This is one book I wouldn't pick up if I want to understand how the financial crisis unfolded over years. You would do well for yourself if you pick just about anything from net about it. However, I would recommend this book for it's human element. It is a book about the could have beens ultimately achieving something they always deserved or thought they deserved. I must warn you though, the numbers in the book will drive you crazy. I have thought a lot about what would be a good amount for me before I call it quits to active money making and the numbers in this book just drove me fuzzy.
Paulson has made $4 billion in two years. If he decides to retire in India with this money, a savings interest would fetch him 9 billion INR a year for his expenses while keeping his principle safe. The other fringe 'successful' players made few hundred million dollars.
Barring a few like Greg Lippman, who was a hotshot banker then and now, most others who benefited especially the ones on Paulson's team were exceptionally smart underachievers. It also goes on to show how, there are many moderate successes for every single luminous success in this industry. And then so much of it depends on chance apart from a lot of other great qualities in those individuals least of them is exceptional smarts which is a given just to get an entry anyway. It also shows, what can happen to people despite their brilliance if they are not in the right place at the right time with right people. The two key architects of Paulson show, he and Paulo Pellegrini were kind of past their sell by dates for their calibre. Paulo almost a failure and Paulson a moderate success, who had his share of brilliant bursts but was never acknowledged overall to a status he thought he deserved. It wasn't like he just entered in the business, he has been around for may decades and yet it took this latest crisis to get to a place where he always wanted to be. And there must be thousands (if not tens of thousands) like him who never got their chance and faded away in twilight.
Paulson isn't retired yet and still talking about future as far as four years forward, shows he still has a lot of hunger left in him.
Overall it is an engaging read at most times and turned out to be a far easier read than I thought, the initial apprehension which caused me to delay my reading of this book for so long.