I cannot go into the details, as the entire conversation was off the record — with an adversary of Hank Paulson’s.
However, I can tell you that, despite disagreeing with the bailouts & TARP that was put into place under his regime at Treasury, Hank Paulson may actually be a decent guy.
When you look at the rest of the parade of folks who helped contribute to the crisis — from the people at Treasury (Paulson, Geithner, Summers, Rubin) to the Fed (Greenspan, Bernanke) to Senate (Gramm, Leach, Bliley, Schumer), there certainly is plenty of blame to spread around a bunch of unsavory characters. Greenspan deserves much more blame than Bernanke (I also believe Bernanke is a decent man).
But Paulson did a few things that are not known, and probably wont be publicly revealed until the end of this year — if at all. His subsequent actions since leaving Treasury have actually surprised me.
This actually comes from an adversary of his. I will reveal all when I get permission, or when the book comes out, if ever — and if not, well, you just have to trust my judgment on this.
More to come later . . .
UPDATE: February 7, 2012 4:57am
Geez, y’all completely misread this.Settle down.
I didn’t say I upgraded him to Saint — I thought he was an god-awful jackass who oversaw the greatest theft in history, transferring trillions from taxpayers to incompetent bankers. After leaving Treasury, Paulson did a few things that surprised me and made me think he was more decent than I previously did — thats all.
However negative I was previously about current Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, after Monday’s lunch I am even more negative than ever.