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And Now A Word From Henry Paulson (PBS News Hour Interview, Nov. 13, 2008)

Video:  Hank Paulson with Jim Lehrer -- Defending TARP

Transcript is below.

Watch how neatly the narrative changes, from buying toxic assets - the Federal Reserve and Fannie & Freddie would eventually assume that responsibility - to capital injections and common stock purchases.  Some have since conjectured that he planned it that way from the beginning.

Paulson says:

  • "The interbank credit market was frozen; banks weren't lending to each other."

Some would call this reckless hyperbole.  But it is just another lie

Get that man a chart:

The truth about interbank lending during the crisis:


Former Goldman Sachs CEO and current Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced a major shift in the government's bailout program Wednesday, saying the $700 billion rescue package will not be used to purchase troubled assets as originally planned.

Economists discuss Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's announcement Wednesday that the government will shift its focus from buying troubled assets to shoring up institutions that manage credit cards, auto loans and other types of borrowing.


The Senate on Wednesday approved a financial rescue package that could cost up to $700 billion -- the largest government intervention in U.S. history. Analysts discuss whether the plan will be enough to fix the ailing economy.


Partial Transcript - A True Must Read

JIM LEHRER: Is it correct to say at this point, Mr. Secretary, that the $700 billion rescue plan has not worked?

HENRY PAULSON: Oh, I wouldn't say that at all. I would say quite the opposite, that what we've been able to do since that legislation has been passed is stabilize our financial system. And I think that was very important.

The financial system was at the tipping point. The interbank credit market was frozen; banks weren't lending to each other. That situation has resolved itself. When you look at the Fed funds rates and the interbank rates and so on, that market is working better.

Now, I would say that the economy has some very significant challenges, and the financial markets have some significant challenges, and they will for some time. We're not going to work through these stresses until the biggest part of the real estate price correction is over, and it's going to take -- it took a long time to build these things up, and it's going to take a while to work through them.

JIM LEHRER: But the expectations -- would you not agree, Mr. Secretary, when in September, when you and others, everybody was saying, "Hey, we've got to pass this rescue plan. If we don't, things are going to get worse."

The plan was passed, and things have gotten worse in the financial markets, in the economy. Everything is -- every measurement is worse, is it not?

HENRY PAULSON: Yes, I think in the economy that's right. The economy has worsened. But I think what we sure tried to say is that, if this isn't passed, things are really going to get worse, because we need a stable financial system that is functioning.

And so part of the issue we always had was, I think, to the American people generally, they look at the equity markets, some of them going up and down. They're not focused on the interbank funding or the credit markets or the banking system.

But what we saw when we went to Congress was we saw that the markets were frozen, lending had stopped, the economy was turning down, so we could see all of this happening. And we knew how severe it was going to get if we didn't stabilize the system.

But I never intended to say -- nor did I ever say -- that the process of recovery and repair was going to be a quick one. The situation we've confronted is the kind of thing that happens once or twice every 100 years.

JIM LEHRER: But the lending, for instance, that was a key part of the rescue plan. I almost said "bailout." I know that's a bad word. But at any rate, they're still not lending. People still can't borrow money. They can't buy a house, or buy a car, all those things.

HENRY PAULSON: Well, let's go back. Lending is going to be a key part of this. And what happens when you're in a period of financial stress, banks pull in their horns, regulators reinforce it, as banks are concerned about continuing slowdown in the economy and credit losses that is restricted.

What we have done by taking steps to make sure the banks are well capitalized. And let's remember that we are still in the process of getting that money out.

The nine big banks have $125 billion, and they account for 55 percent of the assets, and we've got another 20 or so out the door. But we've got much more to go there.

But, again, to get back to your point, the thing that I will say, if this works, if this works, lending will be much more than it would have been, OK, than it would have been.

But the key is that, if the banks are confident and people are confident in dealing with the banks, there's going to be more lending. But the first benefit is the stability of the system.

And let me say one other thing about lending, which I think is very important and it happened this week, that I can exhort banks to lend, but I'm not a regulator.

And what happened this week -- which was for the first time I've ever heard of -- we had a statement come out, signed by the four regulators in this country -- the Fed, OCC, OTS, and FDIC -- that addressed four things.

It addressed lending. It addressed compensation practices. It addressed dividend policy and the area of mitigating foreclosures. And it was a strong statement focused on the need for prudent lending.

