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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Turkey Political Crisis; Turkish Markets Tumble; Turkey's Financial Troubles; Stocks Flat; Twitter Shares Fall; Bitcoin Warning; Defending Bitcoin; Target Woes Widen; How to Hack; Extreme RC Iron Man
Aired December 27, 2013 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, HOST: The closing bell his rung, the hammer has fallen, the market is flat as the fizz fades from the Christmas rally. It's a flat close for the Dow on today, Friday, December the 27th.
Tonight's headlines: we will be in Turkey to find out the latest developments on the crisis facing the Erdogan government.
Also tonight on the program, a matter of speculation. The bitcoin backlash spreads to India.
And swag bags all around while Britain is beating the bank robbers.
I'm Richard Quest. It may be a Friday, but I mean business.
Good evening. Tonight in Istanbul, a fierce battle is underway between protesters and the police. The protesters have been trying to take Taksim Square, a famous landmark in the city. They've thrown fireworks at police vans and have shouted "Government resign."
The prime minister remains defiant as a corruption probe expands. Speaking to supporters who had gathered at Ataturk International Airport, he denied the allegations of corruption and bribery against top officials, and he accused forces of trying to undermine his government.
Our correspondent Mohammed Jamjoom joins us now from Istanbul. The situation -- when we were talking earlier today, we talked about how Erdogan was ensnared in this and getting more so. What's the situation tonight?
MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Richard. And at a time when so many in Turkey were expecting that perhaps, for once, Prime Minister Erdogan would show some type of remorse for the fact that many people that were close to him and his party have been ensnared in this scandal.
And at a time when this scandal seems to be getting closer and closer to him, and possibly threatening his stewardship of this country, you heard yet again a very defiant and very entrenched Erdogan.
Now, you see behind me Taksim Square, seems relatively calm right now. That was not the scene earlier tonight. Protesters kept trying to converge upon the square, up and down Istiklal Street, which is just to the side of it and is the main pedestrian thoroughfare here in Istanbul, there were several clashes. We were out there in the middle of it.
You had protesters trying to put up barricades so that the water cannon trucks couldn't get to them and try to disperse them. Well, that didn't keep the anti-riot police from getting to them, from dispersing the crowd several times. You had teargas being dispersed numerous times.
What was amazing about this very heavy-handed show of force is that at the beginning of the evening, you really didn't have all that many protesters out there calling for Erdogan's resignation. As the evening wore on, more protesters started to come out.
At the height of it, it seemed like there were hundreds of protesters, but every time they would really start to rally together and march up that thoroughfare and towards Taksim, then the heavy-handed police force would come in and disperse that crowd.
At the same time, amidst this backdrop of turmoil, you had Prime Minister Erdogan, who arrived in Istanbul earlier today, he gave a speech first at the airport here in Istanbul to a throng of supporters. Then, he gave a speech that lasted well over an hour in front of his residence here in Istanbul in which again, he sounded completely defiant.
QUEST: Mohammed, let me jump in here.
JAMJOOM: He's been unapologetic. Once again --
QUEST: Let me --
JAMJOOM: -- he said.
QUEST: Excuse me, I'm just going to jump --
JAMJOOM: Yes, go ahead, Richard.
QUEST: I must jump in here, because a thought occurs to me. Talk me through how this moves forward. Does it fade out and just sort of disappear into the -- into the realms of scandals we've known? Or does it get worse for Erdogan?
JAMJOOM: Well, right now, the anger in Turkey is growing, but we must remember that Erdogan still has a lot of support in this country, and he is counting on that. And at a time when there have been resignations in this country -- you had three members of the cabinet resign the other day, one of them calling on Erdogan to resign.
Today, you had three members of the government also resign. At a time when there seems to be cracks appearing in his AKP Islamist party, the question is, will this get to Erdogan. Because he is surrounding himself with loyalists. He is trying to insulate himself, but at the same time, this corruption scandal is widening.
And also what you have happened is you had the judiciary today come out and say that a ruling that was made last week by the Interior Ministry that any implications by prosecutors going forward would have been signed off on by superiors. They ruled that unconstitutional.
So, the sandal is widening, anger is growing, but at the same time, Erdogan still very powerful. And even though there are protests, he is as defiant as ever and says he will remain in power. Richard?
QUEST: Mohammed Jamjoom in Istanbul this evening, obviously watching events over the course of the weekend. The Turkish lira has it a record low against the dollar as the political crisis deepens. If you join me at the super screen, you'll see exactly how things have followed.
Now, the lira, well, this is the way it's gone. This is the lira to the dollar, so obviously, it seems to -- because this the way it goes down. It was -- you were -- 44. Sorry, you were getting 57 -- 0.573 US cents to the lira. And now, of course, you're down here considerably less, 0.448.
The lira's fallen 18 percent since the beginning of the year. In the summer, the currency plunged after the Federal Reserve -- that summer plunge there -- let me put a bit of telestrating on. That was the sequester. Sorry, that was the tapering worries that hit all emerging markets, like Brazil, India, and Turkey.
