"For decades mortgage dealers insisted that home buyers be able to produce a down payment of 10% or more, show a steady income and good credit rating, and possess a real first and last name. Then, at the dawn of the new millennium, they suddenly threw all that shit out the window and started writing mortgages on the backs of napkins to cocktail waitresses and ex-cons carrying five bucks and a Snickers bar."
Matt Taibbi (1970–), US journalist
On the origins of the subprime lending crisis.
Source: Rolling Stone (New York) (July 2009)
"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."
Boris Johnson (1964–), British mayor of London
On Gordon Brown's decision to increase government borrowing to alleviate the effects of the 2008 recession.
Source: Daily Telegraph (London) (November 25, 2008)
"Drive-in banks were established so most of the cars today could see their real owners."
E. Joseph Cossman (1918–2002), US salesman and entrepreneur
Source: Quoted in The Truth About Money (Ric Edelman, 2004)
"Today, there are three kinds of people: the have's, the have-not's, and the have-not-paid-for-what-they-have's."
Earl Wilson (1907–1987), US journalist and author
Source: Quoted in Investing Under Fire (Alan R. Ackerman, 2003)
"I feel these days like a very large flamingo. No matter what way I turn, there is always a very large bill."
Joseph O'Connor (1963–), Irish journalist and novelist
Source: The Secret World of the Irish Male (1994)
"The debt is like a crazy aunt we keep down in the basement. All the neighbors know she's there, but nobody wants to talk about her."
H. Ross Perot (1930–), US entrepreneur and presidential candidate
Source: United We Stand: How We Can Take Back Our Country (1992)
"Give the Germans five deutschmarks and they will save it. But give the British £5 and they will borrow £25 and spend it."
Sir John Major (1943–), British former prime minister
Said while Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Source: Interview, Daily Express (London) (May 28, 1990)
"Should we really let our people starve so we can pay our debts."
Julius Nyerere (1922–1999), Tanzanian president
Source: Guardian (London) (March 1985)
"Christmas is a time when kids tell Santa Claus what they want and adults pay for it. Deficits are when adults tell the government what they want—and their kids pay for it."
Richard D. Lamm (1935–), US politician
Source: US News & World Report (1985)
"We at Chrysler borrow money the old-fashioned way. We pay it back."
Lee Iacocca (1924–), US former president of Ford Motor Company, and former CEO and chairman of Chrysler
Source: New York Times (1983)
"A debt may get mouldy, but it never decays."
Chinua Achebe (1930–), Nigerian novelist, poet, and essayist
Source: No Longer at Ease (1960)
"One must have some sort of occupation now-a-days. If I hadn't my debts I shouldn't have anything to think about."
Oscar Wilde (1854–1900), Irish writer and wit
Source: A Woman of No Importance (1893), Act 1
"Creditors have better memories than debtors."
Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), US politician, inventor, and journalist
The Poor Richard’s Almanack series (1732–58) were originally published under the pseudonym Richard Saunders.
Source: Poor Richard’s Almanack (1758)
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