EXCERPT: Henry M. Paulson Jr.'s: 'On the Brink'

Still, that Sunday afternoon in my offi ce, placing calls all around the world, I couldn't help but feel a bit relieved. We had just pulled off perhaps the biggest financial rescue in history. Fannie and Freddie had not been able to stop us, Congress was supportive, and the market looked sure to accept our moves.

I was alone, looking out the tall windows of my office, which faced south toward the National Mall. I was not naïve. I knew there were plenty of danger spots in the financial system and in the economy, but I felt a burden lift off of me as I looked out on the Washington Monument. I had come to Washington to make a difference, and we had, I thought, just saved the country -- and the world -- from financial catastrophe. The next day, Lehman Brothers began to collapse.

Copyright 2010 by Henry M. Paulson, Jr. Business Plus, Hachette Book Group

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