'Like 2009 Without the Fear': Best Quotes of 2010

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Dec. 27, 2010 12:00 am  

"Like 2009 without the fear."  - J. French Hill, CEO and chairman of Delta Trust & Bank of Little Rock, predicting in April how 2010 would shape up economically.

"Maybe me." - Collins Haynes of Rogers in March when asked who would be the next financial casualty in the real estate meltdown in northwest Arkansas. Haynes, an architect and developer, declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy four months later.

"This Court is convinced that during the year prior to the date [Brandon] Barber filed his bankruptcy petition, Barber was actively engaged in transferring and concealing his available money with the intent to delay, hinder and defraud his creditors." - U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ben Barry in a Nov. 9 order denying the former northwest Arkansas developer's bankruptcy discharge.

"Dealers can't just assume Alice Walton is going to buy anything. ... She's exercised restraint all along the way. And I don't mean simply only buying bargains but just being absolutely ruthless on realistic market values. ... She'd be the last person who'd want to be taken to the cleaners on a purchase or sticking her head out at auction. And I think that's something that's very important for people to know." - John Wilmerding, art expert and adviser to Walton, who is spearheading the creation of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.

"Dillard's was in a freefall. I think we can say they're no longer in freefall." - Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates Inc., a national retail consulting and investment banking firm in New York, speaking after Dillard's stock price rebounded to $31 in late April. It was trading at $37 a share last week.

"An average garment - a blouse or a pair of pants or something like that - has in the neighborhood of 10 to 15 different components: zipper, fabric, thread. A typical bra has 40, 50 [components]. It's about like building a rocket ship. It's almost like an engineering marvel." - Bill Dillard III, vice president of merchandising at Dillard's Inc., discussing the store's innovative 3-D Curves Wire Bra.

"When you go from dealing with someone that you know in Little Rock to talking to someone in Charlotte or Birmingham, they don't care about your story, they don't care about your history, they don't even know about your industry. All they know is you lost money last year and they want to be paid." - Steve Anthony, president of Anthony Timberlands Inc. of Bearden, on the changing financial landscape.

"We're like everyone else. We're just trying to figure out what the hell is going on." - David Estes, president of First State Bank of Lonoke, regarding the mayhem caused by attorney Kevin Lewis of Little Rock and his millions of dollars in bogus improvement district bonds.

"First Community Bank has been unable to locate or communicate with Kevin Lewis." - President Boris Dover in a lawsuit that his Batesville filed against Lewis, who used improvement district bonds as collateral for loans.

"We are not quite as optimistic as some of our institutions, and we did begin to see the signs about three years before the institutions did. And we did voice concerns about over-exuberance." - State Bank Commissioner Candace Franks in March. Nine months later, she shut down First Southern Bank of Batesville after discovering that it had invested $22 million in Lewis' bonds. It was the first state-chartered bank to fail in Arkansas since 1986.

"If Aaron Jones set that fire himself, why would he pee in his pants?" - Tim Dudley, lead defense attorney for Jones, while holding up a pair of urine-stained shorts before the jury during closing arguments.

"I'm going to get caught. That would be a good reason to pee in your pants, I would submit." ­- Daniel Stripling, assistant U.S. attorney, countering before jurors convicted Jones of torching his Chenal Valley home.



Please read our comments policy before commenting.