Who Is Henry Paulson?

Soon to be King Henry!

Does anyone really know who he is?

I know that you have heard the name and you mat possibly know who he is, the Sec. of Treasury, but what else do you know about the guy that will have unlimited control of almost a trillion dollars?  I will bet not much.  That is about to change and you may thank the Professor for his diligence.

The plan to rescue the US financial industry arrogates virtually unlimited money and power over the financial affairs of the state to the office of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. Paulson is a figure with a long history of intimate connections to the political and financial elite.

In 1970, fresh from the Masters program of the Harvard Business School, Paulson entered the Nixon administration, working first as staff assistant to the assistant secretary of defense. In 1972-73, Paulson worked as office assistant to John Erlichman, assistant to the president for domestic affairs. Erlichman was one of the key figures involved in organizing President Richard Nixon’s notorious “plumbers” unit that carried out illegal covert operations against the president’s political opponents, including espionage, blackmail, and revenge. Ehlichman resigned in 1973, and in 1975 he was convicted of obstruction of justice, perjury, and conspiracy, and was imprisoned for 18 months.

Utilizing his connections, Paulson went to work for Goldman Sachs in 1974. In a 2007 feature, the British newspaper the Guardian wrote, “Not only was he well connected enough to get the job [in the Nixon White House], but well connected enough to resign in the thick of the Watergate scandal without ever getting caught up in the fallout. He went straight to Goldman back home in Illinois.”

Paulson rose through the ranks of Goldman Sachs, becoming a partner in 1982, co-head of investment banking in 1990, chief operating officer in 1994. In 1998 he forced out his co-chairman Jon Corzine “in what amounted to a coup,” according to New York Times economics correspondent Floyd Norris, and took over the post of CEO.

Since taking office, Paulson has overseen the destruction of three of Goldman Sachs’ rivals. In March, Paulson helped arrange the fire sale of Bear Stearns to JPMorgan Chase. Then, a little more than a week ago, he allowed Lehman Brothers to collapse, while simultaneously organizing the absorption of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America. This left only Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley as major investment banks, both of which were converted on Sunday into bank holding companies, a move that effectively ended the existence of the investment bank as a distinct economic form.

In the months leading up to his proposed $700 billion bailout of the financial industry, Paulson had already used his office to dole out hundreds of billions of dollars. After his July 2008 proposal for $70 billion to resolve the insolvency of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac failed, Paulson organized the government takeover of the two mortgage-lending giants for an immediate $200 billion price tag, while making the government potentially liable for hundreds of billions more in bad debt. He then organized a federal purchase of an 80 percent stake in the giant insurer American International Group (AIG) at a cost of $85 billion.

There you are sports fans, I am sure that there is something I missed, but this is as much as I could find on short notice.  Now you decide if a trillion dollars should be controlled by one person, in essence.

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2 thoughts on “Who Is Henry Paulson?

  1. I just made the connection between Paulson and the “Plumbers.” I wonder if three decades is too long in American years for it to be of any significance.
    It’s going to take a while for me to ponder this. The Republicans were criminals then and are criminals now.

  2. Thanx for the visit Diane….yep Watergate just was a tip of the iceberg…Repubs have always been shady characters just look at the corrupt individuals in the past couple of uears alone.

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