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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

On the Brink: From the Man in the Center of the Storm


On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System is the first hand account of former US Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson Jr. of what happened before and during the 2008 financial crisis that almost brought the world to its knees.

Paulson's narrative was fast paced and in very simple language. The reader does not have to be well-versed in financial matters to understand what Paulson wanted to say. His recollection of the efforts of his colleagues and staff to save the financial institutions affected by the crisis was very informative.

In fact, reading the book is almost like being there with Paulson during the times when he made critical decisions and his meetings with key personalities in the race to save the US Financial System from complete meltdown.

I am particularly amused at his account of the meetings of Congressional leaders before they took up the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) Law, especially the one where the House members from both parties engaged in a shouting match and almost came to blows because they could not agree on the legislation.

To his credit, Paulson did not sound like he was rationalizing his actions and his decisions during those turbulent months. His recommendations in the book's afterword are also worth exploring. I just find this section of the book a bit like an academic lecture though.

If you want to know the whys, whats and whos of the 2008 financial crisis, read Hank Paulson's On the Brink.


On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System by Henry Paulson is available in Kindle Edition from amazon.com.

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