“I expect there will be some failures. … I don’t anticipate any serious problems of that sort among the large internationally active banks that make up a very substantial part of our banking system.” —Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve chairman, Feb. 28, 2008
“I think this is a case where Freddie Mac (FRE) and Fannie Mae (FNM) are fundamentally sound. They’re not in danger of going under…I think they are in good shape going forward.” —Barney Frank (D-Mass.), House Financial Services Committee chairman, July 14, 2008
Two months later, the government forced the mortgage giants into conservatorships and pledged to invest up to $100 billion in each.
“No! No! No! Bear Stearns is not in trouble.” —Jim Cramer, CNBC commentator, Mar. 11, 2008
Five days later, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) took over Bear Stearns with government help, nearly wiping out shareholders.