Paulson: 25% unemployment rate without AIG bailout

Ronald D. Orol
MarketWatch
Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Flashback: Paulson Threatened Great Depression, Food Riots To Get Bailout Bill Passed

Facing criticism on Capitol Hill, former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on Wednesday defended his decision to complete a $182 billion bailout of American International Group Inc., arguing that the unemployment rate would have risen easily to 25% without the bailout.

“If the system had collapsed millions more in savings would have been lost,” said Paulson, who was Treasury Secretary at the time of the bailout, at a hearing.

“Industrial companies of all size would not have been able to raise funding and they would not have been able to pay employees, this would have rippled through the economy.” Lawmakers grilled Paulson, arguing that government officials failed to obtain concessions for taxpayers.

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