tv Book Discussion on Good for the Money CSPAN May 9, 2016 12:00am-1:01am EDT
she isn't playing nice at a time that others are bright people's need to get along and they also thought it was an amazing story of leadership style tell me why did you want to do this book? >> guest: at the time my wife wrote wrote him off to her wanting someone to tie this story. he loved the way she wrote and i subsequently became involved in the peace as well.
if needed some outside perspective, and i was thrilled at the idea of penetrating this man's mind. she's worked for many companies, citibank, citigroup. there was a tremendous motion in the company and so finding the story, $180 billion was just too delicious. >> host: i want to read this from the obituary about when he decided to take the job pitches after the crisis. my first response to them is you must think i'm crazy but then i thought about it and said to
myself i have the skills and they went on to say the self regard for typical. a larger-than-life executive was also a physical presence at 6-foot for no four not only dide restore them by 2012 but also repaid its entire death to the taxpayers in return of 22 billion the prophet as well. >> it's a remarkable achievement. i was thinking about that even this morning he was the only person who thought this was possible essentially. the government didn't think this would happen. certainly the american people have no expectation this was going to happen. so the idea that he was a little crazy, you have to be a little crazy to take this on and he was the right kind of crazy. he was approached early year about the job when they chose his predecessor but i think the
idea of taking this on appealed to a guy that got stuff done in the corporate world. >> host: but what stood out when you met him at the first meeting? >> guest: i was immediately struck by what a people person he was. if my idea was someone reserved and kind of arrogant and have some level of, arrogance would be the word, he was immediately accessible and funny. he wanted his story told in the fact he picked my wife is the first person to tell it and he wanted it told honestly.
he didn't want his story to be just of someone who was flawless as a human being or as an executive but had tremendous desire to tell the american people and correct the record of their perception of the company. so, i immediately liked him. he was the kind of man he gave his answer and it was like what you saw is what you got. you can see that charisma was palpable in the room and in his office. so that was an immediate enjoyment. >> host: said he didn't come from privilege. privilege. in the book he talks about working as a truck driver and being in the army. tell us about his childhood and how it shaped him.
>> guest: one of the critical moment is at the age of ten his family ran a bar and grill and he had plans to open a motel. they rented out rooms and at the age of ten, his father died suddenly of a heart attack and the poignant part of the story financially anyway was that he left the family with a quarter of a million dollars of debt. his mother had no idea what she was going to do. so, this led to the feeling that he was always on intimate terms with debt and the desire his mother have to pay back that obligation she never wavered
from and they pay it back extraordinarily. he was the oldest son and his mother leaned on them very heavily so that instilled in him a sense of commitment and responsibility. he was a really independent kid. he wasn't a perfectly behaved young man, he had to do things his own way but always worked and always wanted to make money. he said the motivating factor for what he did was making money. it meant it was extremely important to him so that's why he always had a job and learned about workers at historic ground level there was no trust fund or
extra boost by a relative to get a job. by the time he was in the army, he had inculcated this very strong sense of earning a buck. >> host: the two that stood out to me in particular is you give him the pen. tell us about that one. >> they own this motel in monticello new york and he would sometimes work behind the desk. his mother was a pragmatic woman, brilliant, and one day he was behind the desk and a couple asked about a room and he proceeded to describe to them the options they had into the price was and after the transaction was done a with his other mysterious with him.
he said you didn't give him depend. he said i don't know what you mean by that. he said when they are asking about the room, you describe what you want them to rented a room. just give them the pen and this became the mantra for an understanding of the transacti transaction. his mom told him when he was complaining about being bored with an early jowithin early joa better job, no, then go do it. so that shaped his philosophy that you live the hand you're dealt. >> guest: exactly. you play the hand that is dealt to you. if you find something better, do that but for the time being, the
philosophy always was whatever is available to you right now is what you have to go for. that was decent to him and it plays out later in his career. he was always on the verge of another job. something he wasn't even qualified for it he knew he had to take the lead and go for it because that is what was being dealt to him. >> host: he says they are not the lessons of the school variety. never in fact involved in a single business class ever they are less ideas from the life and business. >> guest: he had no particular interest in schooling.
