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PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 February, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 February, 1999, 12:00am

'The IMF made wrong calculations and prescribed wrong medicines. This did not happen just in Thailand but also in Indonesia and South Korea.' Suchart Thadathamrongvej an economist at Bangkok's Ramkamhaeng University.

'To me, the number of banks does not really matter. What the economy really needs is the capacity of the bank services. Even if we have two banks, but the banks have so many branches all over the country, this may be sufficient.' Bank Indonesia chief Sjaril Sabirin, commenting on how the government may liquidate about 40 banks if they cannot meet recapitalisation requirements.

'I used to say, rather jokingly, that there were only three sectors where competition policy had no say: agriculture, religion and defence.' European competition chief Karl van Miert.

'There is no coherent policy. There are a lot of grey areas which are left to the whims and fancies of individual bureaucrats.' Warburg Dillon Read analyst Subhra Subramaniam on the Indian Government's lack of foreign investment policy.

'The bank is in a position . . . to be cautious and make larger provisions than it needs to, so that it won't have to provide so much again. While these periods can be a pain in the neck . . . banks like to get these things out of the way.' WestLB Panmure analyst Inigo Edsberg on HSBC making bad-debt provisions.

'They [foreigners] are entitled to their opinion. Either they invest here or they don't. If they prove us wrong we look stupid.' Malaysian Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin.

'These rogue individuals and their corporate partners came to California with a scheme shrouded in lawless deceit, so they could evade regulations intended to protect innocent policyholders and consumers.' California insurance commissioner Chuck Quackenbush. He has filed a suit against French bank Credit Lyonnais and other companies and individuals accusing them of fraud and is demanding repayment of billions of dollars in illegal profits.

'Those guys are not crazy.' Deutsche Bank chief economist Kenneth Courtis on Japanese Finance Ministry officials.

'Nobody wins if the public freaks out. If the public reacts badly, you could take a potentially minor situation and make it a nightmare.' Information technology specialist Cathy Hotka on the Year 2000 computer problem.

'For some people, a certain amount of panic would help.' John Koskinen, who heads the US President's Commission on Year 2000 Conversion.

'They keep breaking down and need repair, the engines are poor. We call it a little horse pulling a big load, because the engine is small and the body heavy, so it tires quickly. No one wants to drive them, but the taxi firms are ordered to buy them because of the company's excellent political and military connections.' A Beijing taxi driver.