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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS

G-20 Ministers in London

Aired September 4, 2009 - 14:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: G-20 finance ministers are in London. They tell CNN recovery is under way, but we're not out of the woods yet.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALISTAIR DARLING, U.K. FINANCE MINISTER: I want a commitment to see through what we started. I want to make sure that we're committed to making sure that we toughen up and strengthen the regulatory regime across the world.

ANDERS BORG, SWEDISH FINANCE MINISTER: We can't be rewarding recklessness if you want to build a culture of responsibility.

PRANAB MUKHERJEE, INDIAN FINANCE MINISTER: The recovery is still on a very weak foundation. And we shall have to continue to carry on the work of (AUDIO GAP).

YOUSSEF BOUTROS GHALI, EGYPTIAN FINANCE MINISTER: There isn't enough data for us to tell you that there is (AUDIO GAP) momentum directed by stimulus (AUDIO GAP).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUEST: I'm Richard Quest, as you can clearly tell, tonight, I mean business.

(AUDIO GAP)

QUEST: On this program tonight, as you might expect, we have interviews five finance ministers, all of them major players at the London meeting, all speaking to QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. If you want to know what's going on in the financial world, you don't want to miss the next 45 minutes.

The men in charge of the money are gathering. The G-20 fin-mins are here amid a growing clamor for change in the way the financial world is run. Bonuses high on the agenda. Politicians have been lining up all this week to say there is no longer any place for the culture of risk and reward which they say brought the financial system to the brink of failure.

There will also be talk, taking stock of the hundreds of billions of dollars, trillions of dollars that they poured into the global economy as life support. And trying to work out when it will be safe to withdraw this medical treatment.

Ahead of the ministers lies Pittsburgh and the full G-20 heads of development summit later this month. So to our coverage and Britain's finance minister, Alistair Darling (AUDIO GAP) this weekend in talks. The chancellor spoke to me earlier at No. 11 Downing Street, when he told me he believes the U.K. economy will emerge from recession within the next few months.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALISTAIR DARLING, U.K. FINANCE MINISTER: We (AUDIO GAP) additions of the budget, which is the British economy will start to grow at the turn of the year. I stand by that.

(AUDIO GAP)

DARLING: . a lot of uncertainty out there.

QUEST: So you wouldn't be surprised if it does slip into next year?

DARLING: No, I remain confident that our economy will start to grow around the turn of the year. I've said that in April and I've not changed my mind.

QUEST: One of the key things that will be at the G-20 is this idea of the different countries running at different points in the economic cycle now, some growing, some still in recession. But how you all ensure you still have stimulus packages.

Because the temptation is to say, job done.

DARLING: I don't think we're that far apart. I mean, you know, we're seeing some countries with -- showing that they came out of recession in the second quarter of this year. But that is one set of figures. I think you have to cautious about these things. And it's essential too that countries realize that there is a way to go yet.

And to consider that the job is done would be foolish, in my view. I think there is a way to go yet. There is still a lot of uncertainty. There are still risks. There is the -- there is bound to be rising unemployment for some time. We've got to be able to deal with that.

So if it's important, we take the job, we see it through, then we clearly have to make sure that we have a sustainable future.

QUEST: Because the temptation will be that some countries want to pull back on stimulus packages, some countries want to start implementing strategies.

DARLING: I think the talk this weekend is more about planning for the future. I think it would be most countries understand that there is still a job to be seen through. All I'm saying is that one of the big risks to recovery would be if countries thought the job was done and they started to pull back.

But I think, you know, if you look at what all the countries are saying, really, they're saying, yes, we've still got some work to do, of course you need to plan ahead for the future, but you've got to see this through first, then, of course, you've got to make sure that you can come out of it. And you then make sure that you get down your deficits and your debt levels.

QUEST: Nothing seems to be more inflammatory at the moment than the questions of bankers' bonuses. The letter from the prime minister and Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy is very, very robust in saying that something must be done.

The only problem is -- you know, Chancellor, is, what should be done?

DARLING: I think there is a measure of agreement now that we do need to take measures to stop excessive risk-taking. For example, by saying that bonuses, if they're paid in cash they have to be held onto for a number of years, or they should be paid in shares, which ties you to the value of the company, there should be more openness so people can see who is getting what and so on.

