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On the Brink
Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System

by Henry M. Paulson, Jr.
Read by Dan Woren


On the Brink is the story of the extraordinary times that brought about the present economic recession. We all pray this doesn't become a global depression. We don't need another world war.

Mr. Paulson was given the job of helping George Bush turn the economy back around after the housing market tanked as people who'd bought houses they couldn't afford hit the end of their financial rope and began leaving banks and others holding the mortgage bag. Even Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were in big trouble. Extraordinary measures were needed to stave off a complete economic disaster.

The first idea Mr. Paulson had was to rescue Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by placing both mortgage giants into receivership. They would then be sold or run by the federal government. Mr. Paulson felt the move would be reassuring to investors and calm the market. But, considering the Republican party's history with the economy, the move had the opposite effect. Investors shied away from big lenders and other giants began to fail.

On the Brink is a lesson in how not to save an economy. Standard measures failed. Mr. Paulson describes in great detail the inner workings of the Treasury Department and what they went through with Congress as they extended their legal powers so they could take the extreme actions they did to save the American economy. He also details the reactions as everything backfired. That was the point where the American economy swirled down into the sewer, taking the world financial system with it.

If you want insight into big finance, listen to this book. It's economics and history wrapped up into one, a detailed, well written account that will open your eyes.

The Book

Hachette Audio
February 1, 2010
Unabridged Audiobook 13 CDs
1600249124 / 978-1600249129
Nonfiction / Finance
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The Reviewer

Jo Rogers
Reviewed 2010
© 2010