"I deserted Colonel Hamilton, or rather Colonel Hamilton deserted me; in a word, the divergence between us took place from his wishing... to administer the Government into what he thought it ought to be..." Representative James Madison
He is the most powerful United States Secretary of the Treasury since Alexander Hamilton.
NEWSWEEK has dubbed him "King Henry."
On Sunday September 21, 2008 he appeared on: ABC's This Week, CBS's Face the Nation, FOX News Sunday, and NBC's Meet the Press.
Last Thursday evening, Henry M. Paulson, Jr. summoned together the leaders of both the US House of Representatives and the United States Senate.
Sources familiar with the meeting said Paulson stunned the federal government's legislative leaders with sobering news: if the Congress did not act promptly, the US economy would fail.
There was, according to Paulson, no other alternative. His proposal: a trillion dollar bailout of both domestic and foreign financial institutions holding illiquid assets, many tied to bad real estate mortgage deals in the United States.
It is the largest government intervention in United States history. It is certainly the largest government intervention in the private business sector since the Great Depression.
It is unprecedented and it is a huge gamble: Paulson believes the trillion dollar bailout backed by American taxpayer money will save not just the US economy, but the country as we know it.
Although no one can be certain of the result, one thing is for sure: Paulson's Plan will forever change the United States of America for better or worse.
Following a tumultuous week on Wall Street, the proposal sought to salvage what is left of a battered American economic system suffering from years of partisan rancor, regulatory neglect, systemic failure and complexity, lack of reform, greedy profiteering, imprudent consumerism, and a variety of other illnesses.
US economic vital statistics are morbid.
It appears the US Congress is temporarily setting aside deep ideological divisions to bridge the partisan divide in a last ditch effort to save the nation.
It's a lousy way of governing. But as Paulson noted, the alternative may be much worse.
The plan essentially provides the Treasury Secretary with the power and money to nationalize failing financial services companies deemed vital to American national interests.
It is a plan sweeping in cost, broad in scope, and remarkable in its transfer of power. Just days ago such a plan would have been labeled "socialism," or worse.