The object is to try and stop the.

(AUDIO GAP)

QUEST: . banking, jobs in that industry into offshore other environments which are conducive.

DARLING: Well, two things that I think are important are that, firstly, it doesn't need to be -- any rules you have have got to be global because (AUDIO GAP) across the world, but they do also have to be practical.

They've got to be things that actually make a difference, that actually work, people can't get around or evade or avoid. That's why both are important, global and practical.

QUEST: Are you shocked, as some citizens in your -- and the prime minister's letter seemed to be, are you shocked at the speed with which banks seem to have gone back to (AUDIO GAP) back to business as normal approach to paying their staff?

DARLING: Well, I think most people are surprised that there (AUDIO GAP) everyone, but there are one or two where they appear to have forgotten that, you know, less than a year ago, had.

(AUDIO GAP)

DARLING: . I think governments across the world overall is making sure that we stop (AUDIO GAP), because it's actually damaging. I'm not against rewarding people for hard work. And remember, most of the workers at banks don't get stratospheric (AUDIO GAP).

QUEST: Let's go back to the G-20. What will you be content (AUDIO GAP) tomorrow night? You know, what (AUDIO GAP)?

DARLING: I want a commitment to see through what we started. I want to make sure that we're committed to making sure that we toughen up and strengthen the regulatory regime across the world.

And crucially, I want us to start planning now for the future in a world where you can't rely on only one country to support the world economy. But we all have to act together to ensure we all play a part to have a long-term sustainable future.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

QUEST: The chancellor of the exchequer, Britain's finance minister, Alistair Darling, talking to me earlier today at No. 11 Downing Street. Alistair Darling is the host of this weekend's G-20 fin-min and central bankers' summit.

The news headlines before we continue with more economics this evening. Fionnuala Sweeney at the CNN news desk.

FIONNUALA SWEENEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Richard, a new air strike in northern Afghanistan, NATO (AUDIO GAP) jets to destroyed a pair of fuel tankers hijacked by the Taliban in Kunduz province. Officials say now 70 people have been killed, including civilians, NATO had said the military believed there were no civilians near the track at the time of the attack.

Ethnic tensions are erupting again in China's Xinjiang province, and this time hypodermic needles are part of the weapons arsenal. Five people have been killed, more than a dozen injured during protests in the city of Urumqi, that's where recent stabbings with syringes allegedly by the Uighur community has stoked tensions with majority Han Chinese population. There are no reports of death or illness from the hundreds of needle stabbings.

To North Korea and its nuclear agenda. State-run media reporting Pyongyang has reached the final phase of uranium enrichment. North Korea made the announcement in a letter to the United Nations. If completed, that process would give Pyongyang a second way of making a nuclear device. North Korea has already tested nuclear devices that use plutonium.

About 200 family members and friends of Michael Jackson gathered in Glendale, California, on Thursday, for a private funeral service. Jackson was laid to rest in the same highly secure cemetery where final goodbyes were said to Walt Disney, Humphrey Bogart, and Jackson's good friend, Sammy Davis Jr.

And those are the headlines, Richard. Back to you.

QUEST: We thank you for that, Fionnuala. Fionnuala Sweeney at the CNN news desk. All right. Tonight, we're going to the source over the course of this program, speaking with more of the world's most influential politicians, India, South Korea, Egypt, and Sweden. We're going to cover the globe.

Next, we'll be talking to the Swedish finance minister, Anders Borg, he joined me in Downing Street after I had spoken to the chancellor. Then it was time for the Swedish finance minister. We'll all have that after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: Evening in London, Friday. And the weekend is already under way. Stocks in Europe, across the continent close higher on the (AUDIO GAP), snapping the losing streak they've been on all week.

This session, mining stocks the standouts in London. Insurers did well on the 100, the FTSE. Look at that, nice gain, good strong gains for the end of the week, especially the first week of September. Big automakers Daimler, BMW, both added more than 5 percent.

However, it was financial stocks that were in demand, Credit Agricole, BNP. The story of the day was, of course, the relief, U.S. job cuts last month were less severe than many expected.

