A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 23, 2014
“The U.S. dollar is the best-looking horse in the glue factory”

"The U.S. dollar is the best-looking horse in the glue factory” is a statement that has been used by many American financial leaders. A glue factory is where old, sick horses go to die; to be the “best-looking horse in the glue factory” is to be the best of the bad—an almost meaningless distinction.

Banking consultant Ed Furash was cited in the ABA Banking Journal (American Bankers Association) in 1993 for suggesting that “earnings improvements have made banks merely the best horse in the glue factory.”

United States Comptroller General David Walker said on February 2, 2005:

“In my judgment, the worst thing that could happen is to continue on our present path and do nothing. Because once a crisis is upon us, we face terrible choices. And while it’s true that other nations also have long-range fiscal challenges, who wants to be the best looking horse in the glue factory?”

Walker repeated the “glue factory” comment many times over the following few years. “That’s because we’re the best-looking horse in the glue factory” was said by Erskine Bowles, co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, in 2010. “The best-looking horse in the glue factory” was said by Richard W. Fisher, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, in 2011, and by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in 2013.

“The U.S. dollar is the cleanest dirty shirt” and “The U.S. dollar is the leper with the most fingers” are similar expressions.


Wikipedia: David M. Walker (politician)
David M. Walker (born October 2, 1951) served as United States Comptroller General from 1998 to 2008, and is Founder and CEO of the Comeback America Initiative.

Google Books
ABA Banking Journal
American Bankers Association
Volume 85, Issues 1-6
1993
Pg. 100:
Consultant Ed Furash suggests that earnings improvements have made banks merely the best horse in the glue factory, and that their their future lies in certain fee-based services.

GAO.gov
Saving our Nation’s Future:
An Intergovernmental Challenge

Keynote Address
By the Honorable David M. Walker
Comptroller General of the United States
Outlook 2005 Conference
The National Press Club
February 2, 2005
(...)
Pg. 8:
In my judgment, the worst thing that could happen is to continue on our present path and do nothing. Because once a crisis is upon us, we face terrible choices. And while it’s true that other nations also have long-range fiscal challenges, who wants to be the best looking horse in the glue factory?

Google Groups: rec.arts.tv.mst3k.misc
Clonus Lawsuit
Tom Carberry
8/11/05
(...)
> Yes, I’m damning with faint praise, but there it is.
That may be like saying it’s the best looking horse in the glue factory.

Seeking Alpha
10 Predictions for the Global Economy
By Kirk Shinkle
Dec. 16, 2008 8:12 AM ET
(...)
9. The Dollar Will Remain Relatively Strong as Long as the Financial Crisis Continues. The joke is that the dollar is the “best-looking horse in the glue factory.” This means that in the midst of the ongoing crisis, the safe-haven/principal-reserve-currency status of the U.S. dollar has trumped all other fears. As long as the crisis continues, the dollar is likely to remain strong

CBS Moneywatch
By PETER GALUSZKA January 29, 2009, 11:02 AM
Why Wells Fargo is “The Best Looking Horse in the Glue Factory”
Last Updated Jan 29, 2009 11:02 AM EST
(...)
By comparison, these problems make Wells look especially good. In the words of one wry analyst, Wells “has definitely become the best-looking horse in the glue factory.”

Special FX for Wizards
TUESDAY, APRIL 28, 2009
The Best Looking Horse In The Glue Factory…
Dollar Wins Heads-or-Tails Toss on Growth or Weakness

By Oliver Biggadike (Really?)
April 27 (Bloomberg)
(...)
The dollar is “the best-looking horse in the glue factory” among major currencies, said Robert Blake, head of strategy for North America in Boston at State Street Global Markets LLC, which has $11.3 trillion in assets under custody.

Google Groups: or.politics
Crisis of Capitalism 2
Larry
10/18/10
(...)
Take a look at the graph.  The dollar is no longer the best looking horse in the glue factory.

