On the Brink

On The Brink
On The Brink

On the Brink

by: Hank Paulson

Central Theme:

  1. The conflict between ideology and pragmatism
  2. The role of government in capitalism
  3. The urgency of decision-making in crisis

Paulson writes, “To protect free-enterprise capitalism, I had become the Treasury secretary who would forever be associated with government intervention and bank bailouts. The speed with which the crisis hit had left me no other choice, and I had set aside strict ideology to accomplish a higher goal of saving a system.”


“On the Brink” by Hank Paulson, provides a first-person perspective on the global financial crisis of 2007-2008. Paulson, who once led Goldman Sachs, served as the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury during the financial crisis under President Bush.  “On the Brink” provides a detailed account of the events and decisions that were made in the fall of 2008 as the U.S. attempted to avert a second Great Depression.


Beyond intricate financial details, Paulson spotlights the human elements of the crisis – placing equal emphasis on personal dynamics and scholarly analysis. His narrative delves into candid exchanges between banking leaders, government officials, and global influencers. These interactions reveal the complex web of personal and professional stakes that were involved in navigating the crisis. As the Treasury Secretary at the heart of the storm, Paulson humanizes the narrative by detailing the intense pressure, the backroom strategies, and the emotional weight borne by those at the helm. His approach demystifies the crisis, presenting it not just as a series of economic events but as a human drama, with Paulson and his contemporaries striving to find solutions amidst an unprecedented financial upheaval.

Category: Book Corner
Previous Post
The Phoenix Project
Next Post
The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed