"2008 will the year the chickens come home to roost. A lot of people have been living the life of Riley on credit. They have been able to borrow at 0 per cent finance, and been able to take out new cards at will. This is all going to have to stop. It is unsustainable."
Steve Treharne, a partner at KPMG specialising in insolvency
"In the '90s, when I had money to buy property other than the one I was living in, I started to buy an awful lot off-plan, particularly on the waterfront in London. I would often sell before completion: you put 10 per cent down, sell early and make money on your 10 per cent rather than on the full amount. I have bought a lot of property, and it has been a passion. Every time I go on holiday, that's what I do. I go to estate agents and developments, much to the aggravation of anyone I'm with. Over the years, not talking about where I've lived, but as investments, I've bought about 20 properties."
"There are important differences between the housing market in the U.S. and the housing market here. Many U.S. mortgages were sold at hugely discounted rates, leaving people unable to meet repayments when rates increased. Lenders in the U.K. have been more responsible."
Alistair Darling, Chancellor of the Exchequer
"A century ago, Henry Ford realized that his company would only prosper if his own workers earned enough to buy Fords. But, like Wal-Mart, too many of our employers today haven't figured out that their cruelly low wages would eventually curtail their own growth and profits."
Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America