WORLD / America

U.S. Treasury Secretary Snow resigns
(AP)
Updated: 2006-05-30 20:48

Treasury Secretary John Snow has resigned and will be replaced by Goldman Sachs Chairman Henry M. Paulson Jr., a senior administration official said Tuesday, in another chapter of a White House shake-up to revive President Bush's troubled presidency.


Treasury Secretary John Snow pauses during a news conference about U.S. views on China's currency and trade policy on Wednesday, May 10, 2006 in Washington. [AP]

Bush was to announce the changes in a White House ceremony later Tuesday.

Snow, the former head of railroad giant CSX Corp. who has a Ph.D. in economics, has been Treasury secretary since February 2003. His departure has been rumored for more than a year.

Paulson has been chairman of Goldman Sachs for more than eight years. It is considered one of the premier financial firms on Wall Street and has sent a number of its top executives to high positions in Washington.

Robert Rubin, one of Paulson's predecessors, served as Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration, and Jon Corzine, another Goldman Sachs chairman, served as a U.S. senator from New Jersey and is now governor of that state.

Speculation that Paulson would take over from Snow increased after Bush shook up his White House staff earlier this year, replacing Andrew Card as his chief of staff with Joshua Bolten, a former Goldman Sachs executive who had worked with Paulson.

Snow has called Paulson "a very able executive, a friend of mine."

Paulson is also a millionaire many times over. Last year, the Goldman Sachs group said it paid Paulson $30 million in total compensation in 2004 almost a 40 percent gain from the year before.

Former U.S. Treasure Secretary John Snow (L) and his replacement Henry M. Paulson Jr. [Reuters]

In tapping Paulson for the Treasury job, the administration is seeking a more effective spokesman to tout Bush's economic accomplishments of low unemployment and solid economic growth.

White House officials believed that a Wall Street executive with Paulson's talents could better make the case for the administration's economic program.

Paulson is leaving Goldman Sachs at a time when its stock is trading at historic highs and with his chosen successor, Lloyd C. Blankfein, ready to take over.

Paulson was known on Wall Street for his dedicated support of environmental causes. Earlier this year, he made a gift of $100 million in Goldman stock to a family foundation dedicated to conservation and environmental education. Even after that gift, Paulson has a net worth estimated at more than $500 million.

Paulson, who was known to favor bird-watching in New York's Central Park to playing golf, is chairman of the Nature Conservancy and the chairman emeritus of the Peregrine Fund.

Last year Goldman Sachs donated 680,000 acres in Chile to the Wildlife Conservation Society.

 
 

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