• Economic Policy Journal
who screwed America...Bush was clueless and intimidated by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, according to a GW speechwriter.
Here they come, the Bush year tell alls. A GW speechwriter, Matt Latimer, is the first one out of the gate spilling the dirt, and does he have dirt:
The secretary of the treasury, Hank Paulson, had sketched out a dire scenario... we’d have to write a speech for the president announcing his “bold” plan to deal with the crisis. (The president loved the word bold.)
We had to reassure the American people that everything was going to be okay. As it turned out, Secretary Paulson had a plan that would fix everything: a $700 billion bailout of the financial system. The plan, like the secretary himself (who’d been pretty much a nonperson at the White House), seemed to come out of nowhere, as if it had been hastily scribbled on a sheet of paper in the secretary’s car on his way to work. Basically, it could be summed up as: Give me hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars and then trust me to do the right thing.
There was no denying it. This plan was certainly “bold.”...
Paulson had been brought into the administration by Josh Bolten, the White House chief of staff. They’d both worked at Goldman Sachs...
Unfortunately, I can’t say any of the president’s top economic advisers struck me as having a firm handle on the economic mess ahead. The economic team the president put together at first included his friend Al Hubbard. He may have been a competent adviser; I really didn’t know him. The only thing I knew about Al was that he went around putting whoopee cushions on people’s chairs in the West Wing...
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