Hank Paulson to defend his threat to fire Bank of America's Ken Lewis


Hank Paulson, the ex-Dartmouth football player who bulldozed his way into making the world safe for Goldman Sachs Group (GS), is at it again. You'll recall last fall when he persuaded Congress that the world would end unless it passed $750 billion for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to buy up Wall Street's toxic waste.

Then he made sure to bail out American International Group (AIG) to the tune of about $180 billion so Goldman, which he ran before his trip to Washington, could get $12.9 billion more in a 100-cents-on-the-dollar settlement for its part in a credit default swap with AIG.

And finally, Paulson forced Bank of America (BAC) to acquire the down-on-its-luck Goldman competitor Merrill Lynch. As it turns out, there seems to be some controversy over whether Paulson threatened to fire B of A CEO Ken Lewis if he pulled out of the Merrill deal.