In October 2008, in the midst of the financial crisis, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett made a late-night phone call to then-Treasury Secretary Henry "Hank" Paulson, with an idea about how the government might be able to turn the economy around.
Paulson was asleep. He'd had a busy night working through various policy ideas with his team to restore confidence in Wall Street.
"I was exhausted," he recounts on Vice Special Report's "Panic: The Untold Story of the 2008 Financial Crisis," a documentary that debuted Monday night on HBO. It features interviews with private sector and government officials on the front lines of the crisis, including former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
At the time, Congress had just passed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, or the "bailout bill" as it came to be known, and created a $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program to purchase assets of failing banks. But these actions were not enough to calm investors.