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Karin

West Vancouver, BC, Canada
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  • On the Brink

  • Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System
  • By: Henry M. Paulson
  • Narrated by: Dan Woren
  • Length: 15 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 367
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 211
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 212

From the man who was in the very middle of this perfect economic storm, On the Brink is Paulson's fast-paced retelling of the key decisions that had to be made with lightning speed. Paulson puts the listener in the room for all the intense moments as he addressed urgent market conditions, weighed critical decisions, and debated policy and economic considerations with of all the notable players.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More Depth than "Too Big to Fail"

  • By Michael Moore on 02-22-10

" There are no idealogues in a financial crisis"

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-23-13

I may be a little dense, but after reading several books on the subject of the 2008 financial crisis, I still didn't have much of a firm grasp of the series of cascading events that led to "the brink". Until this book that is.

Mr. Paulson was somehow able to gauge unerringly the point at which the lay reader (especially a dense one) was going to need an explanation of an arcane financial term or would need to know the significance of a given event. Additionally, we are very fortunate to hear the story from someone who was privy to all almost all the discussions and disagreements as well as someone who knows all the players personally. The result is a complete review of the entire catastrophe from the first hints of trouble at a French bank to TARP.

He avoids hyperbole, tries hard not to speak ill of anyone (although it is possible to pick up the occasional bit of rancour) but still manages to convey the the atmosphere of those dreadful months.

This is a book he should be very proud of and, after the pressure cooker he endured, I hope it gave him some relief to tell the story. It certainly gave me many hours of great reading.

PS: I'm also glad that he had some very nice things to say about your much-maligned former president: George W. Bush.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Fool's Gold

  • By: Gillian Tett
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hoye
  • Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9

A best seller on both sides of the Atlantic, Fool's Gold is a key commentary on the causes of the recent financial crisis. Taking readers back to the invention of credit-derivative obligations (CDOs) at J. P. Morgan in 1994, and the subsequent exponential growth of that market, Tett explains how credit derivatives seemed a win-win for the financial world, freeing up capital, increasing profits, and diversifying risk.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent but with one criticism....

  • By Karin on 12-07-12

Excellent but with one criticism....

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-07-12

This book is very well written and researched, and probably as clear and well-organized as possible given the technical nature of the subject matter and the furious cascade of events. I liked the fact that the author had no obvious bias but treats her subjects with scrupulous fairness. She also eschewed taking too much of an ideological stance, leaving readers to ponder the events and personalities and allowing us to come to our own conclusions. Other than the prologue which is also even-handed she mostly refrains from telling us what she thinks.

One slightly more than minor annoyance: the reader, who was otherwise excellent, decided to affect an upper-class British accent for all the English-born characters in the story but he couldn't quite pull it off. The effort sounded like an intentional mockery of the person he was quoting, which, I'm sure, was not the intention of the author.

Other than that, I enjoyed this book so much that I intend to read it again, in part because I still do not have an adequate grasp of these astounding events which occurred, presumably, while we were all asleep.