Hank: Five Years From the Brink (2014)
For three weeks in September 2008, one person was charged with preventing the collapse of the global economy. No one understood financial markets better than Hank Paulson, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs. Yet Paulson wasn't quite the pinstriped banker he appeared to be. A devout Christian Scientist with left-leaning politics, he'd refused two previous offers to be Secretary of the Treasury before finally accepting. In Hank: Five Years From the Brink, Paulson tells Academy Award-nominated director Joe Berlinger (Paradise Lost, Some Kind of Monster) the complete story of how he persuaded banks, Congress, and presidential candidates to sign off on a nearly $1 trillion rescue package for the U.S. financial system during a time of unimaginable pressure and economic uncertainty.(c) Official Site … More
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Critic Reviews for Hank: Five Years From the Brink
Hank is basically a big love letter from Paulson to himself, and it's a mystery to me why Berlinger would lend his talents to such an effort.
A denial of personal responsibility and inadequate regulations: Isn't that what led us to the brink in the first place?
Only essential if you missed every other doc on the recession or are incredibly invested in learning some unneeded details about Hank Paulson's life.
This is not a film that will be remembered for its high drama, but it wouldn't be surprising to see it studied in future years by scholars trying to gain perspective on a calamity that almost brought the world to itsknees.
While you may not walk away fully grokking the subprime market or securitization, you'll get a sense that Paulson probably was the best person to deal with a very bad situation.
Any film about the global financial crisis that fails to consider subsidized risk, the illegality of credit default swaps, echo-chamber thinking and the like is irresponsible at best and deleterious at worst. And that's Hank.
For all of Paulson's intelligent calm in front of the camera, he is telling an American horror story of massive proportions.
This highly sympathetic documentary profile of Paulson is slightly redundant, but it's also more factualized and instructive in its financial detail.
The documentary's greatest strength is its ability to humanize Paulson.
It's informative but not enlightening, and Mr. Berlinger packs in chattering news clips and a score that's audible under the interview.
The financial crisis is too complicated to reduce to a documentary aimed at general audiences. Still, this is a useful primer on what went wrong - and right - in 2008.
There may have been some whiz kid out there who could have done better, but considering his boss was capable of hiring real villains and buffoons, Hank will make you grateful for Hank.
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