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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS

Gold, Silver Reach New Market Highs; Galleon Insider Trading Case Goes to the Jury

Aired April 25, 2011 - 14:00:00   ET

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


RICHARD QUEST, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Show us your metal. Gold and silver reach new heights in the markets.

Raj Rajaratnam, it is time now to be judged by his peers.

And come join the party, tourists advice if you are traveling to London for-oh, yes!-a royal wedding.

I'm Richard Quest. Let's start the week together because we both mean business.

Good evening.

Safety is golden in today's investing world. And they are still pouring money into the precious metal which sends it to a new record high today, on nominal value. Indestructible, therefore immune to the evils of inflation. One commentator calls gold an "anti-investment", a good bet when things go bad. And there are concerns, of course, U.S. growth, interest rates at close to zero, and more and more people are now counting on gold for a safe return.

You can see exactly what happened today if you join me in the library. Gold hit the latest record of $1,518.34. Now, it is important to remember the gold price there is a reflection of course on the weak dollar, which gold is a hedge. And it is traded in dollars. Unrest in the Middle East, nervousness about the economy, potential of inflation, worries about sovereign debt, higher price of oil, you get the idea. That is what is pushing it up. It is still low in absolute term-I'm sorry-in adjusted terms, but in nominal terms it is of a record.

And silver has done even better in many ways. Silver came close to a 50-year announced, highest in 31 years. In some ways silver is doing better than gold. It is up more than 60 percent since January, where gold, which of course did have a much higher rise to start with. But gold has only gained 6 percent on the year, in the same period. Whereas silver is up 60 percent. So various reasons, not entirely clear for the stratospheric gains, dollar weakness, conspiracy theories, is there somebody, perhaps, trying to corner the market?

The interesting bit of news, NYMEX crude for May delivery, at $123.05 an ounce (sic), it is just up the best part of a dollar. Oil, highly volatile at the moment and, of course, extremely crucially, related to economic activity.

The U.S. markets, it is a key week for U.S. traders and investors. Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange, and joins me now, to put it into perspective.

Alison, the reason why this week is so important?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: There are two reasons. There are two focuses for investors this week Richard, earnings, we are going to get a lot more earnings this week. And then what is happening on Wednesday. The Federal Reserve is going to have its first press conference, ever. This is what, really, the market is waiting for right now. You can see the numbers right now. We're kind of mixed. Kind of, you know, trading (ph) between lows and highs, very minimal here. Trading volume is very low. What you are seeing is investors really holding off on making any big bets ahead of this Federal Reserve meeting and then the press conference on Wednesday.

This is when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is going to come out and actually answer questions. Now whether or not he answers them clearly? Well, that is a topic for discussion right there. Some say he's as clear as mud, so we'll have to see if he has any impact on the market. But this is really the reason why this Fed meeting is going to be getting extra scrutiny, Richard.

QUEST: Yes, OK, quick question, though. Let's assume. What is the one question that you want to hear answered, at the moment, from Ben Bernanke? Because let's face it, Alison, he ain't answer a question, when are you going to put interest rates up?

KOSIK: True. And that is what I want to know. You asked. So the second thing I want to know then, what is he going to do about QE2? What is the Fed's exit strategy for winding down QE2? I'm talking about the Fed's $600 billion Treasury bond buying program that was put into effect to rev up the economy.

You know there is a lot of debate about whether or not the market is going to react to it, if at all. If the Fed transitions away from the bond buying program, analysts argue, you know it has already been priced into the market. But some say it is going to wind up causing interests rates to rise. And then what you could wind up seeing is a new season of volatility in the market. It is going to be interesting to see how the Fed winds down this program. Because we have inflation in the mix, as we see with the commodities that you've just been talking about, Richard.

QUEST: Alison, good to hear from you. We'll talk more about this as the week moves on. Many thanks, Alison Kosik at the New York Stock Exchange.

That issue of commodities that Alison mentioned, it is one of the hot button topics at the moment.

The world's largest commodity trader is in some hot water according to the "Financial Times". Glencore took a punt on wheat prices going up last year, at the same time Glencore executives were encouraging Russia-Russia, to ban exports because of a drought. The ban was imposed, prices rose.

Jim Boulden is with me.

JIM BOULDEN, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: What is interesting about this is this story came out last year, in August, as well. And "The Wall Street Journal" talked about this at the time. One executive in Russia said, hey, Russia, you should ban your exports. They did that. That means that the prices that Glencore had already locked into, the prices rose. Glencore said at the time, well, this was on executive saying this. This isn't a company policy. And they had at, quote, "mixed outcome" from last year. We knew about this last year as well. But it is coming back again because we are so close now to this historic IPO from Glencore.

