In their own words

Rugged independence

“... the medium-term future of GM’s foreign operations will depend on whether they generate sufficient revenues and attract enough government subsidies to be self-sustaining.” — Anne Davies in the Sydney Morning Herald, June 2.

Job security

“We see it as a mechanism to secure jobs in regional areas.” — Katie Brassil, a spokesperson for Centennial Coal, on a one-line item in the NSW government budget providing a $20 million freight subsidy to coal companies in the state’s west. Centennial has told shareholders it will earn $72 million this year.

The life of bankers

“... if they’ve got access to lots of money and are living the life of Riley and he’s got contacts over there, then maybe it’s all beer and skittles for them still.” — A private investigator for Westpac bank in New Zealand, searching for a petrol station owner who disappeared in Hong Kong or Macau with his partner after Westpac accidentally deposited NZ$3.8 million into his account.


“Chinese enterprises should learn a lesson from this: those who love money are not reliable.” — Commentary by the Chinese newsagency Xinhua on Rio Tinto’s breaking of an investment agreement with the Chinese company Chinalco.


“Things will get worse gradually, unless they get worse quickly.” — Alan Auerbach, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, on the US government’s mounting debt.

Only burials

“It’s a guaranteed job, as long as you go to work every day. There are no layoffs in the army.” — A US army recruiter in Philadelphia, commenting on the increased number of people over 35 signing up because of unemployment fears.

Well, yes, the world is round

“We do have some concerns if they [North Korea] were to launch a missile to the west in the direction of Hawaii.” — US war secretary Robert Gates.