Hank Paulson's Wall Street Days:

Looks like the boom/bubble years on Wall Street served Hank Paulson pretty nicely:

Executive compensation: As Goldman's chief, Paulson received an $18.7 million cash bonus for the first half of 2006, and in 2005 he was the highest paid chief executive officer on Wall Street, reaping $38.3 million in salary, stock and options. He also accumulated 3.23 million shares of Goldman's common stock worth $492 million, plus restricted shares worth $75.2 million and options to purchase 680,474 shares, according to a Goldman regulatory filing on July 2, 2006.

He sold the shares in 2006 when he took the Treasury job:

Paulson sold his 3.23 million shares in Goldman, worth about $500 million at the time, when he took the Treasury job, according to regulatory filings. He was exempted from paying capital gains tax on the sale of those stakes under a rule meant to avoid penalizing wealthy people who take government jobs and are forced to sell assets.

Paulson also sold about $25 million of holdings in a Goldman fund whose sole asset was a stake in Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the world's largest publicly traded financial institution. The bank raised $22 billion in its initial public offering in October 2006, the world's biggest IPO.

No wonder he initially opposed pay caps on the executives of firms that participate in the bailout.


Perhaps more relevantly to Paulson specifically, some of the legislative proposals contain "claw-back" or "reachback" periods that would permit recovery of excessive executive compensation (analogous to the fraudulent conveyance power in bankruptcy). If Goldman were to participate in any such plan, would this make Paulson vulnerable to having to disgorge some of his compensation during this period?