QUEST: Right, but what is clear now, and what has become clear, is that Glencore had made a bet on the market. They had gone long on wheat.

BOULDEN: Yes, right. But they also point out, at least it was pointed out in the "FT" today, that because the wheat prices went so high, when Glencore had to go buy other wheat, they had to buy that wheat at higher-with other contracts.

QUEST: Another contract, yes.

BOULDEN: Exactly. I know it is a big complicated, but the point is, in their minds they made that bet. Maybe one of the executives, you know, maybe it seems inappropriate to a lot of people to go in and tell Russia, hey, you should be banning your exports. Because we know when you ban something, prices go up.

(DESK BELL CHIMES)

QUEST: The way I read the story it sounded a bit less than wholesome.

BOULDEN: Hmm, and what is so interesting here is because it is a company that doesn't tell us a lot, but now that it is getting closer to this IPO we to learn a lot more about what Glencore does. The only way this came out, in some people's minds, was because of a bank, UBS, getting a report. Giving that to some of the potential investors for this IPO in May, and some of this information coming out, leaking into the markets.

QUEST: Jim, commodities are too important to our economies, for these sort of shenanigans, for this sort of murkiness.

BOULDEN: This is why people are really surprised at Glencore, who controls so many different areas of commodities, from metals to food, oils, as well, that as they get closer to the IPO and release this information, then you have issues about how much do they control? And how much information will they give us as they get closer to this IPO?

QUEST: Did the chairman of Glencore really say, what he has reported to have said?

BOULDEN: Let's look at the quote from this. Because we had this whole issue about who was going to be chairman of Glencore. Then Simon Murray said to the "Sunday Telegraph" that some issues about pregnant ladies having nine months off, do you think that means that I want to rush out, that I'm absolutely desperate to have young women, who are about to get married in my company. And that I really need them on my board, because I know they're going to get pregnant and they're going to go off for nine months."

Now, that is the quote from the "Telegraph" and yesterday the "Telegraph" got another talk-another comment from Mr. Murray and the company saying, "I apologize for any offense caused. I am 100 percent committed to equal opportunities on the board."

QUEST: Come on, he is apologizing because he got-the comments were made public, not because of his views.

BOULDEN: Well, he hasn't said here that he was misquoted. That is the one they always look for.

QUEST: So, he is apologizing for being caught at it.

BOULDEN: Again, what I find so interesting here, you know, this whole issue two weeks ago, would John Brown, the former CEO BP, become the chairman. And for two days we thought he was going to become the chairman. Then, he pulls out. We don't know why he pulls out. We don't know any of the details, again, very murky. And then this guy, Simon Murray, who is well known in South Africa comes in. And then the first thing you do is you make these kind of comments, just before you are looking for investors to get into this massive IPO.

QUEST: I wonder what Katherine Middleton would say about those views? And newly married. Not that she is about to come of the board of-

BOULDEN: Glencore, no. But of course we do see-we do see who we see, we see former heads of BP, two CEOs of BP, potentially, one wanted to be a chairman and one is a non-executive director on the board. So you see that Glencore hasn't had the smoothest transition from a privately held company into the world of having do disclose a lot more information about itself.

QUEST: If journalism ever gives you up, diplomacy is your measure. You skated brilliantly past any reference of Miss Middleton. Many thanks indeed.

(DESK BELL CHIMES)

It is decision time in New York. This is serious. He is accused of making more than $60 million through insider trading. And now the hedge fund of Raj Rajaratnam is in the hands of the jury, his future is. We'll have the latest. We'll be outside the courtroom. This is CNN, good evening.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

In New York the jury is deliberating on the biggest insider trading case in a quarter of a century. Raj Rajaratnam, the founder of the Galleon hedge fund, is accused of making more than $60 million by trading on leaked, inside information, allegedly. Now he says he has done nothing wrong. Felicia Taylor is outside the courtroom. And Felicia may have a long wait or a short wait. That is one of the vagaries of the jury system.

The jury, just bring us up to date, has the jury now got the case?

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, indeed. And what happened, basically this morning, the jury heard the rebuttal from the prosecution, which only took about 20 or 25 minutes. And then the judge went through very explicit instructions as to how they were going to go through the 14 counts.

