Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
$4.99
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: This book has very little wear, the cover is clean and the pages are clean (includes moderate highlighting/writing). Super fast shipping plus a hassle free return policy means that your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed! Ships direct from Amazon.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System Hardcover – February 1, 2010

3.9 out of 5 stars 180 customer reviews

See all 14 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$7.04 $0.01
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They Operate by Gary J. Byrne
New In Conservative Outlook
Enjoy a new selection of books in conservative politics. Learn more | See related books
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

Review

"It takes someone with authority to narrate Hank Paulson's inside view of the 2008 collapse and attempted rescue of the global credit and equity markets. Dan Woren performs the task admirably. For financial-markets followers, this account by the Goldman Sachs CEO-turned-policy-maker is a must-listen. Paulson provides a fast-paced, surprisingly nonpartisan story of the nitty-gritty behind the decisions to save some financial institutions (and not others)." (AudioFile 2010) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Paulson (U.S. Treasury Secretary from July '07 to January '09) has come under sharp criticism from both sides of the political spectrum for his role in bailing out the banks. In this fast-moving, insider's account of "the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression," he tells his side of the story. Working closely with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (then president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank) and Ben Bernanke (chairman of the Federal Reserve Board), he cobbled together a series of rescue operations to prevent the collapse of major U.S. financial institutions. Paulson, and the rest of the team who worked tirelessly to avert an economic catastrophe, command respect, but his contention that their actions were the only possible approach to the crisis leaves many open questions. He has little of substance to say about the precipitating events, and his equally Reaganesque and Kafkaesque calls to get "the government out of the private sector as quickly as possible" result in a somewhat unconvincing page turner.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Business Plus; 1 edition (February 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446561932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446561938
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #257,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Related Media

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Between March and September 2008, eight major U.S. financial institutions failed - Bear Stearns, IndyMac, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers, AIG, Washington Mutual, and Wachovia --- six of them in September alone.....This, the most wrenching financial crisis since the Great Depression, caused a terrible recession in the U.S. and severe harm around the world. Yet it could have been so much worse."

Thus Hank Paulson summarizes, in the Afterword, the major challenges he faced as Secretary of the Treasury, a post he assumed on July 10, 2006 and left on January 16, 2009. And this does not mention other institutions that would have failed had they not been propped up (GE Capital, Chrysler, GM, and the entire money market industry after the Reserve Primary Fund broke the buck).

In the recently released "Bailout: an inside account of how Washington abandoned Main Street while rescuing Wall Street", Neil Barofsky, the former Special Inspector General in Charge of Oversight of TARP, details his efforts to constrain the Geithner Treasury from unconditional dispersal of hundreds of billions of TARP funds to the largest banks with no oversight. Former FDIC Chief Sheila Bair recently said of Geithner, "Tim seemed to view his job as protecting Citigroup from me, when he should have been worried about protecting the taxpayers from Citi." While Geithner did much to accelerate what the New York Times called a "no-strings windfall to bankers", the first $350 billion was dispersed under Paulson. Was he a hero who kept the world from falling over the "brink", or was he just rescuing his inept investment banker buddies and sending the tab to the taxpayer as some would contend? What evidence does On the Brink offer?
Read more ›
1 Comment 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Like so many "over the shoulder" assessments of major historical events, Mr. Paulson's account is very self-serving.
He doesn't bother to address why - when the government had tremendous leverage in working out the bailout of AIG - it did next to nothing in holding banks like Goldman Sachs accountable for their poor decision-making. So AIG, propped up by American taxpayers, paid 100 cents on the dollar for the credit default swaps purchased by Goldman Sachs. These swaps in themselves were a suspect approach to managing risk. Moreover, the government never required the investment firms - whose senior management made atrocious gambles - to replace these inept executives (such as GS's Lloyd "We're doing God's work" Blankfein) although they didn't hesitate to take out the head of GM (Rick Wagoner)when we bailed out the auto industry.
So how to explain Mr. Paulson's role in all this and his self-justifying apologies for greed? Well here's an astonishing coincidence: he's the former CEO of Goldman Sachs. Surprise, surprise! And another tidbit about where Mr. Paulson acquired his ethical compass: he was a special assistant to John Ehrlichman in the Nixon White House.
I invite people to read this book, but I would advise against attaching any credibility to Mr. Paulson's view of the near collapse of our financial system.
18 Comments 102 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
A book like this should be read only along with books like The Failure of Risk Management: Why It's Broken and How to Fix It or The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. These books are about the much broader topics of risk management and risk in finance, respectively, but they do put On the Brink in context.

Paulson has written a detailed, blow by blow, narrative account of several specific meetings leading up to and during the financial crisis. Less of the book deals with stepping outside of these meetings to analyze other specific causes, but there is some of that. The reader has to be careful of an attempt by Paulson to recast his own role in a more favorable light, but I haven't seen anything detailed enough to specifically contradict him, yet.

Paulson does mention an interesting and almost complete list of players in this crisis - Freddie, Fannie, Bernanke, Bush, etc. But he is almost silent on some of the more subtle players like the mathematical models that underestimated these risks (Taleb and Hubbard do and excellent job of this). He reiterates throughout the book that the events seemed "impossible" and yet they are events that seem to happen once or twice a century (Especially considering some of the relaxed regulation and oversight that preceeeded it).

He does mention the role of Credit Default Swaps in the crisis but not, say, the Gaussian Copula, Options, or Value at Risk. The use of such methods are at least partly to blame.

The reader has to assume Paulson's agenda of getting history to come out the way that casts him the way he would like to see it. But it is still an excellent account. We should like to see the accounts of Bernanke and Geithner someday and compare them side-by-side.
6 Comments 115 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading all the reviews for Paulson's book and feel I must live in a parallel universe. Isn't having Hank Paulson a) become Secretary of the Treasury in charge of taxpayers' money, and b) become a reviewer of the crisis he helped create be like having the fox write all about the hens? What the heck is going on here? Need I remind everyone that he was the multi, multi- million dollar head of Goldman, one of the primary arch villains of the collapse, DURING the crisis and he cashed in on all his mistakes after the crisis. The salient questions here are: 1) Why didn't he do something in 2005, 2006, 2007 before the crash? Where was he then??? 2) Why were none of the major culprits - BOA, CitiBank, Merrill, and especially, AIG - not severely punished? 3) Why did it have to take up to 14 Trillion of taxpayer money...and still counting? 4) Why has there been no criminal charges levied and no one charged with a major crime? Unbelievable. What am I missing here? This guy is anything but a 'savior' or 'hero'
as some of you have suggested. He may be a good writer and he may provide some interesting insider accounts, I suppose. But, do not forget he has blood - financial blood - all over his hands.
1 Comment 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews