Amazon.com link for 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. 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.