he went for high school he was sent as a work study at a military academy in fact he was one year ahead of donald trump at the school. he didn't do particularly well in fact in college when they recommended that he go and he decided on his major because he thought that's what smart people with nature and. he had no interest in studying and the book burning wasn't his thing at all. i think that he respected education it's just everything he gleamed wasn't from a book it was from the hands-on experience that started when he was a young man working for his mom.
>> host: there's a plan that supposed to help you optimize your time and he describes himself in the buck as a gfd person. >> guest: that is there is a pejorative label just say it gets stuff done. very early on in his career he was pegged as the the get stuffe by and about this remarkable thiforsympathy he always had for coming into a situation being able to analyze it and even if he didn't have the skills the job required, finding them. remember he came up through operations in the early days of information technology and data processing. it's really where he cut his teeth and he always was the man, the person that his higher-ups could go to put a very
challenging and new situation that required him to figure out something he didn't know before and he knew how to marshal people who need it to help them figure those things out and whenever he came into a situation having very little about the accounts, they were behind the industry and creating those that became essential for places like merrill lynch and imageworks period of time they mastered it and figured out aspects like market research and things he knew little about but he knew how to find the people that need to instruct him. it was a quick study that way. so that continued on and on through all the jobs he had been intimate life for taking the company public i think that that
was sort of an operating talent of his death got more intense as he got older. >> host: there are a lot of epitaphs in the book and i suspect that is true to how they spoke such as a great testament to the writing of the book that he has another phrase we probably won't be able to say that if there's anything i loaded is the business person that looks at you with that smile that are nodding in agreement say he has an expression for that maybe you can come up with a way to describe it. >> guest: they helped him write the book because it was so colorful and a perfect distillation of everything i've observed over my life and my work life i thought here is a
man that is a third natural philosopher and of course it refers to people that smile at t you and not in agreement and lavished praise on you being the person in charge to make you feel secure and everything you're saying is brilliant but in fact walks away and says what a jerk. we've all met them and part of his emotional intelligence as he can snuff out and people. whether or not he was being grimaced or not it was an amazing sort of intuition that he had come and i was thrilled after i met him but i certainly didn't want him to have that impression on me before i heard the term and somehow he accepted even to his world and that was a real badge of honor because he recognized immediately when he
was being talked to but not in an honest way. >> host: one of the things he does talk about intelligence and he cares a lot about employees. but he also talks about his own transparency and being exactly who he is and he quotes someone saying you need someone who won't be afraid to say a few to everybody. how do you balance those qualities because i think that the balance in those things is harder to achieve. >> guest: i do think that if he was angry it was terrifying. he had a very strong point of view and i think that he wanted some debate but ultimately, he
was sure of himself and what he wanted to get into situations he didn't want challenges that were going to support him in any way or change his course and to that point about balancing, you know, he had a tremendous charm and think the key for him to running the company and what was extraordinary about his leadership is that he understood and truly emphasized that could sympathize with the people that worked for him and he wanted him to feel that. he had an ability to communicate and i often said he was more himself in front of a large group of people than he even was one-on-one. something came out of him. there was a performance aspect that it was also very real. i think that he loved the idea of taking people into large groups and they responded to