The monthly report from the U.S. gave a stark reminder that although recovery may be under way, the labor market remained under pressure. Unemployment rate rose from 9.4 to 9.7 percent. That's the highest number since the summer of 1983, President Reagan, of course. And higher than the figure Wall Street analysts had penciled in.

There were two components to the number, the unemployment rate and the rate of jobless numbers growing. Susan Lisovicz at the New York Stock Exchange joins me now live.

Susan, we -- how much of this has been a factor in the way the market has traded on Friday?

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: I think clearly investors are focusing on the number of jobs lost, which came in lower than expected, and that's a relief.

And furthermore, I think at this point you can see a dramatic trend, when you look at what happened in January, there were near 750,000 jobs lost in a single month. And you can see a steady and dramatic (AUDIO GAP). This is a third of what was lost in the beginning part of the year.

Not good. The economy should be creating jobs, but you are seeing something happening that's the undeniable, the trend. And if this trend continues, at some point the U.S. economy will be creating jobs.

QUEST: Susan, Tim Geithner is on his way, if not already in London for the G-20 meeting. He comes with the knowledge that more than 6.5 million jobs have been lost in the U.S. over the course of this recession. He comes with the knowledge that bankers bonuses are on the agenda.

So what message do you believe that he will be bringing to the ministers?

LISOVICZ: Well, I think that the secretary is going to make a case that as bad as things are, they're not as bad as they were when the administration took office. I mean, you're hearing that today certainly out of Washington.

And I think that, you know, look, I mean, the recovery, if that's what is happening, doesn't happen evenly, the financial industry took the brunt of it early on, and I think that some would argue that you're seeing the financial industry start to make a comeback. And there are certainly going to be people in that sector who are arguing for bonuses and for the lack of a need of a pay czar.

You already see that kind of debate happening. But I think he's going to be careful. I'm sure he'll be careful with his words, because it's still a very sore subject on both sides of the Atlantic.

QUEST: And we will talk more about that on Monday when we have that communique in our hands. Susan Lisovicz, have a good weekend.

LISOVICZ: You as well.

QUEST: Thanks for joining us, from New York. Now -- thank you.

Now the weekend's meetings may not be the last pre-G-20 get-together. Sweden would like E.U. leaders, heads of government to gather again before Pittsburgh, and that's only at the end of the month. And that so they can agree on a common position.

Sweden is the current presidency of the E.U., a rotating presidency. And that puts the financial minister, Anders Borg, in the chair of the council of finance ministers. Earlier I asked him if the E.U. is hoping to see action on bonuses.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERS BORG, SWEDISH FINANCE MINISTER: Well, that's obviously one of the key issues. We can't be rewarding recklessness if we want to build a culture of responsibility. So we will clearly need progress on that issue.

QUEST: Don't you have a difficulty here because the U.K. wants action done? Other countries, Germany wants action done. France wants action done. But nobody knows what action should be done.

BORG: Well, obviously we have to be open-minded. We need (AUDIO GAP) over to the Pittsburgh meeting. So it must hold on both sides of the Atlantic.

QUEST: In the European Union, you now have some countries growing, you have some countries stalled, and you have some.

(AUDIO GAP)

BORG: . countries has to start to think about it in the near future.

QUEST: How near is near?

BORG: Well, I would say that they will start to think about it very seriously in 2010.

QUEST: And on monetary policy of (AUDIO GAP)?

BORG: Well, the (AUDIO GAP) for some time. And it's probably also necessary that monetary policy remains expansionary.

QUEST: Finally, there is a dispute over just how much regulation is good regulation. You're going to find a certain amount of opposition within the U.K., which has the City of London here, to more regulation of the financial markets.

BORG: Well, the problem is that recklessness is undermining credibility of free markets -- the idea of free markets. So I mean, responsibility is what we need, not recklessness. And given that markets are built on morality and follow rule of law, I think it's quite clear that we need rules also in this area.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

QUEST: Anders Borg, Sweden's finance minister, who is also head at the moment of the Economic Council of European Finance Ministers.

We're going to be talking more economy in just a moment. Going to leave you as we go to break with a delightful shot. There is the whale arriving in London. Singapore Airlines A380 coming in to land on a picture perfect day over the British capital. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: And.

