Paulson says bank pay is 'out of whack'

Feb. 1, 2010 at 4:20 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr. said he thought bankers were overpaid even before the financial crisis gave the issue prominence.

In an interview with CNBC Monday, Paulson, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs said, "when I ran with Goldman Sachs, even during benign times, I had felt the compensation in the industry seemed out of whack."

However, "when the government did what it did and saved the entire financial system … these paychecks just seem so out of whack and out of time with what's going on with the public," he said.

Paulson also explained his remark that the British "screwed us" as a comment made in the heat of the moment.

He made the remark after British regulators opposed a Barclay's takeover of Lehman Brothers when it collapsed in 2008, a few months after Bear Stearns collapsed.

Paulson said British regulators had their own interests to protect and the comment was made in "a heated, intense moment and I hadn't had a lot of sleep and I went from the brain to the mouth."

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