But this is the political crisis that happened now. And that fall overall, of course, we're looking at an 18 percent fall in the last few weeks and days alone in another downward spiral.
Let's talk about this with Stephen Pope, who joins us from CNN in London. How dangerous economically and financially is this crisis in Turkey? Bearing in mind NATO member, difficult relations with the European Union, but an emerging market that everybody's jumping onboard.
STEPHEN POPE, MANAGING PARTNER, SPOTLIGHT IDEAS: Yes, certainly everybody's been taking Turkey as one of their popular choices over the last few years. However, this particular crisis seems to have put the currency path, as you were just illustrating, the stock market path, and also two year bond yields into not just a trading channel, but they look like corridors of uncertainty.
If we start having questions about the leadership of this country, then really, the anchor that supported the economy is coming under big questions. And so, all assets are being deserted in very quick time.
QUEST: Right. But the core, of course, when we've seen these crises -- we saw it in the summer -- they can reverse just as quickly as they have begun providing there's a feeling of certainty and a way forward.
POPE: Yes, and I think your previous correspondent in Turkey was correct to say that Erdogan has this very large support, around 50 percent or more of the people still support the party, the AK party. I think you'll see that he is surrounding himself with loyalists.
He's not going to have any truck with questions inside the party that he should resign. So, he's padding himself with loyalists, and what he wants to do is ride this out, get to the March municipal elections, and show that there is no coordinated opposition to his party overall.
And then, he wants to get through the summer, because he's looking to ascend to the presidency in August. That's what he's after.
QUEST: But is there a danger that with the fall in the lira coupled with a rise in bond rates, either Turkey ends up with a financing crisis at over 10 percent or a balance of payments crisis?
POPE: Well, certainly I think the balance of payment crisis could be a big issue, because yes, it's a floating currency, but at the moment, that's not helping it at all. And Turkey's terms of trade are suddenly going to take a big turn to the south.
Otherwise, I think the financing -- Turkey's in not too bad a state, and we have seen the central bank actively trying to sell dollars to prop up the currency, but we know you can only do that for so long. I'm more concerned about the trade balance in the short term --
POPE: -- than I am Turkey's ability to access markets.
QUEST: We're going to stay with markets and we're going to just quick -- stay where you are, please, Stephen. I just want to point out what's been happening in the US markets with US treasuries. Look at the graph for how treasuries have moved up from the beginning of the year, where the rate was just over, I don't know, 1.8, 1.9 percent.
Now we have a rate on treasuries of 3 -- over 3 percent on the ten- year bond. Now, Stephen, this is -- this 50 percent increase on rates happens at a time when official rates haven't moved, but this is obviously a reflection of tapering.
POPE: Well, clearly we have seen some view over the last few months that the economy is improving, so people tend to desert bonds in that regard. The tapering, we know, is going to be slowed down to $75 billion from January onwards, and that means that the appetite to buy long-dated securities has evaporated somewhat.
And I think, really, you're finding a big push back to the front end. It's typical at this time of year, but overall, going into January, I think you're going to find the front end of US will fare better, and that means there is further upside pressure upon the ten-year.
QUEST: Well -- right, but at 3 percent at the long end, does that start to crimp economic growth? And does that start to be exactly the problem that Bernanke and in the UK Mark Carney warned about, that this rise in long-term market rates is not justified or predicated by official policy?
POPE: Well, certainly if the rate were to creep too much higher than around, say, 3.25, we would begin to see some concerns regarding the sustainability of the economic growth. However, whatever the Fed might decide to take away, they can easily give back to the market.
So, I think you've got to trust in what Bernanke will do in his last days of office, and then what Yellen will do when she takes over in February is going to be with the best interest of the US economy at heart. They will not play fast and loose with the security and the integrity of this US economic recovery.
QUEST: Stephen Pope, thank you for joining us. Have a good weekend and a happy New Year when 2014 arrives.
POPE: Thank you.
QUEST: To the markets, and we'll be live at the New York Stock Exchange in just a moment to bring you up to date. Oh, it didn't make it! We were flat all day. We were actually -- look at that. Look at the graph, it shows you. We could've just been up, but we weren't, we were down. No records today for the Dow Jones Industrial.
QUEST: Let's go to Zain Asher at the New York Stock Exchange. It was all going so -- I was going to say "well." If we look at the Dow, let's just have a quick look at the Dow and you'll see exactly how the trading day performed. Up a bit, down a bit, up a bit, down a bit more.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: All over the place.
QUEST: All over the place. Volume, I'm guessing, was light. And at the last minute, something must have just flipped it into the red.
ASHER: Yes, it was an interesting one to watch, because you really didn't know which way it was going to go, whether it was going to be a record high or not. But the markets did actually trade within a fairly narrow range today.
If you look at the Dow, at one point, it was up 50 points, another point it was down by 18 points. But then, towards the end of the day, what you saw was some profit-taking, especially after six straight days of record highs. And as you mentioned, volatility was key, because shares were very thinly traded.
