Nov 25, 2007

Henry Paulson seeking advice from Wall Street's elite

When the markets began to shudder in July, Paulson used the address book he had built up during 32 years at Goldman Sachs to seek information and advice from Wall Street's elite. Among those he called, people familiar with his handling of the crisis say, were former Treasury Secretary and Goldman alumnus Robert Rubin, now chairman of Citigroup, and Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase.

He was on the phone daily through August and into September with Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and was also in frequent touch with New York Fed President Timothy Geithner, the central bank's eyes and ears on Wall Street.

In mid-September, Paulson and his team summoned bankers to the Treasury building adjacent to the White House. The result was M-LEC [master liquidity enhancement conduit].

The idea -- and Treasury's involvement -- has been controversial from the get-go. Soon after the plan's announcement, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan and billionaire investor Warren Buffett questioned its practicality, saying investors would not be fooled by a shuffling around of unpalatable assets.

~, "Paulson Finds Bush's Treasury No Career Enhancer Like Goldman," November 21, 2007, by Rich Miller, Matthew Benjamin and Kevin Carmichael

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