FIVE YEARS LATER: On the Brink -- THE NEW PROLOGUE: A Look Back Five Years Later on What Happened, Why it Did, and Could it Happen Again?

FIVE YEARS LATER: On the Brink -- THE NEW PROLOGUE: A Look Back Five Years Later on What Happened, Why it Did, and Could it Happen Again?

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by Henry Paulson
     
 

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Henry M. Paulson, former Treasury Secretary, looks back on the financial crisis on its five year anniversary, and examines what happened, why it happened, and if it could happen again.

Overview

Henry M. Paulson, former Treasury Secretary, looks back on the financial crisis on its five year anniversary, and examines what happened, why it happened, and if it could happen again.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781455555000
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
08/27/2013
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
188,318
File size:
324 KB

Meet the Author


As the CEO of Goldman Sachs from 1999-2006 and then as the Treasury Secretary of the United States from 2006-2009 Hank Paulson has sat across the bargaining table from countless Chinese politicians as both a banker and a statesman. Since leaving Washington, the former Treasury Secretary has worked on bridging the gap between East and West through The Paulson Institute, which he describes not as a think tank but as a "think and do" tank.

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On the Brink 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 107 reviews.
timetravel More than 1 year ago
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.
RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
If books about the 2008 financial collapse are starting to run together in your mind, rest assured that former Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr.'s memoir is unique. In the first account by a high-ranking government official, Paulson lets out some juicy details. He describes the dry heaves and insomnia he suffered throughout the crisis, his pithy banter with President George W. Bush and his irritation with the ever-perky Sarah Palin. Even so, readers get the sense from his carefully scrubbed copy that Paulson is holding back. Alas, you may have expected as much - loose lips don't help one become Treasury secretary or CEO of Goldman Sachs (his former job). Still, this memoir is enlightening for his personal perspective. getAbstract recommends it to taxpayers and policy makers seeking insight into the interactions of Washington and Wall Street. To learn more about this book, check out the following link: http://www.getabstract.com/summary/13515/on-the-brink.html
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Paulson's use of the first person account in writing the book makes it compelling to read like you are actually there walking with him or seating on those conference calls that lead to the decisions to take over Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae or on the collapse of Lehman Brothers. His account of being on a first name basis with China's head of Central Bank ( of the Communist People's Republic)- "YOUR" "US/American" biggest creditor which now holds the US in its hands, and this make you really wonder that being friends with people really does help in the long run and his enumeration of a lot of people that he talked to or consulted. Paulson did mention that he studied literature that's why he did get to put this together, as he said he doesn't make notes. His account of meeting Bush the first time, or that his wife was a Hillary Clinton supporter, and that his mother hated Bush, make such account personal and interesting. I did study economics in college, but like everybody else, you do that to fill those gaps of so called "college years" but it does make you realize and understand how did this happen the rest of us ordinary mortals would have no interest in understanding except when your house is already up for foreclosure or your 401K has been diminished or wiped out, or ask why does the US (supposed to be the richest country in the world) have to borrow from China.
Mattoc24 More than 1 year ago
This book was a well written account of the behind the scene decisions that helped save this country from another great depression. Whether you believe in all of the decisions made by Paulson, Bernanke, and Geitner it is hard to not appreciate the effort and reason that led to the decisions that were made. This book can be hard to understand for those not familiar with the nuts and bolts of financial products. For that reason, it is easy for a person to judge the decisions made based on what the media or politicians have told us. Hank Paulson is a truly great american who stepped up to the plate not for financial gain or power but because he knew that with his experience and financial expertise, the country needed him. None of like the debt that the country and government is currently in but the result was not based on the decisions Bernanke and Paulson made but those that were made by the beurocrats in Washington.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It seems there were nothing new here that the newspapers haven't covered during those periods described. However, still Mr. Paulson was able to explain the problems that very likely caused the economic hole we're in now; and the only implied reason why the Bush White House did the bail out was to avoid Hoover Part 2. Mr. Paulson though, despite what we know now, failed to persuade why these risky financial products are still very important to the market than to the bankers; even the mark-to-market accounting issue was not explained thoroughly although he favors it. Overall, it shows why we are in the economic mess we're in, too much specialists and bankers/financial engineers making money from risks without accountability. At the end, the culprits got away free with plenty of money in their pockets - very likely paid from the TARP money.