(AUDIO GAP)

QUEST: . to keep recovery going.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

YOUSSEF BOUTROS GHALI, EGYPTIAN MINISTER OF FINANCE: Convincing each other to stay the course, I think, is already there. We're convinced that we have to stay the course. But what we need to do is prepare how we're going to draft the exit (ph) strategy, more importantly, how we're going to coordinate the exit strategies.

QUEST: Why do we need to worry about that? We got into this. They coordinated somehow getting into it?

GHALI: Do you remember how they coordinated getting into it? We -- at the getting into it part, one country used to harm the other, and the other one used to protest and then we would adjust, et cetera.

We don't want this on the exit part. So we need better coordination than we did on the entry part. And we need the system and the infrastructure to do that. And.

QUEST: None exists at the moment, really, because we've never been in this situation -- we've had so many countries all having to tighten fiscally and monetarily at the same time. And this massive mopping up operation of spare cash.

GHALI: There are all sorts of measures that need to be taken. I'm not sure that everybody is going to be tightening fiscally and monetary at the same time. But they all have to take measures at the same time, not necessarily similar measures, but coordinated measures.

The important part, we need to find the place where we're going to sit and coordinate and talk to each other and exchange information and watch what the other is doing, make sure that we are talking same language, assessing things the same way. It's not going to be easy.

QUEST: Do you think that there is a consensus around the table of the ministers that sufficient has been done to start organic economic growth and recovery? Or is it going to rely on policy measures for the foreseeable future as the engine of growth?

GHALI: No. I don't think there is a consensus, because there isn't enough data for us to tell you whether there is organic momentum or whether that momentum is generated in stimulus packages.

QUEST: But you have such -- you have such vast differences, don't you, between China at one end and India with their 6, 7, 8 percent growth. You've got some European countries in the middle just about (AUDIO GAP). And you've still got mired in recession the U.K. and the U.S.

GHALI: Yes. Yes, well, still, you don't have enough data to be able to say that we have self-sustaining momentum.

QUEST: At what point does it become a beggar-thy-neighbor G-20? Stuff you, I'm all right?

GHALI: Not yet. And what we're trying to do is to set up the mechanism that we don't reach that point.

QUEST: It's going to be difficult, though, isn't it? Because some countries.

GHALI: Coordination (AUDIO GAP) is difficult.

QUEST: You have been very good, and you have been on our program and you've helped us understand what has happened throughout this. So you'll continue (AUDIO GAP) if you.

(AUDIO GAP)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

YOON JEUNG HYUN, SOUTH KOREAN FINANCE MINISTER (through translator): . a lot of international cooperation has taken place. And as a result of that, we believe that with regard to the global recession, that we now have seen the worst and are bottoming out.

However, I think that it is a very important time right now because how we will continue that international cooperation and how we will continue the economic recovery trend is very important.

Also, the exit strategy, how a strategy is to be implemented, at what pace, and through what means is something that will need to be discussed, and therefore I believe that cooperation between advanced countries and also developing and emerging market economies (AUDIO GAP) and other topics, especially global rebalancing will be very important.

QUEST: The question exit strategies, the danger is that we do end up with this global imbalance between countries like your own, which is now growing at 2 to 4 percent, and good growth, and therefore has less of a need to continue a stimulus package or to continue its exit strategy -- OK now implement its exit strategy versus those countries that are still.

(AUDIO GAP)

YOON: . and therefore I don't believe that this is the time to be talking about exit strategy.

One thing that we need to be mindful of in terms of exit strategy is that too early is bad and too late is also bad. Meaning that if we are too early, it could dampen the recovery. For example, we see this in the U.S. during the 1930s and Japan during the 1990s.

However, if we are too late, then it leads to inflation and asset bubbles, and that can be a burden. So therefore international cooperation and getting the right timing is very critical.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

QUEST: The South Korean finance minister. Decision-makers (AUDIO GAP) vital stages of the world's response to the economic crisis. It is evening in London. The G-20 finance ministers, central bankers are about begin their (AUDIO GAP). This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Good evening.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: And a very good evening to you. I'm Richard Quest. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, most certainly tonight here on CNN. There has been a muted reception in India to news that its economy is picking up pace. GDP growth accelerated in the second quarter. Now that was largely due to government stimulus packages.

