In their own words

Just created a ‘big-business friendly’ political environment

“The United States government has stayed out of the matter of awarding the Iraq oil contracts. It’s a private sector matter.” — US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, June 29.

What advice?

“The [Iraqi oil] ministry did not have to take our advice.” — A “senior State Department official” quoted in the June 30 New York Times.

Of all the words of tongue and pen ...

“He was going to be a big supporter and he didn’t pay for his ticket to the [Liberal fundraising] dinner.” — Julie Bishop, deputy leader of the federal Liberal Party, on the Howard government’s relations with businessman Tim Johnston, who fled Australia owing lots of money to lots of people. One of Johnston’s companies received $400,000 in export grants from the Howard government, but promised donations to the Liberal Party never came through.

Fitting memorial

“We hear from those who say that sewage plants perform a valuable public service and, as such, it does not make sense to name one after George Bush.” — Brian McConnell, organiser of a San Francisco referendum to rename a major sewage plant after Dubbya

Stop panicking or we’ll take your money

“There is a sort of a panic going on and that’s not what ought to be.” — US Senator Christopher Dodd, responding to a huge drop in the share prices of mortgage financers Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

Size does matter

“The market wonders: which institution is too small to bail out?” — William Gross, the chief investment officer of a large money management company, after the US government announced a rescue plan for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae but shares of regional banks fell sharply.