Saturday, December 20, 2008

Economic Quotes of the Year

“It’s not based on any particular data point, we just wanted to choose a really large number.” —- a Treasury Department spokeswoman explaining how the $700 billion number was chosen for the initial bailout, quoted on Sept. 23

“The fundamentals of America’s economy are strong.” —- McCain, in an interview with Bloomberg TV, April 17

"He is like some sherry-crazed old dowager who has lost the family silver at roulette, and who now decides to double up by betting the house as well." - London Mayor Boris Johnson on prime minister Gordon Brown.

“Cash for trash.” —- Paul Krugman discussing the financial bailout, New York Times, Sept. 22.

"We not only saved the world..." - Gordon Brown in the House of Commons on his banking plan. The rest of the sentence was drowned out by Tory jeers.

"Wall Street got drunk and now it's got a hangover. And the question is how long will it sober up and not try to do those fancy financial instruments?" - US president George Bush's pithy analysis of America's financial services meltdown.

“There are no atheists in foxholes and there are no libertarians in financial crises.” —- Krugman, in an interview with Bill Maher on HBO’s “Real Time,” broadcast Sept. 19. Paul Krugman later said it was not his original quote but from Jeff Frankel (other people's wit)

"It's almost like seeing a guy show up at the soup kitchen in high hat and tuxedo. It kind of makes you a little bit suspicious." - Congressman Gary Ackerman, on the big three carmakers arriving in a private jet to beg the government for financial aid.

“Anyone who says we’re in a recession, or heading into one —- especially the worst one since the Great Depression —- is making up his own private definition of “recession.” —- commentator Donald Luskin, the day before Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, The Washington Post, Sept. 14

We believe that with our strong capital base and liquidity, we have a strategic advantage to capture the many opportunities arising in the midst of this market turbulence." (February 6, 2008 - CFO Kelleher of Morgan Stanley at the Credit Suisse Group Financial Services Forum) - Morgan Stanley later posted record losses

"In today's regulatory environment, it's virtually impossible to violate rules ... but it's impossible for a violation to go undetected, certainly not for a considerable period of time." - Bernard Maddoff

On the subject of large swings in the market: "Take my word for it, for the most part you can ignore those moves."- Bernard Maddoff

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