that. the employees of aig felt he truly felt about them and that is an extraordinary skill for a ceo. because we all know anyone that has worked in a large organization is the person at the top is usually very remote and spares his worker appearance for the sake of control to a minimum. he wanted the exchanges. so, that gave him tremendous capital for people and in those moments when he was also being angry and came into a room and pulled off the people that worked for him that they were not doing well it has even more power because they wanted to please him. they were not afraid they would lose their job i think they just really wanted him to be happy because it made them happy. it was an exchange in an amazing balance to strike that way. >> host: and it's a very counterintuitive but in some
ways because the mantra you hear them say they listen to all opinions in the road and they want to take somebody else's point of view into account and it sounds like he did that but in the end he ultimately wanted to be his chin. >> guest: that is ultimately true but that's because especially in the case of aig, he had a mission. he knew what the mission was. he had to shift the mission because there were other strong people involved in the process as well, one particularly the chairman of the board, so he had to be a negotiator in that way that he knew as i said he relied on his own sense of the value of things and the value of people and he thought he knew it so well he didn't really need a colloquy constantly. he didn't need to have a brain trust that told him the
opposite. i think that drive really did serve him incredibly well in that intuition. >> host: what did you know of aig clicks you have a better understanding given that your wife worked there but refresh the audience why it matters. >> guest: is the largest insurance company in the world. it had been dominated for decades by the legendary leader named hank greenberg who had built it into this conglomerate. elizabeth warren called it a frankenstein monster of a conglomerate because it had so many working parts, but it was a trillion dollar enterprise that covered every part of the globe. what i knew about it was seductive by the company as its adventurousness in what 8-inch word. it ensured kidnappings and military things, any and all kinds of high risk customers all
over the world and it really did change the nature of what a big insurance company could do i think and so that was michael understanding. i didn't understand the workings of all and how byzantine it really was and how much it was broken especially after hank laughed in the mid-2000's. and insurance let's face it isn't the most sexiest business on the planet. >> host: as you mentioned aig in some ways was a very glamorous company. >> guest: even the name though, aig didn't have much in the american international group that sounds so vague like a james bond movie you name the company.
it had sor that sort of qualityi didn't really have a great understanding and i think was part of the problem the company had when the dam burst because i think the american people particularly new but citigroup was in goldman sachs and lehman brothers but they didn't know much about this insurance company. it had a very foggy public image. >> host: so aig became the poster child, one of the most if not the most hated recipient of the government bail out and up s 187 billion. that's one of the controversies was this idea that a chunk of the money that was funneled through plans to bail out its counterparty zombies credit default swaps like goldman sachs that received payments for these deals they have done so talk a
little bit about how he felt about that. >> guest: he was furious. it infuriated him that they were being bailed out at 100 cents on the dollar it made no sense to him. he called them vultures and then additionally they were all in the building reaping hundreds of millions more in consulting fees and brought in to do studies. there is a huge plan called project destiny that cost untold millions that was supposed to selwere supposed tosell off they quickly into its contingent parts come and that drove him nuts. he thought it was unconscionable they got paid off before the public good. >> host: it's interesting he sounds like he ended up running the firm that epitomized wall street but if he wasn't of wall street and the attempt to decode
tone of contempt that turned the powerful institutions to the consulting firm to goldman sachs permeates the book. >> host: >> guest: there were some fair dealers he understood the the ne and there were the friends on wall street when it came to aig and what he wanted to do, he saw it very black-and-white and he understood that something was a mess but there were only so many friends he could fight at any one time. >> host: talk a little bit about who hank greenberg was and what bob' bob's relationship wah him. >> guest: when bob had been the ceo of netflix in the '90s and early 2000's, they were competitors and bob had great admiration and respect for what hank didn't aig -- david at aig.
