Still, it soon became clear that dating a congressman was not like dating other men. Mr. Frank had just been appointed chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, where he played a central role in creating legislation to increase transparency in financial markets. Weekends in Maine turned into Washington sleepovers, with Mr. Ready eating takeout outside a conference room as Mr. Frank hammered out a bank bailout with figures like Henry Paulson Jr., then the Treasury secretary. “Hank Paulson would call on a Friday afternoon and say, ‘Well, such-and-such a bank is failing,’ ” said Mr. Frank, recalling broken dates. At one point, Mr. Ready confronted his boyfriend: “I was like, ‘You know what? You spend more time with flight attendants than you do with me.’ ” [NYT]
I CAN'T TONIGHT I HAVE TO HELP RESCUE THE COUNTRY FROM THE WORST FINANCIAL CRISIS IN 80 YEARS! WELL I'M SORRY IF YOU REARRANGED YOUR PLANS Who asked you to do that?!
Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the U.S. will emerge relatively unharmed from the debt crisis in Europe as efforts by Greece, Spain and other nations to stabilize their economies persist for the long-term. “Although Europe is a drag, the U.S. will continue to muddle along with growth that really isn’t enough to make a dent in employment,” Paulson, who was Treasury secretary from July 2006 through January 2009, said at a biotechnology industry conference in Boston today. Europe will eventually stabilize and avoid a “catastrophic outcome,” he said. [Bloomberg]
For his decision to bail out Wall Street in order to avert economic calamity during the financial crisis, Hank Paulson earned himself a few enemies. Chief among them was blogger Barry Ritholtz. In the years since Paulson has left office, The Big Picture author has had nothing but disdain for the former Treasury Secretary, described on TBP as “a god-awful jackass who oversaw the greatest theft in history, transferring trillions from taxpayers to incompetent bankers,” and who Ritholtz felt such disgust for that he would instinctively spit after uttering his name. Which is why you might want to sit down before reading about an utterly shocking reversal of opinion entitled, “My Newfound Respect For Hank Paulson.” Seriously, brace yourselves: Read more »
You may remember that, earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that in June 2008, with the world’s financial system in the balance, then-Treasury Secretary (and Goldman Sachs alum) Hank Paulson (1) rode in an elevator and (2) upon disembarking from said elevator told a bunch of his friends who had WORKED AT GOLDMAN WITH HIM about how he was going to nationalize Fannie and Freddie (which he did about two months later) so his friends should short the hell out of the GSEs, which they then proceeded to do, or not do, since “The managers attending the meeting were thus given a choice opportunity to trade on that information. There’s no evidence that they did so after the meeting; tracking firm-specific short stock sales isn’t possible using public documents.”
So that happened. Fast forward to September 2011, when, with the world’s financial system in the balance, New York Fed president (and COINCIDENTALLY ALSO a Goldman Sachs alum) William Dudley met with some other hedge fund friends to ask them about what to do about Europe. And again about two months later, the Fed did some stuff about Europe. Very suspicious.
The Wall Street Journal reported on this meeting today and, while the article loses some points for not describing whether Dudley stepped off an elevator, jogged up a flight of stairs, or clambered in a window to arrive at the meeting, it’s actually remarkably fair in explaining how much you should freak out about this (not that much), as well as in foreshadowing how much people will freak out about it (quite a bit):
Read more »
Sheila Bair continues to be mad that she didn’t get to sit at the grown-ups’ table during the financial crisis, and she told Joe Nocera all about it in his much-talked-about “exit interview” this weekend. She-Bair is not afraid to bring the awkies regarding her relationship with Hank Paulson: “Except for a 10-second handshake, she never even spoke to Henry Paulson her first year or so in office.”
Wait, what? Sadly there are no more details about this 10-second handshake, but we imagine it got pretty creepy. Hank probably started crisp and confident, but by the five-second mark both hands were clammy and eventually Bair had to clear her throat noisily a couple of times and say “crushing my hand here Hank.”
