Henry Paulson

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Dear Uncle Sam: Thanks

Only you could have saved us from financial meltdown: Warren Buffett

(Newser) - Sure, it's all the rage to curse big government, government spending, government in general, but there's one guy who's thankful for it—and his name happens to be Warren Buffett. Writing a thank-you letter disguised as an op-ed for the New York Times, Buffett praises Uncle Sam's intervention in the... More »

Paulson: In '08 Crisis, John McCain Had No Plan

Ex-Treasury sec says Mac risked putting US economy in freefall for 'political gambit'

(Newser) - With the US economy in utter freefall, John McCain suspended his presidential campaign, jetted to Washington, called a meeting to fix the crisis—then did nothing, according the Henry Paulson's new book, On the Brink . In an excerpt in the Wall Street Journal, the former Treasury secretary recounts McCain's odd... More »

Fed Duo Sounded Alarm Over AIG 'Gifts' to Banks

Geithner, Paulson face grilling over 'backdoor bailouts' for AIG clients

(Newser) - Two Federal Reserve governors expressed their unease about the Fed's rejection of a plan to force big banks to return $30 billion in cash they received from AIG before its bailout in late 2008. The officials warned that the decision to let the banks, including Goldman Sachs, keep the collateral... More »

The Lowest Points of the 'Decade of the Oligarchs'

Bush put US on path to banana republic status

(Newser) - The 2000s were dominated by George W. Bush and the new American oligarchy he represents, writes Juan Cole. He lists hit 10 lowest points of an awful decade:
  • “The constitutional coup of 2000,” in which “ugly racial and other low tricks” and a “far right-wing Supreme
... More »

Goldman Seizes Homes as Securities Sour

Just getting them to admit they hold your mortgage can be an ordeal

(Newser) - Imagine finding yourself in a foreclosure battle and discovering that your opponent isn't the obscure lender who wrote your insane mortgage, but the formidable Goldman Sachs. It seems that after years of buying subprime mortgages and packaging them into bonds, at a handsome profit, Goldman is now in the business... More »

8 Days That Shook the Financial World

James Stewart on the week that Lehman failed, and meltdown loomed

(Newser) - James Stewart’s reconstruction of the 8 nail-biting days, a year ago, in which the federal government stepped in to stop the collapse of the world financial system—published in the New Yorker this week, just as Fed chief Ben Bernanke was declaring the recession officially over—makes riveting, tense... More »

Toothless Watchdogs Not Sure Where TARP Money Went

(Newser) - Anybody seen $700 billion? The government watchdogs charged with overseeing TARP spending don't seem able to answer even basic questions about where the money went, Chris Adams writes at McClatchy. A special inspector general, a congressional panel, and eight other inspectors general are supposed to be keeping track of the... More »

Paulson Still Dogged by Ethics Queries

Ex-Goldman exec coddled firm as Treasury sec, critics say

(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... More »

Paulson: BofA-Merrill Deal Saved US From 'Great Peril'

Actions saved nation from 'great peril,' he says

(Newser) - Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says his role in Bank of America’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch was appropriate and necessary, MarketWatch reports. “I am confident that our responses were substantially correct and that they saved this nation from great peril,” Paulson told a House oversight committee today... More »

Goldman Engineered 'Every Market Manipulation' Post-Depression

(Newser) - The recession has been good to Goldman Sachs: The world’s most powerful investment bank snatched $10 billion in TARP funds, reclaimed $13 billion from AIG, watched archrival Lehman Brothers disintegrate, and found alumni spearheading Washington’s economic rescue effort. But this isn’t new, Matt Taibbi writes in a... More »

Bernanke Denies Threatening BofA Boss Over Merrill

He battles accusations that he strongarmed he company

(Newser) - On Capitol Hill today, Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke denied he threatened the job of Bank of America’s CEO when Ken Lewis hesitated on the Merrill Lynch merger last fall, CNNMoney reports. “I did not tell Bank of America’s management that the Federal Reserve would take action... More »

Feds Put 'Gun to Head' of BofA's Lewis on Merger

(Newser) - Ben Bernanke and Henry Paulson may have leaned on Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis too heavily last year when he tried to back out of a deal to acquire Merrill Lynch, say congressional investigators. In fact, a GOP briefing document says the two Bush officals "put a gun... More »

Paulson Threatened to Oust Lewis, BofA Board

Cuomo wants federal investigation

(Newser) - Bank of America wanted to pull out of its deal with a fast-sinking Merrill Lynch last year but changed course after then-Treasury chief Henry Paulson threatened to oust CEO Ken Lewis and the entire BofA board, the Wall Street Journal reports. The revelation came in a letter to members of... More »

BofA CEO Says Feds Urged Silence on Merrill Losses

Shareholders kept in the dark to ensure deal

(Newser) - Bank of America's CEO felt pressured by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury chief Henry Paulson to withhold details of last year's Merrill Lynch acquisition from shareholders, including mounting losses at Merrill that triggered a $20 billion bailout, the Wall Street Journal reports. BofA CEO Ken Lewis said in testimony... More »

20 Crime Probes Launched Into Bailout Fraud

Inspector calls TARP 'inherently vulnerable' to insider trading, abuse

(Newser) - Federal authorities have begun 20 separate investigations into possible fraud, tax violations, insider trading, and other criminal activities surrounding Henry Paulson's $750 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, reports the Los Angeles Times. It's only the first round of probes, according to the bailout program's inspector general, who called TARP "... More »

Goldman Back on Top, Thanks to Uncle Sam

Competitors killed off, AIG conveniently saved, bank rakes in profits

(Newser) - Goldman Sachs reported a $1.8 billion profit yesterday, and it owes it all to its helpful Uncle Sam, writes William Cohan in the New York Times. “Government Sachs,” as it’s come to be known, has been pulling Washington’s strings for years, and now its competitors... More »

Bailout Chief Drives a Hard Bargain

TARP CIO Lambright adept at 'high-speed game of chicken'

(Newser) - James Lambright, the man who gets final say over where a lot of the federal bailout money goes, is known at the Treasury, and to an ever-widening circle of executives at America’s biggest companies, as a hard-nosed bargainer, the Wall Street Journal reports. Lambright's self-professed aim is “navigating... More »

Krugman in 'Despair' Over Toxic Asset Plan

Dressing up Paulson's failed solution is no solution at all

(Newser) - Paul Krugman has been downbeat for weeks on the Obama efforts to rescue the economy, but today he hits a new low. “This is more than disappointing. In fact, it fills me with a sense of despair,” writes Krugman in the New York Times of the White House... More »

Spitzer: AIG Bailout an 'Inside Job'

Scandal isn't bonuses, it's payments to influential debtors

(Newser) - Eliot Spitzer is mad about AIG, and not because it’s giving out bonuses. No, the real scandal, he writes for Slate, is the tens of billions of taxpayer dollars going to pay back AIG’s counterparties. The decision to bail out AIG was made by Henry Paulson, Timothy Geithner,... More »

Missing, Not Missed: CEOs in Obama Cabinet

Prez keeps Wall Street at arm's length, leans on pols, academics

(Newser) - To the multitude of differences between the Obama administration and its predecessors, add the absence of corporate CEOs from Cabinet meetings. The reason is simple, reports Politico: There aren't any. Recent Wall Street-to-Washington catastrophes such as the Bush Treasury Department aren't the only reason, either. "Obama’s more... More »

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