Monday, April 5, 2010

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

Complexity. Any reader impacted by the recent financial crisis will find something of value on the pages of Hank Paulson’s recollections of the turmoil at its epicenter. Titled, On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop of the Collapse of the Global Financial System, Paulson presents his views and recollections of what happened, when, and who said and did what. This book reads like a novel, as Paulson paces the action well. As one might expect, he tends to put the best light on what he did and how he did it. He focuses intently on the collaboration between himself, Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner. President Bush comes across as fully supportive of Paulson doing whatever was necessary to prevent a financial meltdown. This candid book reveals how much was done by the seat of the pants, and how complexity and interconnections led to actions that were both distasteful and necessary. It will be a long time before history weighs in with perspective on the actions during Paulson’s tenure as Treasury Secretary. In the meantime, his personal account is an important contribution to gaining insight into those times.

Rating: Four-star (Highly Recommended)
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