Best 48 of Wall street quotes - MyQuotes
Imagine the big rating agencies as three competitive saloons standing side by side, with each free to set its own drinking age. Before long, nine-year-olds would be downing bourbon
By early 2005 all the big Wall Street investment banks were deep into the subprime game. Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley all had what they termed “shelves” for their subprime wares, with strange names like HEAT and SAIL and GSAMP, that made it a bit more difficult for the general audience to see that these subprime bonds were being underwritten by Wall Street’s biggest names.
In the days following the crash, an axiom as old as the Republic came into play once more. In good times Wall Street wanted Washington to leave it alone. In bad times it wanted Washington to act.
. It is important that we note the weaknesses in our financial system, and work toward implementing solutions before the next crisis comes. Gordon L. Eade
People aren't pissed just to be pissed. They're mad because a tiny group of crooks on Wall Street built themselves beach houses in the Hamptons through a crude fraud scheme that decimated their retirement funds, caused property values in their neighborhoods to collapse and caused over four million people to be put in foreclosure.
When you’re a conservative Republican, you never think people are making money by ripping other people off,” he said. His mind was now fully open to the possibility. “I now realized there was an entire industry, called consumer finance, that basically existed to rip people off.
…the end of the Cold War has brought not prosperity for all but a pitiless economic struggle for pole-position on the food chain of information capitalism. The neoliberalism and neocolonialism of the 1990s are the direct heir of the Manchester liberalism and colonialism of the 1890s, the only difference being that whereas Victorian rentiers extracted their Imperial textile-rents from the labor of the Great Unwashed, their postmodern analogues on Wall Street speculate on the viewing-rents of the Great Unwatched.
This completed the curious reversal in roles that occurred in the early 1980s, when thrifts became traders and traders thrifts.
The warning signs had been there since the crash of 2008, but after the initial shock, nothing had been done to correct the problem. Banks had been trading over $7 trillion in risky derivatives daily, as well as fixing interest rates and making bets on the rigged games. There was an ever-growing gap between the elite and all the rest of the people which had continued to develop even after the 2008 crash.
Buy potatoes,” he said. “Gotta hop.” Then he hung up. Of course. A cloud of fallout would threaten European food and water supplies, including the potato crop, placing a premium on uncontaminated American substitutes. Perhaps a few folks other than potato farmers think of the price of potatoes in America minutes after the explosion of a nuclear reactor in Russian, but I have never met them.
Brad Green, almost overnight, became the poster boy for the common Wall Street tale - proving once again that greed, most definitely, kills. Giving away about 99% of his fortune was also front page news, but Green barely blinked at having to scrape by with only $200 million. The government seized all five of his homes, his three boats, two jets, a helicopter, 14 cars, and all of his assets except the $200 million he stashed for a rainy day in an offshore bank account.
If you ever care to see how all the world’s most awful jokes spread, spend a day on a bond trading desk. When the Challenger space shuttle disintegrated, six people called me from six points on the globe to explain that NASA stands for “Need Another Seven Astronauts.
One peek inside his top drawer had been enough for Sophie. Swimming goggles, nail clippers, a Ferragamo tie wound into a tight coil, and packets of Gulden's Spicy Brown Mustard. None of that compared to Ira Blumenstein's gold tooth, Kenneth Yang's Darth Vader lollipop, or Rich Angstrom's Magic 8 Ball.
The rest is just slow diminution and loss. A waning of the full and effulgent moon of my youth. Not that the bright light of my youth was anything to be proud of. I was a terrible person. I did unkind and sometimes illegal things. I treated women abominably. The remembrance of it causes me to flush with shame and to feel a tightening in my groin. It was a radiance without warmth, and I thought of nothing but myself in the brightness of the light. Now I try never to think of myself. I try not to think at all, not to dwell, but, sometimes, late at night, it all comes back to me, and I lose myself in the life that might have been, the wife of twenty years, her comforts and distractions. The fractious children, raucous at the holidays, with their tattoos you asked them not to get and their lacrosse sticks they play with in the house, stringing and restringing them, the trips to Paris to stay at the Lutetia. Photograph albums of a life that never quite came to be. It doesn’t last long when it comes, but it is vivid, and I am there, not here, not here where I belong. When you lose everything, you don’t die. You just continue in ordinary pants with nothing in your pockets.
He shouted into the phone, “That is fuckin’ awesome. I mean fuckin’ awesome. I fuckin’ mean fucking awesome. You are one Big Swinging Dick, and don’t ever let anybody tell you different.” It brought tears to my eyes to hear it, to be called a Big Swinging Dick by the man who, years ago, had given birth to the distinction and in my mind had the greatest right to confer it upon me.
