In their own words

Unlikely ambition

“We must be part of the solution. We can’t just be part of the problem.” — Federal Liberal Party leader Malcolm Turnbull.

Rewards

“I don’t think businesses will hire back any time soon. Companies are rewarded by the stock markets for not hiring and keeping their costs down.” — Allen Sinai, chief global economist at US firm Decision Economics.

Surprised?

“One year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the surprise is not how much has changed in the financial industry, but how little.” — New York Times, September 11.

Why would they?

“I don’t know anyone on Wall Street who goes to work every day thinking of anything but how to increase their bonus.” — Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a statistician, trader and author with many years of experience on Wall Street.

And it’s probably cracked

“If you take the greed out of Wall Street, all you’re really left with is pavement.” — Robert Reich, professor of public policy at University of California-Berkeley.

Not enough bombs

“There’s broad agreement that for many years, our effort in Afghanistan has been under-resourced politically, militarily and economically.” — White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.

No more half measures

“We are talking about orders of magnitude” — a “senior Western diplomat”, quoted in the September 6 New York Times, on the extent to which fraud in the Afghanistan presidential election multiplied votes in some provinces for incumbent Hamid Karzai.

The right thing

“Yes, it’s jarring. But it shows how both the lawyers and the non-lawyers tried to do the right thing.” — David B. Rivkin Jr., a former lawyer for the Bush II administration, on the CIA’s detailed rules of how to torture prisoners.

Tough times

“It’s simply less fun pulling up to the stoplight in a Hummer than it used to be.” — US economist Robert Barbera on the recession’s impact on consumerism.

Still looking

“Everybody is looking around saying, ‘Where is a robust recovery going to come from?’ and not finding it.” — Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington.

End of capitalism as we know it?

“We will not go back to the days of reckless behaviour and unchecked excess at the heart of this crisis.” — US President Barack Obama, in a speech to bank executives.