Bush Taps Goldman Sachs for Treasury Secretary


The word is out. The nation’s premier investment banking house, Goldman Sachs, is about to make another major contribution to American government – this time in the person of CEO Henry Paulson, nominated today by President Bush to be the next Treasury Secretary.

The firm that gave us Senator (now Governor) Jon Corzine (D-NJ) and Bill Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, Robert Rubin — and whose executives have given nearly $23 million in campaign contributions since the 1990 election cycle — shows itself once again to be the ultimate political insider, spreading enough Wall Street money to both parties to be an enduring political powerhouse no matter who’s in office.

While most of that money (61%) has gone to Democrats, there are still plenty of generous Republicans at Goldman – Paulson among them. According to the Center for Responsive Politics’ OpenSecrets website, Henry and his wife Wendy gave more than $286,000 in campaign contributions between 1990 and 2002. Some 76% of that went to Republican candidates or party committees.

In the years since, the Paulsons have given an additional $175,600 to federal candidates, parties and PACs. Most of that money came from Henry, but his wife added $27,500 of her own. (Some $10,000 of Wendy’s contributions went to the League of Conservation Voters. Most of the rest went to Democrats, including $4,000 to Hillary Clinton.)

In total, the Paulsons have delivered $461,840 in federal campaign contributions since the 1990 election cycle. Most of Henry’s money has gone to Republicans; most of Wendy’s to Democrats.

Clearly, this is a Treasury Secretary designee with a sophisticated understanding of the modern interplay between Washington and Wall Street. Did we expect anything less from America’s premier full-service investment banking firm?

PS: The New York Times has reposted a good backgrounder on Paulson and Goldman Sachs. It was written earlier this year when Paulson’s name was being mentioned as a possible Treasury Secretary choice.

And see this detailed rundown of Paulson’s money at CRP.