Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Orders Acceleration of Controversial Oil Pipelines; Interview with Senator James Inhofe; UK Court Rules on Brexit; Aired 4-4:30p ET

Aired December 24, 2015 - 16:00   ET


[16:00:00] RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: On Wall Street where the market up by about 100 points.. Some of it decaying for the second day of the week.

It's a Tuesday. And let's have a nice robust gavel, madam. Oh, look at that. We only got one, we got one but my word, that one gavel was yet to

bring trading to a close on this Tuesday.

Tonight, rolling back the regulation. President Trump says environmental rules are out of control.

The buck stops here. Britain's parliament will get to vote on Brexit. Excuse me. I'll speak to European parliament's top negotiator on this


And the gauntlet has been thrown out. U.S. airlines want the White House to take on their Middle Eastern rivals hoping for a better result than they

got from the last administration.

I'm Richard Quest live in London, where I mean business.

Good evening. Tonight, President Trump has pledged a friendly atmosphere for business as environmentalists say they've been left out in the cold.

With the stroke of a pen, quite literally, the president revived two controversial oil pipelines which the Obama administration had stopped.

It also followed a meeting that he held this morning with the chief execs of the three big auto companies. The president laid out the second part of

his carrot-and-stick approach to manufacturing after Monday's threat to tax cars made in Mexico. Now Mr. Trump is pledging to knock down barriers to

build new factories in the United States.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to make the process much more simple for the auto companies and for everybody else that

wants to do business in the United States. I think you're going to find this to be from very inhospitable to extremely hospitable. I am to a large

extent an environmentalist. I believe in it. But it's out of control.


QUEST: Now the Obama administration stopped the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access Pipeline after intense protests. And you can see how they go. The

red one is the Keystone. The blue one is the proposed XL line. TransCanada said it's preparing its application to begin Keystone once

again. The pipeline for Keystone would bring oil from Canada's tar sands all the way down to the refineries in the Gulf Coast.

Republicans and Democrats have argued about the environmental and jobs impact of the project for seven years. Now the Dakota Access Pipeline

would bring nearly 500,000 barrels a day from the back end formation in North Dakota across to Illinois.

Native Americans say the pipeline could harm their water supply as it crosses Lake Oahe. Now in December the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

responding to those protests said it would look for another route.

Joining me now to talk about this is Jim Acosta, CNN's senior White House correspondent.

Jim, look, we shouldn't be surprised by this. Let us remember the president in the contract with the American voters made it clear this was

going to happen. But he has waded into a very controversial area, hasn't he?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: He has, Richard. But this falls under the category of elections have consequences. Voters made

Donald Trump president of the United States. And he vowed throughout this campaign that he was going to undo a lot of President Obama's priorities

and executive actions. And one of the things that President Obama did in the latter days of his administration was to reject the Keystone Pipeline.

And we covered this story very closely, Richard. This was a pipeline that initially the Obama administration said it would reject if it posed a

significant threat in terms of putting carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere. And when the president ultimately made the decision to block

the pipeline, they didn't even rest it on that principle. They rested it on the principle that this is just something good to do for the

environment. That you shouldn't perpetuate the use of fossil fuels.

And so Donald Trump is saying very early on in this new administration that he's going to chip away at the Obama legacy whether it's this decision on

the Keystone Pipeline or the Transpacific Trade Partnership that we saw President Trump withdraw the U.S. from yesterday. And this is going to


QUEST: Now with this -- obviously Canada had looked forward to Keystone and this will be welcomed north of the border to a large extent. And at

the same time, of course, you know, Trump giveth and Trump taketh.

[16:05:08] He's giving Keystone back, but he is, again, talking about renegotiating what he's describing as bilateral treaties.

And, Jim, from your reading of the White House, is it any intention to try and drive a coach and floor through between Mexico and Canada and maybe try

and get a deal with one and not the other?