This is the complaint that has been officially filed, but there are 14 counts that have been charged against him; five of conspiracy, nine for the actual commission of those securities frauds. Now, he can get up to 25 years if convicted on all of these charges. And as you said, he has allegedly earned some $63.8 million off-which frankly, in comparison to what the man is worth, is a drop in the bucket. But nevertheless, he could be convicted up to 25 years, if there is not an acquittal or a mistrial.

Now, what we do know also is that the jury went to lunch for about an hour. And they will be deliberating until 4:00 o'clock Eastern Time today. We have already been told that at that point they will adjourn and return tomorrow morning, Richard.

QUEST: Do we know if the jury is sequestered, and will be kept together over night, or are they allowed to go home?

TAYLOR: I believe they are allowed to go home. We have not heard anything about them being sequestered at this point. I mean, obviously, the judge is also very explicit in his instructions that they may not talk to anybody about the case. They may not tell anybody about how far along the process is in deliberations. The other thing that we haven't found out yet is whether or not they have asked for any evidence to come back. That can take a very long time. Some believe that this could be a very quick deliberation, because of the amount of evidence that was put before them, it was overwhelming. Other think that this could go on for days, because, again, the judge was so specific in what he had to say, with his instructions. And for instance, on one count, alone, they have five different elements to get through. And they must all agree, unanimously, that he is either innocent, or guilty, Richard.

QUEST: Finally, how much is Wall Street, the financial industry, the community watching this?

TAYLOR: Say that again?

QUEST: How closely is Wall Street watching this?

TAYLOR: Oh, my goodness, very closely. This is the largest hedge fund insider trading scandal, ever, to be tried in U.S. history. This will set a precedent for anyone else out there. If, for instance, he is acquitted or this is a mistrial, it will reflect very poorly against the attorney general, who has basically had a crackdown on insider trading. Wall Street is watching this very, very closely. Anything that has happened as a result of this trial will be crucial to anything in the future that comes before a federal court like (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

QUEST: All right. Make sure you've got your sandwiches. You could be a long wait, or indeed, it could be a short wait. The beauty of the jury system is you just don't know. Felicia Taylor, it looks like it is a nice day. You might even get a suntan before a verdict is rendered.

The urban landscape, the natural terrain, side by side, but maybe it works. It is a problem as old as the hills. When we come back we take you to the hills of Kigali, where we learned the lessons of getting it right. Rwanda is our "Future City" after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: All this month we have seen how a city, shaped by tragedy, is fast becoming a future city of Africa. Rwanda's capital, Kigali was once infamously known for the genocide. That was 17 years ago. Now, of course, one never forgets genocide, nor should one, but for Kigali the city is becoming renowned for industry and innovation. It is not only the city's history that stood in the way of progress.

The geography poses its own challenges. Kigali, as you can see on this map over here. It is surrounded by hills, valleys, and wetlands. Hardly the ideal terrain that you are going to want to do a bit of urban planning. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) have learned the key isn't to ignore or work around them, you have to work with them. It is our final trip to Rwanda's capital to see how Kigali lives with its landscape.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

QUEST: Traditional Rwandan dances on one of Kigali's many green hillsides. You see every city has its shape. One which is dictated by the land upon which it sits. Kigali's shape is hilly. And for the city planners that presented certain challenges.

DONNA RUBINOFF, KIGALI URBAN PLANNER: The terrain of Kigali, the land of 1,000 hills, in Rwanda has dictated much of the planning that was undertaken from the start. Wetlands are preserved, steep slopes have been preserved, to the point where almost 50 of the land in the city of Kigali is not slated for development.

QUEST: You can't build everywhere, even when a city is growing as fast as this one. Unfortunately, for Kigali, developers in the past forgot that.

This is Kigondo (ph) Industrial Park. It was built in the 1970s. It is home to more than 80 industries. It sits on top of a long stretch of wetland in the center of Kigali. It is suffocating the marshy land beneath.

DENIS RUGEGE, RWANDA ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AGENCY: This area, where this building has been constructed, you can see the soil has been compacted by the construction. And you can see this stagnant water here, instead of running and getting filtered, it stays and collects all sorts of contaminants. So the functioning of the wetlands then stops.

HASSAN RUZIRAMMPUHWE, MECHANIC (through translator): The problem we have is that when it rains here the garages get very flooded. And on top of that we get surrounded by mosquitoes. So when it rains, we can't work.

QUEST: More than 15 percent of the city is wetland. And preserving these areas of natural beauty is crucial if Kigali is going to have a future.

