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On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

On the Brink

I was surprised by the intricate detail of his recall of the events surrounding the financial crisis throughout this 478 page book. It was in his acknowledgements that he explained that he relied not only on his own recall, but more than 20 people with whom he consulted...
I was surprised by the intricate detail of his recall of the events surrounding the financial crisis throughout this 478 page book. It was in his acknowledgements that he explained that he relied not only on his own recall, but more than 20 people with whom he consulted. One of the most striking cuts from the book:

"I had come to Washington to make a difference, and we had, I thought, just saved the country - and the world - from financial catastrophe. The next day, Lehman Brothers began to collapse."

In fact, this was just the beginning of the financial crisis to come. The ins and outs of our financial system as well as our political system can be quite confusing. In On The Brink the former Treasury Secretary speaks in plain language and has a list of acronyms used in the text so that the reader understands clearly what the Secretary is writing about. It was quite disturbing at times to read about the power plays, the decisions to act without delay, and the information that was withheld from the American people. It was also disconcerting to read how the taxpayer's money was being thrown around as if it was an unending spigot.

Secretary Paulson speaks very highly of President Bush and many in Congress on both sides of the aisle. There is an amusing story of when Mr. Paulson's cell phone went off at an inopportune time during a meeting with President Bush, a visiting head of state, and Condoleezza Rice. Not only could he not locate his phone, but it was his son calling to talk about sports.

This is an interesting book of Mr. Paulson's view of what happened during this terrible crisis.

posted by timetravel on March 21, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Hiding in Plain Site

Sorry. Mr. Paulson doesn't quite pull it off. And, as much as he would like to illuminate, he simply comes off as trying to distance himself from the high finance bad boys who brought us to this sorry economic state. One of my philosophy professors many years ago descri...
Sorry. Mr. Paulson doesn't quite pull it off. And, as much as he would like to illuminate, he simply comes off as trying to distance himself from the high finance bad boys who brought us to this sorry economic state. One of my philosophy professors many years ago described capitalism as "regulated greed." It was not a judgement on capitalism as much as simple message that greed, while a motivating force at the base of our economic system, requires a watchful eye. Out of control greed will always lead to distaster. That's a simple lesson our well-educated, well-heeled author simply fails to state. The reader needs to be reminded that he was all for as little regulation as possible when it served his purposes. I would recommend Mr. Paulson sign up for a remedial course in ethics. Oh, and a course in writing would help, too.

posted by babyman on March 13, 2010

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  • Posted March 13, 2010

    Hiding in Plain Site

    Sorry. Mr. Paulson doesn't quite pull it off. And, as much as he would like to illuminate, he simply comes off as trying to distance himself from the high finance bad boys who brought us to this sorry economic state. One of my philosophy professors many years ago described capitalism as "regulated greed." It was not a judgement on capitalism as much as simple message that greed, while a motivating force at the base of our economic system, requires a watchful eye. Out of control greed will always lead to distaster. That's a simple lesson our well-educated, well-heeled author simply fails to state. The reader needs to be reminded that he was all for as little regulation as possible when it served his purposes. I would recommend Mr. Paulson sign up for a remedial course in ethics. Oh, and a course in writing would help, too.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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