I will tell you the secret to getting rich on Wall Street. You try to be greedy when others are fearful. And you try to be fearful when others are greedy.
You know what happens at any magic show? When the magician says ‘look here, look here,’ the audience looks only there and nowhere else. And that’s exactly what happened at the earnings conference today.
Noel Marie Fletcher
My first trip to the mainland came after I had been traveling extensively in Asia on reporting assignments for The Journal of Commerce newspaper, located at that time on Wall Street in New York City.
While the financial crisis destroyed careers and reputations, and left many more bruised and battered, it also left the survivors with a genuine sense of invulnerability at having made it back from the brink. Still missing in the current environment is a genuine sense of humility.
So, what are you going to do about it?” "Watch this!" "Oh, that’s just freaking great. ‘Watch this!’ The two most dangerous words in the English language. I’m getting out of here before lightning strikes.
J. P. Morgan
Millionaires don't use Astrology, billionaires do.
Love is like stocks, if you don't want to suffer loss quickly, you better diversify!
Secondly, there’s no question but that the speculative drive of the post-structuralisms and postmodernisms harmonized, on some deep level, with the real life financial speculations of Wall Street. At their best, the postmodernisms were the critical meditation and reflection upon those speculations (as with Jameson’s classic essay on postmodernism); at their worst, they were little more than the media-chatter of academic superstars shielded from the grim realities of economic austerity, skyrocketing tuition and rampant privatization – realities which had begun to undercut the very existence of autonomous national literary, philosophical and cultural departments, as tenured and full-time positions were slashed to make way for vast pools of contingent and adjunct academic workers.
Listen in close, Wall Street Conquistadors, you’re spreading like vapor up through people’s floors, you’re moving en masse under the cracks of our doors and grabbing our children to work in your stores, feeding the needy to make them your whores, but you need to remember the grave you’re digging is yours.
On its surface, the booming market in side bets on subprime mortgage bonds seemed to be the financial equivalent of fantasy football: a benign, if silly, facsimile of investing. Alas, there was a difference between fantasy football and fantasy finance: When a fantasy football player drafts Peyton Manning to be on his team, he doesn’t create a second Peyton Manning. When Mike Burry bought a credit default swap based on a Long Beach Savings subprime–backed bond, he enabled Goldman Sachs to create another bond identical to the original in every respect but one: There were no actual home loans or home buyers. Only the gains and losses from the side bet on the bonds were real.
This is a nation of inconsistencies. The Puritans fleeing from oppression became oppressors. We fought England for our liberty and put chains on four million of blacks. We wiped out slavery and our tariff laws and national banks began a system of white wage slavery worse than the first. Wall Street owns the country. It is no longer a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, but a government of Wall Street, by Wall Street, and for Wall Street. The great common people of this country are slaves, and monopoly is the master.
Many thrifts layered a billion dollars of brand-new loans on top of their existing, disastrous hundred million dollars of old loss-making loans, in a hope that the new would offset the old. Each new purchase of mortgage bonds (which was identical to making a loan) was like the last act of a desperate man. The strategy was wildly irresponsible, for the fundamental problem (borrowing short term and lending long term) hadn’t been remedied. The hypergrowth only meant that the next thrift crisis would be larger. But the thrift managers were not thinking that far in advance. They were simply trying to keep the door to the shop open. That explains why thrifts continued to buy mortgage bonds even as they sold their loans.
Before Volcker’s speech, bonds had been conservative investments, into which investors put their savings when they didn’t fancy a gamble in the stock market. After Volcker’s speech, bonds became objects of speculation, a means of creating wealth rather than merely storing it.
What Gutfreund said has become a legend at Salomon Brothers and a visceral part of its corporate identity. He said: “One hand, one million dollars, no tears.
But everyone wanted to be a Big Swinging Dick, even the women. Big Swinging Dickettes.
Another story tells of Grogan, passing through New York, performed a public burning of dollar bills, and the dollar dropped six points on Wall Street.
The techniques that were used in the 1930s to reset the economy will simply not work today. Gordon L. Eade
We were taking out mortgages we couldn’t afford because they were camouflaged to look as if we had a reasonable chance of paying them back. Banks then changed the bankruptcy laws so that we could not get out of our obligations once the rates changed. Lastly, they sold us back our own mortgages, shifting back to us any of the risk through our money-market accounts and pension funds.
It was the job of people like me to make up reasons, to spin a plausible yarn. And it’s amazing what people will believe. Heavy selling out of the Middle East was an old standby. Since no one ever had any clue what the Arabs were doing with their money or why, no story involving Arabs could ever be refuted. So if you didn’t know why the dollar was falling, you shouted out something about Arabs.
