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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Sepp Blatter Reelected as FIFA President; Leading Economies Release GDP Figures; Markets Fall on US GDP Drop; Silk Road Mastermind Gets Life Sentence; Buhari Inaugurated in Nigeria
Aired May 29, 2015 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:59:55] (NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE CLOSING BELL)
RICHARD QUEST, HOST: The bells, the bells, they are a-ringing at the New York Stock Exchange with the Dow Jones off more than 100 points as
trading comes to a close. It's been a very active sort of week.
QUEST: I think we can call that a medium-robust gavel, on Friday, it's the 29th of May.
You can call him Sepp the Survivor. Blatter has been reelected as FIFA's president.
As for survival, the US economy is dealt a blow from the snow. Last quarter, it failed to grow.
And bubbles is gone, the fairground is gone. Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch has been transformed and is now up for sale.
I'm Richard Quest. It may be a Friday, but of course, I mean business.
Good evening. It was another stunning day in the world of global football. After 17 years, its top official, Sepp Blatter, has been given
another five as FIFA president. The vote went to a runoff, and Blatter's only remaining challengers, Prince Ali of Jordan, conceded before the
second round of ballets could be cast.,
All this after a week that's been mired in arrests and corruption investigations. And Sepp Blatter pledged to restore the image of
football's governing body.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEPP BLATTER, PRESIDENT, FIFA: I promise you in the end of my term, I will give this FIFA to my successor in a very, very strong, strong
position, a robust FIFA, and a good FIFA.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Blatter may be celebrating, but not so for leading figures in the football world. Luis Figo, the Portuguese footballer who ran for the
FIFA presidency before dropping out, his words were, "This vote has only served to endorse the election of a man who can't remain in charge of world
football. Today was another dark day in Zurich. FIFA has lost, but above everything, football has lost, and everyone who truly cares about it has
The chairman of the English FA, Greg Dyke, said, "The idea Blatter could reform FIFA is suspect. I'd be very surprised if he was still in
this job in two years' time."
And Michel Platini, the UEFA president, applauded Prince Ali's efforts to oust Blatter. He said, "I'm proud that UEFA defended and supported a
movement for change at FIFA, change which, in my opinion, is crucial if this organization is to regain its credibility."
Our correspondent Nic Robertson is in Zurich, joins us now. Nic, you and I have followed this closely, and we've talked each evening. No
surprise in the result. Is there any eyebrow to be raised that it had to go to a second vote?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There is. And certainly Sepp Blatter's is one of those eyebrows. I mean, we heard his
speech there after he was accepting victory, but his speech when he was appealing for support was, at best, sometimes random, talking about time
and the relativity of time and how time goes faster when you become an old man, and at points pleading with the delegates to support him if they
"I'm here if you want me, I will help you if I want to." And then, as part of his acceptance speech following the vote, obviously, there was a
moment where he sort of seemed to indicate that he was surprised himself that so many votes, 73 of the 209 or 206 cast votes had actually gone
So, there was a moment before he snapped himself together again. I'm not quite sure what he was showing in those speeches. Perhaps some
weakness. But clearly, this -- he has it in his head that he can, given another four years, do a better job again. Richard?
QUEST: And as for everybody else who was there, do they just feel that the US has ganged up unfairly on -- and sort of -- do they feel, Nic -
- I mean, I've been reading the commentaries and the blogs and the newspaper columnists, but in FIFA itself, is there a feeling that the US is
ROBERTSON: You know, there will be those that will listen to that kind of message, and that was something that President Vladimir Putin of
Russia was trying to propagate, and there are those that would resonate -- that would resonate with them. The United States is not as popular around
the world as it would be 20 or 30 years ago.
[16:04:56] But when we talked to representatives, let's say, of African football, they didn't talk about how America was trying to sort of
impose its democracy and legal writ around the world, they talked about how Sepp Blatter had actually helped him, and they thought he genuinely was the
guy to improve football in their countries by virtue of what he'd done already.
Clearly, US Department of Justice believes thoroughly that the crimes they say were committed on US soil of planning some of these massive
frauds, of transacting some of these massive frauds, that the money went through US banks, which means that that falls under US jurisdiction, that
they have a right there.
And then there's the Europeans. The vast majority of the Europeans -- I mean, you had David Cameron, for example, today. He didn't say because
of the United States, I believe that Sepp Blatter isn't fit for this job. He said Sepp Blatter isn't fit for this job.
I think there's a genuine feeling out there from a lot of people, particularly, let's say, from countries that have a US-style democracy
already, that they -- that FIFA can do better, it should do better, and it must do better.
But yes, that message that Vladimir Putin has amplified, fears the United States extending its writ around the world, that does resonate in
some places for sure.
