Gee. Do ya' think he's a one-percenter?
Henry Paulson served as The Secretary of the Treasury of the United States under George Walker Bush. The post is similar to the Minister of Finance in many other countries. By law and by tradition, the Secretary of the Treasury is fifth in the United States presidential line of succession, in case of some extreme calamity in the United States.
The latest Bloomberg dirt on him comes as no surprise given his glorious banker golden boy history.
He was sworn in on July 10, 2006 and a staunch defender of tax cuts for the wealthiest among us:
Because of a little-known provision in the federal tax code, Mr. Paulson, the departing Goldman Sachs chief executive, could receive a tax break of at least $48 million if he is confirmed.
New York Times
But, there's more.
Ellis does point out a fascinating quirk in tax law: wealthy political appointees who put their assets into blind trusts needn’t pay capital gains taxes on any sales. So public service isn’t always a low-paying sacrifice; it can also help outwit the tax man. Ellis estimates Paulson could have saved as much as $200 million this way.
A couple of years of working on the tax payer's dime becomes a method of diversifying a massive portfolio without paying taxes. George Washington he ain't -- who gave up his $25,000 salary to serve.
Paulson had been CEO of Goldman Sachs from 1999 to 2006.
In January 2003, Paulson stated, "I don't want to sound heartless, but in almost every one of our businesses, there are 15 to 20 percent of the people who really add 80 percent of the value. I think we can cut a fair amount and not get into muscle and still be very well-positioned for the upturn." He issued an apology to company employees via voice-mail. According to many in the banking community, his apology "served as an example to a new generation of humbler CEOs who view themselves as subject to the same ethical standards as everyone else." All Business
In May of 2008, Paulson said: "I do believe that the worst is likely to be behind us," Paulson told the newspaper in an interview." CNBC
Yeah, right. Do you think he was just stupid or was he playing us? According to Bloomberg (cited above), he was playing both sides of the table. Telling reporters that the government would not intervene in Fannie Mae, but days later describing to hedge fund managers at a private a meeting a scenario whereby the government seizes Fannie Mae and its common stock would be wiped out.
Remind again how conservatives are for small government. Crony capitalism depends on a close relationships between business people and government officials. But given Paulson's close ties to China, he certainly had a model to work off of.
The takeover of Fannie and Freddie by the Bush government took place on Sept. 6, 2008.
So what, right? Let's spend our time fighting amongst one another. Forget about Paulson. I get so tired of the bickering and speculating around here. And when there is actual evidence of ongoing crony capitalism -- one of the issues at the hear of OWS -- other diaries mysteriously appear on the rec list blaming everybody and anybody else for the country's ills. Haven't you had enough of the weapons of mass distraction?
Henry Paulson was certainly very good at distraction:
In April 2007 delivered an upbeat assessment of the economy, saying growth was healthy and the housing market was nearing a turnaround. "All the signs I look at" show "the housing market is at or near the bottom," Paulson said in a speech to a business group in New York. The U.S. economy is "very healthy" and "robust," Paulson said.
In August 2007, Secretary Paulson explained that U.S. subprime mortgage fallout remained largely contained due to the strongest global economy in decades.
In May 2008, The Wall Street Journal wrote that Paulson said U.S. financial markets are emerging from the credit crunch that many economists believe has pushed the country to the brink of recession. "I do believe that the worst is likely to be behind us," Paulson told the newspaper in an interview.
On July 20, 2008, after the failure of Indymac Bank, Paulson reassured the public by saying, “it's a safe banking system, a sound banking system. Our regulators are on top of it. This is a very manageable situation.”
On August 10, 2008, Secretary Paulson told NBC’s Meet the Press that he had no plans to inject any capital into Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. On September 7, 2008, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac went into conservatorship.
Have you had enough of the distraction?