Growth5 Blog

Monday, December 21, 2009

Book: Too Big To Fail

I just finished reading Andrew Ross Sorkin's Too Big To Fail. A detailed account of the economic crisis of 2008. I recommend the book.

Leadership: in this case, leaders that were proactive and objective about the bad position they were in, were able to position their companies to safety. Leaders that waited, hoped, and were unwilling to face the reality of their situation, lost.

Hank Paulson has received a lot of criticism for how he handled the crisis as Treasury Secretary. During the height of the bailout debate, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon sent Paulson the following quote from a speech that President Theodore Roosevelt had delivered at the Sorbonne in April, 1910 entitled "Citizenship and Republic." It reads:
"It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have been done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there’s no effort without error or shortcoming, but who greets the next great enthusiasm, the great devotions, who spins himself for a worthy cause, who knows at the best know in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly so this place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

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