Excerpts from an interview with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson:
Q: Whats been unexpected? A: The thing thats surprised me about my job is Ive thought about my role in preserving the safety and soundness of the financial system, and thats very important, but in todays world theres the third element of the security of the financial system the Treasury secretary has a very important role to play in that regard, both in this country and around the world.
Q: Whats been most satisfying? A: I had a first-rate team of people working with me at Goldman Sachs, and I have a first-rate team (at Treasury). I would say that was my biggest trepidation because I didnt have a clear picture of the team I would be working with at Treasury.
Q: How do you explain todays stock market? A: Markets go up and markets go down. I look to the economy and I believe we have a healthy economy, but I continue to believe that that the housing downturn and the credit-market turbulence are going to extract a penalty to growth going forward.
Q: Do you talk with Bob Rubin, a former Goldman Sachs CEO and former Treasury secretary? A: Ive talked with Bob extensively before coming down here, and I still go to him for advice, and hes been very helpful in terms of advice. The one thing he said to me, which I think I have taken (to heart) is, 'Dont personalize anything.'