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.
"The pace of events during the financial crisis of 2008 was truly breathtaking. In this book, I have done my best to describe my actions and the thinking behind them during that time, and to convey the breakneck speed at which events were happening all around us.
I believe the most important part of this story is the way Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, and I worked as a team through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. There can't be many other examples of economic leaders managing a crisis who had as much trust in one another as we did. Our partnership proved to be an enormous asset during an incredibly difficult period. But at the same time, this is my story, and as hard as I have tried to reflect the contributions made by everyone involved, it is primarily about my work and that of my talented and dedicated team at Treasury." -- Henry M. Paulson
Henry Merritt "Hank" Paulson, Jr. (1946) served under President George W. Bush as the 74th Secretary of the Treasury from June 2006 until January 2009. Before coming to Treasury, Paulson was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs from the time of the firm's initial public offering in 1999. He joined Goldman Sachs Chicago Office in 1974 and rose through the ranks holding several positions including, Managing Partner of the firm's Chicago office, Co-head of the firm's investment Banking Division, President and Chief Operating Officer, and Co-Senior partner.
Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Paulson was a member of the White House Domestic Council, serving as Staff Assistant to the President from 1972 to 1973, and as Staff Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon from 1970 to 1972.
Paulson graduated from Dartmouth in 1968, where he majored in English, was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and an All Ivy, All East football player. He received an M.B.A. from Harvard in 1970.