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Paulson Says Economy Recovering, Defends Bailout

February 01, 2010 | The Associated Press via ABC News

Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says the country would have suffered Great Depression-era joblessness, near 25 percent, if the government hadn't arranged the financial system bailout.

Paulson made a stellar defense of that bailout, known as the Troubled Assets Relief Program, in an interview Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America." He said that he and other top policymakers had no choice but to intervene when they did.

Paulson said the economy is recovering but that "it's got a good ways to go." And he said "we have not fixed the problems we need to fix." Paulson also defended the bailout of the giant insurance company American International Group, saying it would have been a "disaster" if it had been allowed to fail.

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