Q: Could the housing crisis have been prevented?
A: No. Not anywhere near in its entirety. This was the type of speculative excess we see periodically. We saw it in the dot-com bubble in the late '90s and in the S&L crisis in the late '80s and early '90s. It's the natural excess of markets.
~ Roger Altman, chairman of the boutique investment and private equity firm Evercore Partners (EVR), "Roger Altman On the Pain Ahead and Election 2008," BusinessWeek, December 3, 2007, interview with Maria Bartiromo