and just in the same way, hank had tremendous respect for bob and as h how he shepherded midwy through a difficult time, so there was a symbiosis connection that they had. hank left under the difficult circumstances having to do with the attorney general. you look at the long story that hank was one of the people who run the government and aig were looking for a new leader after whitty re-signed, he was one of the most debat people looking td they had some meetings over time. bob respected hank and i think that he thought aig was too vague and he came to the conclusion they created something that was unattainable. what he would say is that hank
created a company so huge only hank understood it. so by the time he came along, he knew that there have to be some sensible reduction in the size of the company and i think over time he continued to want hank as a sort of silent ally as someone who supported at least i believe because that's what he thought was a really smart businessman. >> host: said he comes into this company on the line from the government that's incredibly controversial and is getting blamed for the financial crisis and you could argue a disproportionate share. to talk about what he encountered and what was going on when he got there and the widespread h. retorts the employees >> guest: one thing that created all the chaos in the
financial products that was in connecticut and london this was the home of the credit default swaps involve portable stuff. those people were the focus of a tremendous amount of american anger particularly because of this issue around the bonus is s that they were contractually entitled to. but it played out in the press so virulently there was such an animus towards the bonus that became the symbol of everything that was wrong. it actually wasn't that much money considering the billions the government had invested it for something on the order of 16 million. but anyway it was a focal point for the anger and g got to the point where organized groups
planned and protested the homes of the financial product executives and workers and there were threats against the death threats against people in the company, security people had to be hired. i mean it was extreme and way over the top. it's got to the point where aig took the name of the building. it started creating things like the property and casualty company that's didn't want any association with the main aig. people wouldn't even wear their id tags anyway. anyway. >> how did bob feel about that? >> guest: another thing to be wildly angry about, he felt that it was congress and even the president who said the anger that in their statements some of them might even be privately
much more conciliatory but publicly were condemning and using language that just inflamed hostility and made everybody's job in his opinion harder. the government wanted aig to pay back this money into the same time was telling people it was a disreputable organization that made no sense. buthis is mostly because he couldn't believe he had an outside amount of empathy for his own people. but you can understand, you know, he felt responsible for these people. >> host: they seemed intent on a strategy of corporate sabotage. >> guest: he would watch as there were these things that would unfold like a congressional hearing about a retreat at the saint regis hotel in california that cost some amount of money but it is a retreat for sales promotion that
had been organized for two years before any of these things happened so it had nothing to do with the operations of financial products. it was an insurance division but it became another public issue in the idea that they were extending executives to a the california resort costing the taxpayers money but as he would say you have to spend money to make money. so that again it all became a game of who's the devil and portraying the company as somehow corrupt. this made him furious. >> host: but nonetheless he does something pretty remarkably hands-down for ceos of the bonus because there's a huge demand to get the bonuses back and so what
does he do? >> guest: he eventually decides to get the money back himself. it had to do with kenneth feinberg who was the pay czar in charge of setting up the salaries for all seven companies because of the triple asset relief program companies that got the money from the treasury and what he did was what's called a clawback. he promised feinberg in return for allowing them to set up executive compensation, he promised to get the money back and he sat at his desk for the ailing dollars. he got the list of people who have taken bonus money and over a period of time got all the money back through various persuasions.
it's astonishing that he did it himself but that's who he was. >> host: talk about his attitude towards pay and things like corporate jets and ceos being paid a lot of money, his predecessor famously took a dollar a year to serve as the cleanup. what is the attitude on that? >> guest: he wasn't working for a dollar, that's for sure. he valued his skills and he sent a what he would consider a reasonable price for his skills. he got a package when he came to aig come he negotiated a package of about $10 million a year. at the time, the government was setting it lower but the government also knew they needed him. one important thing to remember here is who was going to do this
job? i don't think they have many smart alternatives to him and also, someone who believed that this could be achieved. remember there was nobody that thought this could happen. what price i mean ultimately it was a small price to pay to get this done and remember also he had nothing to do with the damage that had been done. he came in to fix it so when he did come in, he knew the compensation committee and this goes back to his career again. the importance of money to him was very central. he did and do this because -- he did it partly because he wanted the american people to be made whole. he was a patriot, but also, it took them a long time even after the agreement was set on the salary it took a couple of months at least before he was paid.
