Today's New York Times features a newsy interview with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who defends his recent actions—most notably, his controversial decision to let Lehman Brothers fail. "If someone thinks Hank Paulson could have made the Fed save Lehman Brothers, the answer is, 'No way,' " Paulson says. Paulson insists he did not have the legal authority to rescue Lehman as he did Bear Stearns and AIG, since its balance sheet was in worse shape. He also defends his original $700 billion bailout plan to buy up bad securities, rather than inject capital into the system, as he later decided to do. "If we had felt going in that the right way to deal with the problem was to put equity in, we would have taken some time and developed a program," he said. His biggest regret so far is one of salesmanship: "I could have made a better case to the public."
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