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Off the record

"I was talking to a Merrill Lynch banker the other day who said he wanted his firm to be like Goldman Sachs. I replied: ‘But you’re not.’ It’s like saying you want to be cool when you’re not"
One banker takes a dig at one of his former Merrill Lynch colleagues

"Everyone is asking: ‘Is this 1998?’ The total amount of Russian debt that defaulted in 1998 was $30 billion. That is less than the losses from just two US institutions this time around"
A distressed debt investor sees busy times ahead

"People who are trying to figure out whether this credit crunch is 2002 or 1998 are wasting their time – it is 1989"
A pessimistic banker looks back to the future

"When are Bear Stearns gonna give up? They may as well change their name to ‘Bear With Us’ or better still ‘Bear With Us – we’re just off playing bridge’"
A hedge fund manager says he’s now ready to jump ship to another prime broker

"Question: What would Jimmy Cayne bid for an MBO of Bear Stearns? Answer: Four spades"
Bear’s CEO just can’t live down his participation in a July bridge tournament

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