the corporate jet was also writing a very important symbol for him. it had a terrible pr impression for people partly because the year before playing the executives of the auto companies came to washington for the bailout, they flew in on corporate jets and it left a bad taste in everybody's mouth. but he felt that it was an extension of his ability to do his job. remember a local company, its everywhere around thit'severywhd they have very specific guidelines from the government about how much could be used which made it almost impossible for him to use it and it drove him crazy. >> host: that comes through. >> guest: he was retired when he took the job on. he had a beautiful place in croatia and he loved growing
grapes there. i know it sounds elitist to people that it wasn't so much about just like sipping fine wine. he loved the process and the people. he got incredibly close to the winemakers who i actually met, these tough people who got a living growing grapes on the sides of hills into the peninsula. >> host: but it might make that diehard skeptics think twice. okay so we have this meeting with timothy geithner before he takes the job. it's supposed to be a nice meet and greet. tell us what happens instead. >> guest: it was a fiasco. jim who is probably the other main hero of this book was the restructuring chief for the treasury and was very fortuitous for the country that these men
formed an alliance. chen was his biggest booster and although he was the recipient when he did things the government was sort of terrified by, in terms of outspokenness and iconoclasm, but jim had recruited bob essentially they had meetings and advocated in getting the job and he said you know what, before i take this job and this is in the summer of 2008. before i take this job i want to know who is making the decision and he said i'm happy to go to washington and meet them. he didn't want to deal with washington when he got the job but he wanted to know who he was dealing with, so jim arranged a day to meet milstein and summers was then one of obama's chief economic advisers, one of them
and brought him into the feeding that was supposed to be a grinning session between timothy geithner who'd also been a little bit leery about this apparently he wasn't sure he does the right fi of it becausef his outspokenness, his reputation for it. they sat down and instead of having this orientation session, he read him the riot act and basically lectured and about how dare the government treat by employees at aig this way. you're not going to get anything wrong if you just threaten people, and basically told him off in the session and timothy geithner mysterious as the theme of the hour. he was angry and milstein took them out of the room and said what are you doing? why would you do that, and he said i just want him to know what i thought.
and i think it was a test for how far he was going to be allowed to go, number one, and number two it was a statement in the declaration of independence. you're not going to have a guy y and his joand this job has justo take phone calls and tell me what to do. he had a better session with larry summers after that and by the time he got over to the office apparently he got word and believed in bob very strongly and explained to him some of the political backstage stuff that's goin that was goiny there had to be so much vitriol aimed publicly even if they wanted him to do a job right. >> host: such as an anathema to somebody like bob. >> guest: you've got it. the wonderful thing about bob is when you read the town halls with his employees and
interviews with employers, it's the same story as he told privately. there is no subtext. >> host: i was struggling to find out who he liked least and he becomes a minor character in the death of timoth book the ti, mckenzie, the press or harvey? [laughter] talk about his relationship with harvey. >> guest: people described it as a whale and water. they are very strong man, talented man, very bright but both have a vision of leadership and they were central it seems according to bob command during his first year, they came off almost simultaneously and for the first time in the company's history, the job of ceo and chairman was divided between two people. bob had mixed feelings about this decision would ultimately thought if the chair man comes
on and we'll deal with the washington stuff, that's fine. i will deal with the company and when we will sel we've also loss interview with morale building and value of how we are going to enhance the brand. over time though, they never really formed a relationship. i do think it was the one blind spot he had that he didn't really establish. he had so much els much also mue it was an endless amount. he was doing most of his time with compensation issues and the government for the first several months at his job at something and never connected between those two men and the divisions that were never reconciled and he held sway with a lot of the board members. the tendency to speak his mind unnerved a lot of people and there became we became what in d anyway of campaigning to
