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AIG CEO's Bluster Draws Ire of Board

AIG CEO Robert Benmosche has talked tough, but bruising the ego of government officials might be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- While Robert Benmosche's

bluster

may have helped raise

American International Group's

(AIG) - Get Report

share price, the new CEO may have to tone it down or face rebuke from the board.

Benmosche has talked tough on keeping compensation competitive despite lawmakers' anger over big bonuses at the troubled insurer, which is 80%-owned by taxpayers. He will earn at least $7 million this year, compared with his predecessor, Edward Liddy, who earned a $1 salary and held an accommodating stance toward Congress and regulators.

Benmosche also has reversed plans to sell assets quickly to get out from under the government's thumb, insisting that he will wait for the best prices.

The former

MetLife

(MET) - Get Report

CEO even spent his first week on the job on vacation in Croatia, giving interviews to the media at his palatial home near the beach.

But bruising the ego of government officials might have been the straw that broke the camel's back.

Benmosche said, in a recording leaked to

TST Recommends

Bloomberg

, that New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo doesn't deserve his job. He also called lawmakers "crazies" down in Washington, adding that he'd leave dealings with them up to Chairman Harvey Golub.

Now the board plans to have a sit-down with that crazy in the executive suite, according to a report in the

Wall Street Journal

.

The paper, citing anonymous sources, said that board members plan to address the matter at a retreat this month. They may tell him to tone it down if he wants to keep his job, the

Journal

says.

Golub, who has already spoken to the CEO about his Cuomo remarks, said earlier this week that they weren't thoughtful.

As for Benmosche's take on a potential dressing down from the board? It would be appropriate for them to speak with him about the swagger, Benmosche reportedly told the

Journal

. "But the board doesn't have to tell me that. I've already told it to myself," he said.

-- Written by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York

.

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