ROSE MUKANKOMEJE, DIRECTOR, RWANDA ENVIRONMENTAL MGMT. AGENCY: Those wetlands in the city, I think the vision was short. Because they were not thinking how can we build those hills and keep the environment safe. And today, we have to destroy to make sure that we plan better, and we build better.

QUEST: All of these businesses will be torn down and moved. So that the wetlands can be restored to their former beauty in line with plans for the new Kigali.

FEMALE ANNOUNCER: The wetlands will be restored, and streams will be made clean again.

QUEST: This is where the businesses are headed. Kigali's new special economic zone. Patrick Maguza (ph) says that for his mattress business, the big move may well work out for the best.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): As it happens the relocation suits us well. The new industrial site is very big, and being located there will give us access to lots other businesses.

QUEST: So, Rwanda Foam, will join the hive of activity in Kigali's new industrial hill. Under construction, as we speak, it is a key piece in the puzzle of the city's future vision, to be a regional business and trade hub. The same vision that brought us to Kigali in the first place.

What we have seen over the course of this month, is a city that has come back from the brink of total ruin and set its sights on a very bright, some say, ambitious future.

MAN SINGING (translation onscreen): You will build.

CROWD SINGING (translation onscreen): We will build. We, the children, will make Rwanda a paradise.

PAUL KAGAME, PRESIDENT OF RWANDA: I'm very confident, even from evidence, the city has grown from one good step to another, and to another, and to another. We have seen about $600 million worth of projects come to the city in the last four years. So we will get even more. I just feel as a Rwanda, as the leader of this country, and with my people, that we owe it to ourselves to work hard to achieve what we so want to achieve.

QUEST: This may be a relatively small city, lacking in money and resources, but one thing is not lacking in Kigali, drive.

SINGING (translation onscreen): Our Rwanda will develop.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

QUEST: "Future Cities" taking you to literally the future cities on all of the continents, Kigali there ending our look at our month in Rwanda's capital city.

First the devastation, now the frustration, work continues at Japan's stricken nuclear plants as the public's patience is beginning to run out. A report from inside the quarantine zone, in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. This is CNN and on this network the news always comes first.

(NEWSBREAK)

QUEST: The people of Japan are turning on the prime minister and the way he is handling of the country's nuclear crisis. Mr. Kan's Democratic Party has lost an important bi-election and had a poor showing in narrow contests on Sunday. Voters are growing impatient with the clean up operation. Our Correspondent Stan Grant reports the signs of progress are now difficult to spot.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STAN GRANT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Up close to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The waves of the ocean that last month crippled this facility now lapping against the rocks. Inside, workers are still trying to properly shut down the plant. These images have been taken by a Japanese film crew deep inside the 20 kilometer no go zone.

They wear all protective suits and measure the radiation levels constantly. Around them, towns deserted, widespread destruction from the tsunami. Animals abandoned -- at this farm, the carcasses of dead pigs, presumably starved. These are likely to be some of the last images of the exclusion zone. The government has now cracked down even on residents going in and out. There are fines, potentially even jail terms, for those breaking the law.

Some rush to get in to retrieve possessions before the new restrictions take effect. "Even if I bring these things home," this man says, "I don't know whether I can use them. I wanted to bring something back. It's just ridiculous to buy new clothes. I'm worried about contamination, but I think I will just wash these and wear them."

The stark images captured here fit with those of our own CNN crew just days ago. Houses at this village just inside the 20 kilometer limit sitting empty.

(on camera): Some cars still moving through this area. We passed through the 20 kilometer exclusion zone checkpoint and they are allowing people to move around, to come in and out. And that's why we've been allowed to come in here now.

(voice-over): This man, back briefly to check on his home, prefers not to be identified, but told me he worries about his health and his future. "I'm young and have no children. If I think about marrying and having a baby in the future, will they be healthy? Even more than older people," he says, "I worry about it."

This is a common story for the tens of thousands of people forced from their homes by the nuclear crisis. It's a crisis that has shamed the owners of the Fukushima plant.

The president of Tokyo Electric Power Company, Masataka Shimizu, visiting displaced residents and begging forgiveness. "We are sincerely sorry," he says.

This man, though, not so understanding. "This kind of lifestyle is tormenting us. There are sick people here and instead of getting better, they're getting worse."

"Yes," says the TEPCO boss, "We are sorry. We are terribly sorry."

Right now, though, all so many people really want to hear is that the crisis is over and they can finally go home.

Stan Grant, CNN, Minamisoma, Japan.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

QUEST: Now, the storage of nuclear waste and the safety of that is one of the biggest challenges that faces the energy I need. Right now, it's a problem with no permanent solution.