Now, sure, the Bair didn’t like getting snubbed by Timmy and Hank just because her whole agency had to share two computers for most of her tenure. But she has no problem with elitism per se, and doesn’t think government money should be given to just any bunch of losers:
Read more »
He’ll be lecturing at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy Studies and heading up “an independent center that will specialize in relationships involving the United States and China” which shall be called the Paulson Institute. Read more »
Critics also felt that [Portland Timbers owner] Merritt Paulson was heavy-handed in his dealings with the financially strapped city, which ultimately agreed to pay for about a third of the cost of the renovating the stadium, using money from ticket taxes and parking receipts at entertainment facilities, like the Rose Garden, home to the N.B.A. Trail Blazers, in Portland. “Why the Paulson family needed public money is beside me,” said Jack Bogdanski, a professor of tax law at Lewis and Clark College. “He came into town highly suspect in my book.” Others say the money was not well spent because, despite the renovation and M.L.S. guidelines for stadiums, the seats are still too narrow, the concourse cramped and the number of bathrooms inadequate. [NYT]
Hank Paulson Pushed Jon Corzine Out Of Goldman Because He Reminded People Of Bluto From Animal HouseBy Bess Levin
As is widely known at this point, Jon Corzine left Goldman Sachs in January 1999, after serving as co-CEO with Hank Paulson. JSC didn’t leave of his of volition so much as he was pushed by his colleague, who’d convinced the management committee it was the right thing to do while Corzine was skiing with his family over Christmas. In his upcoming book, “Goldman’s Alpha War,” author William Cohan explores what exactly it was about Corzine that rubbed Hank the wrong way. One major event that grinded Paulson’s gears was when Jon “initiated talks about a merger with Mellon Bank,” without notifying anyone first, which Paulson knew would anger the management committee (a “major political misstep” HP used to nail JSC to the wall). But more generally, Paulson just didn’t like the cut of Corzine’s jib, especially when it came to JSC’s allegedly insatiable appetite to expand the franchise.
Paulson says Cohan he didn’t focus on their differences at first. “When you’re boiling in oil, in the middle of a crisis, the challenges are so consuming there is no time for anything else,” he says. But as business improved and an I.P.O. loomed, Corzine’s desire to expand the firm irritated Paulson. “Jon wanted to do business in every country, everywhere, and wanted to be big,” one partner says. “He was like the guy going through a cafeteria, and he wanted to take everything and put it on his tray. That concerned people.” “The differences between Corzine and me became huge,” Paulson tells Cohan. “I was tired of bumping my head against a wall.”
He was also tired of-and frankly, grossed out by- this image running through his head every time Corzine walked into his office. Read more »
Yesterday during Lloyd Blankfein’s testimony at the Raj Rajaratnam insider trading trial, Blankfein noted that, professionally, he prefers using voicemail to email. This is not a Lloyd quirk but something of an institutionalized “thing” at Goldman, where management has, for years now, been known to fill up employees phones with messages, rather than typing them out. The messages can range from morale boosters (LB left one for the staff last April around the time of the SEC investigation into ABACUS), to administrative and everything in between. For example, there was the time Hank Paulson left a firm-wide message, telling the staff he’d said some stuff he didn’t mean.
Mr. Blankfein’s predecessor as chief executive, Henry M. Paulson Jr., was also a fan of the spoken word. Voice mail was his preferred method of communication and in 2002 he famously used voice mail staffwide to apologize for his “80-20″ comment, when he remarked that 20 percent of the staff add 80 percent of the value. “It was glib and totally insensitive response, which is totally at odds with the way I think about the people here,” he told employees in a voice mail.
If that sounds awkward, it doesn’t really compare to the message he left for Jon Corzine one night not too long after pushing him out, telling him “it’s not you it’s me,” in an attempt to bury the hatchet, footage of which we’ve been able to obtain. Read more »
She’s part of the former Treasury Secretary’s reading material this month. Read more »