ASHER: Only 300 million shares were traded --
ASHER: -- it's not that much.
QUEST: Oi! Not that much at all! Over a billion can be done on a good day.
ASHER: Exactly, exactly. Not that much.
QUEST: All right. So let's not waste too much time talking about the Dow because frankly, let's be honest about it, the Dow Jones Industrials on the Friday between Christmas and New Year is not the big talking point.
Twitter, on the other hand -- if you IPOed and you were in, you got good value. But it wasn't a favorite today.
ASHER: It wasn't the favorite today at all. Twitter has had a good run, and yesterday especially, the shares rose 5 percent. But then just looking today, they actually fell 13 percent. So yesterday, there was all this optimism about the company's advertising prospects.
But then today, you had one analyst downgrading the stock saying there's really nothing to be justifying this crazy rally, and that's why Twitter fell sharply today, down 13 percent, now trading around $63 a share. But they've still come a long way.
ASHER: Up about 60 percent. Hard to beat their price just a couple of months ago, their IPO at $26 a share. Richard?
QUEST: Zain Asher, thank you very much, indeed. Now, one thing on the Exchange that you can't trade as such, well, they are two of the biggest movers and shakers of 2013, Twitter and Bitcoin have both seen big gains in their values.
One is the social media whirlwind with 200 million active users. The other is a groundbreaking payment network -- you know the digital currency.
If you had some spare cash to flash about and invested it both at the beginning of November, which would have made you wealthier? I think you probably know the answer to this. It's the bitcoin, which has trounced the website with the famous blue bird.
Now, if you'd bought one share of Twitter on its first day, you're up about 150 percent. However, if you had bought a bitcoin, well, you would be up a much healthier 203 percent so far. The bitcoin has edged into pole position as its worth has bloomed. It's now $800, a 203 percent increase since November the 6th.
India's central bank has been the latest to warn of the perils of bitcoin, following in the footsteps of China, France, and Norway. India's central bank warned users of the virtual currencies they're exposing themselves to potentially devastating losses. The country's biggest bitcoin trading platform suspended operation following the baker's caution.
A statement from the Reserve Bank of India: "There is no underlying or backing of any assets for VCs. As such -- " VCs, virtual currencies. "As such, their value seems to be a matter of speculation."
Let's just look at that again. "As such, their value seems to be a matter of speculation." I'm joined now from Seattle by Patrick Murck of the Bitcoin Foundation. Patrick, "As such, their value seems to be a matter of speculation."
PATRICK MURCK, GENERAL COUNSEL, BITCOIN FOUNDATION: Yes. Thanks for having me here. I think that the value really is a matter of how valuable you think bitcoin as a protocol for moving money around the world at very low cost instantaneously, how valuable that is. Because that's essentially what you're buying into when you buy a bitcoin.
MURCK: The utility of it as a payment network.
QUEST: But the thing about -- the problem that everybody had -- you've answered these questions a gazillion times, so I don't suddenly expect you to say, "I've seen the light, bitcoin is dreadful." But the concern for regulators and for central banks is that it is outside their jurisdiction, and you can understand that concern.
MURCK: Well, sure, I understand their concern to a degree. But there's a lot of benefit to that, as well, in the way that that's set up. And while we're saying that the bitcoin network, the protocol is outside of their jurisdiction, there are operators in the space that are within their jurisdiction.
There's one pattern I've seen from regulators and policymakers over time, it's that at first they don't understand bitcoin at all and they don't pay it any mind. Then when they first look at it, they say, well, that looks a little bit scary.
And then as they gain an understanding of it, they come to realize all the benefits: the job creation, the economic growth, the benefit of connecting people to the global economy. They see all these benefits, and they come to realize appreciate bitcoin and start to become supportive of it. You saw this exact same thing play out in the US. We're seeing it play out in the EU --
QUEST: Well, I wouldn't --
MURCK: -- and in China as well.
QUEST: -- I wouldn't -- no, hang on. Hang on. I wouldn't say the EU -- I mean the US hearings in Congress was lukewarm at best. The EU is still very firmly sitting on the fence. So they're not exactly rushing to re-denominate their euros into bitcoins.
MURCK: Well, I think the hearings were pretty successful, and in my conversations with the regulators and policymakers in DC, I think we're seeing a very positive, supportive response.
I think people really understand the benefit here of using these systems to actually move people who are trapped in cash-based informal economies into a globally-connected digital economy.
QUEST: I think --
MURCK: You can't do that through the traditional financial systems.
QUEST: I think one of the fascinating parts -- and I've looked at bitcoin a bit in the coverage of the story -- is this whole idea of the algorithm that can only create so many bitcoins, and we all want to know what happens at the end of that, when the 20-odd million are created.
And then on top of that, you've got these people busy mining away for the chain of integrity and the chain and the blocks and all this sort of stuff. It's a very weird way to run a currency.
MURCK: Yes, well the mining is actually fascinating. Mining is maybe a term that's not as descriptive as it should be of the activity that's really happening. What you've done is, you've created a distributed network of computers that takes the role on of traditional financial intermediaries without having to trust any of them.
