President George W. Bush tapped Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO as his nominee for Treasury secretary, succeeding John Snow, who is resigning. Hank Paulson, at a press conference announcing his nomination, said, We must take steps to maintain our competitive edge in the world. Indeed, observers speculate hell have wide latitude to set policy, having rebuffed the presidents offers in the past.
The question is: Why would he sully his reputation? He probably got assurances that this would be a real job, notes MarketWatch chief economist Irwin Kellner. Already, Paulson has lined up support on both sides of the aisle, with key Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) voicing support.
Taking over for Paulson at Goldman is expected to be Lloyd Blankfein, currently the firms chief operating officer, though Goldman would not comment on its succession.