"I think it is too early to say that we are out of the woods. ... The pace of deterioration in the housing sector has been more severe than we expected and the problems associated with housing finance seem far from resolution."
"I think the most likely outcome is that the economy will move forward toward a soft landing."
"Except for those sectors (housing and manufacturing), there is a good bit of momentum in the economy."
— Bernanke, who also acknowledged that there was "an unusual amount of uncertainty" around the Fed's economic forecasts.
"The subprime market is a focus of angst, which it should be. ... Just to be polite, some cow patties might show up in the punchbowls of some portfolios, perhaps especially in Europe and Asia."
— Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
From the Dec. 11 meeting.
—"The result of this is that, although I do not expect insolvency or near insolvency among major financial institutions, they are certainly going to become more cautious."
—"We came up with this projection unimpaired and on nothing stronger than many late nights of diet Pepsi and vending-machine Twinkies."
—Fed economist Dave Stockton, explaining the Fed's optimistic economic outlook at the December meeting.