Who is 'Henry Paulson'

Henry Paulson, the 74th Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, served under President George W. Bush between July 2006 and January 2009. Before his tenure as Secretary of the Treasury, Henry “Hank” Paulson, Jr. worked for Goldman Sachs for 32 years, including his time as the chairman and chief executive officer.

BREAKING DOWN 'Henry Paulson'

Henry Paulson is an American banker who is best known for his efforts to resolve the 2008 financial crisis while serving as the of Secretary of the Treasury. The 2008 financial crisis is considered the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression of 1929. The root of it has not been traced to one single event or cause. Instead, it was the result of a sequence of events, each with its triggering mechanism, which led to near-collapse of the banking system.

Paulson was instrumental in implementing the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and the AIG bailout, as well as getting toxic mortgage-based assets off banks’ balance sheets. Paulson used unprecedented government intervention efforts to avoid a larger economic crisis.  Paulson also helped create the $168 billion economic stimulus package, and in 2008, he was a runner-up for Time's Person Of The Year.

Though his dealings with the financial crisis color Paulson's time as Treasury Secretary, he also helped improve U.S. economic relations with China during his tenure. Also, he worked to modernize the system for issuing U.S. Treasury bonds (T-Bonds), helped enhance the national security review process to spur foreign investment in the United States, and spearheaded a program to fight the funding of terrorist groups. Paulson also worked to improve the United States’ trading relationships with Panama, Colombia, South Korea and Peru.

Paulson’s Early Career

Paulson earned his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth and his MBA from Harvard Business School. He began his career on the White House Domestic Council as a staff assistant between 1970 and 1973. Paulson then joined Goldman Sachs in 1974. He became Goldman’s chairman and CEO in 1999 when the firm went public and held those roles until he became Treasury Secretary.

Paulson’s Career After Public Service

After leaving the Treasury Department, he became chairman and founder of The Paulson Institute at the University of Chicago in 2011. The Paulson Institute is a think tank focused on sustainable economic growth and preserving the natural environment in the United States and China. He is a Christian Scientist and an environmentalist. Paulson has played a significant role in the Nature Conservancy, where he was chairman from 2004 to 2006, and contributed to environmental conservation efforts in Asia.

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