So they go and they do all this work with all this processing power to secure the network and process transactions, and they essentially do it -- and the incentive scheme for them is that they get paid in bitcoin itself. That will change over time, and it should change to a more fee-based structure. And that's what you'll see as the number of bitcoins that are issued starts tailing off.
It's actually very -- it's a very elegant solution to how you bootstrap a payment system --
MURCK: -- that's completely distributed and global off the ground.
QUEST: We'll talk more about this and, indeed -- I have to go and find a miner to actually watch them mining and actually see how they do it, because apparently, it's one of those difficult things. Good to talk to you. Have a happy New Year, thank you for coming on the program tonight.
MURCK: Thank you.
QUEST: Now, when we come back after the break, Target's hacking misery continues. Target is the US store that, of course, found its computers hacked. PIN numbers have been taken, credit card details have been taken, and now everybody's wondering who's being taken.
QUEST: The size and scope of this holiday season massive data breach at Target is worse than previously thought. Now, the -- it's a popular US discount retailer, Target. It's huge, in fact. Often called "Tar-jay."
Anyway, now, apparently, customers PIN data was stolen, along with other credit and debit card information, which is a change from previous assurances from the company that it previously had insisted no PIN data was stolen in the attack.
Target says this data remains strongly encrypted and security experts say will be virtually impossible for thieves to break the encryption code and steal the PIN numbers.
Even so, the scale of the attack on Target was staggering even before today's revelation. Some 40 million cardholders have been affected including, indeed, one of the cameramen here in the studio, who's just been telling of his own woes and problems with having limits on the amount of money that can be taken out of the bank.
It's one of the largest data breaches on record. Attacks of this size may be uncommon. As Gary Tuchman found out, they're increasingly easy to pull off.
ADAM MEYERS, VP SECURITY TECHNOLOGY, CROWDSTRIKE: I can teach within an hour to -- how to have a limited attack against somebody, get into their system.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN US NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Get their financial information? Their banking information?
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Adam Meyers is the vice president of intelligence at a security technology company called Crowdstrike. And he's about to show us how relatively easy it is for people to hack computers of businesses so they can access your credit card information. Meyers says one way criminals sometimes start is by just going on Google and typing in "how to hack."
MEYERS: What do you want to hack? Do you want to hack Facebook? Do you want to hack Instagram? Do you want to hack a Twitter account, wifi?
TUCHMAN (on camera): I want to hack a bank. Because that's where the money is.
MEYERS: How to hack a bank account, how to hack a bank, how to --
TUCHMAN: So, it's automatic -- these are things that people are searching for.
MEYERS: There's a YouTube video on how to hack credit card and transfer money to your credit or bank account.
TUCHMAN: So this is not any dark secret, how people learn stuff like this. They can just do it in ten seconds.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Criminals can easily find malicious software online, also known as malware. They often go on underground forums to buy a so-called builder software, which builds the malware.
MEYERS: So, I open up the builder, and this is the thing that's going to allow me to make my malware.
TUCHMAN: The malware code often looks like this, like gobbly-gook. But when used effectively, criminals can hack into the computers of retailers and steal your bank information when you swipe your card at checkout.
TUCHMAN (on camera): So basically, this code and knowing how to do this and learning this, and often learning it just from the internet, from a Google search, can lead you to stealing -- being able to steal millions of dollars.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): This malware is called Zeus, and Meyers says there are many others types of malware with thousands of variations.
TUCHMAN (on camera): This person who set up this malware, this Zeus malware, they are now in a position when someone puts in their financial information, it comes to them too.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): The criminals actually have a scoreboard of sorts.
MEYERS: So this is what the bad guy would see.
TUCHMAN: It's a management system where the bad guys keep track of their victims.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Right now, it says zero, total reports of databases on this management page of the malware. But conceivably, it could say, 8,000.
TUCHMAN: That means you're controlling 8,000 people and companies' computers?
TUCHMAN: And you could do whatever you want to their computer?
TUCHMAN (voice-over): If the United States had more widespread adoption of chip technology in credit cards, like Europe, it would cut down on criminal activity. In the meantime, the US does have companies like Adam Meyers, were many crooks are nailed. Crooks who aren't bright enough to avoid leaving their fingerprints on the work they do.
MEYERS: It's not about how smart you need to be to do this, it's about how good you have to be to not get caught.
TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, CNN, Washington.
QUEST: What we need in these situations is something super human. In comic books and films, computer hackers will be quaking in their boots if they knew a super hero such as -- ha ha! -- Iron Man was around.
And this holiday season, Iron Man has gone high tech. This is the flying Iron Man RC Extreme. And much to the alarm of my colleagues, I took it for a test flight, somewhere appropriate, somewhere decent -- near the CEO's office in the newsroom.
QUEST: And this is it. Tell me about what we have here.
CHRIS WILSON, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, EB BRANDS: This is the RC Extreme Hero, the first flying Iron Man.
