Summary of On the Brink

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On the Brink book summary


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If books about the 2008 financial collapse are starting to run together in your mind, rest assured that former Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr.’s memoir is unique. In the first account by a high-ranking government official, Paulson lets out some juicy details. He describes the dry heaves and insomnia he suffered throughout the crisis, his pithy banter with President George W. Bush and his irritation with the ever-perky Sarah Palin. Even so, readers get the sense from his carefully scrubbed copy that Paulson is holding back. Alas, you may have expected as much – loose lips don’t help one become Treasury secretary or CEO of Goldman Sachs (his former job). Still, this memoir is enlightening for his personal perspective. getAbstract recommends it to taxpayers and policy makers seeking insight into the interactions of Washington and Wall Street.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What role then-Treasury Secretary Henry “Hank” Paulson played in the financial rescues of 2008 and
  • How his negotiations unfolded behind the scenes.

About the Author

Henry M. Paulson Jr. served as President George W. Bush’s Secretary of the Treasury from July 2006 to January 2009. He stepped down as CEO of Goldman Sachs to take that office.



Taking Down Fannie and Freddie
On Sept. 4, 2008, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry “Hank” M. Paulson Jr. initiated the government’s takeover of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He intended to take control of them, fire their CEOs and pump $100 billion into each one. When he spoke...

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