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Table: What Worries Hank


Here's what Paulson says can keep him awake at night:

MISTAKES

"Each of us at Goldman Sachs has more potential to harm the firm than to help it through our actions."

THE COMPETITION

"There is always some major threat. Some competitor. Some form of price-cutting.... We are in a dangerous industry."

ENRON

"All of our reputations have been hurt. The question now is will there be an overreaction, and will that result in inappropriate legislation and regulation?"

EXECUTION

"We take on risk. We live with volatility. We don't have predictable recurring earnings. That's the nature of our business. I say to people `if it was easy, you wouldn't be making the kind of money you're making."'

LENDING

"I think about our clients' capital requirements and how we can help them all the time. We don't have to buy a commercial bank. Sure, commercial banks can misprice credit and have some short-term wins, but that doesn't mean it makes sense for us to change our strategy."

MEGAMERGERS

"We'll be paranoid and we'll worry about [another investment/commercial bank merger]. I'll have a sleepless night or two when a deal is announced. But I'd have more than a sleepless night or two if we did it."


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