Now, for that statement to come out is one thing. And then when you look at what the regulatory supervisors will do, I think will make a meaningful difference.

But, again, you should not take my comment as meaning that this credit is immediately going to become available like it used to be and that the economy is going to turn around right away.

Revising the approach

JIM LEHRER: All right, yesterday you announced a whole change in your approach. You said the first part was not working, and so now you're...

HENRY PAULSON: No, I did not say that.

JIM LEHRER: Well, you -- well, all right. Say what you did say.

HENRY PAULSON: OK, because it was very clear. I didn't say the first part wasn't working. When we went to Congress, we pointed to the fact that there was a great deal of illiquid assets in financial institutions. And...

JIM LEHRER: Illiquid assets, meaning money that can be lent, right?

HENRY PAULSON: Holding mortgages, mortgage-related assets, money tied up in this. And we said something at that time which was a very good idea, and it still is a good idea, which is, if we bought those assets, invested in them, this would put capital into the banks and there'd be a price discovery process that would cause more capital to go into the banks.

But what happened is the situation worsened. As it took a good while to get through Congress, the situation worsened.

By the time we had that legislation passed on October 2nd, I had concluded that, when you looked at the finite amount of resources we had, that the more powerful way to deal with the issue, because the problem was of a greater magnitude, and to protect the taxpayer was to go the capital route. And...

JIM LEHRER: Which means you put the money directly in the banks.

HENRY PAULSON: Put the money directly in the banks, which then puts them in a stronger position to sell the illiquid assets and continue lending. The money will go further.

So what we said -- so what I said yesterday -- so we, right out of the legislation, we moved with lightning speed to begin implementing this program 10 days after the legislation, getting the money in the nine largest banks, we're working on that.

So what I said yesterday was, after, again, looking at the problem we have before us and looking at the TARP resources, and how best to use...

JIM LEHRER: TARP, that's the name of the bill -- the legislation, right.

HENRY PAULSON: Yes, of the rescue package. And let me also say, on these investments, this is money the taxpayer will get back. These are investments. These preferreds in these banks are well protected, and I believe that will be a good investment.

But what we've said is, looking at what we've got before us, the best thing we can do is have additional money, ample additional money to continue to put equity into financial institutions, if needed, and also equity to put into institutions if there's a systemic event and there needs to be a rescue.

And so what we said is we want to evaluate this first plan once it's done and then determine the best way to go forward as needed with additional capital programs.

JIM LEHRER: But it is correct to say, is it not, Mr. Secretary, that everything that's been done up until now has not resulted in the kind of lending that this whole thing was designed to free?

HENRY PAULSON: I take big issue with that.


HENRY PAULSON: Because what I say is we were clear from day one we were talking about stability of the system, that this system was at a -- at a tipping point.

And this plan -- thank goodness Congress enacted it. And I also am very grateful that we were able to see the size of the issue in front of us and move as quickly as we did to -- to stabilize the financial system with the actions the FDIC took, in terms of hardening the bank guarantees, and the capital program.

Now, what you were saying -- which I agree with -- is that the economy is having a tough time, that credit is being restricted. We're not seeing the kind of lending we'd like to see. And that is clear.

Now, I will say to you, it's going to take a while. The banks just got these funds. And even if this is working better than expected, you're still going to see lending restricted to more than we would like given the severity of what's going on in the economy.




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Reader Comments (30)

"The interbank credit market was frozen; banks weren't lending to each other."
Some would call this reckless hyperbole. But it is just another lie.

Get that man a chart:
Sep 16, 2010 at 11:41 PM | Registered CommenterDr. Pitchfork
What are you saying...are you implying that paulson and bernanke were exaggerating the extent of the crisis in order to freak people out so they would cower and cry: "You may have whatever you wish, King Paulson. For you and your ideas are our only hope..."
Sep 16, 2010 at 11:54 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Paulson Defends Bank of America-Merrill Lynch Deal

Sep 16, 2010 at 11:55 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Like that guy at Zero Hedge would say: Facts, bitchez!
Sep 16, 2010 at 11:56 PM | Registered CommenterDr. Pitchfork
What was your mental state during the september-novemeber period of 2008...were you silently angry...or screaming all over websites...
Sep 16, 2010 at 11:59 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
BTW, today was the biggest traffic day in awhile...8,000 unique visitors and almost 25k pageviews...mark's story got picked up by seeking alpha...they lead with it this evening...and business insider/clusterstock has been featuring it at the top of their page all night...and i bet patrick.net picks it up tonight at midnight...
Sep 17, 2010 at 12:02 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
When are you making the big announcement?
Sep 17, 2010 at 12:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterZ
what are you talking about...
Sep 17, 2010 at 12:12 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Yes, way to go Mark. I saw the article a couple of nights ago -- it's awesome.
Sept. - Nov. of 2008 I was still learning what the hell was going on to some extent. But the day that first TARP vote failed, I was elated. I couldn't believe it that congress had actually listened to us. I felt like the right side had won one for the first time in a long time. It was a warm, sunny day. We went out for pizza.