QUEST: Is it easy to fly?
WILSON: Easy enough for an eight-year-old to take out of the box and put it right up in the sky.
QUEST: Do we have any eight-year-olds --
QUEST: -- around here? No, we have no eight-year-olds, but we do have a 51-year-old --
WILSON: All right.
QUEST: OK, now what do I do?
WILSON: So the trick is, don't over turn. Just tap to turn.
QUEST: Don't over turn.
WILSON: Just tap your turn.
WILSON: Tap to the left. Other left. There you go. Nice job.
QUEST: The one thing I remember about remote control toys, you do a lot of running.
WILSON: There you go. Tap to the right. More power. More power. Look at you!
WILSON: And Iron Man's arrived.
QUEST: Will it be hard to get, do you think?
WILSON: I assume it will be, yes.
QUEST: You think it will quite hard to get.
WILSON: Yes. I think you can have that one.
QUEST: Thanks so much. Nice to see you. Don't worry about it. See you next year.
QUEST: The problem with these things is you can never quite get them to work when you want them. So, if in doubt, do it the best and old- fashioned way: fly!
QUEST: And that's the end of that. We'll be back after a break. Oh! Break, get it?
QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. There's more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment. This is CNN, and on this network, the news always comes first.
Protesters clashed with police again today in Istanbul. It's the latest flare-up in a scandal over a corruption investigation. The controversy is threatening to bring down Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government. The prime minister was defiant when he addressed supporters a short time ago.
The former Lebanese prime minister, Saad Hariri, suggests Hezbollah is responsible for a bombing that killed one of his top advisors, but Hezbollah has condemned the attack. A powerful car bomb exploded in downtown Beirut. It killed the former finance minister, Mohamad Chatah, and five other people.
It will take longer than first hoped to reach the Russian ship stuck in an Antarctic ice flow. That's because this Chinese icebreaker also got stranded in an icy blizzard. The trapped research crew as 74 passenger and crewmembers onboard. The expedition leaders says they're all doing well and are cheerful.
A US federal judge has ruled that the wide-scale collection of phone data by the National Security Agency in the United States is legal. The extent of the collection was revealed by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. A different judge said last week that the program is likely to be unconstitutional. Two opposing views from the judiciary.
South Sudan's government has agreed in principle to a cease-fire, but he country's rebels have yet to sign onto the deal. Nine days of fighting in the world's newest nation has killed more than 1,000 people and forced 100,000 civilians to flee their homes. The UN says 63,000 people are now taking refuge at their bases across the country.
Violence in South Sudan is taking a toll on its vital oil production. It's the most oil-dependent country in the world - up to 80 percent of its GDP depends on oil. Now, the country's main oil-producing areas are the Unity State and the Upper State. Fred Pleitgen, really good to see you, Fred.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, BERLIN CORRESPONDENT FOR CNN: Yes, Richard, good to see you.
QUEST: We'll come to your interpretation in a moment while I've just shown - Unity State is - if you see on there - Unity State Refinery and the Upper Nile Refinery. Now, the Unity State Refinery produces some 45,000 barrels per day, a sizable amount for a country the economy of South Sudan. The Upper Nile Refinery produces a much larger 200,000 barrels per day. And of course, that is the production is unaffected there for the time being. Here's what South Sudan's information minister had to say about recent developments.
MICHAEL MAKEUI, SOUTH SUDAN INFORMATION MINISTER: The oil fields of northern part of Upper Nile are safe. The oil fields of - the oil fields of -- Unity State have partially closed because of the - because of the presence of the rebels in those areas and the killing of the personnel in the oil fields. And so that has affected in a way or the other the flow of the oil in the Unity State.
QUEST: Now, Fred Pleitgen, we've just introduced you, is with us. He's covered South Sudan extensively for CNN. So we have these two - the Unity State Refinery -
QUEST: -- and the Upper Nile Refinery, but you have a country that's just basically on the brink of civil war.
PLEITGEN: Yes, and it's ethnic warfare - it's basically tribal warfare because you have the tribe of the president -- the Dinka -- which is the main tribe, and you have the tribe of his rival, who used to be the who -- vice president and the former vice president - the Nuer. The interesting reason why one of these refineries is working and the other one isn't fully working - this one is working - the one that has 200,000 barrels a day, right. Because the Nuer don't have much of a presence in the Upper Nile State - they have some tribal members there but by and large this is more of a Dinka State - the Upper Nile State. Whereas they have a very, very strong presence in the Unity State. That's why he's saying here, some of these oil wells are not functioning because they are controlled by the rebels. The government has said that the capital of the - of Unity State is under the control of the rebels at this point in time, and they've also gone in and controlled some of these oil fields.
QUEST: Right. But let's get back to what this - let me push this one over here -
QUEST: So, show us - you cannot draw on the map - show us where the rebels are, show us where the conflict area (inaudible) -
PLEITGEN: Well -
QUEST: -- bearing in mind this country is the newest country on earth. Now many people quite rightly will be saying, for goodness sake, you know -
PLEITGEN: I mean, this is for - a little over two years. Yes.
