Paulson's Imprimateur on Freddie/Fannie Rescue

Madcap weekend recasts Treasury Secretary in Clintonian mold
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2008 9:16 AM CDT
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr., left, confers with House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 10,2008.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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(Newser) – Henry Paulson had a very busy weekend. The treasury secretary had been formulating contingency plans for bailing out beleaguered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for weeks, but Friday’s crisis came before those plans were in place, the Wall Street Journal reports in a reconstruction of events leading to the rescue, culminating in the frenzied weekend scramble to negotiate the particulars with the Fed and Congress.

Paulson was forced to swing into action when foreign central banks called Washington, warning that a Fannie or Freddie collapse would have global consequences, the New York Times reports. His moves appear to have staved off a crisis but, both papers note, by expanding the government’s role, Paulson has recast himself as a Clintonian financial activist—indeed, it is congressional Republicans who most oppose his plan