WHEN: Today, Wednesday, February 3rd
WHERE: CNBC's "Squawk Box"
Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcripts of CNBC interviews on CNBC's "Squawk Box" (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) today. Following are links to the interviews on CNBC.com: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000491178, http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000491179, http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000491182, and http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000491191.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
Laurence Fink, BlackRock Chairman & CEO:
FINK ON GENESIS OF THE LETTER
The genesis of this letter was after reviewing with our corporate governance team and proxy team the demand that they have on their time. And some of their demands was – they really – it's harder for them to understand where a company was going. And then when you have a moment where there's a proxy dispute of some sort – maybe an activist or something else – it just takes so much time. And we wanted to think about ways in which we could engage continuously with companies, but also having a better, what I called an EKG – a better barometer and measurement as to how a company is thinking about their business, developing a business plan, and then how they're executing.
FINK ON GUIDANCE
We don't give guidance. More and more companies are not giving guidance. I know more and more companies in Europe are eliminating guidance. So that's a trend that's beginning. I did not say abandonment of quarterly earnings. I believe we need to have a different lens, a different metrics to look at how a company is performing.
FINK ON CHINA
Yes, China is probably producing more uncertainty than any place in the world, but China is still growing. You know, we can debate what, where, if the numbers are correct, or what level, but people are spending way too much time focusing on the industrial component of China and not enough on the service side and the Xi ten year plan is about the transformation of that economy away from the manufacturing side to a domestic service oriented economy.
FINK ON CANADA AND MEXICO
You have Mexico that's improving, you have Canada that most people would've said with energy prices, commodity prices would be in a recession. They will not be in a recession this year. Canada and Mexico are enjoying huge benefits now because of the weakening of their currency. And so I look at the opportunities to be pretty large today. I would be a large buyer of Canada, a large buyer of Mexico with a devaluation of their currencies. I do believe North America is the safest best place to be.
Peter Hancock, AIG President & CEO:
HANCOCK ON RESTRUCTURING
Really three elements to it: One is increased strategic focus, narrowing the focus of the company. Returning $25 billion of capital to shareholders and announcing a couple of divestitures. One that we've already signed which is our financial advisor network and the other one is our flotation of the mortgage insurer which we'll do a midyear coming up…First of all we wanted to really make it clear where the operating earnings are coming from. So we divided the company into a legacy portfolio, which is about a quarter of the company, and then the operating portfolio, which is the other three quarters, and demonstrated that the operating improvements that we are executing over the next two years will bring the ROE of the operating business into the teens where I think investors expect it to be.
HANCOCK ON SHAREHOLDERS REACTION
Shareholders like the basic elements of the plan. It increases transparency. It returns capital to them and it recognizes some of the unique tax attributes that AIG has and the loss of those tax attributes if you were to break it up in an aggressive way in the short term.
HANCOCK ON ICAHN REACTION
I can't speak for any one investor. So I think that many of our investors have been in the stock for a long time. Have a deep understanding of both AIG and the insurance industry and they recognize that there are opportunities to make this company more valuable through using our capital where we can grow best and returning it where we don't. Others will see that there's always other ways of doing this.
HANCOCK ON RESERVE CHARGES
We're in the property casualty business and the casualty part of that has very long duration liabilities. We insure against adverse events that often occurred many decades ago and so estimating what those claims are going to be over the decades to come requires constant updates. And so to give you a sense of perspective the $3.6 billion is on top of a reserve number of 58 billion. So if you look at the scale of it, it's not as big as the number suggests.
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