brw daily ... 2002 quotes.

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    Hmmm... BRW Daily

    Quotes of 2002, part 1
    By Neil Shoebridge, managing editor
    Friday, December 6, 2002

    It has been quite a year, with corporate collapses, accounting scandals, royal commissions into the building industry and HIH Insurance, Solomon Lew's twin disasters at Tesna and Coles Myer, and a drought that is crunching the economy.

    The past year has also been remarkable for some of the remarkable things business people have said. As 2002 draws to a close, here are some of the best - and worst - quotes of the year, including some of the zingers from the Coles Myer brawl. Part two of the quotes of 2002 will appear on December 13, in my final BRW Daily.

    "We don't need anything from Ansett, apart from their customers." - Virgin Blue chief executive Brett Godfrey

    "Our clients are standing behind us 100%." - Gary Hounsell, chief executive, Andersen Australia, in February. Andersen was gone in May

    "I wouldn't trust [Lindsay Fox and Solomon Lew] in a business deal after the unfortunate experience we've had." - ACTU secretary Greg Combet, after Lew and Fox's bid for Ansett Australia was withdrawn

    "This is not a lame-duck operation." - Mitsubishi Motors Australia chief executive Tom Phillips

    "James [Packer] was not at all to blame for anything that happened at One.Tel." - Lachlan Murdoch, defending his fellow One.Tel shareholder and director

    "You cannot legislate for good behavior, good ethics or moral character." - Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu senior partner Rob Wylie

    "The staff at my local hospital refer to the senior management [of Mayne Group] as 'the bloody truck drivers'." - Sydney surgeon Patrick Cregan

    "The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission should not be allowed to run rampant." - Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon

    "Human beings don't like to be told bad news. The same goes for companies and fund managers." - Macquarie Equities head of research David Rickards

    "There is no expression by Mr [Rodney] Adler that he would not offend again [and] the public should be protected by a very substantial banning order." - Justice Kim Santow, banning Rodney Adler from acting as a company director for 20 years

    "The business pages of American newspapers should not read like a scandal sheet." - United States President George W. Bush on corporate responsibility

    "That smell is burning flesh." - ABN Amro strategist Gerard Minack, on Wall Street's slump in July

    "If big business had its way, Australia would be an economy made up of anti-competitive, inefficient monopolies and cartels." - Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Allan Fels

    "The kind of turnaround journey we are making takes years, not months, to complete." - Coles Myer chief executive John Fletcher

    "[John Fletcher] has no experience at managing multiple brands, no turnaround experience, no conglomerate experience and limited broad business experience." - Coles Myer director Solomon Lew, before he was voted off the board

    "It's Keystone Cops stuff." - Sir Ron Brierley on the brawling between Coles Myer directors

    "There are easier boards than Coles Myer, certainly." - Coles Myer chairman Stan Wallis, announcing his resignation

    "The place for debate about Coles Myer and its strategy is in the boardroom." - Wallis' successor as Coles Myer chairman, Rick Allert

    "I really think [Coles Myer] needs the services of a surgeon rather than a physician." - Woolworths chief executive Roger Corbett

    "My view is that we have probably got to a stage where there are as many tenants as there are constructed flats." - Federal Treasurer Peter Costello, warning property developers and investors

    "[Economic] growth is a little unbalanced. The economy remains a little too reliant on residential construction." - Commonwealth Bank chief economist Michael Blythe

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