Per Nyberg has been to the facilities that claims to have the answer. It's deep underground in Sweden.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PER NYBERG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Deep underground at a lab in the southern Swedish city of Oskarshamm, dress rehearsals are taking place for what's set to be the world's first permanent solution dealing with the nuclear industry's spent fuel. Only two of these testing facilities exist in the world and here at the Aspo lab, the ultimate resting place is being prepared.

MATHIAS KARLSSON, SKB GUIDE: We have radioactive waste that we have to take care of. We can't continue and operate if we don't have a plan for taking care of what's dangerous.

NYBERG: The Swedish nuclear fuel and waste management company SKB is owned by a collective of Sweden's nuclear power companies and it's spent three decades investigating the Swedish bedrock. This chosen place right next to the Forsmark nuclear power plant in central Sweden has stable bedrock that's 1.9 billion years old. It has very little flow of water and no desirable minerals. The storage method called KBS-3 is based on a copper canister five centimeters thick made to withstand any kind of worse- case scenario such as an earthquake or even an ice age.

(on camera): Now, this giant machine is the one that will be depositing the 6,000 copper canisters into large holes about 500 meters below ground. Each of these canisters will contain two tons of highly- toxic, high-level spent nuclear fuel and the idea is for it to be safe here for the next 100,000 years.

(voice-over): So far, Sweden has accumulated more than 5,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel. It's stored here, 40 meters below ground, under eight meters of water. But this is no long-term solution.

BRITA FREUDENTHAL, SKB GUIDE: If you use water as radiation shielding, it's a vulnerable relationship. You have to be here all the time and you have to seal the facility every minute, every day. And we'll not do that for the next 100,000 years. That's for sure.

NYBERG: Even though the Swedish method is specifically designed for the Swedish bedrock, the project has attracted a global interest, including the U.S. Blue Ribbon Commission that's investigating what America should do with its nuclear waste. The Swedish industry's application is now being reviewed by the authorities and, if approved, this place will be the building site by around 2015.

SAIDA LAAROUCHI ENGSTROM, SKB: What happened in Japan shows that leaving things on the surface makes it even more important to have a concept for the underground -- for the geological repository.

NYBERG: But the project is also facing heavy criticism from the local Opinion Group for a Safe Repository. They say SKB's documents reveal that the copper could corrode and the clay might not work as planned. Instead, they want a method with much deeper holes.

KENNETH GUNNARSSON, OPINION GROUP FOR A SAFE REPOSITORY: You have to have some kind of safe method so if there is leakage in the future, it won't pollute the groundwater flow.

NYBERG: And the independent board advising the Swedish government agrees there are still questions that need answers.

CARL-REINHOLD BRAKENHIELM, SWEDISH NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR NUCLEAR WASTE: That is a crucial issue. Is this material that is going to be used in the barriers actually going to protect a leaking capsule down there?

NYBERG: The outcome of the Swedish review will have a major impact on how the nuclear industry handles its waste. Finland, for example, has already started construction, hoping the method will be approved.

Meanwhile, researchers at the Aspo lab are already experimenting with new ways of storing nuclear waste, pushing the boundaries one step further.

Per Nyberg, CNN, Oskarshamm in Forsmark, Sweden.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

QUEST: Four days to go until the wedding of Prince William to -- and Catherine Middleton. We'll show you the costs involved. And always, let's remember, there's always room for one more. You're welcome on board.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: An extra 600,000 people are expected to visit London for the royal wedding this Friday and this weekend.

Now, as I've said a million times, there's always room for one more. So if your plans are coming along, flights and hotel rooms are available and they won't break the bank. I did a bit of digging round this afternoon.

If you want to fly to from London to New York, Virgin will set you back about $820 round trip. That's the cheapest we found. From -- that's including taxes, by the way.

From Berlin, easyJet, you can come in for $281.

BA is about $350 to $400.

You'll need somewhere to sleep. You are not sleeping on my sofa bed. Nope. I'm sorry, let me make that quite clear. I've already got enough people staying over the royal wedding.

A budget room at a Travelodge in Central London at less than $100 a night. More at market, the Hilton in Kensington, $180 the last time we looked. And the important thing is that there is availability of both seats and hotels.

Tom Hall is with us, the UK travel editor for "Lonely Planet," which has its own special royal wedding travel guide. We'll talk about that in a moment.

Are you surprised?

A lot of hoteliers told me that, actually, it was a very slow sell to get going.

