Russell Goldsmith
"That's kind of like asking me which one of my children do I like best."

CEO of City National Corp., responding to an analyst's question about whether he favors acquiring a bank or an asset management firm

Lloyd Blankfein
"We've gotten used to, if you'll excuse the oxymoron, surprises."

Goldman Sachs CEO, saying that the firm has acclimated to negative media attention, such as the scathing New York Times op-ed in which a former employee claimed senior executives refer to clients derisively as "muppets"

Phil Angelides
"Here we are again, three years after the crisis. And here is a major financial house that's leveraged 40 to 1, meaning for every dollar of capital, they're borrowing $40, the same kind of leverage ratios that brought down Bear and Lehman and would have brought down Goldman or Merrill or the others had they not been rescued by the United States government."

Chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, commenting on the MF Global bankruptcy scandal

Sheila Bair
"To the extent foreigners keep buying Treasurys, it is because Europe's problems are worse. In short, we are the best-looking horse in the glue factory."

Former Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. chairman, warning of a bond bubble that is bound to burst, in an op-ed for Fortune magazine

Robert Whitten
"I've been married since 1983. I don't turn to my wife every morning and say, 'By the way, are we still married?' We took a vow."

57-year-old San Francisco artist, on winning a fight with Bank of America to honor the lifetime of free checking he signed up for in 1971

Howard Headlee
"Clearly there are members of Congress who have absolutely no reservations about kicking traditional banks in the teeth, and we are tired of it."

Utah Bankers Association president and CEO, on organizing the industry's first SuperPAC-dubbed Friends of Traditional Banking

Paul Erickson
"Dwarves, as Tolkien portrays them, are cranky, cheap and hierarchical guys-and everybody's related to somebody else. And I thought, 'Well you know, that kind of sounds like banking.'"

Former Washington Mutual employee, on how he got the idea for his e-book "The Wobbit: A Parody," with the Bilbo Baggins character in J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" reimagined as a laid-off bank teller who journeys across a recession-plagued land to restore the economy

Wilbur Ross
"It's not yet unduly dangerous, but we're moving in that direction."

Billionaire investor who runs the private-equity firm WL Ross & Co., on the sharp rise in loans with few restrictions on corporate borrowers-often called covenant-lite loans

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