Best Quotes from Bethany McLean

Capital isn’t this pile of money sitting somewhere; it’s an accounting construct.

Bethany McLean

Choices of right or wrong are not presented to you in black and white. If they were, I’m sure most people would choose white.

Bethany McLean

Home ownership was the fig leaf for the rise in subprime lending. But that was really about cash-out refinancings, not buying homes.

Bethany McLean

Privatization of assets that most of us consider public goods – like airports and highways – has a long, often-uncontroversial history.

Bethany McLean

In capital we trust. Capital is our savior, our holy grail, our fountain of youth, or at least health, for banks.

Bethany McLean

Fixing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in isolation, without looking at the big picture, would be short-sighted.

Bethany McLean

What’s good for the financial industry probably isn’t good for you.

Bethany McLean

When Warren Buffett invests in a company, he is conferring upon that company something very unique: his credibility.

Bethany McLean

The big banks advise cities about whether privatization is a wise choice. They also control the ability of states and cities to access the market for their financing needs.

Bethany McLean

Proponents of privatization argued that cities and states needed private capital to fund all the upgrades that our decaying infrastructure so desperately needed.

Bethany McLean

No city embraced privatization more eagerly than Chicago, where I live.

Bethany McLean

The worst story I ever wrote was after the conviction of Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay. My co-author and I wrote a piece for ‘Fortune’ saying everything’s going to be different now.

Bethany McLean

I’m not a big believer in the power of more regulation to fix things. I think it can almost be more dangerous because it provides the illusion that things have been fixed without the substance.

Bethany McLean

Before Enron, I think people were a bit more naive about the way things worked, and I think Enron pulled the curtain back on unsavoury practices that turned out to be a lot more widespread.

Bethany McLean

Google worries – and rightly so – about how hard it is for a big company to come up with the next hot thing.

Bethany McLean