In an Uncertain World

Tough Choices from Wall Street to Washington

Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Robert Rubin was sworn in as the seventieth U.S. Secretary of the Treasury in January 1995 in a brisk ceremony attended only by his wife and a few colleagues. As soon as the ceremony was over, he began an emergency meeting with President Bill Clinton on the financial crisis in Mexico. This was not only a harbinger of things to come during what would prove to be a rocky period in the global economy; it also captured the essence of Rubin himself--short on formality, quick to get into the nitty-gritty.

From his early years in the storied arbitrage department at Goldman Sachs to his current position as chairman of the executive committee of Citigroup, Robert Rubin has been a major figure at the center of the American financial system. He was a key player in the longest economic expansion in U.S. history. With In an Uncertain World, Rubin offers a shrewd, keen analysis of some of the most important events in recent American history and presents a clear, consistent approach to thinking about markets and dealing with the new risks of the global economy.

Rubin's fundamental philosophy is that nothing is provably certain. Probabilistic thinking has guided his career in both business and government. We see that discipline at work in meetings with President Clinton and Hillary Clinton, Chinese premier Zhu Rongji, Alan Greenspan, Lawrence Summers, Newt Gingrich, Sanford Weill, and the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan. We see Rubin apply it time and again while facing financial crises in Asia, Russia, and Brazil; the federal government shutdown; the rise and fall of the stock market; the challenges of the post-September 11 world; the ongoing struggle over fiscal policy; and many other momentous economic and political events.

With a compelling and candid voice and a sharp eye for detail, Rubin portrays the daily life of the White House-confronting matters both mighty and mundane--as astutely as he examines the challenges that lie ahead for the nation. Part political memoir, part prescriptive economic analysis, and part personal look at business problems, In an Uncertain World is a deep examination of Washington and Wall Street by a figure who for three decades has been at the center of both worlds.


From the Hardcover edition.

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CHAPTER ONE
The First Crisis of the Twenty-first Century

ON THE EVENING OF January 10, 1995, I stood on the Great Seal woven into the carpet of the Oval Office and swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States as Secretary of the Treasury. Confirmed earlier that day, I had been waiting all afternoon for...
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PRAISE FOR

"As Secretary of the Treasury, Bob Rubin ranked with the best.  This drama-packed account of his years on the job should be read by all who are interested in what happens when politics and economics intersect."
-Warren Buffett

"Robert Rubin in one of the most brilliant and honorable wise men of our era, and he has produced an extraordinary book. It is both fascinating and readable. With charming candor and a wealth of lessons, it provides an exciting account of his life on Wall Street
and of his tenure as the presidential adviser and Treasury Secretary. But it is also a very personal book filled with tales and insights about his relationships with such key players as Alan Greenspan, Larry Summers and President Bill Clinton. This is destined to be one of the most important books, as well as one of the most enjoyable and enlightening, published in our time."
-Walter Isaacson

"Bob Rubin takes us behind the closed doors and into the nerve center of Wall Street, the White House and the Treasury Department during a historic time in the global economy. It's a fascinating and highly instructive tale told by a man who is uniquely qualified to guide us through these monumental political and economic challenges."
-Tom Brokaw

"Robert Rubin served with distinction as Secretary of Treasury during a period of turbulence in international financial markets. He has now written an engrossing and thoughtful book about his experiences. Even those who do not agree with some of his conclusions, will find this important reading."
-Henry Kissinger

"When historians look back on the 1990s, they will almost certainly ask how the greatest economic expansion in American history happened. Robert Rubin's forthright and fascinating memoir will be the place to begin. With the meticulousness of a scholar and an appealing lack of vanity, Rubin has written the kind of book that important figures in history should write but seldom do."
-Michael Beschloss


From the Hardcover edition.