Monday, March 22, 2010

ON THE BRINK: REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED
ON THE BRINK

BY HENRY M. PAULSON, JR.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

When Hank Paulson, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, was appointed in 2006 to become the nation's next Secretary of the Treasury, he knew that his move from Wall Street to Washington would be daunting and challenging.

But Paulson had no idea that a year later, he would find himself at the very epicenter of the world's most cataclysmic financial crisis since the Great Depression. Major institutions including Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers, AIG, Merrill Lynch, and Citigroup, among others-all steeped in rich, longstanding tradition-literally teetered at the edge of collapse. Panic ensnared international markets. Worst of all, the credit crisis spread to all parts of the U.S. economy and grew more ominous with each passing day, destroying jobs across America and undermining the financial security millions of families had spent their lifetimes building.

This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime economic nightmare. Events no one had thought possible were happening in quick succession, and people all over the globe were terrified that the continuing downward spiral would bring unprecedented chaos. All eyes turned to the United States Treasury Secretary to avert the disaster.

This, then, is Hank Paulson's first-person account. From the man who was in the very middle of this perfect economic storm, ON THE BRINK is Paulson's fast-paced retelling of the key decisions that had to be made with lightning speed. Paulson puts the reader in the room for all the intense moments as he addressed urgent market conditions, weighed critical decisions, and debated policy and economic considerations with of all the notable players-including the CEOs of top Wall Street firms as well as Ben Bernanke, Timothy Geithner, Sheila Bair, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain, and then-President George W. Bush.

More than an account about numbers and credit risks gone bad, ON THE BRINK is an extraordinary story about people and politics-all brought together during the world's impending financial Armageddon.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Henry M. Paulson, Jr. served under President George W. Bush as the 74th Secretary of the Treasury from June 2006 until January 2009. Before coming to Treasury, Paulson was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs since the firm's initial public offering in 1999. He joined Goldman Sachs Chicago Office in 1974 and rose through the ranks holding several positions including, Managing Partner of the firm's Chicago office, Co-head of the firm's investment Banking Division, President and Chief Operating Officer, and Co-Senior partner. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Paulson was a member of the White House Domestic Council, serving as Staff Assistant to the President from 1972 to 1973, and as Staff Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon from 1970 to 1972. Paulson graduated from Dartmouth in 1968, where he majored in English, was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and an All Ivy, All East football player. He received an M.B.A. from Harvard in 1970.

REVIEW:

ON THE BRINK by Henry Paulson is the story of what happened during the time in which we experienced close to a total failure of the United States Financial system. In 2006, Paulson, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, was selected to become the country's next Secretary of the Treasury. In ON THE BRINK, he discusses how the American credit catastrophe spread to all parts of our country and beyond, effecting families and what was their life’s dream and their financial security. Financial expert, I am not, so I have to review this book honestly and say I can only tell you how I felt about what I read.

Paulson discusses how this economic catastrophe, that we are all aware of, happened and what he says caused it. He discusses how many financial experts worked to prevent a total disaster of our world wide economy as well. Information that struck me especially was to what a dangerous extent things really got! I also could see how due to political egos, things were almost worse then they were, but I didn’t find that surprising. The many names in the news that I had heard over the past in conjunction with the economy like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Bear Stearns, AIG, and from Back of America to Merrill Lynch were all discussed. One of the names in that list was particularly interesting to me as I had been part of a mini-disaster myself because of it.

I do know that much was made of Paulson’s relationship with Goldman Sachs but also in reading think had he not known so many of the players, perhaps someone else in charge may have made it even worse. However, that is just my opinion. Knowing so many people on Wall Street, I would think, was probably beneficial to his position at the time.

Overall, I thought there was quite a lot of repetition of how important it was to save the banks and how the way America reacted to this economic situation could effect how it played out worldwide. I don’t think blame is going to make any of this disappear so at least this book will give you some insight into the players in the economic breakdown that was probably the most dangerous we have faced since the depression era or maybe even worse. If, like me, you learn just a little more about how our economy works, or doesn’t work, then reading the book will be beneficial. It does read like a narrative and not a stiff textbook so if that is a concern, I can at least attest to that.


GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO VALERIE AND THE
HACHETTE BOOK GROUP, I HAVE
3 COPIES OF THIS INTERESTING
BOOK TO GIVEAWAY!


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24 comments:

Vera said...

I subscribe via email. vvperesk@gmail.com

Vera said...

I follow on GFC. vvperesk@gmail.com

Vera said...

I think the biggest economic concern right now is the state of the social security system. Chances are, when people in their 20s and 30s retire, we won't receive any social security payments and there are too many people who are unprepared for that eventuality. vvperesk@gmail.com

traveler said...

I am an e-mail subscriber. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I am fearful about the economy due to loss of jobs from closing of plants due to labor costs. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Colleen Turner said...

I subscribe via email.
Thanks,
Colleen
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I follow via google connect and facebook.
Thanks,
Colleen
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

There are just so many economic problems right now in this country! I think a huge problem is the fact that so many companies have to downsize, reduce, etc. and we have this huge out of work force while the few and elite can still make HUGE amounts via salary bonuses, etc. With some regulation and control maybe we can free up a little bit of that golden umbrella to give some out of work people the chance to work and live valued lives.
Thanks,
Colleen
candc320@gmail.com

Linda Kish said...

GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

Being on social security, I don't have much chance for raises so that will always affect me. But my son's hours have been cut from full-time to part-time so he is having to deal with less income and I am having to pay out more for the household.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

nfmgirl said...

My biggest immediate concern is unemployment. Until unemployment is reduced, it will continue to put a financial strain on our already shaky economy and lacking public funds. My long term concern is social security and medicare, which I'm afraid won't exist by the time I will be in need of it.

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

nfmgirl said...

Blogged:
http://cerebralgirl.blogspot.com/2010/03/book-giveaways-in-blogworld-03-20-10.html

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

nfmgirl said...

I follow through Google connect.

nfmgirl At gmail DOT com

Martha Lawson said...

Healthcare!!

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Martha Lawson said...

+1 I follow on google friend

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Martha Lawson said...

+1 I am an email subscriber

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Glenn said...

As others have mentioned, the jobs picture is a big concern, but also the massive amount of debt that our country is incurring is also problematic. At some point, that becomes unsustainable. Thanks for the giveaway.

glenn_pessano AT yahoo DOT com

Wickdogg said...

Health care coverage is a concern and I hope the new laws fix that as insurance is too high

wickdogg at gmaildot com

Wickdogg said...

I follow with Google Friend

wickdogg at gmaildot com

Jaime said...

google follower
copperllama at yahoo dot com

Jaime said...

email subscriber
copperllama at yahoo dot com

Jaime said...

biggest problem that concerns me at the moment is the high unemployment and no growth in the near future
copperllama at yahoo dot com

MarionG said...

Hi. I believe that Health Care is the biggest concern. It's really a same everyone isn't covered. Cheers.
polo-puppy-fluffy at hotmail dot com

MarionG said...

Hi. I'm a follower on GFC(MarionG).
Cheers.
polo-puppy-fluffy at hotmail dot com

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