Henry Merritt "Hank" Paulson, Jr. (born March 28, 1946) served as the 74th United States Treasury Secretary. He previously served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs.
Timothy Franz Geithner (pronounced /ˈɡaɪtnər/; born August 18, 1961) is the 75th and current United States Secretary of the Treasury, serving under President Barack Obama. He was previously the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
In March 2008, he arranged the rescue and sale of Bear Stearns.; In the same year, he played a supporting role to Henry Paulson, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, in the decision to bail out AIG just two days after deciding not to rescue Lehman Brothers from bankruptcy. According to some observers, Geithner severely damaged the U.S. economy. As a Treasury official, he helped manage multiple international crises of the 1990s in Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, and Thailand.
Ben Shalom Bernanke (pronounced /bərˈnænki/ bər-NAN-kee; born December 13, 1953) is an American economist, and the current Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve. Previously, he served as Fed Governor and Chairman of President George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisers. In 2009, he was named the TIME magazine person of the year.
Merrill Lynch merger with Bank of America
In a letter to Congress from New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo dated April 23, 2009, Bernanke was mentioned along with former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in allegations of fraud concerning the acquisition of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America. The letter alleged that the extent of the losses at Merrill Lynch were not disclosed to Bank of America by Bernanke and Paulson. When Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis informed Paulson that Bank of America was exiting the merger by invoking the "Materially Adverse Change" clause Paulson immediately called Lewis to a meeting in Washington. At the meeting, which allegedly took place on December 21, 2008, Paulson told Lewis that he and the board would be replaced if they invoked the MAC clause and additionally not to reveal the extent of the losses to shareholders. Paulson stated to Cuomo's office that he was directed by Bernanke to threaten Lewis in this manner. Congressional hearings into these allegations were conducted on June 25, 2009, with Bernanke testifying that he did not bully Ken Lewis. Under intense questioning by members of Congress, Bernanke said, "I never said anything about firing the board and the management [of Bank of America]." In further testimony, Bernanke said the Fed did nothing illegal or unethical in its efforts to convince Bank of America not to end the merger. Lewis told the panel that authorities expressed "strong views" but said he would not characterize their stance as improper.
 AIG bailout
According to a January 26, 2010, column in The Huffington Post, a whistleblower has disclosed documents providing "'troubling details' of Bernanke's role in the AIG bailout". Republican Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky said on CNBC that he had seen documents which show Bernanke overruled recommendations from his staff in bailing out AIG. The columnist says this raises questions as to whether or not the decision to bail out AIG was necessary. Senators from both parties who support Bernanke say his actions averted worse problems and outweigh whatever responsibility he may have for the financial crisis.