ACOSTA: Well, he's already spoken on the phone with the president of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto, and the prime minister of Canada, Justin

Trudeau. And those conversations are going to continue. And what the president is saying now is that this is a new day. You're not going to

have these big blockbuster trade deals that involve the United States and a bunch of other countries. What the president is saying is that he's going

to draw up trade deals unilaterally, country to country between the U.S. and an important trading partner.

And you know there -- I don't see any wiggle room on that, Richard, because it really goes to the heart, the cornerstone of his 2016 campaign message

which is to look out for American workers. And as Donald Trump's belief and we've already heard him talk about this in the Oval Office during these

executive orders signings and so forth that he believes these trade deals are sucking jobs out of the U.S. and so that's why he wants to go and chip

away at them as he's already started to do so far.

So I think that that is -- that is what is to come. He has already said he's going to renegotiate NAFTA.

QUEST: Right.

ACOSTA: And I think you have to take him at his word.

QUEST: OK. Quick gut feeling here, Jim. The weekend was rocky, at best. A new administration is always -- I mean, let's face it. They're basically

finding out where the photocopier and the bathrooms are in the first few days.

ACOSTA: Right.

QUEST: But is there a feeling that there is a bit more calm and momentum?

ACOSTA: I think so. I think that was the feeling yesterday, Richard. Obviously there was this controversy over the weekend where the president

chose to get into this issue of the size of the crowd at his inauguration. And then we saw the new White House press secretary use the very first

interaction with the press in the White House briefing room to go after the news media and accuse reporters of misstating intentionally the size of

Donald Trump's inauguration crowd size.

And then yesterday in the briefing room you saw Sean Spicer sort of calm things down, quiet things down in terms of his relations with reporters but

then I have to tell you, Richard, last night when Donald Trump held this reception with congressional leaders and once again repeated this claim

that millions of illegal voters cast ballots in the last election and that's what cost him the popular vote and losing to Hillary Clinton by

three million votes in the popular vote, not the electoral college, of course.

That has lit a new wildfire up on Capitol Hill. Republicans and Democrats coming after the president on this and Sean Spicer in this briefing room

today said that this is what the president believes. He maintains that this is true even though it's a claim that has been debunked time and


QUEST: Jim Acosta in Washington, at the White House. Thank you, sir.

Expediting factory approvals and restarting the pipeline projects are just the first part of President Trump's climate and energy plan. Also coming

down the policy pipeline, well, there's going to be a rollback of regulation. Now the President Obama's climate action plan and the waters

of the U.S. rule are both on the chopping block. This is when it comes to waters across the United States.

President Trump also pledged to drill for more oil and mine more coal, even though, arguably, there's a strong economic argument that says that the

coal will not be economically productive. And make harder -- it will all make it much harder for the U.S. to keep its commitments under the Paris

agreement. Donald trump in November has backed off his pledge to cancel the agreement. He said he would keep an open mind on the subject. China

and others have already said, and particularly France has already, you know, you have signed up for this. You're in it for the long term.

Senator James Inhofe has spoken in support of President Trump's nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. The senator is a member of the

Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works. He authored the "Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future."

And we're very delighted to say the senator is with me now.

Senator, I am assuming, and forgive me it's a presumption to assume, but I hope you'll forgive it, but I'm assuming you are absolutely delighted by

the measure on Keystone, Dakota and the prospect of more memoranda and decisions to come.

SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT: Yes, Richard. I'm absolutely delighted. Let me correct you a little bit. When we talk

about hoax, it has nothing to do with climate change. I think everybody agrees that climate is always changing. The hoax is that the world is

coming to an end because of manmade gases. So I'd like to get that clarified if I can.

[16:10:04] Yes, look, Richard, this president has had a war on fossil fuels since long before he was even in the presence, in the White House. And

when I go back to Oklahoma, if people ask questions, you know, right now, we are 89 percent dependent upon fossil fuels and nuclear through our

ability to provide the power to run this country. Now what happens if he's successful and takes it away? That's just logic. And I know you and I

don't agree and a lot of people on the other side are very upset with this president winning because we've seen the last, for a while anyway, of the

Obama types of programs.