QUEST: Nic Robertson, who's in Zurich. Thank you, Nic, for watching it come in so closely.
Sepp Blatter has been at the top of FIFA since 1998, and with his reelection, is likely to remain at the helm until at least 2019. In that
time, to quote Blatter himself, football has become a major industrial and commercial activity.
Now, if you -- Blatter says, "My predecessor told me once, 'You have created a monster.' This is not a monster, but football and FIFA have
become very important.
Now, during Blatter's first term -- come and have a look at the numbers, and you'll see exactly how it's all moved. The growth of FIFA has
been extraordinary. During Blatter's first term from 99 to 2002, revenue at the beginning was $3.7 billion when adjusted for inflation. In his most
recent term of office that's just come to an end, revenue is now $5.7 billion.
FIFA's own website calls the last two decades "the era of globalization." As the ball around the world has got -- bigger. It's
grown to recognize 209 member associations. And let's put that into context. The United Nations only has 193. All these members, an
organization that's got ever bigger.
And Blatter admits there are steep challenges ahead, and FIFA needs to restore credibility. Don Riddell is at CNN Center and joins me. Don,
before -- I remember, however long it was, four, five years ago, or whatever his last term was, Blatter almost said the same things, "I'm the
man to clean it up."
And since then, we've had the allegations concerning Qatar, concerning Russia. So, I'm left thinking, what's changed?
DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, nothing's really changed, Richard. But the majority of FIFA delegates asked him to stand
again, and then they voted for him again. It is hard to see, if you're a critic, that anything really will change.
Remember, he said he wasn't even going to stand for a fifth term when he won the fourth, and here he is again, presiding over what now seems to
be an even bigger mess, given the dramatic events in Zurich this week.
QUEST: If we take events of the last five years, Don, how much of what we are talking about is historic? Let's take, for example, the
allegations concerning the awarding of the 2010 World Cup to South Africa. Those allegations go back to 2006. But if you just take this recent term
of office, Don?
RIDDELL: Ultimately, it's -- it's all systemic, to quote the US Department of Justice this week. Their investigation, which has been going
on since 2011, actually dates all the way back to 1991. So, a lot of the stuff that has made the headlines this week actually goes back a long way.
But you're right, if we were going to talk about the last four years and anything that might have happened under Sepp Blatter's most recent
watch, then I suppose that the thing you could really point to as a failing would be the ethics committee --
RIDDELL: -- which was set up in the wake of his last election. Michael Garcia went and did the report into the next two World Cups, and
then FIFA kind of covered it up. So, they're still not as transparent as he would like to think they are.
QUEST: And pulling this all together, because he said -- and unless I -- I only saw it out of the corner of my, but unless I'm mistaken, he said
he's not going to stand for another term after this. Well, arguably, by the time this term finishes, he'll be in his dotage, so it might be
academic anyway, but do you think that played into it today?
[16:10:05] RIDDELL: Honestly, I don't know. I mean, FIFA are now facing so many problems and pressures from outside, it's hard to see how
things are going to look the same --
RIDDELL: -- in four years' time. So, it's going to be a very interesting period.
RIDDELL: Once these investigations really gather pace, once these men are extradited, once they're really put under some heat, once those
computers and the digital data is examined from FIFA's headquarter, which was also seized on Wednesday, I think it's going to get very, very
QUEST: Right. Don, allow me to give you the opportunity, if I may, sir, you cover this so closely, we need your expertise and guidance. Sum
it up for me of the week's -- sum it up for me.
RIDDELL: Well, it's been an extraordinary week, hasn't it? It's been dramatic, it's been spectacular. But you know that old phrase, the more
things change, the more they stay the same. That's where we are right now, Richard.
But I do think we are teed up for an absolutely fascinating period in the next months and years ahead. Because I don't think FIFA can continue
in the way it has been so far. Regardless of who's in charge, something is going to have to change.
QUEST: Don Riddell, thank you, sir. Have a good weekend. Don Riddell talking with us.
Now, the world's biggest economy is shrinking, and why it's not so bad. We'll be talking about GDP maybe down, but it's certainly not out,
and there are valid reasons, all of which, still to come.
QUEST: There was a contraction for the world's biggest economy, the United States. The new report cards for the large economies around the
world are out, and they make some impressive reading. Let's start with the United States and see exactly -- actually, no. Let's start with Brazil and
show you what's been happening in Brazil as that economy has moved forward.
Brazil had a contraction of 1.6 percent. It's the worst drop in 25 years. What we saw there, of course, was falling oil prices, a weak
currency, and a drought, all of which took their toll on the Brazilian economy. Exports may have been up slightly, but by and large, the fall was
fairly strong and dramatic.