Sir Gerald Moore: I was at dinner last evening, and halfway through the pudding, this four-year-old child came alone, dragging a little toy cart. And on the cart was a fresh turd. Her own, I suppose. The parents just shook their heads and smiled. I've made a big investment in you, Peter. Time and money, and it's not working. Now, I could just shake my head and smile. But in my house, when a turd appears, we throw it out. We dispose of it. We flush it away. We don't put it on the table and call it caviar.
There was more than one way to think about Mike Burry’s purchase of a billion dollars in credit default swaps. The first was as a simple, even innocent, insurance contract. Burry made his semiannual premium payments and, in return, received protection against the default of a billion dollars’ worth of bonds. He’d either be paid zero, if the triple-B-rated bonds he’d insured proved good, or a billion dollars, if those triple-B-rated bonds went bad. But of course Mike Burry didn’t own any triple-B-rated subprime mortgage bonds, or anything like them. He had no property to “insure” it was as if he had bought fire insurance on some slum with a history of burning down. To him, as to Steve Eisman, a credit default swap wasn’t insurance at all but an outright speculative bet against the market—and this was the second way to think about it.
For that purpose, partly as the result of Ranieri’s persistent lobbying, two new facilities had sprung up in the federal government alongside Ginnie Mae. They guaranteed the mortgages that did not qualify for the Ginnie Mae stamp. The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (called Freddie Mac) and the Federal National Mortgage Association (called Fannie Mae) between them, by giving their guarantees, were able to transform most home mortgages into government-backed bonds.
I’ll bet you didn’t think a handful of economists could save the world, did you? You thought the world would end with nuclear war or something? No, it’s much more basic than that. It’s more likely going to be from a disruption in the water supply, power, and from lack of food due to an economic collapse. Either that or a financial war.
The Piranha didn’t talk like a person. He said things like “If you fuckin’ buy this bond in a fuckin’ trade, you’re fuckin’ fucked.” And “If you don’t pay fuckin’ attention to the fuckin’ two-year, you get your fuckin’ face ripped off.” Noun, verb, adjective: fucker, fuck, fucking. No part of speech was spared. His world was filled with copulating inanimate objects and people getting their faces ripped off.
Where to find the borrowers with high FICO scores? Here the Wall Street bond trading desks exploited another blind spot in the rating agencies’ models. Apparently the agencies didn’t grasp the difference between a “thin-file” FICO score and a “thick-file” FICO score. A thin-file FICO score implied, as it sounds, a short credit history. The file was thin because the borrower hadn’t done much borrowing. Immigrants who had never failed to repay a debt, because they had never been given a loan, often had surprisingly high thin-file FICO scores. Thus a Jamaican baby nurse or Mexican strawberry picker with an income of $14,000 looking to borrow three-quarters of a million dollars, when filtered through the models at Moody’s and S&P, became suddenly more useful, from a credit-rigging point of view. They might actually improve the perceived quality of the pool of loans and increase the percentage that could be declared triple-A. The Mexican harvested strawberries; Wall Street harvested his FICO score.
Nearly every time I strayed from the herd, I've made a lot of money. Wandering away from the action is the way to find the new action.
Henry Lloyd was with Darrow when they toured the mine. It was a dreadful experience, Lloyd said, "like a foretaste of the inferno." "You might as well get used to it," Darrow told him. Heaven was reserved for Wall Street financiers. Infidels like themselves would be rooming with Satan.
John Kenneth Galbraith
Wisdom, itself, is often an abstraction associated not with fact or reality but with the man who asserts it and the manner of its assertion.
I believe that the banks and the financial services industry take more than their fair share of our profits by using unfair business tactics. It now appears that our entire financial system has taken far more risk than is warranted by its capital structure and that this will lead to a market crash affecting economies worldwide. Gordon L. Eade
I spent 33 years and 4 months in active military service . . . And during that period I spent most of my time as a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. Thus, I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927, I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Our boys were sent off to die with beautiful ideals painted in front of them. No one told them that dollars and cents were the real reason they were marching off to kill and die.
In an economy that is overleveraged to historic proportions, economic stimuli will not do the trick.
The only inexplicable aspect of the process was that economic theory (which is, after all, what economics students were supposed to know) served almost no function in an investment bank. The bankers used economics as a sort of standardized test of general intelligence.
Corruption,' Jordan Belfort believes, 'is endemic to human being. I mean, even men in monasteries - where enticement is hard to come by – even men in those circumstances have sex with other men and abuse children. Look at the Catholic Church! Man is an imperfect animal and he is corruptible, okay? And in finance, the liquid nature of the market makes corruption very easy. On Wall Street, this liquidity is so in your face -' he suddenly grits his teeth - 'that if you have even the slightest predisposition to the dark side, you become corrupted. In addition to which, those attracted to Wall Street have a predisposition to greed.