Bailout Flip-Flop Diminishes Paulson

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2008 7:54 PM CST
Paulson after yesterday's news conference.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Henry Paulson’s recent about-face on his plans for the $700 billion bailout do not bode well for his legacy, write Bloomberg's Rebecca Christie and Matthew Benjamin. Perhaps most damaging is not the change of mind, but what it says about his initial plans. “This is a flip-flop,” one observer said, “but on the other hand, when they first proposed the thing, they didn't really know what they were doing.”

Others were more charitable. One former Bush staffer hoped posterity would decide that Paulson “responded as well as one could hope.” But for the time being, the Treasury Secretary doesn’t look very good on Wall Street. “He has lost a lot of confidence from the market from all of this,” said one old Washington hand. For his part, Paulson is sticking to his guns. “I will never apologize for changing a strategy or an approach if the facts change.”