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Hank Paulson’s Recollections: Mile Wide, Inch Deep

Posted by Larry Doyle on August 29, 2013 8:17 AM |

Might Hank Paulson have selective amnesia or whatever happened to real journalism?

My former question actually could be posed to most pols, bankers, and regulators over the last number of years.  The latter would apply even longer than that.

Well I guess posing tough questions and demanding answers in this day and age would likely leave journalists writing little more than monologues. What a pity.

I see another example of this shallow journalism on display in written reviews and interviews with former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. What brings Paulson back on stage? 

The fact that he recently released a 23-page commentary Five Years Later: On The Brink — The New Prologue.

Do you think Ol’ Hank might be trying to stay relevant and burnish that reputation a little? You think? Otherwise he may find himself relegated to the curbside with the likes of Alan Greenspan, Chris Cox, Chris Dodd, Phil Gramm, Franklin Raines, and so many others who had the feed-bag on at the Wall Street-Washington trough leading into — and for some during and through– the crisis.

I will make a point of finding the twenty odd minutes it might take to read Hank’s new 23-page release. But if the reviews provided by Dealb%k’s Andrew Ross Sorkin and CNNMoney are a guide as to what we might find in Hank’s work, we won’t have to spend much more time than that.  This said, I do owe it to Hank and readers here to properly review his work. I will do that.

Based on the aforementioned commentaries, I expect I will find in those 23-pages Hank’s opinion regarding the future of Fannie and Freddie, Dodd-Frank, “too-big-to-fail”, Wall Street bonuses, and more.

What am I not likely to find?

I do not expect that I will find Hank offering any opinions on his concerted efforts going back even to the late ’90s that led to the dramatic increase in regulatory capture and the tripling of leverage on Wall Street. No doubt the success of his work on both these fronts was instrumental in precipitating our crisis. But alas, I gather these topics might be too much to ask of the former secretary or of a journalist as well.

Yes, indeed, what a pity.

23-pages? This should be a very brief navigation.

You cannot make this stuff up, folks.

Larry Doyle

Please pre-order a copy of my book, In Bed with Wall Street: The Conspiracy Crippling Our Global Economy, that will be published by Palgrave Macmillan on January 7, 2014.

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I have no business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved. 


  • Andrew

    As crooked as his left pinky.

    • LD

      Wow. Very observant. Must have been an injury from his days playing football at Dartmouth back in the ’60s.

      In fact after having written that I took a minute to check and sure enough, from Dealbreaker,

      The pinky finger on your left hand looks mangled—is that a football injury from your Dartmouth days?

      Yeah. I’ve forgotten which game, but on one play this finger went out this way. This other one, that way. The team doctor pulled them out, put some tape around them and sent me right back out there. When the swelling went down we could tell they were dislocated.

  • Jim Wells

    Mr. Paulson has much to be sorry for, beginning with showering the very banks that precipitated the Financial Crisis with over a trillion dollars in a bailout WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED. Now, instead of expressing concern for the impact of his actions on the economy and the millions of American who lost jobs, homes and life savings, he whines about not having curbed the outrageous bonuses the “Banksters” paid themselves. What a disgrace.

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