TOM HALL, UK TRAVEL EDITOR, "LONELY PLANET": I think it was at first. With special events, hoteliers and airlines expect an avalanche of interest. And so they might put prices up early.

As you get closer to the event, they might get a little bit worried that price -- that rooms aren't selling, for example, then prices come down.

Like you, I did my own search before coming on. I was astonished to see rooms available...

QUEST: Yes.

HALL: -- the point was made very clear, though, that availability is limited. So if you're thinking of a last minute visit, it is worth booking up in advance. Don't just pitch up and expect to find something.

QUEST: It is going to be worth it?

I mean look, I'm going to be outside the Abbey. But the route is half the length that it was for Charles and Diana. So there's -- it's a very tightly constructed route, from the palace to the Abbey.

What would you suggest?

HALL: What's travel about, Richard?

Travel is about events, occasions and being there. And if people are thinking about whether to go or not, where else are you going to be today?

Looking around a museum or sneaking a look at a TV some place?

No, no, no. Be in London and see it. It's great. And the route is historic and beautiful.

QUEST: It's all of that but also it will be very crowded.

Let's talk about London and London's capacity, because this is short and sweet, this one. It's a couple of days. But it's a precursor to London's ability to handle large scales for the Olympics next year.

HALL: Absolutely. And -- and everything that happens in London between now and the Olympics is going to be seen as a warm-up or a -- you know, a harbinger of things to come.

So the royal wedding is a chance for London to get it right.

What does that mean?

Transport, facilities, the prices that people pay and the welcome that they have.

QUEST: You have been -- not you personally, but "Lonely Planet" has been critical of London in the past. You -- I've got a quote here of something that you once described -- if I can put me hands on it -- you once described London as "the home of dirty pigeons and liquored up lager louts with hotels so awful, they made (INAUDIBLE) look like a documentary.

HALL: Well, "Lonely Planet" is known for telling it as it is. Happily...

QUEST: If you had to rephrase that now...

HALL: (INAUDIBLE).

QUEST: -- what would you say?

HALL: Well, it would be something about the most exciting city in the world getting ready to welcome people not once, but twice, over the next 14 months or so, I'd say.

QUEST: OK. Now, one thing I noticed -- I was up at the palace yesterday. They have put these huge boxes on the Victoria Memorial, which is going to restrict the view of people on the mall, isn't it?

So where would you be if you wanted to get the best view, do you think, of what's happening?

HALL: Well, I've agonized for a long time about this, you know...

QUEST: Ooh, oh I do (INAUDIBLE).

HALL: -- do you go down and look over people's heads at a -- at a bit of a coach going by or do you go somewhere where you can see everything but still get some atmosphere?

I think the best place is in Hyde Park, looking at the big screen, with a chance to dash over and see a little bit of pomp and circumstance going by, as well.

So, you can have the best of both worlds if you're prepared to move a little bit.

QUEST: You've got an app about all of this, haven't you?

Is it -- does it cost money?

HALL: No. We've got a map for royal London for your iPhone which is free at the moment, so well worth having a look at it all. It will tell you everything you need to know about all the sites on the parade route.

QUEST: That's a freebie.

It's a free one?

HALL: Absolutely.

QUEST: Which is why we're -- we're mentioning it. We don't want to cut into people's spending too much.

Finally, would you, just for the enjoyment of it, spend the night?

Would you go and sleep on the streets overnight?

HALL: I think it would be an experience. I'm not sure you'd sleep very much...

QUEST: I did it with Diana...

HALL: -- but certainly...

QUEST: I did it for Charles and Diana.

But if I said to you, you know, off you go and sleep, would you do it?

HALL: Yes, absolutely.

Why not?

You know, I only live once and this is a once in a lifetime event.

QUEST: If you do, come back and tell us what it was like afterward.

Nice to see you.

HALL: Thank you.

QUEST: Many thanks, indeed.

HALL: You, too.

QUEST: Many thanks, indeed.

Such a special wedding needs a sophisticated musical backdrop. There will be no "Macarena" or "Birdy" (ph) song Tweeting our way through this particular event.

No, there will be four different groups. There's two choirs, the London Chamber, there's state trumpeters of the household cavalry and there is the fancier trumpeters of the RAF Central Band.

Max Foster now looks at what's involved in making a right royal soundtrack.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(MUSIC)

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The service at Westminster Abbey will have music to match this most regal of settings. No state occasion can begin without a fanfare from the Household Cavalry. Their outfit is the oldest in the British Army. And they take their place in British history once again for the royal wedding.