Then we had the do-over. I wasn't AS angry then as i became later on, but I did enjoy laughing at the morons in congress who were complaining about AIG throwing themselves a party with the bailout money. During this period, I was mostly worried about what to do about my own finances, what was going to happen in the markets, and whether there would be some dislocation in the treasury or fx markets (i.e. do i need a few k in cash on hand, and should i buy gold?).

I started getting pretty disillusioned in that last week leading up tot he election, when it was clear that Obama would win. I have a lot of blue-state friends and it was truly frightening the way they reacted to Obama's win. They think it's the Second Coming, and i'm thinking "This stupid mo---- f---- voted for TARP -- what's wrong with you people!?"

By January, when The One was sworn in (Peace be upon Him), I was just sick of all the maudlin bull shit and all the FDR talk. And by that time, it was crystal clear that nothing was going to be done with or to the bankers. And I also started adding up all the different means of support the banks were getting and how much it would actually cost me and my children out of pocket later on. Then I started to think about the fact that failures like Dimon and Lewis and Stan O'Neal were living like kings while the rest of us got the clean-up bill for the shit-storm they helped cause. I'd say by inauguration day 2009, I was ready to riot. Literally. And the fact that a quarter of the population was just gaga about Obama the banksters' errand boy was even more maddening.

I think tons of people must have gone through a similar process because when Rick Santelli did that rant, it's like it flipped a switch and i realized really for the first time that I wasn't the only person out there who was just insanely angry about what was going down. That's when I found The Daily Bail.
Sep 17, 2010 at 12:28 AM | Registered CommenterDr. Pitchfork
Dr. P...McCain or Nader?
Sep 17, 2010 at 12:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterZ
Enjoyed reading that pitchfork...

I'll answer that z...neither...
Sep 17, 2010 at 1:13 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- The number of banks missing payments on the bailout money they got from the U.S. government has jumped and the Treasury Department is starting to get tough.

Saigon National Bank may be among the first lenders to be affected, as the Treasury flexes its muscles.

In August, 123 financial institutions missed dividend payments on securities they sold to the Treasury Department under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. That’s up from 55 in November 2009, according to Keefe, Bruyette & Woods.

Sep 17, 2010 at 1:16 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Small TARP banks late on payments to miss $30 bln fund

Senate OK’s $30 billion fund to help small banks lend to small businesses

Sep 17, 2010 at 1:17 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
mccain or nader...more thoughts...

mccain...fresh from his battle with jd i think he might be more serious about cutting spending...but he still supports the wars and wasting our money...

nader...probably would end the wars immediately but then spend the savings elsehwere on programs that won't work...

so how could i support either one of these guys...

here's what i would do:

end the wars...

cut the defense budget in half..close many bases overseas...keep a strategic 25 or so...no need for the current number...around 50 i think...

cut spending elsewhere...allow medicare to negotiate with big pharma for drug prices...this costs us $50 billion per year...and is something that i learned from david walker...thank that bill tauzin motherfucker for that one...

stop the stimulus...as in yesterday...just like intel ceo paul otellini and greenspan say...

stop supporting housing...give it a fucking break...let prices come back down more in line with incomes...this is going to take time...

force banks to live with a leverage limit of 10X...

let the economy heal itself...

and as a result we would see strength in the dollar...

who wouldn't vote for that platform...

Sep 17, 2010 at 2:06 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
"who wouldn't vote for that platform..."

Your EXCELLENT five-point plan as detailed up above -if implemented- would probably SAVE this country and turn it BACK from the brink of catastrophe. Unfortunately the following would HATE IT and NOT vote for it:

-weapons manufacturers
-U.S.military officials
-Wall St fraudsters
-major corporations
-legislative fraudsters
-judiciary sell-outs
-petroleum CEO's
- real estate agents and brokers
Sep 17, 2010 at 3:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterRecoverylessRecovery
Here is Hank Paulsons senate testimony in 2000 regarding wall street regulating itself.

