The Financial Crisis: Hank Paulson in 2008
On the afternoon of Monday October 13, 2008, Hank Paulson Jr., the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, walked into the large conference room across the hall from his office in the Treasury Department. Joining him were Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Timothy Geithner, Chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporate Sheila Bair, and the Chief Executive Officers of nine of the largest banks in the United States. This distinguished group had been brought together by the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Financial panic was pushing the U.S. and European financial systems to the brink of failure. Paulson hoped his meeting with the bank CEOs would be a turning point. U.S. financial markets were closed for Columbus Day, and Paulson was planning to announce the latest government actions to stabilize the financial system before markets reopened on Tuesday.