(on camera): Once she's inside the church, Catherine will come through the choir screen there with her father, past the choir stalls, where the choir will be standing. And we expect her to come up here, to the high altar, where she'll meet William and be married.

(SINGING)

FOSTER (voice-over): Bringing a sense of spirituality to the proceedings will be the boys of the Chapel Royal Choir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's really exciting. It's quite an honor, actually. So I'm looking forward to it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In 50 years, this will be like major history.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm so lucky that I got to participate in such an event, which only happens once in a long time.

(SINGING)

FOSTER: And to add to the music of church and state, a personal friend of Prince Charles, Christopher Warren-Green, will conduct the London Chamber Orchestra, playing here at a recent concert.

CHRISTOPHER WARREN-GREEN, LONDON CHAMBER ORCHESTRA: Both Prince William and Miss. Middleton are very active -- actively involved in what they want for their wedding. And they have great taste in music, very strong ideas.

FOSTER: No pop singers are expected at the wedding, though we are assured Catherine and William do have a wide range of musical tastes.

WARREN-GREEN: I also have an all-embracing taste in music. I don't drive home after conducting a Milo symphony and listen to a Milo symphony. I usually drive home and listen to jazz or The Beatles or -- actually, I quite like heavy metal.

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

QUEST: Delightful. The music fiesta will be quite extraordinary.

We'll have full coverage of the royal wedding all week. It's not just the royal wedding we're interested in. We want to hear your story. We're calling it For Richer and for Poorer. Send us the pictures from your wedding day and show us how you spent it and what made the day for you and what you were thinking and you wished you said on.

Now, do e-mail us. It's quest@CNN.com. I promise you, we've had quite a few wedding pictures that have already been sent to us and we'll have some more that we'll bring to you tomorrow on the program. You can log onto the Facebook page, as well, CNNquest.

And that, of course, is one of the wedding pictures that we've had sent to us. Now, of course, I've got to quickly find -- it's Mario and Sally -- and Sally (ph) Nunez (ph), who sent us -- Nunez (ph), who sent us their wedding picture, American Airlines international flight attendants. And they kindly sent us their pictures. They've been married for 30 years.

Well, what more can one say after that?

We thank you very much for that picture.

We will have more pictures of the view in the days ahead.

Guillermo is at the World Weather Center.

You know what -- hey, Guillermo?

You know where I'm going with this?

GUILLERMO ARDUINO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Where, I wonder.

QUEST: The late -- the latest forecast has -- for Friday, has rain in it.

ARDUINO: I am going to correct Mr. Richard Quest.

We have a chance of showers, which is different, OK?

QUEST: All right. Well, one of us will be proven right and the other one will be standing under an umbrella.

What have you got for us?

ARDUINO: No. I think we -- we don't see much rain, actually, in the forecast.

QUEST: All right.

ARDUINO: We see that it's going to cool down significantly. That's a go. I mean no doubt about that. We continue to have this forecast of evening showers possibly. I was checking out some other media outlets perhaps closer to you than to us here in America, and they are talking about morning showers.

We think it's in the evening and it's a chance. It's going to be cooler, not colder, but cooler. We're not going to see the temperatures that we see right now. We will enjoy, until Thursday, beautiful gorgeous weather. Tuesday is going to be another warm, nice day. Look at Thursday, 18, sunny skies.

So we're hoping, you know, we're pushing for that sunshine to stay. I'll explain in a second why we have that weather right now.

And then this is going back in time at the average and also the range that we see in terms of temperatures and precipitation, the low temperature of the day and the high temperature of the day, which means the average is 17, but it can be as cold as 10 or as warm as 24. The low is also, at this time of the year, usually eight. And we don't see much rain. But we have seen days with a lot of rain.

You see that the clouds are staying to the north and also here in the Mediterranean Sea?

There is a high pressure that is set -- setting in right now, is shifting the winds. That's why it's going to be cooler. And if that high were to stay there, over Britain, then it would be another sunny day on Friday. The problem is that this high, by then, is weakening. But again, we need to emphasize on this, when you see an icon with showers, with droplets there, don't think that it's going to constantly rain for the entire day. We're talking about showers, the chance of showers. So it may happen.

But at the same time, there's like a 50 percent chance of nice breaks of weather conditions -- suns -- with sunshine and -- and pretty nice.

So we can't tell you exactly right now what's going to happen hour by hour, but we know that this system is approaching and this is going to bring some humidity into London.

My God, I talked about London like for two minutes.

Let me go to the other side now.