undermine him in the press. he had his theories about where it came from and he told the famous story of someone that went to a doctor and the doctor said the good news is you're not paranoid but the bad news is they are after you. that was the way things worked and there were times for example after he took over the job he long promised he was going to go back for the harvest and he told the government and the board he felt he got signed off on that but when he went two weeks after he started at the company all hell broke loose when the stories ran that his company was floundering and he's out a happy great harvester. there's pictures of him walking. and it was like milstein even called him over and said what
are you doing because he was giving interviews to the reporters this american news organizations and he was explaining that they were putting him together in stories and it was a pr disaster. >> host: there is a showdown. what happens? >> guest: they went back and forth and it crystallized over the deal to sell the largest unit that they wanted to get to pitch was a chinese-based life insurance company that was part of the original vision of the company was preceded in a found by cornelius starr in late 1919 and he had secured getting a
huge amount of money from a british insurance company for aia well over the other people that the company into the deal didn't do that well over time and it looked like they didn't have the resources to make it happen but it really brought the factions to a head on the board and after the board refused to back him on a low valuation for the company to try to sell the potential it was in tatters and in the meeting in july of 2009 he decided to it was either he or harvey that would have toko
and he talked about leaving before. he had another famous saying he thought he had something called a few money that allowed somebody to walk away from a bad situation and he was going to announce one of us have to go and was described as the most dramatic board meeting he ever attempted has been reached during guy and over the course of the afternoon the debate ensued in his office and the board wrestling with the question of where the company was going to go and who was going to leave it it might have been foregone at that time they were s so far down the road with his plans that would have made no sense to lose him and he probably knew that at some level but nonetheless at some point in
the meeting he went into his office and said i think we have to repair our relationship and he said we don't have a relationship. you can imagine this incredible scene between these guys who have so much on the line and to his credit he conceded that meeting he said i'm going to be the one that goes and he's still sitting in his office waiting for the result to be announced to him and walked over about an hour meeting and everybody was gone. he didn't know if he had a job or not and he had to ask the secretary what happened. they ended up calling him on the phone away t on the way to visis daughter at camp and he said there's a new ceo, stephen miller of the new chairman of the board and the largest ceo. >> host: january, 2011 aig is really his company and this is
when the loans are paid back and it's a comeback that is nothing short of breathtaking but in the meantime something happened. he found that he has cancer. did he do with some people might do and cut back on work? what was the discovery like for him? >> guest: that was an extraordinary moment and i only met him after he was already diagnosed into being treated so his whole persona was somewhat informed by that that month in october of 2010, he had been coughing and went to a doctor and ultimately the wonderful oncologist that he had informed him that he had lung cancer and
he was going to go on a treatment regimen they would decide which one to do and there was an important meeting on the day that he was having chemo and was on the phone he hadn't told anybody in the company at this was happening and this was a regimen he was supposed to take over several days but he didn't have time so he said you've got to give it to me all at once so for hours and hours i think that he had three, i don't remember how many actual regimens that were compressed for the one that was a terrible ordeal for him in part because he was terrified
suddenly to becom become presidf immortality and the personal pain was intense for his family but the idea he wasn't going to get the job done, that he had invested so much of himself and it that that was alarming to the core of who he was. the other interesting question is how much do you disclose, what do you tell and how would that affect? he was worried they would usher him right out the door. we have to go with somebody else. he ultimately decided shortly thereafter told the board and the press and the company at the people he had cancer and is being treated whicwasbeing treas at that point he didn't know what the outcome was going to be but he didn't reveal that he had lung cancer.
