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Henry M. Paulson Quotes

Henry Merritt Hank Paulson Jr

Henry M. Paulson quotes: the American banker’s best stuff.

“We all have a chance to have a seat at the table. You never know what’s going to happen.”

“I turned down one of the highest posts in the U.S. government (Secretary of the Treasury) three times before I realized what was holding me back. I just realized that it was fear of failure. And as soon as I realized that, I said, ‘Well, I’m not going to give into that,’ and I accepted.”

“You can never predict where a crisis will come from. So what you want to do is get ready, so you’re prepared.”

“Even if you don’t have the authorities—and frankly, I didn’t have the authorities for anything—if you take charge, people will follow.”

“I always told people in the private sector, ‘You can be the smartest person in the world, you can have the very best ideas, but if you can’t sell them and you can’t get other people to work with you, you’re not going to succeed.'”

“The key to success is being able to work as part of a team. It doesn’t make any difference how good your ideas are. If you can’t work with others, you’re not going to get it done.”

“I picked the guy where maybe the least interesting work was going to be, but I thought I would learn a lot from him. I learned that almost as important as what I was doing was who I was doing it with. It really made a big difference.”

“That was the key. That rule holds in business as well. It’s all about working with others. Getting anything done that’s important requires that.”

“In just about every area of society, there’s nothing more important than ethics.”

“You not only have to do the right thing. You have to look like you’re doing the right thing.”

“One of the most constant aspects of American life is change.”

“I’ve always said to everyone that ever worked for me, if you get too dug in on a position, the facts change, and you don’t change to adapt to the facts, you will never be successful.”

“The best time for transition is during a period of great strength.”

“Fear of failure is ultimately selfish; it reflects a preoccupation with self and overlooks the fact that one’s strength and abilities come from the divine mind.”

“When there is a big, messy challenge, there is never a perfect, elegant solution.”

“When you have a big, ugly problem, there’s never going to be a neat, elegant solution that is totally painless or without a cost.”

“I have always tried to live by the philosophy that when there is a big problem that needs fixing, you should run towards it, rather than away from it.”

“There is a time for weighing evidence and a time for acting. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout my work in finance, government and conservation, it is to act before problems become too big to manage.”

“Complexity and interconnectedness matter as much as size in assessing risk. Size is the enemy of excellence.”

“Every American business, from the biggest companies to small hardware companies, need money to flow through the system not only to create new jobs but to sustain existing jobs.”

“As Americans, we shouldn’t like bailouts. Where I come from, if someone takes a risk and they’re going to make the profit from that risk, they shouldn’t have the taxpayer pay for the losses.”

“We’ve had crooks from the beginning of time… it’s always very interesting and troubling why good people do bad things.”

“There’s a lot of things we could do better.”

“If the only way you can do well is working more hours than someone else, you’re going to lose out because there’s always going to be someone who is going to work more. Do things you enjoy and you’re gonna do well. There will always be someone who can work more hours than you.”

“When I worry about risks, I worry about the biggest ones, particularly those that are difficult to predict—the ones I call small but deep holes. While odds are you will avoid them, if you do fall in one, it’s a long way down and nearly impossible to claw your way out.”

“Every good businessman or woman carefully analyzes all the available facts before making a decision.”

“There’s always light at the end of the tunnel, right? It just depends on how long the tunnel is.”

“There are some things that you can work on immediately.”

“You can’t build prosperity on any basis other than a long-term basis, and you can’t do that if you don’t have a healthy environment.”

“We’ve all got to work to restore business confidence.”

“There aren’t easy answers. But, then, nothing worthwhile is ever easy.”

“As we work to promote greater economic opportunity for the American people, we must always remember that the American economy is deeply integrated with the global economy. That brings challenges but even greater opportunities.”

“America is the land of opportunity. We need to be vigilant in ensuring that each and every American has the opportunity to acquire the skills to compete and to see those skills rewarded in the marketplace.”

“I’ve traveled all around the world. I really believe U.S. companies, by and large, are the most competitive, the best-managed companies in the world.”

“People are smart, they work very hard.”

“I grew up on a working farm. It was small, a hundred acres, but we had cows and pigs and chickens and sheep and a vegetable garden. I spent hours pulling weeds, hoeing, feeding the horses, cleaning out the stalls. My dad was a tough taskmaster. I always worked, but we also had fun.”

“I grew up on a farm. I know the smell of horse manure. It does smell better than pig manure.”

“I never cared about money. When I was at school, I never wanted a car. I was focused on sports, studies, camping, being outdoors.”

“I grew up with a strong set of values—and one was never judging someone by how much money they had.”

“I was Secretary of the Treasury when the credit bubble burst, so I think it’s fair to say that I know a little bit about risk, assessing outcomes, and problem-solving.”

“I didn’t come to Washington thinking I was going to leave and write a book, but this period was so significant and there are so many insights and so many lessons learned that I think an understanding of this extraordinary period is important.”

“I hope some of the lessons I’ve learned will help others.”

“I am an American patriot.”

“Having a life away from work is crucial. I don’t know anyone that says, ‘Boy, I had a great career, and I’m happy because I screwed up my life outside of my career, my family life.’ There’s no one that feels that way.”

“I have relied on prayer for healthcare all of my life.”

“I’m a straightforward person. I like to be direct with people.”

“I’ve always said, ‘I don’t want to be irrelevant.'”

“We’ve got a lot to be grateful for.”

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