“Hank: 5 Years from the Brink”

Friday, September 13, 2013

Joe Berlinger, director of the documentary “Hank: 5 Years from the Brink,” a portrait of Hank Paulson, Secretary of the Treasury and former CEO of Goldman Sachs. For three weeks in September 2008, Paulson was the one person charged with preventing the collapse of the U.S. economy, and he tells how he worked to persuade banks, Congress, and presidential candidates to sign off on nearly $1 trillion in bailouts—even as he found the behavior that led to the crisis, and the bailouts themselves, morally reprehensible. “Hank: 5 Years from the Brink” is available exclusively on Netflix September 16.


Joe Berlinger

Comments [13]

Joyce Goldenstern from Chicago

"Inside Job" was a much better film. I thought Berlinger not asking about Paulson's role in Goldman Sachs made Berlinger's film very weak. I was very disappointed in the film.

Oct. 08 2014 10:43 PM
Robert from NYC

Nothing here had much to do with Hank Paulson.

It is all about how the Sacred Cow of how Capitalism works, or rather --- doesn't.

Not only it is an exploitative system that relies on the most criminally prone class to hover over society and make all the rules; making wage-slaves out of most of the population. But more than that, it is due to its unabashed doctrine of 'greed,' is an inherently unstable system, as well.
Like a Manic Depressive-- mentally unstable person, it too goes from Manic periods of overconfidence to sudden and unexpected Depressions. During those times everything that was held to be a sure thing, falls apart. Millions of innocents are thrown out of their home, jobs and are left to twist in the cruel wind.
Marx was right about everything.

Sep. 13 2013 01:18 PM

The writer was convinced that Paulson did what he did out of patriotism by spending time with the subject and his wife and their wonderful marriage...

I suppose this is what passes for fact-checking in the business press.

Sep. 13 2013 01:10 PM
Mike from Tribeca

Don't want to be too critical about a movie I haven't seen, but why didn't Mr. Berlinger ask about Glass–Steagall? Seems like a huge omission on his part and makes me wonder about how much prepping he did for the interview.

Sep. 13 2013 01:00 PM
William Finke from Port Chester

Mr. Berlinger might want to clarify his remark to the effect that he 'got innocent persons' out of jail. He's overstepping. Those boys plead technically guilty. Although one can take apart a conviction, in the manner of an OJ trial, it is entirely credible Damien dragged two boys in there with him who I doubt had much to do with the crime and its just as well they don't have to spend the rest of their life in jail.
You are quite right that perception of truth is key to what you see with Berlinger. Someone once said 'The truth is silly putty'; Berlinger has made something of that.

Sep. 13 2013 12:58 PM

Hank? Just one of the guys, eh? This is one case where they broke it, we bought it. Couldn't we just have let "Hank", one of the prime crockery smashers, disappear into the mist. But, I appreciate that he lives frugally. I bet he follows Bloomberg's dictum and never pays more than $300 for a bottle of wine.

Sep. 13 2013 12:57 PM

Hank: 5 Sheets to the Wind

Sep. 13 2013 12:56 PM
fuva from harlemworld

Sophia, yes.
How lacking in perspective this filmmaker (hagiographer? apologist?) seems. I mean, he so far doesn't know the answer to many hard, critical questions. Pathetic...

Sep. 13 2013 12:55 PM
Robert from NYC

We had a "depression" even Paul Krugman said, it's a depression and frankly we're not out of it. This guy's full of baloney. Yes Glass-Steagall should be reinstated AND WE ALL KNOW IT!

Sep. 13 2013 12:55 PM

He "got Congress to act", in order to help the wealthiest and most influential people in the country/world, while bailing out his former partners and current friends?

LOL!!!! Give Paulson a medal, and this "journalist" the Pulitzer!

Sep. 13 2013 12:54 PM

1)Paulson helped CREATE the situation by running up leverage at Goldman.

2)He asked for blank check unaccountability.

3)When Congress refused to sign the blank check and demanded help for homeowners in exchange,

4)his dept did everything they could to undermine those conditions afterwards.

5)The result of the bailouts is that the "recovery" has been confined to the top 1% who have kept 95% of the gains, so that they now have no incentive to reform themselves.

But, his problem is that he hasn't launched the propaganda effectively enough, a problem which has now been resolved by a member of the compliant business press.

Sep. 13 2013 12:51 PM
fuva from harlemworld

Please. Perhaps Hank skillfully maneuvered to save some portion of the economy in 2008. But didn't he also enable if not help to create the underlying unstable financial conditions? In the end he helped to handle crises that he greatly contributed to, that we're still suffering from...This is a net negative.

Sep. 13 2013 12:48 PM
Tony from Canarsie

Can't say as I care for the title. Can't tell if it's an apologia for Paulson or a criticism or if it's suggesting that viewers bring along five handkerchiefs.

Sep. 13 2013 12:47 PM

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