19 Oct

Paulson’s Secret Waiver to Work on Goldman Matters

hp waiver excerpt

“It’s ridiculous that I can’t deal with Goldman at a time like this!” Paulson complained to his general counsel, Bob Hoyt. It was September 17, 2008, just two days after Lehman Brothers collapsed and less the 24 hours after AIG was rescued with $85 billion. Paulson thought Goldman could be next.

In Too Big to Fail: How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System — and Themselves, Sorkin recounts how Paulson secretly sought a waiver from an ethics letter he signed when he first took office agreeing not to get involved in any matter related to Goldman, his former employer, during his entire term. The original letter voluntarily went beyond the usual one year requirement, but he now felt with the system in free-fall, he needed to be able to dsicuss options with the firm. Paulson was supposed to take part in a three p.m. call with Bernanke, Geithner, and S.E.C. chairman Christopher Cox to discuss Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, but unless he could get a waiver, he would be unable to participate.

Within an hour, the waiver was granted. At the time, however, the waiver was not disclosed to the public, in part, out of fear it would raise more questions about the government’s actions and perhaps lead to a bank run on Goldman.

Too Big to Fail: Paulson’s Secret Ethics Waiver

10 Responses to “Paulson’s Secret Waiver to Work on Goldman Matters”

  1. [...] end of June, 2008. At this point, we’re still months away from the now-famous but then-secret waiver, issued in mid-September, which allowed Hank Paulson to talk to Goldman Sachs; he’d promised [...]

  2. [...] end of June, 2008. At this point, we’re still months away from the now-famous but then-secret waiver, issued in mid-September, which allowed Hank Paulson to talk to Goldman Sachs; he’d promised [...]

  3. [...] the end of June, 2008. At this point, we’re still months away from the now-famous but then-secret waiver, issued in mid-September, which allowed Hank Paulson to talk to Goldman Sachs; he’d promised not [...]

  4. [...] Paulson’s secret waiver to work on Goldman matters [...]

  5. [...] Paulson’s secret waiver to work on Goldman matters [...]

  6. [...] The secret Paulson-Goldman meeting wasn’t the only time that Hank Paulson treated his buddies at Goldman Sachs especially well while at Treasury. In fact, it wasn’t the only time he did so before he got the now-famous waiver. [...]

  7. [...] in 2006 to become George W. Bush’s Secretary of the Treasury, he signed an ethics letter promising to avoid conflicts of interest by not getting involved in any dealings with his former [...]

  8. [...] The secret Paulson-Goldman meeting wasn’t the only time that Hank Paulson treated his buddies at Goldman Sachs especially well while at Treasury. In fact, it wasn’t the only time he did so before he got the now-famous waiver. [...]

  9. [...] end of June, 2008. At this point, we’re still months away from the now-famous but then-secret waiver, issued in mid-September, which allowed Hank Paulson to talk to Goldman Sachs; he’d promised [...]

  10. [...] end of June, 2008. At this point, we’re still months away from the now-famous but then-secret waiver, issued in mid-September, which allowed Hank Paulson to talk to Goldman Sachs; he’d promised [...]

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