The rebound begs one obvious question, India's economy is on-track to grow by around 6 percent for the year. Does the government need to continue stimulating the economy? And in any event, if there is such action by policy-makers, what role does exports to the United States and the European Union play?

The Indian finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee, joined me earlier.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PRANAB MUKHERJEE, INDIAN FINANCE MINISTER: I cannot sustain this level of fiscal stimulus and adjustment of the monetary policy. I shall have to come back to the fiscal conservatism. And that's why in my medium- term plan I have indicated that I'm ending the year with 6.8 percent of fiscal (AUDIO GAP).

But I will come down to 5.5 and 4 percent in the next two years.

QUEST: As we look at your growth, which is impressive by the other standards, except Indian standards, where one would normally expect to see higher growth, we're seeing domestic demand -- a lot of -- an increase in domestic demand which is underpinning the growth, but not export-led growth, which, of course can't take place until other developed countries join in.

MUKHERJEE: Exactly. Exactly. You have uncertainty questions yourselves because if you look at the export destination of India, nearly two thirds of Indian exports served (ph) are distanced toward the developed economies -- Europe, USA and Japan. Unless there is strong recovery there, I cannot expect the robust export growth.

QUEST: There is a view that is now quite taking hold that bankers' bonuses need to be dealt with, there needs to be more regulation of the financial world and stock markets have got ahead of themselves.

Do you believe, Minister, that we are almost in parallel worlds -- on the one hand, you have the financial world, and then you have everybody else?

MUKHERJEE: Look, here, also, we shall have to strike a balance. First of all, I would like to (INAUDIBLE) in the name of the financial regulation and to regulate the markets and as I started off, I mentioned protectionism need not come. Yes, there is a need of regulating the financial market.

At the other side of the picture, these instruments need not be used to devise protectionism in some forms. Therefore, there, too, we shall have to keep in view the federal reserves -- the larger social interests -- interests of the society as a whole, not fragmented and fractured internally.

QUEST: We've learned that in this crisis, haven't we?

We've learned that one segment of an economy can cause dreadful damage to an entire society.

MUKHERJEE: And we draw the correct lessons from these experiences. And if we fail to draw the correct lessons, then it will not help us in the future.

QUEST: But I'm never sure, Minster, what are those correct lessons?

There seems to be no consensus on what those lessons are.

MUKHERJEE: No, that's true. There is no consensus yet. But if we look at the way G20 responded and e have ourselves been made to address only those issues where there is the possibility of consensus. And your question reminds me to underline another important aspect. I do feel in G20 we should not pick up those issues where consensus is elusive, such as...

QUEST: Such as?

Which issues?

MUKHERJEE: That there should not be, in the name of financial agreement (ph), it should not be too much contractionist policies in the grab of another form of protectionism. It reminds me, just now, my currency has (INAUDIBLE) a ministerial meeting for the W2 ph that we should make serious efforts, including the G20, to conclude this all around while the G10 (INAUDIBLE).

(END VIDEO TAPE)

QUEST: I knew someone had to mention it before the program was over and it was up to the Indian finance minister to mention it. And I'll have a little bet with you. I guarantee you that the weekend communique, or at least the Pittsburgh communique from the G20, has that important words "we commit ourselves to a successful conclusion of the Doha (ph) round." They've been saying it for eight years.

If you want to know what's happening on our program, of course, then you really do need to look at our Facebook page. You search QUEST MEANS BUSINESS on Facebook. That's where you get the true story of what's happening on our program. Of course, dear Michael Holmes, if you want to know what's happening on the network, well, then you have to turn to back stories. Having nearly started World War III between this program and "BACKSTORY" last night on the program, I now offer -- I offer an olive branch. I offer a dove of peace. I offer all sorts of things between "BACKSTORY" -- who -- "BACKSTORY" and ourselves. I offer some sort of peace gesture.

We will be back for the final part of our trip, NYLONKONG (ph) -- New York, Hong Kong and London -- in just a moment.

Good evening.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: The Geico Building as we come to the end of our look at NYLONKONG.

And, finally, a look at the markets tonight. The Dow Jones Industrials in New York up 68 points at the moment, a gain of nearly 1 percent. We're not going to probably make 9500, but it is interesting to see a rising section. You can see just at the beginning of the session, there was just obviously a bit of a down moment. That's probably when the jobs numbers were being digested -- the U.C. Jobless and the unemployment numbers.