Dec 5, 2010 at 10:21 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Excellent link john...thanks...
Dec 6, 2010 at 1:16 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
The reasoning behind a lot of my posts including links are to look at the FACTS and TIME FRAME of events that led to the current mess. For brevity I am only going to post 4 links, However I have posted other links here at the Daily Bail supporting content of this post. A finished product might be completed at a later date.

A lot happened during the 8 year Clinton administration and one notable example of financial fraud was Mark Rich who was eventually pardoned by Clinton. There is more and I am looking into the past 8 years of the Clinton Administration. The focus here will be 1999-current with a few but not all major FACTS . The following link is very important. http://www.pulitzer.org/archives/6392

Glass-Stegall was killed during the last year of the CLINTON administration (1999). I note that it is claimed that Clinton balanced the budget in part by "looting" social security during his administration. Budget cuts were imposed during the Clinton era which basically castrated any investigative agency looking into serious financial crimes. In Feb. 2000 just after the newly elected President Bush was sworn in, Hank Paulson (a former Goldman Sachs employee) testified in Senate hearings supporting the contention that Wall Street should regulate (police) itself. Also in 2000 a small law firm known as Mckee Nelson (Mr. Nelson had prior to this worked for both Treasury and the IRS) started bundling mortgages as financial instruments for their clients.

Another important item is that in 2000, Renewable Energy Credits Trading/Carbon Trading was in its formative stage. One notable firm was Cantor Fitzgerald and another interest was Al Gore who worked closely with Ken Lay of Enron to form Gores' carbon exchange. To date, investigations have found serious fraud in the carbon credit markets. I will now leave the timeframe 2001-2006 but will revisit that at a later date as events then are very important.

Moving ahead to 2006, the FBI investigated Mortgage Fraud and nothing substantial came of it. I note that by then Bernie Madoff was well into his operation and was reported to the SEC who did nothing. In 2008 the Mortgage Fraud Issues came to a head once again and AG Michael Mukasey DECLINED to form a task force to investigate this saying that the FBI and other state agencies were able to handle this. This is more or less a symptom of letting Wall Street and Corporations being allowed to "police itself".


By 2008 it became very clear that the fraud was so widespread and uncontained that economies around the world were in serious trouble. Financial entities worldwide held worthless assets due to fraud and mis-representation and were not going to take this as merely purchasing financial intruments that "happened" to lose value and make up the difference by taxing or finding "other ways" to deal with the shortfall. This resulted in the market crash of 2008 with the first serious problem showing up on Sept. 15, 2008.


and then cascaded to this:


I will stop here and want everyone to think about what has happened during that time frame and then look at what has happened in the last 2 years.
Dec 6, 2010 at 10:09 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn

Great work, but you probably should take it back to the Savings and Loan scandal. Things should have gotten "fixed" ( I use that term loosely) then...

If the FED was ever to "truly" do it's "job".
Dec 6, 2010 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
Thanks S. Gompers. The S&L thing is a part of the whole story

Madoff aided by 2 banks.

Keep an eye on Market Ticker, Karl does a good job keeping tabs on things.
Dec 6, 2010 at 10:34 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
@ S.Gompers, I was wondering if you might be able to get the ball rolling there?
Dec 6, 2010 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Looks like DB did just that!


Now to look for linkages.....
Dec 6, 2010 at 11:43 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn

Like the S&L scandal, lax government oversight is at least partly to blame for the subprime crisis. They let the mortgage lenders do anything they wanted for years, while regulators were yet again asleep at the wheel. Just like the 80's and 90's.

Lesson learned, we need regulation. Lesson implemented, allow more lobbying to get rid of regulation to create larger scams that can be passed onto the taxpayers by the banks and the government.

The bill that ultimately repealed the Act you refer to was introduced in the Senate by Phil Gramm (Republican of Texas) and in the House of Representatives by Jim Leach (R-Iowa) in 1999. The bills were passed by a Republican majority, basically following party lines by a 54–44 vote in the Senate and by a bi-partisan 343–86 vote in the House of Representatives. After passing both the Senate and House the bill was moved to a conference committee to work out the differences between the Senate and House versions. The final bill resolving the differences was passed in the Senate 90–8 (one not voting) and in the House: 362–57 (15 not voting). The legislation was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on November 12, 1999.