he never revealed it and in lighand in lightof steve jobs ac cancer, which is another that can issue, though that was disclosed early on it is kind of surprising and amazing he was able to keep it to himself. he didn't feel it was anybody's business but kind of cancer especially since he was in treatment for it. the prognosis was a year i think and he had a conversation he said are you going to be around to do this and he said it depends on how this works. so the first treatments he had were very successful and he didn't live a year before and after years with various interventions and he never
missed a day's work. >> host: i thought it was interesting what you said about the fear of dying before the job was finished ^-caret i plan to work as long as possible to the rest vocabulary of regret which shows you how important this was to him. one place perhaps he didn't get it and it's still an issue in the campaign today and that is partly attributable to the bernie sanders 30 tuesday continued anger of the american people and he seemed to have no time for that. he wrot wrote a post just mistas and if we blame people for their mistakes the entire company would be in jail and he says he didn't fault the actions the nation to pu took the blaming ad viciousness after the actions were taken what did you think about that? >> guest: we tried on many
occasions to get him to talk about and understanding of how much pain there was on main street as a result of what happened and i do think that he believed so strongly in what the businesses could accomplish and the good that could be done by business and by american enterprise. it's not the damage so much as the action and the response. it was like get over if we are not there anymore and i think that was the key to how this all happened. i don't know that he could have achieved this extraordinary result which was paying back at a profit within three years this
massive amounts o amount of mont even the congressional budget office said would never be paid off and the government accounting office they would have written of it off as a 50 billion-dollar loss. i don't think that if he had a 12 on the fact that people were hurting, i don't think he could have achieved everything he did because he thought of it as helping them stop hurting. and it's almost like an intimate to shake them and say just say yes, this is criminal. but he didn't see it that way. >> host: what underscores it is the lunch he had with president obama after a. there was a famous article about him that had a great sort of summarizing headline that was a
picture looking robust like a great american success story and the headline was you're welcome, america and since then, the country didn't have much gratitude for what he and the company had achieved in paying them back. it was all in the negative column. so that was extremely upsetting to him partly because he thought it would help the company to have an acknowledgment and his whole thing was his legacy was going to be leaving this company proving the naysayers completely wrong by making sure the company survived beyond the payback so they had arranged for him to have a meeting with obama.
remember he wasn't a huge fan of this administration i think it's fair to say. he felt some things he admired about it but he felt wasn't a forceful enough voice. he felt that there was something truly unfair it off with a voice so they arranged for him to go to the white house to sit down with a short meeting and again in the pleasantries he laid out what he thought was this lack of fortitude about american
business on the part of the president, and i wish i could tell you that i had a great insight into the back and forth that happened on that day that he left it at that sort of instructing obama on this issue and he was never going to get a presidential medal of honor for what he did which i think that he observed delete cookies served. but his heroism didn't necessarily mean the political establishment was going to recognize it. >> host: so you write this as life lessonislike the sims and p lessons and he writes in the book it all comes down to what you mean by happy. the working life is the up and down and nothing is forever not even life itself. what did he mean by that?
>> guest: that's a great question. i can hear him thinking about where his wife had taken him and i think there was some regret in not he wasn't going to get to spend those years in this place he loved far away from the united states where he spent a lot of time with his family and the people he loved and there was the sacrifice that he made in spite of the fact it might have extended his life just having this in his life, just the adrenaline, who knows.
but i think that he was deeply aware of the fact that work can only make you so happy. i wasn't the b the the be all ad all in spite of the fact that he was a workaholic in many ways. he also had some perspective on it. >> host: he had a complicated personal life. how did that affect your view of complex >> guest: what we are talking about here for the readers for the audience members is that he had relationships outside of his marriage particularly when very important to him. he had been legally separated from his wife for many years and have remained very close to her. it was a complicated situation and it was somebody that he worked with ethnic life he was
the ceo. and so, it's not a life that is tied up neatly but whose life is and we talked to him very long and hard including with the other people involved in the situation of whether to include all aspects of his life in the book. he had been publicly known before so it wasn't a complete surprise, but he said quite powerfully, and i included his justification in the book he said i'm not a saint and i don't want people to think i was and i think that made him all the more credible to be able to share all that and let you know heroes are flawed human beings, and we learn so much more from people who have the spectrum of experiences than we do from someone who just creates an image for themselves that we are supposed to believe in and we
she was the only person who thought this was possible essentially. the government didn't think this was going to happen. they were ready to sell it off for spare parts and certainly the american people have no expectation this was going to happen so that idea that he was a little crazy, you have to be a little crazy to take this on and he was the right kind of crazy.