Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is the "worst" Treasury secretary the United States has had "in modern times," and has poorly handled the government's response to the mortgage market crisis, Steve Forbes, editor in chief of Forbes Magazine, is saying.
In an interview with CNN, Forbes said that Paulson is not being on the level with the American people about the funds being used to bail out Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored mortgage giants.
"Have Henry Paulson do at least one thing right, and, that is, have the government explicitly guaranteee the debt of Fannie and Freddie," Forbes says.
Forbes, a former GOP presidential candidate and billionaire, told the cable news network that he does not have confidence in Paulson's ability to perform his job during the last two months of the Bush Administration.
"No. Sadly, he's the worst Treasury secretary we've had in modern times," said Forbes.
Paulson is a former CEO of investment bank Goldman Sachs.
During his career, he worked with other, former Goldman CEOs who held key leadership positions in the U.S. government, including Robert Rubin, who was Treasury Secretary for President Clinton, and Jon Corzine, as a U.S. Senator and governor of New Jersey.
Earlier, Paulson worked as an aide to indicted Watergate conspirator John Ehrlichman, in the Nixon White House.
Other commentators, conservative as well as liberal, have been critical of Paulson too, including Robert Reich, a transition aide to President-elect Barack Obama, who said that Paulson "not been transparent" with the public and that the bailout he crafted was sold on "false pretenses" to the Congress, an argument that was made by conservative House Republicans as well, who initially refused to back the bailout.
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