Artemis- More than 1 year ago
For more of the actual truth of the "financial crisis", better to read the AIG court documents filed in Washington DC court. Can be found on nakedcapitalismDOTcom , and likely closer to the truth. Paulson gave money to AIG to funnel it to Goldman Sachs, one of the biggest recipients of the AIG bailout. That was in addition to the other tax payer dollars that were given to then...Wall St got bailed out in a variety of ways, and it was all done by their friends Paulson, Geithner and Bernanke. The fact these idiots came out with books to further hide/confuse/distract/disguise what they did, is insulting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good book. Most people who one stared this only did so because they think (know) how many conspiracies are in the financial world. None of which are this mans fault. The point of this book is to simply explain his point of view, as he saw it in his eyes. So to "babyman", I say to you, think before you post. Your comment has nothing to do with this book and is very misleading. "babyman" makes it seem as though this book was created to take heat off of Mr. Paulson or the government, but that is simply not the case. If you're interested in reading about derivatives, swaps, spreads and ratios and how greed and bad business practice brought it all down, read this book. If you want to know about Fannie and Freddie, read this book. If you want to know how bad business practices and loose laws brought the economy down, read this book.   
Joeawesome More than 1 year ago
Fantastic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book.
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Tunguz More than 1 year ago
The book wastes no time on lengthy introductions or narrative preambles. The very first sentence is a direct question from President Bush to Paulson. ("Do they know it's coming Hank?" - "they" being Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and "it" being the seizure of the control of those companies by the government.) The overall narrative style of the book is very direct and conversational, which makes for an easy and straightforward read. This tone of voice is at odds with the more deliberate and cerebral image that we've got of Paulson from his public appearances. In my opinion, this is one of the virtues of the book - I don't think I would be able to sit through this many pages of Paulson's monotone, and all the technical jargon would have been unbearable. Instead, we get a very personal and personable account of one of the most difficult moments in the history of US financial system. Paulson is also very generous with bringing up details of his own life, which make him even more relatable. My personal favorite was his admission that he needs eight hours of sleep at night. It may be a small thing, but I believe that good night's rest is severely underappreciated and undervalued, especially in high-power circles like the financial sector. In the chapter on Paulson's personal life before joining the Bush administration we learn about the main highlights of his biography. The chapter is not long, even though Paulson has enjoyed a very versatile and interesting career. He had worked in Nixon administration, but since then has largely stayed out of politics. His family is very liberal, which makes for some interesting conversations at the dinner table and family reunions I'd imagine. The chapter on the economic and financial turbulence that preceded the great banking crash of 2008 is very fascinating and educational. Even though it deals with many subtle and technical topics, it is written extremely well and even people who have never been exposed to the inner workings of the financial system should be able to follow it without much difficulty. Even so, it is impossible to keep track of all the moving parts that constitute such a complex system, so if you feel that you still don't understand everything that went wrong, you are not alone. It is doubtful that even those who were in charge of situation at the time fully appreciated the problems that were brewing. The chapter on Bear Stearns crisis in March of 2008 is a fascinating study in behind-the-scenes happenings of one dire crisis. Most of the most important events happened over one tumultuous weekend, and this chapter details all of the relevant negotiations that were going on at the time. We are led to believe that the bailout of Bear Stearns was inevitable, and the least evil of all options that were on the table at the time. Paulson keeps stressing that a failure of the government to act at that moment would have had major serious ramifications for the entire financial sector (a theme that he comes back to throughout the book), but he doesn't go into the details of why in fact this would have been the case. By late March, however, it became increasingly obvious that another major financial institution was working under an increased strain. Lehman Brothers was having major difficulties, and unless something got done about it the company was headed for a collapse. However, it is still not entirely clear why this should be the government's problem.
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