QUEST: (Inaudible) you can't get it right now, what hope is there?
PLEITGEN: Well, they certainly have to get it right. Now, that's where the U.S. is really telling them to get their act together.
QUEST: Well, where is the problem area?
PLEITGEN: The fault lines are basically in the middle of the country.
PLEITGEN: The main faction -
PLEITGEN: -- is of course the Dinkas. So if you take this region here, everything above here is Dinka. It's a little more complicated than that -
PLEITGEN: -- and everything below here - so around Juba - this is all Dinka as well. And then you have the Nuer - just sort of around this region here.
PLEITGEN: They'll have this. The refinery might be outside of their area. So, the Dinka are the largest tribes, and there's a town here called Bor -
PLEITGEN: -- which has been under the control of the rebels for a while but it has been taken back by the government. But this is sort of their main area of influence, and right now, as you know, the leader of the Nuer - the second largest tribe - is not really willing to sign up with the peace negotiations yet.
QUEST: So, now we have regional countries all coming -
QUEST: -- in, trying to get a peace agreement.
QUEST: Many of us again are perhaps saying is - before it's even got going - let's be blunt about this, Fred. Is South Sudan failing even before it's begun?
PLEITGEN: Interesting question. There are some people who are saying it's on the way to failing, but if you ask the United Nations, if you ask the U.S., they will tell you at this point in time, this is a political crisis between the president and his former vice president that threatens to become a full-out ethnic conflict. If you talk to most people - as you know - most of the time the people are ahead of their elected officials or their non-elected officials. They just want to live together. They want to live in peace. They just want to get their lives going.
QUEST: Let's take (inaudible). I'll remind you, that is South Sudan, the country that we've been talking about with its oil refineries. A check on the price of oil now - and Brent crude for delivery in February is $112 a barrel, it is up 20 cents for the session. Traders have been monitoring the situation in South Sudan. Analysts say oil prices will go up if there is any disruption or significant disruption to supplies -- $112. "Quest Means Business" -- in just a moment after the break, a fare glitch wasn't enough to undo a bumpy year for Delta's stock. We'll explain.
QUEST: It is obviously the week between Christmas and New Year when we get to play with all the toys in the studio. In this case, it's a little Delta regional jet. The regional jets may be flying beautifully, but Delta was punished today. Its shares fell 3 percent after a glitch on Thursday caused steeply discounted prices to be offered online. You're talking about selling a transcontinental from New York to L.A. for $40 - a first- class ticket to Hawaii for just a couple hundred bucks. Then there's $12.83 in some cases. The airline said it would honor all the correct fares. Good on you, Delta. United also incidentally said that they would honor their fares earlier in the year. Now, when we put it together, Christmas may be over, but there are a few more days for traders to stuff their stockings and their portfolios. And airlines are the theme of today's "Stocks and Stockings" segment. Who's - a little after Christmas - who's been naughty and who's been nice? In the festive library, we begin with Delta. Now the stock is actually up 127 percent on the year despite - that should be taken from last year, year to date versus - so 135 over the last 12 months. Starting at $11 and ending at $27 a share, Delta, without a doubt goes into our nice stocking without doubt. Another one that does - Willie Walsh's IAG - owner of British Airways and Iberia and Vueling - 114 percent increase. A lot of that has come on the back of BA's return to profitability and Iberia's restructuring, and Vueling, Alex Cruz, the CEO there, doing a magnificent job of turning that into a real profit (inaudible). Well, Willie, you get into our nice stocking for this year. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Alan Joyce's Qantas. Its shares fell 37 percent this year - what about the fireball (inaudible). Qantas' stock went down 37 percent and they announced plans to axe 1,000 jobs during the next 12 months. The S&P downgraded the airline's credit rating to sub-investment, and unlike the previous two, Qantas goes into the naughty stocking. But remember, Alan Joyce has always said if he was able to have foreign investment like Virgin Australia or any of his competitors, it would be a different kettle of fish or airline. You get what I'm saying. Now, here while I am by the warmth of the fire, it's worth sparing a thought for those business travelers out in the cold. Join me, nice and toasty. The people making sure that all the flights we take are on time - oh, it's awfully good, isn't it? Earlier in the year, I went to Oslo in Norway because at a time when so many people are experiencing delays, if you're going to talk about keeping the planes flying, well in Oslo, they're the world experts.
QUEST: A synchronized dance on a challenging stage. Elegant choreography, military timing. In just 15 minutes, a runway cleared of snow and fit for flight. This is Oslo Airport's state-of-the-art fleet - 27 vehicles including two of the world's largest snow blowers.
Male: We have two of the TV2000. This one is the newest - it arrived yesterday. It's 40 tons.
QUEST: Forty tons and more than a million dollars, and they're willing to let me have a go. Now, where's the start button? You'll feel this whole thing just moving with snow, and then suddenly slowing down. Extraordinary. Keeping things moving whatever the weather. Ice building up on the wings and tail of a plane is downright dangerous as it disturbs airflow during takeoff.