India, on the other hand, have a look at India, and you get a different view of what's happening in the global economy at the moment.
India at 7.5 percent, it's -- the growth was at a four-year high. The government's using a new formula to calculate GDP, at $2 trillion.
It's the 10th-largest economy, and at 7.5 percent, the fascinating part about India is that now India rivals, of course, China in terms of
growth. And it actually, perhaps, overtaking China in terms of the rate of growth at the moment.
As for the United States, the world's largest economy, here we need to focus on these numbers much more closely. The US economy saw a shutdown.
There was -- the port shutdown took its toll. The cold weather was involved as well. There was the strong dollar.
All of which had seriously affected what was happening. As a result, there was a contraction of 0.7. And you can see what we're seeing.
As to what happened with the Dow Jones on the back of these numbers, taking a look at the Dow Jones Industrials, it was off 115 points, which
was just off just slightly over half a percent.
[16:15:07] They've -- the market was down at the open, and it was -- it even dipped under 18,000 at one point. Paul La Monica is with us to
make some sense of all of this. Good to see you, sir.
PAUL LA MONICA, CNN MONEY DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: Good to see you as well.
QUEST: Even allowing for the fact 115 isn't what it used to be, what was the driving force on the market today?
LA MONICA: GDP is part of it, although we all expected that negative number, and it's backward-looking. There was another piece of economic
data about manufacturing that was unexpectedly weak, so I think people were a little nervous about that.
And we're right now, everyone's just trying to figure out, is the US economy really recovering after that weak first quarter? There's been some
evidence that suggests that it is. But then again, you get other numbers that point to still stagnation here. And I think people are nervous that
maybe the US economy is running out of steam finally.
QUEST: It's running out -- if it's running out of steam, and you get the sort of numbers that we saw from China. Brazil, obviously, is a hefty
doldrums. The core question is, what it means for the Fed.
LA MONICA: Exactly.
QUEST: Because that's really the issue.
LA MONICA: Yes. And I think some people are hoping for more bad news, even though that's very sadistic, if you will. That bad news means
that the Fed will not raise rates in September, maybe they push it to December.
QUEST: Is this bad news, or is it just disappointing news, or is it just normal news?
LA MONICA: I think it's normal news since it now seems that the first quarter is typically weak because of the weather. It's trite, but we all
are now grown used to the fact that the economy doesn't do well when you have cold weather in the winter. And that's something that we had last
But if you look at that chart, we had a big drop in Q1 of 2014, and then nice gains in the second quarter and third quarter. It was weak in
the fourth quarter, which is a little surprising because of the holidays. So, here we are again, negative number for the first quarter. Everyone has
to hope that we get a rebound later this year.
QUEST: Good to see you, sir. Thank you.
LA MONICA: Thank you.
QUEST: Diane Swonk joins me now from Chicago to talk about what today's GDP figures mean, chief economist at Mesirow Financial. Let --
we'll do the US first, and then we'll put it into the context of the others. Are you worried by this negative number in Q1?
DIANE SWONK, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MESIROW FINANCIAL: I think we're going to come into a positive 2 percent in the second quarter, but that puts the
run rate for the year, in the first half of the year, at 1 percent. That's about a third of what the Federal Reserve was hoping for by this stage of
the game, and frankly, what most of us were expecting for the first half of 2015.
So, even though we're expecting a rebound in growth and we think there's a rebound out there, we're all holding our breath that the biggest
rebound is in the second half of the year, that you'll finally see consumers really let loose in terms of those lower oil prices showing up in
QUEST: Right, but --
SWONK: In fact, macro -- there has been some evidence, Macro Advisors recently did some research showing that we should expect a delay, and this
is -- the saving rate went up in the first quarter, and we will finally spend it. The question is, when, and how rapidly, and on what?
QUEST: But even allowing for all of that -- and let's not get too hung up on the Fed, because even if the Fed does raise rates, we are
literally just taking accommodation away, we're not going back to anything like --
QUEST: -- normal. What's your growth forecast for 2015?
SWONK: You know, it has come down. I'm now looking closer to 2 percent than the 2.5 percent that we thought earlier in the year, and
that's because the first half of the year is weak, and that's with a very strong second half. We're looking for growth to rebound in the second half
to 3.5 percent overall.
But that is a bit disturbing that we still got another sort of 2 percent kind of year instead of 2.5 to 3, which would really -- it really
is a difference between an economy that's really catching up more substantially in getting us over that hump.
QUEST: And a crucial point, surely, is that the risk, Diane -- the risk is on the downside. I know whenever you read --
QUEST: -- when you read the Fed minutes, or the BOE or ECB minutes -- it's not about what's happening now, it's where the risk is.
SWONK: Right. And that's really important, is that the Fed has been wrong. We've -- a lot of us have been overly optimistic. The Fed in
particular has been overly optimistic about the US economy.
The fact that we could still sort of stumble like we do, five times in five years, is really a problem out there. We shouldn't be seeing negative
quarters. Even though it's not a recession, we shouldn't be seeing it if the underlying economy was really strong, and that's something that we have
to be cautious about.
The other issue is, you noted all the transitory factors, they're there, but the more staying power is the strong dollar and what that has --
SWONK: -- the effects that has in the economy, and some of that's still ahead of us.
QUEST: I want to just pull in the other two countries that I talked about at the beginning. Brazil, I mean, I hesitate to use the word basket
case, economically, at the moment, with that contraction --
QUEST: -- of 1.6. But I think it might be justified, if you look at the numbers. But India at 7.5, Modi's changes, arguably, picking up steam
and competing on a rate of growth for China.
[16:20:08] SWONK: Well, it's interesting, it's competing on a rate of growth to China because China's slowing down and India's picking up.
So, they sort of met in the middle.
SWONK: The slowdown in China, of course, is -- the comeback in India is certainly very important, and I think it's notable. That said, you
talked about the 10th-largest economy being India. China's a much bigger economy, and the fact that it's slowing and it's played such a huge role as
marginal consumer and producer around the world, that means something --
SWONK: -- going forward. And the slowdown in China is much more worrisome. And I think it takes note that Chair Yellen actually cited
China in her statement last week on the US economy and risks, one of the risks is, even though Europe looks like it's coming back and other
economies look like they're firming, there's a revolving door of risks, and China's one of them.
QUEST: Diane, good to see you. Thank you for joining us this evening. Have a lovely weekend.
Now, Ross Ulbricht, founder of the underground website Silk Road, has been sentenced to life in prison. The 31-year-old was sentenced by a
federal judge in Manhattan. Just ahead, we'll talk about that.
QUEST: Africa's largest economy is celebrating a new president. Muhammadu Buhari was inaugurated today in the Nigerian capital, Abuja. His
swearing-in marked the first democratic transition of power in Nigeria's history. CNN's Christian Purefoy was there.
CHRISTIAN PUREFOY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In front of all the cameras, two men stand for an historic moment in Nigeria:
the swearing-in of a new president, and the first peaceful unseating of Nigeria's ruling party.
MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA: Together we co-operated to surprise the world that had come to expect only the worst from Nigeria.
PUREFOY: Muhammadu Buhari is now president of Africa's most populous country, biggest economy, and largest oil producer.
PUREFOY (on camera): It's difficult to overestimate the significance of the scene you're seeing behind me. Nigeria has gone from coup to coup
to counter-coup, to aborted attempts at democracy since independence in 1960. But this man, Muhammadu Buhari, has now unseated the ruling party,
and he's president of Nigeria.
PUREFOY (voice-over): And Nigerians hope Buhari will use his new democratic mandate to bring change to a country beset by problems of
corruption and insecurity.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Elated! Excited! We're out of the world. This is great. This is one of the greatest days in Nigeria's history.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That list of change we fought for, very many years, this struggle for decades. And today, is in our hands.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The priorities he has already set, and is what is bothering all of us, is issues about security and of course issues about
unemployment and issues about poverty.
PUREFOY: But no one cares about the challenges today. They have a victory to celebrate.
Christian Purefoy, CNN, Abuja, Nigeria.
QUEST: I'm joined, now, from the Nigerian capital by Orji Uzor Kalu, the chairman of SLOK Holding, S-L-O-K Holdings. He's on the Forbes list of
Africa's 50 richest. He also served as governor of Nigeria's Abia state.
[16:25:02] Sir, thank you for joining me. First of all, whatever political views one has, there has to be a congratulation at a peaceful
transition of power that took place in Nigeria. And that itself is worth celebrating, isn't it?
ORJI UZOR KALU, CHAIRMAN, SLOK HOLDING: Yes, it was a very good day in Abuja today. And the people of Abuja and people of Nigeria are excited
to see what is happening in Abuja today. And a new dawn, a new direction, a new way of doing things.
So, people are excited to see new life, Nigeria moving from one democratic government to another, in terms of party, from PDP to APC.
QUEST: What policies do you want from the new president? What is the number one priority?
KALU: Well, what I will really ask, the business man and the chairman of SLOK, which is a major shipping line in sub-Sahara Africa, what I would
like to see from the new president immediately, he commands a lot of good will, he commands a lot of ideas that would be able to remove the subsidies
Our labor unions are not very strong. Today, Buhari is riding on his highest level of popularity. Today, Buhari is well-accepted by everybody
as of today. So, he has a chance to remove the subsidy.
And I think he should play quickly on the subsidy and remove the entire subsidy of petroleum products so that people can be able to build
refineries, people will be able to do business in oil, of course, in Nigeria.
KALU: And business will be able to drive, because (inaudible).
QUEST: The issue, of course, also always is --
QUEST: Right. How does he clean up the business world in Nigeria? How does he deal with what transparency, what all the organizations -- that
has to be the corruption environment that must be dealt with. Isn't that a priority, too?
KALU: Let me be honest with you. Corruption is the big challenge. Corruption has gone into the fabrics of every facet of Nigeria.
And I think that to fight corruption, it has to be holistic. You have to be something which you start in day one. Corruption has to be
reorientation of our people, reevaluation of our people, cultural, new additions. And frankly, corruption can be fought, and he has to take it
head on if we want to really succeed.
There is a lot of corruption in the petroleum business and a lot of corruption in most aspects of Nigeria. People are -- not only people in
QUEST: All right.
KALU: -- or people ask of government. The system itself is corrupted.
QUEST: Thank you, sir, for joining us. And no matter what future policies there has to be, it's certainly a day worth celebrating in Nigeria
of democracy transition. Fascinating talk.
Now, we're talking about corruption. Well, we'll return to the question of FIFA. The president of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, gets an extra term,
another term, despite the allegations of corruption that are swirling around his organization. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
[16:28:53] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[16:31:10] QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. There's more "Quest Means Business" in a moment when we're live in Havana in Cuba which has
just been removed from the U.S. terror list.
And we speak to Michael Jackson's former real estate agent as Neverland Ranch goes up for sale.
Before all of that, this is CNN and on this network the news always comes first.
Sepp Blatter's rivals have declared Friday a dark day for football after the 79-year-old was reelected for a fifth term as FIFA president.
Blatter defeated his only challenger Prince Ali of Jordan despite the corruption investigations that have been launch into football's governing
The Portuguese football legend Luis Figo who had earlier dropped out of the race says football itself is the loser. After winning Friday's
vote, Mr. Blatter insisted he was the right man to bring stability to FIFA.
SEPP BLATTER, FIFA PRESIDENT: I like my job and I like to be with you. I am not perfect - nobody's perfect. But we can do a good job
together I'm sure.
QUEST: Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in as Nigeria's president today. While the ceremony was marked by pageantry, Buhari inherits a country
troubled by extremist militants and lingering fuel shortages. The new president pledged to work for all Nigerians.
MUHAMMADU BUHARI, NIGERIAN PRESIDENT: I intend to keep my oath and serve as President to all Nigerians. I belong to everybody and I belong to
QUEST: The United States has removed Cuba from its list of countries that sponsor terrorism - an historic move, it paves the way for the full
renewal of diplomatic ties. President Barack Obama announced the change back in April when he met with the Cuban leader Raul Castro. The change
becomes official today.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for a deadly bombing in Saudi Arabia - the second time in two weeks. At least three people have been killed in a
suicide attack outside a Shia mosque in the city of Dammam. The interior ministry says a man disguised in woman's clothing blew himself up during
ISIS also says it's behind two powerful car bombings in Baghdad. The police say at least 15 people were killed in the attack on two upscale
hotels. The blasts went off in car parks, shattering hotel windows and engulfing nearby cars in flames.
And sad news to bring you this evening -- the president of American Express has died unexpectedly after becoming seriously ill onboard a flight
to New York. Ed Gilligan was 55 years old. He joined American Express as an intern 35 years ago before eventually being appointed its president in
2013. Ed Gilligan who died today.
Before he was reelected as FIFA president today, Sepp Blatter made sure his sponsors appreciated just how much he had achieved on his watch.
These are the major sponsors of FIFA.
But look at what he said specifically. He said "Partners want to be with FIFA because the World Cup is a showpiece not only for football but
for sport in general." He then went on almost with a warning. "There is no sporting event that has more fame and draws so much attention."
Well, these are the five partners to which Blatter was referring. And they are paying FIFA as much as $44 million a year for the privilege --
according to the estimates - the privilege of being associated with football at the very highest levels.
[16: 35:13] In return, they get exposure, credibility and lucrative deals. Adidas and FIFA - Adidas and FIFA - are the two longest
partnerships in the sport's history. They were signed up as FIFA partners until 2030. So those two are there for the duration.
Now, Adidas made more than $2 billion in football revenues in the last World Cup. It sold 8 million shirts and 14 million footballs. Sizeable
amounts of business for Adidas.
