"It's (Value investing) like an inoculation. If it doesn't grab a person right away, I find that you can talk to him for years and show him records, and it doesn't make any difference. They just don't seem able to grasp the concept, simple as it is." - Seth Klarman
Monday, September 07, 2009
Vanity Fair: Henry Paulson’s Longest Night
Excerpts from article:
In 2006, Goldman Sachs C.E.O. Henry Paulson reluctantly became Treasury secretary for an unpopular, lame-duck president. History will score his decisions, but the former Dartmouth offensive lineman definitely left everything on the field. In private conversations throughout his term, as crisis followed crisis—Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers, A.I.G., and so forth—Paulson gave the author the inside track, from the political lunacy and bailout plans to the sleepless nights and flat-out fear, as he battled the greatest economic disruption in 80 years.
As he noted, “There’s a great lack of financial literacy and understanding in this nation, even among college-educated people.” But Paulson did figure out how to behave on the Hill. “There’s a way, keeping full integrity, of answering the questions you want to answer,” Paulson told me in one of our conversations, reflecting on what he had learned about committee hearings. “The thing that scared me was not a question I didn’t know the answer to. Just say, ‘I don’t know.’ The thing that scared me was some question that I knew, and answered correctly, and I’d be in deep doo-doo!” As his tenure wore on, Paulson confessed, “I amuse myself a lot by sitting there sometimes and thinking what would happen if I said, ‘Do you realize what an idiotic question that is?’ "