructuring the firm. Taking the job as Chief Restructuring Officer at Treasury proved to be an historic restructuring opportunity too fascinating to pass up. Millstein stayed until the renovation was completed in 2011.
His day job is being Co-Chairman of Guggenheim Securities. He (and/or his firm) has had a ringside seat to some of the biggest restructurings in history — besides AIG — these included cable operator Charter Communications; the United Auto Workers/GM/Chrysler; US Airways, Greece, and US territory Puerto Rico.
Millstein warns that we could be at the leading edge of a wave of future corporate restructuring, due to the big increase in financial engineering of corporate debt in the ZIRP/share buyback era.
You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Bloomberg, Overcast, and Stitcher. Our earlier podcasts can all be found at iTunes, Stitcher, Overcast, and Bloomberg.
Next week, we speak with Social Psychologist Robert Cialdini, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University. He is the author of the book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion which has sold 3 million copies in 30 languages. His new book is Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade.