2008 Quotes to Remember… and Forget

“You always find out who’s been swimming naked when the tide goes out. We found out that Wall Street has been kind of a nudist beach.”
Warren Buffett on the credit crisis

“As a strong supporter of free enterprise, I believe government intervention should occur only when necessary. In this situation, action is clearly necessary.”
President George W. Bush

“There is no playbook for responding to turmoil we have never faced.”
U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr.

“It’s a national treasure. Letting AIG go down would be a tragic mistake.”
Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, former AIG CEO

“I am heartbroken over what has happened.”
Martin Sullivan, who succeeded Greenberg as AIG CEO

“I don’t believe AIG could have done anything differently.”
Robert Willumstad, who succeeded Sullivan as AIG CEO

“They were getting facials, manicures and massages, while the American people were footing the bill.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings criticizing an AIG sales outing

It’s a marathon. It’s not a sprint. It’s going to take at least a couple of years before we fully recover. It’s going to be a long haul.”
Galveston County (Texas) Judge Jim Yarbrough after Ike

“I can’t allow my private failings to disrupt the work.”
Ex-New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigning amid a sex scandal

“I could not be more ashamed than to be where I am today, mixed up in a judicial bribery scheme that I participated in. I realized that I was getting mixed up in it. I will go to my grave wondering why. I have disappointed everyone in my life.”
Trial attorney Richard Scruggs found guilty of bribing a judge

“We’re pleased but unsurprised by the decision.”
Liberty Mutual after a New York Court of Appeals agreed that contingent commissions are not illegal

“I don’t get it. You have a program that’s already wasting money and doesn’t work and you want to add more to it?”
J. Robert Hunter, Consumer Federation of America, opposing adding wind coverage to the federal flood insurance program

“We are witnessing a number of Trojan Horses being rolled up to our gates … And bear in mind, all of these regulatory efforts must be funded — at the expense of the states and of Main Street insurance agents.”
Kenneth R. Auerbach, PIA president, on federal regulation

“I wasn’t a rich man coming into this situation, and I definitely am not one now. All of us are just trying to survive, and that is just what I intend to do.”
Harvey Cohen, Cohen Insurance Inc., San Antonio, Texas, on the Brooke Corp. failure

“If clients don’t do well, we don’t do well.”
Steven J. Spiro, Spiro Insurance, Valley Stream, N.Y.

“Independent agents and their employees probably have more job stability during a recession than other parts of the service economy, or certainly manufacturing.”
Dave Evans, senior vice president, IIABA

“I have been asked a lot since the [credit] crisis developed, what I think the future holds in store for London as a financial center. My answer on that is clear. London’s strengths as a global financial center are as impressive as they have always been.”
Lloyd’s Chairman Lord Peter Levene

“I think you’re going to see over the next 10 years, the independent agency system continue to grow, particularly in personal lines because we have almost all the commercial lines market anyway.”
Bob Rusbuldt, CEO and president, IIABA

“I love it. I love every minute of it. Even when I’m talking about being overwhelmed, I say that with a smile on my face. It gets me up early, energetic and going as hard as I can every day and I just love it. It’s wonderful.”
Patrick Watkins, Watkins Insurance Group, Austin, Texas

“The only really young people I have met in the industry are people who have been born into it.”
Meghan McGarry, Marshall & Sterling Inc., Leeds, N.Y.

“In August 2007, it was like somebody flipped a switch. It will go well into 2010 before we see any relief.”
Martin P. Hughes, CEO, HUB International Ltd. on the market challenges facing regional brokerages

“You roll up your sleeves (and) write more business.”
Alan Kaufman, Burns & Wilcox CEO on how to survive a soft market