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1. Morgan, Morgan, the Great Financial Gorgan!

Anonymous.Referring to U.S. banker J.P. Morgan. Popular song (1900)


2. You know what the difference is between a dead skunk and a dead banker on the road? There’s skid marks by the skunk.

Anonymous. Quoted in Final Harvest: An American Tragedy (Andrew H. Malcolm; 1986)


3. Doing business with Alan Bond is like wrestling with a pig. You both get sprayed with mud and the pig loves it.

Anonymous.An anonymous Texan banker on Bond’s famously aggressive business strategy. Sunday Times (London) (February 12, 1989)


4. In business a reputation for keeping absolutely to the letter and spirit of an agreement, even when it is unfavorable, is the most precious of assets, although it is not entered in the balance sheet.

Oliver LytteltonChandos (1893-1972) British statesman and industrialists. Memoirs of Lord Chandos: An Unexpected View from the Summit (1963)


5. I find it rather easy to portray a businessman. Being bland, rather cruel and incompetent comes naturally to me.

John Cleese (b. 1939) British comedian, actor, and writer.Referring to appearing in industrial training videos. Newsweek (June 15, 1987)


6. When people come to write my obituary, I hope they will recognize that I had a vision of retailing would change and that it happened as I said it would.

Terence Conran (b. 1931) British business executive, retailer, and founder of habitat. Financial Times (London) (February 18, 1989)


7. You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.

Henry Ford (1863-1947) U.S. industrialist, automobile manufacturer, and founder of Ford Motor Company. Quoted in Woodbury Reports Archives (December 1994)


8. I would most like to be remembered for bringing emphasis to an economic structure in which the characteristic organization is the great corporation rather than the competitive enterprise and of seeing economic life as a bipolar phenomenon.

J.K. Galbraith (b. 1908) U.S. economist and diplomat.Interview, Conversations with History series, Institute of International Studies, University of California, Berkeley. “Intellectual Journey: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom,” (March 27, 1986)


9. Everything he says is horse shit and hot air.

Armand Hammer (1898-1990) U.S. industrialist, philanthropist, founder and C.E.O. of Occidental Petroleum. Referring to U.S. financier and corporate raider T. Bonne Pickens. Sunday Times Magazine (London) (December 1, 1985)


10. It is the unpleasant and unacceptable face of capitalism, but one should not suggest that the whole of British industry consists of practices of this kind.

Edward Heath (b. 1916) British prime minister.Referring to Lonrho, which had operated a tax-avoidance scheme involving the payment of directors’ fees into foreign bank accounts. Speech, House of Commons (May 15, 1973)


11. Your legacy should be that you made it better than it was when you got it.

Lee Iacocca (b. 1924) U.S. president of Ford Motor Company, chairman and C.E.O. of Chrysler Corporation. Talking Straight (1988)


12. If a guy is over 25 percent jerk, he’s in trouble. And Henry was 95 percent.

Lee Iacocca (b. 1924) U.S. president of Ford Motor Company, chairman and C.E.O. of Chrysler Corporation.Referring to Henry Ford II.Said in a speech to market analysis in Detroit. Quoted in Time (April 1, 1985)


13. I am just a hoary old bastard who wants to win.

Ian McGregor (1912-98) British chairman of the National Coal Board. Observer (London) (March 11, 1984)


14. In business we cut each others’ throats, but now and then we sit around the same table and behave-for the sake of the ladies.

Aristotle Onassis (1906-75) Greek shipowner and financier. Sunday Times (London) (March 16, 1969)


15. I consider that I am a revolutionary socialist.

Tiny Rowland (1917-98) British entrepreneur, co-C.E.O. and managing director of Lonrho. Quoted in My Life with Tiny (Richard Hall; 1987)


16. Of course being called the acceptable face of capitalism would be equally insulting.

Tiny Rowland (1917-98) British entrepreneur, co-C.E.O. and managing director of Lonrho. May 1973. Responding to Prime Minister Edward Heath’s description of Lonrho as the “unacceptable face of capitalism.” Quoted in The Risk Takers (Jeffery Robinson; 1985)


17. Reputation, reputation, reputation-O, I ha’ lost my reputation, I ha’ lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial!

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English poet and playwright. Othello (1602-04), Act 2, Scene 3, 11. 256-258


18. The purest treasure mortal times afford Is spotless reputation; that away Men are but gilded loam or painted clay.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English poet and playwright. Richard II (1595), Act 1, Scene 1, 11. 177-179


19. The world is not unkind, and reprobates are worse than their reputation.

Logan Pearsall Smith (1865-1946) British essayist and critic. Afterthoughts (1931)


20. There was worlds of reputation in it, but no money.

Mark twain (1835-1910) U.S. writer. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1899), ch. 9


21. I’m not retiring because I’m old and tired. I’m retiring because an organization has had 20 years of me. My success will be determined by how well my successor grows it in the next 20 years.

Jack Welch (b. 1935) U.S. former chairman and C.E.O. of General Electric.Referring to his planned retirement on December 31, 2000. Quoted in “The Ultimate Manager,” Fortune (November 22, 1999)


22. But I’m merely a simple Bedouin.

Ahmed Zaki Yamani (b. 1930) Saudi Arabian Politician. Yamani masterminded the OPEC pricing strategy that brought huge returns to producers but ultimately precipitated the oil crisis of the 1970s. Interview, Newsweek (December 20, 1973)