Paulson who?

Once-reluctant Cabinet member plays key role  posted on Politico By EAMON JAVERS | 4/10/08 4:59 AM EST   Paulson will be a key gatekeeper for administration approval of any housing measures coming from Capitol Hill.  Photo: John Shinkle    When the White House recruited Henry Paulson as Treasury secretary two years ago, the cagey Goldman Sachs chief negotiated a sweet deal.     He wanted status on a par with the secretaries of state and defense. He wanted the National Economic Council to meet at Treasury. And he wanted to be able to insert himself into White House policy discussions on any issue.    The White House promised it all, giving Paulson the political independence that had eluded his predecessors, the hapless John Snow and the embittered Paul O’Neill. Now Paulson is using that independence to the utmost, fundamentally changing the government’s relationship with Wall Street and coordinating with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to rescue the investment bank Bear Stearns.    Paulson will also be a key gatekeeper for administration approval of any housing measures coming from Capitol Hill, including a new plan to expand the Federal Housing Administration’s role in refinancing distressed mortgages.  Read more.

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