And the European markets, all the major bosses (ph) in Europe were largely higher and some by more than 1.5 percent.

The wave of U.C. Job losses that we've been talking about has hit workers of all ages. It's a long time since things were this tough for people in the 55 and up age bracket -- workers who prided themselves on years of experience. They now navigate a job market where all rules have changed.

CNN's Richard Roth.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This Brooklyn, New York job center is not where Aston Brown thought he'd wind up at the prime of his career. Brown is 56 years old. He spent years working as a sales rep for various industries and thought he was set for life.

ASTON BROWN, JOB SEEKER: And I believe that when you get to a certain age, you would begin to grow in that job, you have the experience and you would expect maybe to retire in the job. Instead, you are in the fields, where it is extremely competitive, trying to find a job. So it is a bit frustrating.

ROTH: Millions of older U.C. Workers face the same grim prospects nationwide. The jobless rate for men and women age 55 years and older recently hit 10 percent -- the highest level on record, with men being hit the hardest. Older workers are heading to job centers across the country, desperate for guidance.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now it's like panic city. It -- it's really tough. And my dream thing is to own a little restaurant. Now I would like to work in that business, but I can't get a job because restaurant work, they can hire anybody who doesn't have experience.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It may be that time when I've got to look into something totally new. And that's -- that's sort of like wow.

Does that mean -- do I go back to school?

HENRY SILVERMAN, NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR: We see the frustration. You know, I don't believe that people actually felt they would have to do a resume at the age of 50 or 55. I think that they felt that that was a younger person's deed and they're not prepared to do it, in many cases.

ROTH: It wasn't like this at all in recessions past. Seniority used to be a valued commodity in the workforce. Labor economists say that's all changed.

RICHARD JOHNSON, THE URBAN INSTITUTE:

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The older workers were much less likely to be laid off than younger workers. And that's because they were protected by their seniority. Seniority was important than it used to be. They say they value their experience, but they're really concerned about how costly they are and about the -- the expense of hiring older people, training older people.

ROTH: Economists say as baby boomers age, this jobs crisis could get even more pronounced, especially as more people are forced to put off retirement. Despite the challenges, some older workers at this center are upbeat. They say their years of experience will eventually pay off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are good things happening. You just have to tell yourself the good things, because everyone right now is in serious trouble, in the whole country. You know, it's not like I'm alone.

ROTH: Hardly alone. Experts fear there will be many more older workers seeking support before the U.C. Jobs picture brightens.

Richard Roth, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

QUEST: And that is why jobs and the potential jobless recovery will be number one agenda with the G20 both here, the finance ministers, and, of course, at the Pittsburgh summit.

Last night, we showed you the moon. Let me show you it again because unless I'm mistaken, tonight is actually a full moon. I can't see any bits that aren't missing -- Guillermo at the World Weather Center, I've got to give you -- I've got to give you full marks. You've -- you've managed to engineer not only a full moon on our last night of NYLONKONG (ph), but pretty much perfect weather throughout the whole series.

GUILLERMO ARDUINO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I know. I'm very glad to see that. I'm very, very happy. And we were lucky that there was a last minute change. And this system that we had before in Canada, Tropical Storm Danny, brought some clouds and rain that quickly moved away. So I think you're going to have a marvelous weekend. It's going to be a tad cooler. Sunday, we may see the new change and some clouds moving in again.

But, for the most part, Hong Kong was amazing. New York, with an exception of one day, I think, was great. And London the same thing.

You're going to see how gradually now everybody's transitioning into an autumn-like condition in general, not only this weekend, but coming up later.

And, of course, we see some clouds. Look at the highs we expect for London -- 20, 20, 23 and increasing clouds. And that is when the rain may come back. But it's going to be a glorious weekend and I wish the best for you and all your viewers -- back to you.

QUEST: Many thanks.

Guillermo at the World Weather Center.

And that is our coverage of New York, Hong Kong and London -- NYLONKONG (ph).

QUEST MEANS BUSINESS taking the temperature around the world.

I'm Richard Quest.

MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST is coming up next.

Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I do hope it's profitable.

I'll see you on Monday.

END

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