Paulson: "I'm Expecting No Other Major Financial Institutions To Fail"
Treasury Secretary Henry H. Paulson Jr. just stopped by CNBC for a grilling from Maria Bartiromo. Here are some highlights:
--On today's historic Fed rate cut: "I think we are very fortunate that we have a Federal Reserve that's willing to do what's necessary to get us through some challenging and extraordinary times."
--On the auto bailout that hasn't happened yet: "We are working on it. We are getting information. We need to do this. But we need to do it right....What we can do with the TARP, if we do it, is a bridge. It will be temporary. But it needs to protect taxpayers and have a path to viability."
--On what would happen if the auto industry failed: "I see no good to be saved by me speculating about something that we don't want to see happen. In today's world I don't think this is something that anyone wants to find out."
--On where the country is in terms of a recovery: "That's the question everybody is asking. You need to see that what we've done to date is we stemmed a string or cycle of financial institution failures could have have led to downward spiral, a free fall for the economy....I don't think there is any single action we can take that will be a silver bullet that can get us through this problem quickly."
--On whether banks are lending enough: "They are lending. But the question is: Are they lending enough? I think the answer from most people is no....Despite what we do, you are going to see when you go through a period like this, lending is going to be less than what people would like."
--On whether more banks could fail: "I'm expecting no other major financial institutions to fail."
-- Michael S. Rosenwald
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