Male: So now we are set in de-icing position.
QUEST: When the temperature drops below 3 degrees, the trucks are called in to pelt the plane with antifreeze. So that actually moves the nozzle --
QUEST: -- this moves the arm. Got it. With trepidation, I make my way gingerly towards the aircraft. Now in reality, how much more (inaudible).
QUEST: Not bad for a first go.
QUEST: All I can say is, Jenny, how's it - because I know you're sniggering, thinking, `ooh, that didn't look very good.' You try driving one of those things towards $50 million worth of airplane --
JENNY HARRISON, WEATHER ANCHOR FOR CNN INTERNATIONAL: Well, yes.
QUEST: -- knowing that even if you just touch the thing, there'll be hell to pay.
HARRISON: Yes, not going to mention it. Actually I wasn't laughing at all, I was just thinking how much you love to play with your toys - that's what I was thinking. But, well, let's have a look at weather conditions in Europe -
QUEST: So, we'll have a look at weather conditions in Europe.
HARRISON: Yes, that's what I'm going to do.
HARRISON: Because if I'm (inaudible) from your -
QUEST: Thank you, move please.
HARRISON: -- (inaudible). And I'm going to talk about the fact of course. Not much snow to clear, so, Richard, your service is not required just yet, but what we have seen of course the last week and a half - now into week two of this - is just area of low pressure after area of low pressure really impacting the northwest of Europe. The U.K. of course in particular but also northern and northern areas of mainland Europe. The rain's been coming through again in the last few hours, but because we're in this mild air flow with this rain, not much there totaling in the way of snow. Maybe some just flurries to high elevations. But look at the wind.
HARRISON: These are some of the highest winds gusts we've actually had over the last week and a half. In Aberdaron in the U.K. - 176 kilometers an hour. That's 110 miles an hour. The Isle of Man, 119 kilometers an hour, Dublin 115, and even in London itself - 76 kilometers an hour. These are really dangerous winds. And right now the gusts are still pretty strong. We just got two reports in Aberdeen and Glasgow at 65 kilometers an hour. But the forecast unfortunately is not that great. It's more of the same. The next system coming through as you head through the weekend, and then if that clears, look at this - there's another one just waiting in the wings. So at the moment it looks like this one might just stall a little bit out in the Atlantic. And of course, more rain across the central Med, more rain across the eastern end of the Med as well, and so not surprising warnings in place again as we head into Friday and Saturday. Four of these strong winds spreading across a huge area, and particularly strong expected there into western areas of Norway. Now, when it comes to delays at the airports, this is what's being reported right now. So, because the winds have died down, delays are not too bad. But all of these major hubs you can expect some sort of delay. And of course remember you've got to get from one place to another, so if you're flying into somewhere that's suffering the bad weather, that could also delay you even at your outgoing, you know, point of departure. But this is the wind forecast for the next couple of days. You'll see that system go through and then again look at this late on Sunday - in comes the next system. So there really is barely a breather in between all of these systems. The rain of course coming in - we could have another 40 plus millimeters of rain in Glasgow too in the next 48 hours. Temperatures are on the mild side. I was talking just yesterday about Moscow, how it's been so very, very mild. And you can see temperatures again well above the average over the next few days. Kiev as well, temperatures at 7 Celsius on Saturday and also Berlin - actually in double figures, when they should be about 2 Celsius at this time of year. So, delays at the airports on Saturday, again, not too bad because this is sort of the in-between day compared to Friday and Sunday when again we expect to see those delays pick up because of the winds. But you will notice that some long delays in Geneva in the overnight hours because of low clouds, thick cloud, poor visibility, so another very unsettled picture generally across into Europe. And when it comes to the temperatures at the start of the weekend, not too bad across northern/western areas where we have that mild air flow - 10 in Berlin, 9 in Paris and in fact across the south 13 Celsius in Athens, 15 in Rome, but again, that comes in both cases with some showers. So, not a great weather scenario heading into the weekend. Richard.
QUEST: Jenny, thank you very much. Jenny Harrison with the World Weather Center with blowing a gale. We thank you. Now, we've seen how they can steal your credit card info, and we know that they can take your PIN numbers. But physically robbing a bank - well that's not so easy, and some new data proves just how difficult it is to rob a bank.
Male: OK. Let's make some money.
(SOUND OF DRILL)
QUEST: Now, the 2008 film "The Bank Job" was based on the 1971 robbery of Lloyds Bank in London's Baker Street, incidentally used to be opposite that particular branch. Since that happened - the robbery, not the movie - seems like this one have become much rarer in reality. Robberies of British banks have fallen 90 percent in the past few decades according to new figures out today from the British Bankers Association. In 2011, there were just 66 robberies. Now, you compare that to 1992 when there were 847. Various reasons for the decline, not least the improvement in security, closed circuit television and more CCTV cameras, more screens and there's even a special fog to disperse robbers. Jeffrey Robinson is with me. He's the author of "The Laundrymen: Inside the World's Largest Business." OK, It's a stick up. I want to get into the vault. I want the money.
