Paulson Still Dogged by Ethics Queries

Ex-Goldman exec coddled firm as Treasury sec, critics say
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2009 11:28 AM CDT
Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson remains dogged by suspicion that he gave preferential treatment to his former firm, Goldman Sachs.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, FILE)
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(Newser) – As a former Goldman Sachs exec, Henry Paulson vowed to avoid any potential conflicts of interest when he was appointed President Bush’s Treasury secretary. But seven months after he left office, the nagging questions surrounding Paulson’s tumultuous term in office suggest he may not have succeeded, Gretchen Morgenson and Don Van Natta Jr write in the New York Times. Critics remain suspicious of Paulson’s role in engineering a bailout for Goldman creditor AIG and dozens of conversations with his successor at Goldman.

“It’s clear he had a conflict of interest,” said one Republican congressman, brushing off the ethics waivers Paulson obtained to deal with Goldman. “He had a vested interest in Goldman’s success.” Sources say Paulson played a major role in orchestrating the AIG bailout and granting Goldman TARP funds, which netted his former firm a total of $23 billion. Paulson, who has maintained no unethical behavior, is now busy writing his memoirs.