Paschal Donohoe: The verdict on Ben Bernanke, Timothy Geithner and Henry Paulson’s Firefighting

Review: There's just about enough insight to be a reminder of where we were

Former Federal Reserve board chairman Ben Bernanke (L to R), former Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner and former Treasury secretary Hank Paulson answer questions at the Brookings Institution September 12th, 2018 in Washington. Photograph: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former Federal Reserve board chairman Ben Bernanke (L to R), former Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner and former Treasury secretary Hank Paulson answer questions at the Brookings Institution September 12th, 2018 in Washington. Photograph: Win McNamee/Getty Images

To conclude that the best part of this book is the slides of a presentation at the end of it sounds like the faintest of praise. The authors of Firefighting ensure otherwise.

Ben Bernanke, Timothy Geithner and Henry Paulson served at the epicentre of the global financial crisis. Bernanke served as chairman of the Federal Reserve, his fellow authors served as secretaries of the Treasury under presidents Bush and Obama.

Their collaboration now seems far removed. The authors’ respect for each other, and for Democratic and Republican policymakers, is a reminder of the value of bipartisanship.

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