In their own words

And wings to pigs

“This is a historic opportunity afforded us to give capitalism a conscience.” — French President Nicolas Sarkozy, prior to the April 2 G20 London summit.

Cleaner than opium

“Drug dealers want to make their money clean by investing in property. It used to be when they had money they had ways of taking it out, but because of the global crisis, they don’t want to take it out.” — An Afghan property consultant, explaining a big rise in Kabul real estate prices.

Israel to disarm?

“You don’t want a messianic apocalyptic cult controlling atomic bombs.” — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Sign of the times

“It’s part of the times that we are living in. It’s certainly no worse than watching the news every night.” — Fox network executive Mike Darnell, on a new US reality TV series in which employees of a company vote on which of their co-workers is to be laid off.

As expected

“I’m having a very good crisis.” — billionaire currency speculator George Soros, commenting on the global financial crisis.

Some mystery

“... one cannot help but wonder about how a company that has for decades played hard and fast with schemes to minimise tax, restructuring to avoid its obligations to compensate its [asbestos products] victims, and meddled with the truth, can have survived.” — Business columnist Elizabeth Knight on James Hardie Industries, in the April 24 Sydney Morning Herald.

Focused

“The Office of Industrial Relations is focused on educating employers rather than trying to catch them out.” — John Hatzistergos, NSW minister for industrial relations, on reports that workplace inspectors in the state have recovered $3 million illegally withheld from employees in the last nine months.

Familiar feeling

“I’ve got the sinking feeling we are getting sucked into something we will never get out of.” — Jim McGovern, Democrat member of the US Congress, on the President Barack Obama’s escalation of war in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Old news

“Members of Congress from both parties have been fully aware of them [torture methods used by the CIA] since the program began in 2002.” — Peter Hoekstra, a Republican member of the US Congress, explaining why he thinks Obama should not have made public the information about CIA torture of suspected terrorists.