Profile of Henry Paulson
His agenda also included cutting the national deficit in half by 2009,
Hi, I'm Christian Bryant for About.com and today we're covering American financial icon, Henry Paulson.Henry Merritt Paulson, popularly referred to as Hank Paulson, is best known as the former Secretary to the U.S. Treasury and as the former Chairman and CEO of international bank holding company, Goldman Sachs.Paulson became CEO of Goldman Sachs at the end of 1998. Paulson served as CEO until he received a nomination for Treasury Secretary by George W. Bush in 2006. After a confirmation of his nomination from Congress, he succeeded John Snow as the 74th Treasury Secretary.At the outset of his secretarial term, he addressed the large gap between those with the highest and lowest incomes in the U.S. This lead him to help organize the Hope Now Alliance, which primarily offers home loan modification services for those in need, protecting many families from foreclosure.His agenda also included cutting the national deficit in half by 2009, which instead doubled by that time. He also struggled with Social Security and Medicare reform, citing the lack of a bipartisan initiative in Congress.Paulson's primary international agenda was to strengthen economic relations with China. He leveraged his special relationship with Chinese leaders, built upon the 70 trips he had taken to meet with top officials while at Goldman Sachs.His term as Secretary coincided with the 2008 economic crisis, making him a pivotal character in the fiscal choices made by the government during that time. He made the controversial decision to save some major Wall Street financial houses and let others fail, including Lehman Brothers, where his brother was a senior Vice President.Paulson led the bailout of Bear Stearns, AIG, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He allowed Lehman brothers to fail, creating a global fincancial crisis. In response, he spearheaded the $700 billion TARP bailout. The effects are controversial, with vehement disagreement.The full effect of his and his constituents' actions are yet to be fully understood as the U.S. continues to work itself out of financial recession.Thanks for watching. For more information, be sure to check out About.com.