We see the bad weather into Greece, Crete and into Turkey. Again, everybody is cooling down except for Spain. That is actually seeing a resurgence of those warm conditions. The high in Madrid 22 for Tuesday. The high in Paris, 22.

See you tomorrow.

QUEST: Guillermo, the one thing I love about this one is, as I say, Friday will come, whether the weather arrives, whether the weather or not, we'll weather the weather whenever the weather, whether we like it or not.

(RINGS BELL)

ARDUINO: Yes.

QUEST: Thank you very much.

ARDUINO: Thank you.

QUEST: All right. Now, be part of CNN's global viewing party for William and Kate's royal wedding. It's Anderson, Piers Morgan, Cat Deeley and myself. We're going to bring you every moment of the London celebration live, Friday, 9:00 in the morning in London, 10:00 in Brussels and Berlin here on CNN.

Sharing a cramped cabin with a lot of first time fliers -- it may not be the ideal way to travel. You might reconsider if your ticket was $30 from Shanghai to Hong Kong. How one airline is luring more passengers into the skies.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: The growth of low cost air travel -- easyJet, Ryanair, Wizz, Jazeera, Fly Dubai -- across Europe and the Middle East, the airlines have burgeoned. But now, a new one. "Let the masses fly" is the slogan and the strategy -- fill planes to 95 percent capacity, offering super low fares.

It's not in Europe, the Middle East or Africa. It is in China. And it's targeting China's first time fliers.

The formula appears to be working, as Stan Grant introduces us to the chairman of the budget airline, Spring.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GRANT (voice-over): Wang Zhengua knows all about being flexible. This master of tai chi is applying the secrets of the ancient Chinese art to the world of big business.

"All the tai chi moves look very gentle," he says, "but they contain a lot of inner strength. It's the same running an airline."

Six years ago, Wang launched Spring Airlines, a budget carrier in a booming market. No frills here. The cabin crew double as cleaners.

Where else would you find an airline boss loading the luggage?

He has no secretary, no mobile phone, a sense of maverick businessman.

(on camera): The Richard Branson of China.

(voice-over): But it's not Virgin, it's America's Southwest Airlines that Wang wants to emulate -- lean, ultra competitive, baggage weight limits, a set load -- carry more and it costs. Customers grab food before boarding. On the plane, it's user pays. On-flight sales are a big revenue earner.

Spring Airlines crams 180 seats into their Airbus -- 30 percent more than its rivals.

(on camera): And you do get what you pay for. I'm over six feet tall. And, as you can see, my feet here, my legs are crammed in. There is very little leg room.

(voice-over): But, they, it's cheap. A flight from Shanghai to Hong Kong, about three hours, can cost as little as 200 yuan, $30. And it is a winner. Most flights are 95 percent full.

This man is certainly a fan. He was Passenger Number One and is still coming back. "Their tickets are cheap," he says, "and the service isn't bad."

Work hard, keep it tight -- that's Wang's philosophy. He's never had a holiday, works seven days a week, 14 hours a day, 365 days a year. Spring has 22 planes flying to 14 destinations, including a cut price route to Japan. One day, Wang wants hundreds of flights.

It's not going to be easy, though, in a market heavily protected in favor of giants like Air China.

"I often tell my employees to be grateful," he says. "The government has already allowed us into this once monopolized industry. If they reject an application, we keep an open mind and move on."

Today, Wang's task got a little bit harder. These passengers have been on board, stuck on the tarmac for over two hours. The destination is fogged in. The plane can't get clearance for takeoff. It's beyond Spring Airlines' control.

The flight is abandoned, leaving far from happy customers. The airline offers a hotel and a substitute flight. Another business lesson from the tai chi class -- yes, you must bend to stay standing.

Stan Grant, CNN, Shanghai.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

QUEST: Anyone -- any of us that have suffered the European low cost carriers, I -- we can steal the pain and the sympathy.

We have a Profitable Moment after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: Tonight's Profitable Moment.

Commodities have always been something of an enigma, amongst the least understood of the financial markets and, in many ways, they're the most crucial. There are those like gold, whose product is of limited commercial use, but seen as the ultimate investment of time. And there's wheat, copper and oil -- outputs used in so many parts of the global economy.

It was best summed up in this book. Commodities are the real things that we rely on every day. And that's why we need to care whether this market is being rigged by speculators to our detriment and whether the major firms are playing fair for our benefit or just for their own.

And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight.

I'm Richard Quest in London.

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

"PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT" is after the headlines.

END