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Dealing with China: An Insider Unmasks the New Economic Superpower Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged

4.3 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Delivers a highly personal, you-are-there feeling for how top players in government and finance staved off a disaster."

-- BusinessWeek, on Paulson's ON THE BRINK




"Engaging, well-written narrative."

--Wall Street Journal, on Paulson's ON THE BRINK



"Henry Paulson was for better or worse the leader throughout the crisis. Throughout the book Paulson truly shines."
--Daily Markets, on Paulson's ON THE BRINK

About the Author

As the CEO of Goldman Sachs from 1999-2006 and then as the Treasury Secretary of the United States from 2006-2009 Hank Paulson has sat across the bargaining table from countless Chinese politicians as both a banker and a statesman. Since leaving Washington, the former Treasury Secretary has worked on bridging the gap between East and West through The Paulson Institute, which he describes not as a think tank but as a "think and do" tank.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD: 15 pages
  • Publisher: Twelve; Unabridged edition (April 14, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161113899X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611138993
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.5 x 5.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,207,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Walter Isaacson on April 14, 2015
Format: Hardcover
This is an indispensable guide for anyone who has to deal with China or wants to understand its transition into the modern world. Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson begins his tale in 1997 when he was at Goldman Sachs and met with Zhu Rongji to begin the process of a public offering of China's telephone system. He takes us through his dealings with a colorful array of subsequent leaders culminating with Xi Jingping.
With an easygoing storytelling and narrative style, deepened by insight and candor, Paulson weaves together three strands in his book:
!. A rare up-close look at China's contemporary political and business leaders, showing how they think and maneuver. Few people have spent so much time with the top people of China or have such a keen eye for discerning what makes them tick.
2. An analysis of the challenges China faces in its process of economic reform and urbanization. As head of the Paulson Institute that he established to engage with China, he has thought deeply about China's problems, ranging from debt to the need to design sustainable cities, protect wetlands, and become environmentally responsible.
3. A guide for how U.S. political and business leaders can best blend competition and cooperation to help China become a responsible part of an economic and political global order.
Above all, the book is an enjoyable, lively, colorful read -- in addition to being a fascinating way to learn about what's really happening in China today.
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Format: Hardcover
Hank Paulson’s two decades of negotiations with China have left him with a wealth of anecdotes, presumably a sizeable stack of air miles and a new book, “Dealing With China”. Paulson shows himself a master of two rules of doing business in the People’s Republic: cultivate contacts like crazy, and know when to leave the killer details unspoken.

Paulson, who courted China as Goldman Sachs chief, U.S. Treasury secretary and then as head of his eponymous “think and do tank”, paints a vivid picture of a China that pretends to no longer exist. It’s a land where noble officials beg straight-talking American bankers to help get their finances in order - at least until the financial crisis. It’s a world where favours are repaid. It’s the first third of the book, in which Paulson establishes Goldman’s toehold in the People’s Republic, that resonates most.

America’s most controversial investment bank won the trust of Chinese officialdom when rivals mostly ignored the country. Morgan Stanley, an early mover in the 1990s through its joint-venture investment bank China International Capital Corp, was mired in infighting and ineptitude. To this day, Goldman is one of only two foreign companies permitted full management control over their brokerages in China.

Paulson might be most proud of his upfrontness and ability to listen, but readers will be more struck by an indefatigable pursuit of personal connections, and a willingness to use them opportunistically. An environmental-group meeting with President Jiang Zemin is seized as a chance to discuss Goldman Sachs’ role in China’s capital markets. While running the Strategic Economic Dialogue, he secures the outward passage of a formerly jailed activist.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book has three parts in my view: “(Making) Deals with China (as Goldman Sachs),” by the former head of Goldman Sachs; “Dealing with China (for the U.S. problems),” by the former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury; “Dealing with China’s problems,” by the Chairman of The Paulson Institution.

I subtract one star from the first part that reads like a memoir interleaved with HBS case studies, Goldman Sachs pitch book and mega deal tombstones. An educated reader well subscribed to the Western World press on China subjects may find this part lacking fresh insights. A plethora of personal anecdotes about the China’s past and current Who’s Who provide no relief for a casual reader. The only part that has made me chuckle is Premier Zhu Rongji’s long johns, and the fact that Mr. Paulson is a good listener and keen observer in his dealing with Chinese officials.

The second part is more interesting and insightful. Secretary Paulson writes with candor and peppered his memoir with occasional humor when he doesn’t have to write pitch book for the U.S. Treasury – China has already bought up “the safest and most liquid” paper the U.S. debt so the obligatory compliment is used sparingly. I even found suspense (spoiler alert): I was nervous for the U.S. Treasury Secretary’s wife Wendy when she entertained a group of top power brokers from China, including its first female Vice Premier Wu Yi, central banker Zhou Xiaochuan and the now-jailed Bo Xilai, with takeout from Whole Foods. The main takeaway of the story for me is to keep ‘em hungry so anything on the plate is palatable. But the U.S. can’t do that to China any more and Secretary Paulson has made the case in his book, and Wendy Paulson a hero in my mind.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I would strongly suggest reading this book in tandem with Michael Pillsbury's 100 Year Marathon. Paulson's work shows in great detail what has been achieved by continuing American engagement with China. Pillsbury's contends that the economic reforms that Paulson anticipates are unrealistic and that a good deal of the economy will remain under state ownership and control. Both positions have their strengths and weaknesses.
Paulson's account does demonstrate reasons to be optimistic because it contains a great many details about businessmen, state officials, and business schools trying to foster best practices. There are also those working with Paulson and his wife on environmental issues. Most importantly Paulson notes that China refused Russian pressure to sell American investments during the 2008 financial crisis in order to undermine the American economy and give Russia and China an advantage. He's also quite candid and critical about the endless subsidies to some state owned industries that continue to run up debts.

I really enjoyed the details of the personnel and deals described and analyzed in this book, but I could easily imagine that other readers might find the mini resumes provided about nearly everyone in the book to be tedious. Paulson's editors should consider producing an abridged version to provide the book to a broader readership.

One comes away from Paulson's book impressed by the innovative instincts that allowed Goldman Sachs to help large state owned companies raise capital through the kind of IPOs usually reserved for publicly owned private companies. Clearly such actions have helped produce the Chinese economic miracle.
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