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Newsweek: Hank Paulson Basically Bumbling Imbecile

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Kidding, but seriously, they sort of seem to be hinting at that. Every single profile you've ever read of the former Treasury Secretary, under contract, must include at least one graph mentioning the fact that Bald is big, tall, could palm a basketball, and intimidates the hell out of anyone within a 200 foot radius, a skill he was born with but honed as a lineman at Dartmouth. Seriously, he actually will kill you, or at least look at you in such a way that indicates bones have the potential to be broken if things don't go his way (Ken Lewis knows what we're talkin about). But no one to this point has gone so far to suggest that the brawn vastly dwarfs the brain, or that Bald came to run Goldman in spite of not having much going on up in that dome piece. Until now.

Paulson was known as "the Hammer" as a 6-foot-1, 200-pound tackle on the Dartmouth football team because he seemed to explode at the snap of the ball. Tenacity and drive, more than brainpower, have distinguished his career. He has been a champion arm-twister and shrewd enough: when he rescued Goldman's IPO in the wake of the Russian financial crash in 1998 he made hundreds of millions for his partners and shortly thereafter became their leader. Yet Paulson can be oddly inarticulate for such a powerful man. He is not a Wall Street smoothie: no trophy wife (he remains married to his college sweetheart), and at Goldman he was known for wearing penny loafers, not handmade Italian shoes. He's an avid bird watcher. A nonsmoking, nondrinking Christian Scientist, he did not head for the Hamptons on the weekend but visited his mother in Barrington, Ill. Yet, physically imposing, radiating a confident forcefulness, he came to stand for the dominating Goldman brand. In the Wall Street hierarchy, Goldman is the smartest and most confident of them all: the firm makes bets, but only ones it feels sure to win.