As for Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola is signed up until 2022. Now Coca-Cola was specifically mentioned by Blatter. It's one of the oldest sponsors and
it was praised by Blatter in his speech today. Much of FIFA's new fame and fortune, Blatter says, is because of Coca-Cola.
A study showed it was the most recognized sponsor from last year's World Cup with an enormous 92 percent brand recognition level from
If you move on to Visa - Visa is also signed up until 2022. It had warned that it may reassess its position. Visa's one of those that's come
out most sharply against. It has exclusive rights to all payments at World Cup tournaments. More than a million payments on Visa across Brazil in
2014. And stadiums and ticket sellers can only take Visa.
Put all this together with the other ones, you've got Hyundai and Kia Motors and partners through 2022 as well. They provide all vehicles to
ferry the players, the FIFA execs and all of that. There are an enormous number - 1,021 were supplied during the World Cup alone. Hyundai ads got
12 million views on YouTube.
This is the interesting one I want to show you. This is the interesting one. This is Gazprom, because Gazprom is only signed up until
2018 which is the Russia World Cup. It's all about fame for Gazprom. Gazprom is where it is positioning itself as a global energy company.
The key to Sepp Blatter's influence goes far further in far more details than anything else when it comes to sponsorship. Samuel Burke
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: FIFA teetered on the verge bankruptcy when Sepp Blatter was first elected as its president in 1998.
He turned around a business for the organization and realigned the power base.
MANUEL VETH, FUTBOLGRAD.COM: He ran on the platform of establishing that, to give more power to the small federations. And power comes with
BURKE: In Blatter's first year as president, FIFA launched programs that have since distributed more than a billion dollars in assistance to
local soccer associations, much of it to regions FIFA's European base had previously overlooked.
The Goal Program has built soccer fields, training centers and youth programs from places like Togo to Tajikistan. In total, FIFA says it's
funded around 700 goal projects to more than 200 member associations across the globe.
This map shows which confederations FIFA is investing in most heavily with a clear tilt to the southern hemisphere.
VETH: The problem is of course that when you put money into certain countries, it's not always transparent which in turn then means that money
can get lost on the way.
BURKE: Blatter hasn't just rewarded these regions with small pet projects, he's been instrumental in bringing the world's most important
sporting events to places like South Korea, Japan, South Africa and soon Qatar.
Blatter, a European, has relied heavily on the non-European vote. Instead of campaigning to the base here at home, he went out and built a
base of his own. Samuel Burke, CNN London.
QUEST: There's a case of blinding lights coming from nowhere. It's the laser pointers that have been hitting New York planes when they're at
their most vulnerable. How dangerous can this be?
[16:41:24] QUEST: Authorities in New York are searching for the person who aimed a laser at four commercial passenger jets in some of
America's largest and busiest airspace. The four planes registered complaints of a green laser similar to this when flying near Farmingdale on
Long Island on Thursday.
Why is this so serious? Well, if you take a look and see the planes did make it to their destinations safely. The danger stems from the laser
lights temporarily blinding pilots. You're seeing now what it looks like from a laser-stricken cockpit.
This is of course just what the innocent-looking laser can look like to somebody. But - and - even here as I'm just doing it there, it doesn't
seem terribly effective. But if I move it to other parts, you start to see just how far this laser will go. It will go right the way across the
studio and beyond and it will certainly illuminate Miles O'Brien who joins me now.
Miles, what happened here?
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, we can certainly say whoever did this is not thinking it through, can we? These devices are
inexpensive, they're readily available at office supply stores and online, and in the wrong hands can really cause great potential harm here.
We're talking about a distraction at best, --
O'BRIEN: -- maybe something worse, with a plane full of passengers. It's just, it's really - the term that comes to mind is jackassery.
QUEST: Right. But here's the interesting thing about it. Because they are prevalent and because they are easy to obtain, the only way to
stop this is both legally if you find the people but also education wise because you clearly can't ban them and they're clearly everywhere. So
you're going to have to make it clear to people this is not clever.
O'BRIEN: You know, just to put a little twist on a phrase, `Kids, try this one at home.' Don't take it outside and don't be pointing it at
airplanes with people onboard. This could lead to some serious trouble. You know it reminds me a little bit of all the discussion about drones.
O'BRIEN: Now people just because you can go out and purchase a drone inexpensively doesn't mean you're operating it with any sort of reasonable
care for other people. And I think we all need to, you know, watch our young people, encourage them to take responsibility for their actions and
just on the face of it this is just so irresponsible.
QUEST: And Miles, you lead me nicely onto drones. There's a story this afternoon you may not have seen. It's just come up in the last hour
or so of a Shuttle America - one of Delta's planes - which allegedly - we don't know all the details - but allegedly had to take evasive action near
LaGuardia from a drone that was flying at a couple of thousand feet.
Are we - I don't want to be an alarmist here - but are we just - is this an accident waiting to happen that is going to happen?
O'BRIEN: I'm afraid it is, Richard. You know, this one - I did see it because I got a Google there for drone incidents like this. Twenty-
seven hundred feet is way beyond what you're supposed to be flying these drones. They're capped at 400 feet off the ground.
And anybody's who's doing that near JFK and Prospect Park in Brooklyn is not using their head. And so this is going to ruin the fun for a lot of
drone users and people who like to use laser pointers for their presentations and whatever else they like to do - to point at the stars
when they're doing stargazing, you know, whatever.
[16:45:01] It's a shame because we don't want to ban drones, we don't want to ban laser pointers. Why should the fun be ruined by just a few bad
O'BRIEN: -- like this? But we need to get the word out that this is not silly, this is not funny.
QUEST: Miles O'Brien joining us. Thank you, sir. Miles, thank you.
The U.S. has removed Cuba from its list of countries that sponsor terrorism. The historic move paves the way for the two countries to renew
full diplomatic relations.
Barack Obama announced the change back in April when he met with the Cuban leader Raul Castro. The change became official today. Travel and
trade predictions between the two have already been ease.
Patrick Oppmann is in Havana and joins me now. Patrick, the change was coming, but even when it happened, it's monumental nonetheless.
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN HAVANA CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. We've known now 45 days ago President Obama said he was going to do this. Congress had
an opportunity to mount a challenge. They were unable to do that - unwilling to do that perhaps. And it happened all the same.
It is an historic moment. You know, we've been waiting - the Cubans have at least - for 30 years. It will have practical impact in terms of
financial investments coming into the island. But in terms of the bigger picture, Richard, this is the final obstacle - the final major obstacle to
restoring full diplomatic relations -
OPPMANN: Raul Castro had said that this had to happen first and even though it really speaks to the relationship even though they knew they were
going to have - this was going to happen - they knew there was to be no challenge. They still had to wait until the actual date today to see it
But now really it's a question of when the embassies are going to be opened and we're being told within weeks. They're down -
QUEST: All right, but, Patrick, --
OPPMANN: -- to the final mile of this process in terms of reestablishing relations.
QUEST: But, Patrick, the reestablished relations and things will incrementally improve. But the embargo or the blockade, as it's called in
Havana, that still remains. When is that issue likely to become before the U.S. Congress?
OPPMANN: So here's we are. Of course diplomatic relations are reestablished and then the tough work begins. And not to say what has
happened over the last almost six months hasn't been tough, but what happens after that is really out of the President. He's called for the
embargo to be lifted, but as you say, that's Congress' purview and the odds of getting a bill calling for the lifting of embargo in front of a
Republican Congress is slim. Everyone knows that and that's why the Cubans were pushing for what they could get which is the terror list removal
rather than what they knew is at least in the short term unlikely.
OPPMANN: But as Americans begin to pour in, will you see a change in attitude, a change in polls and perhaps some freshman Republicans. We'll
have to wait and see.
QUEST: All right. Briefly, Patrick, without the lifting of the embargo, how much wiggle room does the President have - briefly - to
actually effect further economic and business change himself?
OPPMANN: He said he's done everything he can. You know, when we look at the civil aviation agreement becomes easier, he could of course
completely lift the travel restrictions. He's chosen not to do that.
But in essence, you know, the Cubans are talking about hundreds of thousands - perhaps a million Americans coming just this year, and it's
still difficult to come to Cuba, still difficult to spend money in Cuba. Can't use your credit cards, but still there's a thirst/desire for
Americans to come to Cuba and that is a big change, Richard. We're already seeing them coming and of course, you know, President Obama said he would -
President Barack Obama - said that he would like to come. And certainly, you know, we talk about history - that would be an historic visit.
QUEST: Now that will be history. Patrick Oppmann joining us from Havana. We will go from Havana to Neverland Ranch in California. Michael
Jackson's famous country home with the zoo and the park and the rides. And now it's up for sale.
[16:50:48] QUEST: It's the weekend coming up and if you've got a spare $100 million, this house can be yours. It's Michael Jackson's
"Neverland Ranch" and it's just come onto the market. Some features of the property - well, in all there are 22 different buildings or structures as
the estate agents put it. The main house is 1,100 square meters and it has six bedrooms, all situated between two lakes.
