Henry M. Paulson, Jr., former secretary of the US Treasury and CEO of Goldman Sachs, delivers a behind-the-scenes account of China's rise as an economic superpower.
When Hu Jintao, China's then vice president, came to visit the New York Stock Exchange and Ground Zero in 2002, he asked Hank Paulson to be his guide. It was a testament to the pivotal role that Goldman Sachs played in helping China experiment with private enterprise. In Dealing with China, the best-selling author of On the Brink draws on his unprecedented access to both the political and business leaders of modern China to answer several key questions: How did China become an economic superpower so quickly? Who really runs China? How does business get done there? What are the best ways for Western business and political leaders to engage, compete with, and beat China? How can Western investors profit in China?
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Bad title, amazing book
Listened to the book then bought the print copy
This amazing book gleaned from over 100 visits to China is truly an inside story. It is a very personal account of Hank Paulson's three different roles interacting with the most influential leaders in China during its years of rapid economic development. First, as CEO of Goldman Sachs, playing the role of investment banker taking inefficient state-owned enterprises (SOE's) public and counseling Chinese leaders on need for financial accuracy in order to attract investors. Second, as statesman and Secretary of the Treasury for George Bush, meeting the financial crisis in the United States while assuring the Chinese of our ultimate recovery to prevent dumping of their U.S. investments. Third, as environmentalist for the Nature Conservancy in China, counselor to Chinese environmentalists and urban planners, and founder of the Paulson Institute,Hank and his wife Wendy continue their passion for preservation of China's open space and curtailment of pollution.
An earlier reading of Henry Kissinger's "On China" gave an excellent background of the historical background of the country and its unique cultural characteristics, from ancient civilization through classical empire, to Communist state. His accounts as U.S. Secretary of State during President Nixon's visit to China and subsequent events give an authoritative account of engagement with China. Later, Kissinger's book on "World Order" draws contemporary comparisons with other countries, falling short in details on China as he lumps it in with the overall Asian region.
Kevin Stillwell's vigorous and emphatic narration brings out the self-confident nature and negotiating ability of Paulson that complements his persistent efforts to always reach "win-win" results for both sides. Also, although difficult for an English speaker to keep them straight, Stillwell rattles off the Chinese leader's names with apparent accuracy without interrupting the flow of the narrative.
One of the most interesting stories came when Paulson and another Goldman employee were in a plane with only a pilot headed for Hong Kong in 2001. Suddenly, news of the 9/11 attack came in over the radio. News of the disaster continued to unfold while Paulson spoke over the phone with the Goldman Sachs' New York office a short distance from the burning Twin Towers at Ground Zero. Paulson ordered the pilot to turn around and head back toward New York. To find out what happened next, you must get the book.
The printed book contains some features understandably lacking in the spoken version.A Cast of Characters section in the back of the book clarifies the names and official titles of the people. A List of Acronyms gives handy reference to the confusingly similar names of the organizations heard throughout the book..
- William Crutcher