NPR—It’s All Politics
U.S. Is ‘Best Looking Horse In Glue Factory’: Bowles
by FRANK JAMES
December 01, 2010 1:48 PM ET
Erskine Bowles, co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, had one of the day’s best lines following a brief meeting with reporters after the release of his panel’s final report.

A reporter asked him (I’m paraphrasing) if the nation’s fiscal condition is so dire, why doesn’t the bond market reflect that by demanding significantly higher interest rates on U.S. Treasury bonds instead of accepting the very low current rates.

“That’s because we’re the best-looking horse in the glue factory,” Bowles said without missing a beat.

The Globe and Mail (Canada)
As disaster looms, investors keep buying Treasuries
DAVID MILSTEAD
Published Thursday, Jul. 14 2011, 7:23 PM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Sep. 06 2012, 10:24 AM EDT
(...)
“There are indications that a lot of foreign central banks are getting a little antsy, but you can’t see it in U.S. Treasury rates,” says Nariman Behravesh, the chief economist for information-services provider IHS. “The dollar is still the best-looking horse in the glue factory, in the sense that [it has] problems, but other countries have worse problems.”

The Guardian (UK)
Global markets on the brink of crisis
World’s financial markets closed for business nursing losses of more than $2.5 trillion (£1.53tn) after a week of selling

Larry Elliott
Friday 5 August 2011 13.43 EDT
(...)
In the City, they said the UK was the best-looking horse in the glue factory.

Zero Hedge
Guest Post: The Best Looking Horse In The Glue Factory
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/09/2011 12:01 -0400
Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform
(...)
As I watched, listened and read the views of hundreds of people over the last few days, I recalled a statement by David Walker in the documentary I.O.U.S.A. This documentary was made in late 2007 before the financial crisis hit. The documentary follows Walker, the former head of the GAO, and Bob Bixby, head of the Concord Coalition, on their Fiscal Wake Up tour.
(...)
After listening to the shills, shysters, propagandists, and paid representatives of the vested interests over the last few days, Mr. Walker’s response to someone pointing out Europe and other countries were in worse shape than the U.S. came to mind:

“What good does it do to be the best-looking horse in the glue factory?”

Twitter
Dominic Chu
‏@TheDomino
Dallas Fed Pres. Richard Fisher tells @Kathleen_Hays that US economy is “the best looking horse in the glue factory...” Yikes! @mckonomy $$
6:09 AM - 4 Oct 2011

28 November 2011, Burlington (NC) Times-News, “Panel’s Failure,” pg. A2, col. 2:
The failure to address our mounting debt has not yet resulted in investors demanding higher returns in exchange for buying U.S. government bonds.

“We’re the best-looking horse in the glue factory,” said Rudy Penner, a former director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

The Wall Street Journal
3:53 pm ET Oct 1, 2012 MANUFACTURING
U.S. Manufacturing: Best Horse in Glue Factory
By KATHLEEN MADIGAN
The U.S. factory sector is looking like the best horse in the glue factory.

Twitter
James T. Madore
‏@JamesTMadore
David Walker, former GAO chief: “We’re the best looking horse in the glue factory but we’re still in the glue factory.” #sabew2013
12:00 PM - 4 Apr 2013

Market Clues
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Bernanke: “We Are The Best-Looking Horse In The Glue Factory”
While the Fed Head may have been joking, his statement that the USA is “the best looking horse in the glue factory” may be the most accurate assessment of the path ahead. And, it’s also a sign that Bernanke’s imminent retirement from the Fed is an exit strategy well thought out.

Dallas (TX) Business Journal
Dallas Fed’s Richard Fisher to retire in 2015
By Korri Kezar
Sep 23, 2014, 12:16pm CDT UPDATED: Sep 23, 2014, 3:21pm CDT
Richard Fisher is set to end his 10-year tenure as president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in 2015.
(...)
Fisher has had a colorful career at the Federal Reserve, from calling the American economy “the best looking horse in the glue factory” to comparing the country’s “hot” service sector to actress Scarlett Johansson.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Tuesday, September 23, 2014 • Permalink