Also, a 50-seat movie theater which is fully stocked with a private viewing gallery and balcony and of course a stage with trap doors for magic
shows. And of course the exotic animals - all the exotic animals - the orangutans, the elephants -- anybody who thinks that they are still there
is wrong. There is now just one lama remaining.
Zar Zanganeh is the OK TV's realtor to the stars. He was Michael Jackson's realtor and friend. I spoke to him earlier from Las Vegas and
asked him Neverland, the ranch, what are his feelings that now he has to sell Neverland.
ZAR ZANGANEH, MICHAEL JACKSON'S FORMER REALTOR: I'm happy to see the sale actually come through. I know it's a property that was very near and
dear to Michael's heart for many years, but it was ruined for him after the investigation and after the Santa Barbara Police Department went through
the house and investigated him.
So it was soiled for him and I'm happy to see it come up for sale. It's about time something happens with the property. It's a very unique
property - it's 3,000 acres in Santa Barbara County which is very expensive. So the price is reasonable in my opinion.
QUEST: At $100 million, who do you expect to buy it? Because obviously some form of development is a possibility. But at the same time,
the Santa Barbara community is very - it guards its development very jealously and much of the land is protected.
ZANGANEH: Yes, much of the Santa Barbara community are folks from L.A. who move up north to get away from all the traffic and get away from
all the busyness that L.A. offers. So they cherish their community, they cherish their privacy and they like to keep it that way.
I know many of the neighbors were frustrated with Michael when fans would show up to the property. There's a small road that leads you to this
property, so it's not meant for heavy traffic.
But in reality the development or the future of the property really is designed for development. The only thing that makes sense there is a
community of homes, but Santa Barbara County makes it very difficult for developers to do business so they would have to be homes with multiple
acres for each parcel and it would have to be divided accordingly.
I don't imagine commercial use ever being allowed there or the homeowners in the area allowing for any type of rezoning.
QUEST: Right, or indeed sort of large-scale development. You're basically saying this is going to be parceled up into large areas for
ZANGANEH: Absolutely. It's going to be that or there's one in a million chance that an eccentric millionaire that actually has deep enough
pockets would buy it and cherish it. People like Lady Gaga have actually come forward and said that they'd be interested in doing some kind of joint
venture to keep the property as it is - Lady Gaga being one of his biggest fans.
QUEST: If I want to go and have a look, I ring you up, Zar, and I say, "Ah yes, I've got a couple of million in the bank. I think I'd better
- I think I'm the man. Pass me the keys and let's go and have a look." What are you going to say to me?
ZANGANEH: Any time you want, Richard. The only thing we request is a proof of funds letter from the bank stating that you are capable of making
such a purchase and then we make an appointment and go preview it.
QUEST: Ah, well I think you may have just put your finger on the weak spot of my application.
QUEST: The serious point I'm making is, you're going to - you don't want voyeurs popping along to see what's nestling inside, do you?
ZANGANEH: No, absolutely not. Properties like this - and I've had the pleasure of selling many of them - are ones that we treat very
delicately and you cherish them. You're very careful of who you let in to the property. You always verify the proof of funds that are received and
you do a little bit of homework on the potential buyers.
[16:55:00] But the folks that come forward are very serious buyers.
QUEST: Now one piece of news to bring you before we take a break. Greece has made a major payment of public sector wages and pensions today.
There are fears the country is still teetering on the brink of default. Athens paid out more than $1 and 1/2 billion.
It owes the IMF another $320 million in a week's time and it's not clear whether it can afford to pay. The IMF chief Christine Lagarde told a
German newspaper that a Greek exit from the Eurozone is a possibility.
(RINGS BELL). To the markets. European markets have been unsettled by the risk of that Greek default. They were all down. The markets were
off -- the CAC Corum (ph) was down 2 and 1/2 percent, the Xetra DAX down 2 and 1/4, the Athens General was off just about 1 and 1/2 percent. The
Athens has been by far and away the most volatile. We will have a "Profitable Moment" in a moment.
QUEST: Tonight's "Profitable Moment." Imagine you are landing several hundred tons of machine with hundreds of people onboard and
suddenly that starts happening to you. Lasers are being flown and lasers are being used from the ground at your aircraft.
And that's what's happened to aircraft here in the United States and indeed elsewhere around the world. And now imagine you're landing a plane
and suddenly a drone appears from nowhere and you have to take evasive action.
These may be essential in the office, but they are a menace when mixed with aviation. These and drones are an accident waiting to happen. And
until the message of seriousness gets out, then I'm afraid these little toys will be a menace to all of us who fly.
And that is "Quest Means Business" for tonight. I'm Richard Quest in New York. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, (RINGS BELL) I hope
it's profitable. I'll see you next week.