The banking industry had been seeking the repeal of Glass–Steagall since at least the 1980s. In 1987 the Congressional Research Service prepared a report which explored the cases for and against preserving the Glass–Steagall act.

Sen. Phil Gramm, chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, made the following statement today in a ceremony at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, where President Clinton signed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act into law:

"The world changes, and Congress and the laws have to change with it.

Abraham Lincoln used to like to use the analogy that old and outmoded laws need to be changed because it made about as much sense to continue to impose them on people as it did to ask a man to wear the same clothes he did when he was a child.

In the 1930s, at the trough of the Depression, when Glass-Steagall became law, it was believed that government was the answer. It was believed that stability and growth came from government overriding the functioning of free markets.

We are here today to repeal Glass-Steagall because we have learned that government is not the answer. We have learned that freedom and competition are the answers. We have learned that we promote economic growth and we promote stability by having competition and freedom.

I am proud to be here because this is an important bill; it is a deregulatory bill. I believe that that is the wave of the future, and I am awfully proud to have been a part of making it a reality."

Funny how Phil used Lincoln to speak kindly of a law to help the FED ( he did not like central banks) rip us off, Lincoln must have been spinning in his grave. Lobbyists are very busy yet again as we speak trying to "help us"...

Background on the S&L scandal that no one seems to remember, this thing rocked Cincinnati as well as many other areas.




Dec 6, 2010 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
Thank you!
Dec 6, 2010 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
WOW! check this out!!!! Mukasey again?

Pay ATTENTION to item1, and look whose name shows up.


Here is the Wharton Subprime Timeline.

Dec 6, 2010 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Looks like you are on a roll John, the S&L crisis is very instrumental, it showed the banks that no matter what they did, the taxpayers would be forced to provide a golden parachute. Check on the Keating 5 while you are at it, it is funny who popped up in the last election from the bankers choice of back then in the midst of yet another self inflicted crisis.
Dec 6, 2010 at 1:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
The yes votes to repeal Glass Steagal.

Abraham (R-MI)
Allard (R-CO)
Ashcroft (R-MO)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burns (R-MT)
Campbell (R-CO)
Chafee, J. (R-RI)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Coverdell (R-GA)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeWine (R-OH)
Domenici (R-NM)
Enzi (R-WY)
Frist (R-TN)
Gorton (R-WA)
Gramm (R-TX)
Grams (R-MN)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Hatch (R-UT)
Helms (R-NC)
Hollings (D-SC)
Hutchinson (R-AR)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Jeffords (R-VT)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lott (R-MS)
Lugar (R-IN)
Mack (R-FL)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Nickles (R-OK)
Roberts (R-KS)
Roth (R-DE)
Santorum (R-PA)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Smith (R-NH)
Smith (R-OR)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Stevens (R-AK)
Thomas (R-WY)
Thompson (R-TN)
Thurmond (R-SC)
Voinovich (R-OH)


Vote in the house, Boehner was a proud yes, I am sure he will "help" us.


And of course "Slick Willy".

Yet again, lobbiests are telling us we need less regulation to fix greed, vice, and gluttony. Many Am ericans still proudly vote for these destroyers of America.
Dec 6, 2010 at 11:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
Mortgage fraud archive 2001-present.

Dec 7, 2010 at 12:08 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
BCCI and S&L


This is as far back as I think I need to go.
Dec 7, 2010 at 3:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
I remember BCCI well, the CIA had multiple accounts with them. BCCI frequently handled funding to U.S. backed dictators as well as the Afghan mujahideen and Contra terrorists.

Lessons learned from the Sandstorm report issued on June 24, 1991.

-The critical role of senior management and key investors in establishing an honest, open and prudent bank culture.

- External auditors cannot substitute the role of internal auditor.

-The need for powerful executives and backers of institutions to be controlled within a secure enterprise-wide corporate governance structure, if the interests of other stakeholders, such as deposit holders, are to be safeguarded.

-The need for independent and unified regulation and auditing of complex financial conglomerates.

-The danger that attempts to preserve confidence in a bank, even when well-intentioned, will lead to further cover-ups inside and outside the bank.

-The oldest lesson of all: the ease with which massive bad loans and trading losses can be covered up in banks by extending further credit, failing to record deposits, and juggling accounts.
Dec 7, 2010 at 8:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers

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