The finance corridors of the interwebs are echoing with reactions to the President today naming Hank Paulson to follow John Snow as Treasury Secretary.
Larry Kudlow's pleased.
Mr. Paulson is a well-regarded, top-rated Wall Street exec at the powerful Goldman Sachs who will bring considerable credibility to the top Treasury job. He is a confirmed free trader who strongly supports deepening economic relations with China.
Mr. Paulson also supported Bush’s investor tax cuts, and has worried out loud about the impact of SarBox on American competitiveness.
Goldman insiders tell me that he is something of a “greenie,” having been active in the Nature Conservancy, but they say he’s no Al Gore, and prefers technology advances by private enterprise to solve energy and any global warming issues.
Snow has been replaced by Henry Paulson, the chairman of Goldman Sachs. Like Bill Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, Paulson will have credibility with Wall Street that Snow never enjoyed. This should be good for the stock markets, even if Paulson doesn’t alter any of Snow’s policies. Paulson provides better optics for investors.
The Republicans face a wipeout in the 2006 and 2008 elections. Forget immigration and all the stuff you read about in the papers. The only thing what will save Republicans now is if the investor class is happy and votes to give Republicans another turn at the wheel. Given the underlying economic strength of the U.S. economy, stock markets should be doing better. With a Wall Street guy at Treasury, maybe the markets will catch up. That is the Republican hope.
DealBook wonders what happens to all those shares of Goldman Sachs currently held by Hanks.
The Treasury Secretary is typically called upon to give up control of any investments that may present a conflict of interest. In 2001, for example, pressure from public interest groups forced Treasury Secretary Paul H. O’Neill to reverse his previous stance and agree to sell about $100 million worth of Alcoa stock and options
And even though this is hardly new, we like this profile of Paulson which emphasizes his commitment to Christianity ("My wife and I try to begin every day by affirming Jesus. Sound ethics and morals have got to be the underpinning—the basis—of everything we do") and notes that he once aspired to be a forest ranger. Tree-hugger indeed.