It's been a, well, interesting year when it comes to all things financial. The stock market has rebounded, but America's economy is everything but back on its feet. There has been plenty of speculation on where things are and where they're headed in regards to finance. Looking back at 2010, here are some of the more memorable money quotes.
"We want our money back." –President Barack Obama
It was an unpopular move to bail out Wall Street, and now President Barack Obama is trying to take a tough stance with financial institutions. In January 2010, he vowed to get the money back that was used to prop up struggling banks and financial firms that were criticized for paying out fat bonuses while many Americans are struggling financially. "My commitment is to recover every single dime the American people are owed. My determination to achieve this goal is only heightened when I see reports of massive profits and obscene bonuses at some of the very firms who owe their continued existence to the American people," Obama said. Let's hope 2011 brings a brighter financial picture for everyone.
"We've got a lot of stimulus going on." -Warren Buffett
High unemployment, record deficits and a plummeting real estate market leave most of America wondering: what are we supposed to do to fix this mess? Who better to look to for advice than Warren Buffett, one of the country's most famous billionaire businessmen. In a November radio interview, Buffett carefully worded his opposition to the $600 billion quantitative easing program, saying that time will tell how it all plays out. Other than pointing out the economic dangers of the government stimulus, Buffett was not openly condemning the Federal Reserve's move. Even Warren Buffett is looking toward 2011 to see where our economy is headed — so much for an easy answer from a successful businessman.
"With housing markets still weak, high levels of mortgage distress may well persist for some time to come." -Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke
If you own a home, you've probably been cringing, watching the mortgage crisis unfold. You're not alone: our Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is feeling the pain as he's trying to keep the economy stable - to make matters worse, October 2010 brought an investigation into home foreclosure practices in all 50 states. At a conference in Arlington, Va., this fall, Bernanke stated that 20 percent of homeowners owe more than their properties are worth, and another 33 percent have an equity cushion of 10 percent or less. That means that more than half the country's homeowners have a shaky bottom line when it comes to their mortgages - and there's little hope for recovery anytime soon, according to Bernanke.
"The recession is over." -Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan
Finally, someone with some good news on the economy, right? Before you rejoice, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan predicts that unemployment will stay high for some time to come. In an interview in February of 2010, Greenspan defended some of his policies preceding the deep stock market dive in 2008, admitting "we made mistakes." Like Warren Buffett, Alan Greenspan is non-committal in his predictions for a recovery of our economy in 2011, showing that even the experts have to wait and see these days.
"My brand alone is worth $5 billion." -Donald Trump
Wishing doesn't make it so, even for Donald Trump: his estimated net worth is closer to $2 billion dollars today. With his successful television show, "The Apprentice", and real estate investments, you would think Trump has his hands full, but rumors of late have him thinking of running for president. Time will tell if this is just talk or hubris on Trump's part, but until then, Trump is sitting pretty.
The bottom line
So what do all these quotes say about money in 2010? If nothing else, the president, financial regulators and business magnates alike agree: 2010 was a rough year — even Donald Trump's numbers are sobering. We'll have to wait and see what 2011 will bring. Maybe the value of our brand can bail us out — ever wonder what yours is worth?