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Review: The Weekend That Changed Wall Street: An Eyewitness Account

The Weekend That Changed Wall Street: An Eyewitness AccountI’ve read a lot of books about the credit crisis from Hank Paulson’s On The Brink to Michael Lewis’s The Big Short, so I’m pretty familiar with the behind the scenes weekend activity that precipitated the collapse of Lehman Brothers on September 15th, 2008. In both books, the weekend itself was a tent pole in the larger story but not the sole focus of the book. Paulson’s book focused on the government’s activity, specifically the Treasury, while the Big Short focused on the market players who saw the crash coming and were able to benefit from it.

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On The Brink by Henry M. Paulson Jr.

On the BrinkOn The Brink by Henry Paulson is the first book I’ve read cover to cover in the last year. You’re probably not surprised to hear that I don’t read every single page of the books I review on Bargaineering but for On The Brink, I read every last page. On The Brink is Henry Paulson’s, then Treasury Secretary, account of the financial crisis that nearly brought the United States, and must of the world, to its knees. Throughout the crisis, I was reading all the news stories about various rescues, bankruptcies, etc. but I always knew there was more to the story. I knew that there were things going on behind the scenes that we wouldn’t hear about for quite some time and I didn’t expect to read about it in a book so soon.

If you want to learn what happened, what caused it, and what some of the most brilliant and hardworking financial minds in the world did to prevent a complete meltdown, then you need to read this book. It reads like a novel, Paulson is frank (which is awesome), and you walk away feeling like you actually understand what happened and why certain things were done. And for $14, it’s a bargain.

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