*On the Brink*

by on February 4, 2010 at 8:17 pm in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink

The subtitle is Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System and the author is (?) Henry M. Paulson, Jr.

I don't consider myself a member of the anti-Paulson brigade but this book is a boring whitewash.  At least up through p.100, everyone is brilliant, charming, etc.

He explains that as a Christian Scientist he is comfortable relying on prayer rather than formal medicine.  I guess that doesn't hold for the banking system.

So far the best line is had by Nixon, who on p.29 eviscerates the idea of a VAT.  Everyone else sounds like a cliche.  There may be revelations in the later chapters, but I probably won't get to them.

1 David R. Henderson February 4, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Please tell us Nixon’s line.

2 William February 4, 2010 at 9:31 pm

I guess that doesn’t hold for the banking system.

That’s funny! Reminds me of Futurama,

Pastor: “Well, we could join together in prayer.”
Fry: “Uh huh, but is there anything useful we can do?”
Pastor: “No.”

I bet the number of other gov’t officials who rely on silliness like this is depressingly high.

3 Ted Craig February 5, 2010 at 8:43 am

I’m just glad that there’s a version of events available that doesn’t vilify Paulson, even if it is Paulson’s. I don’t mean Paulson should be portrayed as a hero, but it offers a more complete picture.

4 Ed February 5, 2010 at 10:16 am

I was surprised that Paulson is a Christian Scientist. That is as shocking as the discovery that Nixon is a Quaker.

Actually more shocking, since unlike Quakerism, Christian Science is a pretty obvious fraud, even by the standards of religion.

5 Gabe February 5, 2010 at 10:21 am

Paulson should not be villified, because that is what the populist haters do. Are you a birther? if you would like to signal that you are not then obey your idiot box and join together in support of our leaders to provide some real bi-partisian colutions. Did he make his friends billions of dollars by promising that taxpayers will pay trillions over the decades…while also eliminating two of his firms biggest competitiors and threatenig congressmen with marshall law if they don’t obey and did he try to hide his activities by using phony national security shields and asking for permanent immunity for all the illegalities he knew he was doing? yes..but that isn’t the point…if you don’t defend Paulson then your a Palin loving racist birther..got it?

6 Ted Craig February 5, 2010 at 10:41 am

Paulson should not be vilified because it takes away from thoughtful analysis of the crisis and its response. Individuals obviously impact events, but tying the two together creates what I would call a Fisher King fallacy.

7 razib February 5, 2010 at 12:51 pm

“He explains that as a Christian Scientist he is comfortable relying on prayer rather than formal medicine. I guess that doesn’t hold for the banking system.”

best two sentences of the day? 🙂

8 TGGP February 6, 2010 at 12:51 am

Who was asleep on the watch when a Christian Scientist snuck into the cabinet? I know the Constitution forbids religious tests, but nobody can prove why you voted against confirmation.

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