Quotes of the crunch

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"They danced with some good-looking girls but they danced with some ugly ones as well"

An investment banker describes Citi’s recent leveraged finance transactions, expanding on former CEO Chuck Prince’s July comment that the US bank was "still dancing" in the buyout market just before the boom came to an end


"The vanilla bond guys rule again – we’re gonna get our offices back!"

A senior debt capital markets official looks forward to being in a goldfish bowl


"We just realised that our liquidity facility expired four years ago. What should we do?"

A worrying phone call received by a ratings analyst just before the credit crunch


"It would be like cattle ranchers paying the Department of Agriculture to rate the quality and safety of their beef... sub-prime credit has become the mad cow disease of structured finance"

J Kyle Bass, managing partner of Hayman Advisors, sums up the ratings agencies’ conflict of interest problems


"Some commentators have taken issue with these concerns about moral hazard, arguing, by analogy, that fire departments put out fires started by people who smoke in bed. But fire services do not offer free insurance for people who smoke in bed or set fire to their own house, thereby encouraging them to take risks that endanger others"

Bank of England governor, Mervyn King fights fire with fire...