Tue Mar 18th, 2008 at 11:24:15 AM EST
A slippery little gem from Paulson, being interviewed on a round of US breakfast shows and quoted by the BBC.
BBC NEWS | Business | US admits economy is in downturn
"We know we're in a sharp downclimb and there's no doubt that the American people know that the economy has turned down," he said.
He said that policy was focused on calming the financial markets.
"The big focus on the part of all policy makers is to minimise the spillover to the real economy," he added.