“…under the placid surface [of the economy], there are disturbing trends: huge imbalances, disequilibria, risks — call them what you will. Altogether the circumstances seem to me as dangerous and intractable as any I can remember, and I can remember quite a lot.”
-Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve

“…we can continue to close our eyes and hope for the best. There’s no way to predict whether that will work for another few months or for many more years. But the odds are extremely low that our fiscal imbalances will solve themselves, and we place ourselves at great peril by not facing these realities.”
-Robert Rubin, former Secretary of the Treasury

“It seems to me that a $618 billion trade deficit, rich as we are, strong as this country is, well, something will have to happen that will change that. Most economists will still say some kind of soft landing is possible. I don’t know what a soft landing is exactly, in how the numbers come down softly from levels like these…. There are more people that go to bed at night with a hair trigger than ever before, it’s an electronic herd, they can give vent to decisions that move billions and billions of dollars with the click of a key. We will have some exogenous event, we will have that. There will be some kind of stampede by that herd…. When you have far greater sums than ever before, in one asset class after another, that are held by people who operate on a hair-trigger mechanism, then they lend themselves to more explosive outcomes. People with very short time horizons with huge sums of money, they can all try to head for the exits at the same time. The only way you can leave your seat in burning financial markets is to find someone else to take your seat, and that is not always easy….”
-Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway

“Dreary as it is, [a] ‘soft landing’ is the very best outcome we can hope for so long as America’s future fiscal path and national savings rate remain unchanged. It is quite possible… that the dynamic of gradual adjustment will at some point be short-circuited by market psychology – triggering a sudden loss of confidence, followed by a financial and economic crisis.”
-Pete Peterson, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York

“I do think it’s interesting that in all my 92 years, I’ve never seen a time when it was so hard to find a bargain. I aided wealthy families by helping them find stocks that were selling at a small fraction of what the company was worth. But now, it’s very difficult to find companies where you can buy the stock at a fraction of its value. In all my experience, I don’t remember a time when you had to search so diligently to find anything that was a bargain… …The immediate future is that there are more dangers than I’ve ever known before. It’s just more dangerous”
-Sir John Templeton, founder of Templeton Growth, Ltd.

“Heard ten thousand whisperin’ and nobody listenin…
And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard,
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.’”
-Bob Dylan

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