Co-Chair, Aspen Economic Strategy Group
Chairman, Paulson Institute
HANK PAULSON is the founder and chairman of the Paulson Institute, which aims to foster a US-China relationship that maintains global order in a rapidly evolving world. He is executive chairman of TPG Rise Climate, the climate investing platform of the global private equity firm TPG. Paulson is also the co-chair of the Aspen Economic Strategy Group, and co-chair of the Bloomberg New Economy Forum Advisory Board. Paulson served as the 74th Secretary of the Treasury under President George W. Bush, from July 2006 to January 2009. Prior to that, he had a thirty-two-year career at Goldman Sachs, serving as chairman and chief executive officer beginning in 1999. A lifelong conservationist, Paulson was Chairman of The Nature Conservancy Board of Directors and, prior to that, founded and co-chaired the organization’s Asia-Pacific Council. In 2011, he founded the Latin American Conservation Council, comprised of global business and political leaders, which he co-chaired until 2017. He also co-chaired the Risky Business Project from 2013-2017, a non-partisan initiative that quantified and publicized the economic risks of climate change in the United States. Earlier in his career, he was a member of the White House Domestic Council as well as a staff assistant at the Pentagon. Paulson is the author of the bestsellers On the Brink and Dealing with China. He is also the co-author of two books with Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner, First Responders and Firefighting. He graduated from Dartmouth College and received an M.B.A. from Harvard University.
After suffering the worst economic shock since the Great Depression last year, the American economy is recovering in fits and starts. While many businesses are reopening their doors and thriving, others are struggling with tenuous demand, supply constraints, and higher labor costs. Americans are traveling, dining out, and resuming other activities that weren’t possible before ...
President Biden deserves credit for his actions to date on climate change. In rejoining the Paris agreement, directing new energy standards, pushing for bold congressional action, convening world leaders and announcing dramatic emissions reduction targets, he is showing that American climate leadership is back. But there is one major climate policy arena where the United States needs to take a bold step forward: carbon pricing.
AESG co-chairs Hank Paulson and Erskine Bowles introduce the group's 2020 policy volume. The American economy is in the midst of a wrenching crisis, one caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, intensified by the worst social unrest in a generation, and aggravated further by a series of climate-driven natural disasters.
American capitalism is at a serious inflection point. Many Americans, including the two of us, are alarmed by enormous levels of inequality and by declining economic mobility. We are concerned that in many cases American markets are no longer the most competitive in the world. And, we worry that our country’s long-term economic strength will slowly deteriorate because of an unsustainable fiscal trajectory that leaves future generations worse off.
The American economic system has always been the foundation of our national strength. But this foundation is showing cracks—from high levels of income inequality, declining economic mobility, and persistent economic insecurity among low- and middle-income Americans.
The American economy is stronger today than it has been in many years. At the time of this writing, jobs are plentiful and the country's economic expansion is the second-longest on record. But our nation's economic performance has not been even, and the prosperity is not as widespread as it once was.
Many Americans are being left behind by today’s modern, global economy, and they are justifiably angry about it. Growing numbers of people feel our economic and political systems are rigged against them. And it’s no wonder why.