Henry M. Paulson, Jr. will join a rapidly expanding group of Bush White House memoirists. The former secretary of the treasury has announced that he will write an account of his time in Washington and his controversial handling of the global financial crisis.
(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Paulson's currently untitled book will go beyond his tenure at treasury to offer insights on how the Obama administration is dealing with the faltering economy and what moves he believes it should take, according to a statement release by his publishers.
"My goal is to provide a historical record to help the public and future policy makers understand how, as market and political forces collided, we made our biggest decisions -- where we did things right and where we didn't do quite as well, and what we learned as we held the system together with the equivalents of duct-tape and bailing wire," Paulson said in statement.
The book is sure to touch on Paulson's role in designing the $700 billion bailout plan for financial institutions and takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Most important, in terms of legacy burnishing, will be Paulson's rationale for allowing the investment bank, Lehman Brothers, to fail – a move that the former secretary's critics cite as a reason for the economic meltdown.
Overseeing the book's publication is Business Plus, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, that has previously handled autobiographies by the likes of former GE head Jack Welch and former Citigroup chairman Sandy Weill (another financial insider whose reputation has been bruised by the crisis). Paulson will donate any profits from the book to Homeownership Preservation Foundation, a non-profit group that helps families avoid foreclosure.
"I didn't come to Washington thinking I was going to leave and write a book, but this period was so significant and there are so many insights and so many lessons learned that I think an understanding of this extraordinary period is important," Paulson told The Associated Press in an interview.
Before running treasury from 2006-09, the 62-year old Paulson was chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs. He initially joined the firm in 1974 and climbed the ranks to head up the company in 1999. He also served in government as a staff assistant to President Nixon from 1972-73, and as staff assistant to the assistant secretary of defense at the Pentagon from 1970-72.
Paulson is currently a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies.
The deal was negotiated by Washington attorney Robert Barnett, who recently negotiated a book contract for Paulson's old boss, former President George W. Bush.