JEFFREY ROBINSON, AUTHOR, "THE LAUNDRYMEN": Ah, well in the vault you won't. You won't get in the vault. But if you wanted to get the money in the old-fashioned this is a stick up -
ROBINSON: -- really sudden kind of bank robbery.
ROBINSON: There's no money. There's nothing to get.
QUEST: Has to be something, a little bit there.
ROBINSON: No, no, no, no, no. Banks figured out long ago that if you came up to the teller and said give me all the money, they only had $50 or $100 there. When people made a cash deposit of real worth, it went down the chute into the basement. There's no way you can get into the basement. There are CCTV cameras everywhere, so the only thing that's going to happen if you walk in a bank with a shotgun and say give me the money, is you're going to end up on Crime Watch.
QUEST: And in that situation, we're seeing a - I mean, that's a fairly noticeable reduction, is it?
QUEST: Basically only an idiot goes into a bank -
ROBINSON: Total moron, absolute moron.
QUEST: Right. So -
ROBINSON: But -
QUEST: -- but - I knew there was a `but'.
ROBINSON: Ah, there is a `but'.
QUEST: What's the `but'? What's the `but'?
ROBINSON: The `but' is whereas the front door is manned with CCTV cameras and all sorts of security, the back door isn't. In the City of London, the major crime today is insider fraud. In big corporations and in banks.
QUEST: So, we have, for example, we have the gold that was stolen at the airports -
QUEST: They were, not, diamonds - I think it was diamonds.
ROBINSON: Gold before that.
QUEST: Gold bricks back?
ROBINSON: Bricks back.
QUEST: So, we've got gold being stolen, we've got diamonds being stolen and we had that credit card fraud earlier this year with hundreds of millions supposedly taken.
ROBINSON: Yes. In the United States, you don't have to rob a bank, you simply have to rob Target which is what happened with the credit cards in Target.
ROBINSON: (Department store hit).
QUEST: So what does this tell us though about the changing face of crime and the way people are stealing?
ROBINSON: Well, people can steal on the internet. You can sit on your balcony in Monte Carlo and break into people's accounts and you don't have to buy a balaclava. It's much cheaper and much better and you'll probably get away with it. But in the City of London, with three quarters of the crime - financial crime -- goes unreported, your risk to reward ratio is very high.
QUEST: Now, when you say this, are you talking about things like the Libor scandal?
QUEST: Are you talking about you know sort of (inaudible) or you're talking about hard-fashioned insider dealings?
ROBINSON: Insider dealing, insider fraud. You rob a bank from the inside, and if you get caught - if you get caught - the bank will say give us the money back, go away, we don't want any publicity, we don't want our public to know, we don't want our board to get upset about it - just go away.
QUEST: How much of that's going on?
ROBINSON: Well, the "Times" reported - the "Sunday Times" reported some years ago that there was $12 billion worth of fraud in this city. If you figure that three quarters to 80 percent go unreported, just do the multiplication.
QUEST: Well, what are they doing? Are people transferring it to their own accounts?
QUEST: Are they just -
ROBINSON: Moving it around. The great story years ago - man in the middle. A guy actually worked out with I think it was 11 banks and corporations. He would call the bank and he would say I'm with the Quest Corporation and I'm your new contact.
ROBINSON: And he would call the Quest Corporation and say I'm with such and such a bank and he moved money between the two and nobody bothered to check what he was doing.
QUEST: Good to see you, Jeffrey.
ROBINSON: Always good to see you.
QUEST: Thank you very much, many thanks indeed. Now, you can give us your thoughts @ richardquest if you think that you - well, not that you want to rob a bank, but that times have changed. I'll have a "Profitable Moment" with some thoughts after the break.
QUEST: Tonight's "Profitable Moment." A couple of months ago I was about to buy an airline ticket and I went on the website for United Airlines and that moment I noticed that the price seemed ridiculously low. It was a couple of dollars for a ticket from New York to London. Well, being the idiot that I was, I thought there must be some mistake and so I didn't go any further. I just messed around. Imagine my annoyance and fury only to discover that it had been a mistake on United's website and that yes indeed they were honoring those tickets. I could've bought a first-class ticket to Australia. And the same thing's happened just again. This time with of course Delta Airlines which has admitted that a glitch means passengers will get some very cheap prices for tickets at less than just a dozen dollars for a long- haul trek. All of which makes me think are we fair to take advantage in these situations? Now, moment of morality. When the company makes a mistake and we take advantage of it - is that right and fair? You bet it is. These are the same airlines that'll take your last penny if it's a free ticket or some taxes or for a bag in the hold or a pair of - a drink on board. No, absolutely it's fair and game if we can get a little bit back. And good on Delta and good on United for honoring the tickets. They could have weaseled out of it if they'd wanted, but they didn't And that's "Quest Means Business" for tonight. I'm Richard Quest. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, (RINGS BELL) try and get a ticket. Hope it's profitable.