On The Brink — Henry Paulson’s Recount of the Financial Crisis

On The Brink is Treasury Secretary Henry
Paulson’s autobiographical recount of the financial crisis that rocked our entire system in late 2008.

Hank does a remarkable job
bringing us into his conversations and the decisions made during the furious
pace of the financial meltdown. 
Interestingly enough, I got the feeling that he neither looked for nor
placed blame for the crisis on any individual or institution.  I enjoyed the narrative and insight Hank
provided by taking us through each of the challenges as institutions and
systems globally began to breakdown as a result of the housing and related
financial market collapse.

My takeaways:

– Our political system is
broken.  Nobody knows how to work
together to prevent any disasters from happening.  The politicians only know how to jump into the crisis and
offer suggestions well after the damage has been done.  It is true for this financial meltdown,
the Madoff case, the BP oil spill, and hundreds of other disasters.

– Most non-elected
individuals (Treasury Secretary) who are asked to serve this country by an elected
official (President) seem to be driven by a deep commitment to do what is right
and to serve the community.

Overall, I am impressed by
the dedication of the entire staff at Treasury for their sleepless nights and
unrewarded efforts made to keep our system together.  Thank you.  If
you read the Wall Street Journal or watched the news every day as these events
unfolded real-time, you would really enjoy this book!

-Mark

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