QUEST: But, Senator, the idea, though, that you can roll back many of the environmental protections or regulations, even assuming there are too many

of them, as you would see it, but still have effective environmental protection. Clean water, clean air, an environment that is -- an

atmosphere that is improving. Many of our viewers will simply say what you are looking for cannot be done.

INHOFE: Well, first of all, yes, clean air. You know, the Clean Air Act Amendments in 1990, I was one of the prime sponsors. Such extremely,

extremely successful. I mean, we're right now way below our emissions that we have before that. And yet our economic activity has increased 150

percent. So we have been doing a good job.

QUEST: Right.

INHOFE: Now when you talk about the regulations, just pick a couple of them out that are the major regulations that I found so offensive. One is

WOTUS, Water of the United States. And of course, I know -- I hope that you'll get around to talking a little bit about who is going to be the next

director of the EPA because it's going to be Scott Pruitt from Oklahoma. And Scott Pruitt has been very active in actually suing the EPA to get some

of these regulations down.

Now one of them being the WOTUS, that's the Waters of the United States.

QUEST: Right.

INHOFE: This administration has been trying to take the jurisdiction away from the states and giving it to the federal government. Now to let you

know how right he is, and I'm talking about Scott Pruitt now, that the 6th Circuit Court here in the United States has put a stay on that rule.

Another rule, the PPG, the energy proposal by Obama.

QUEST: Right.

INHOFE: That's one that he said, you know, we're going to reduce greenhouse gases by 27 percent by 2025. It can't be done. He knows it

can't be done and even the EPA admitted it can't be done. And then again the courts agreed with my guy.

QUEST: But, Senator -- now, Senator, one area, though, which is not strictly speaking in your environmental area, but is coming up again and

again and again, and it's this question of returning American jobs and manufacturing to the United States.


QUEST: Time and again, we are told that it will create more jobs, but the alternative argument, of course, is that those jobs, that higher paying

jobs will create higher cost of goods for American consumers. Now whether it's cars or shoes, if you are bringing it back from Mexico to the U.S.,

which is a higher cost production base, those costs will be passed on, surely.

INHOFE: Look, you know, in the higher paying job argument you might have a point there but we're talking about gross jobs. We're talking about

unemployment. We're talking about increasing the economic activity of this country. And that is what's going to bring us out of what I would refer to

as the Obama recession. And we're now in a position to actually get that done.

Look at -- now you talk about how does it affect the environment? The Chinese, for example, right now, they are putting out a new coal-fired

plant every 10 days. Now they're not interested at all in any kind of agreement with Paris or any place else.

QUEST: Right.

INHOFE: But what's going to happen now when we are not able to provide the jobs here and they go to some place like China that doesn't have any

restrictions, it's going to increase not decrease the environmental problems.

QUEST: Senator, we're delighted that you've joined us this evening. I know many of our viewers will be keen to -- have been keen to hear your

views. Thank you, sir, for joining us.

INHOFE: Thank you very much, Richard.

QUEST: Good to see you.

Now it's been described as one of the most important legal rulings in British history, certainly in recent British history. The government lost.

It means the Brexit plan changes course and I'll walk you through this detour after the break.


[16:17:04] QUEST: The British government says its Brexit timetable will not be derailed after the UK Supreme Court ruled that parliament must vote

on Britain's decision to leave the European Union.

Now what does it all mean? Got a large bell with us today. This is the Brexit route that it will now take. There was the referendum that took

place -- thank you -- to leave the EU last June. And now it goes to parliament where lawmakers will vote on Article 50 to start the process.

Then negotiations begin -- a two-year negotiating process takes place with EU members. Probably it will actually only be about 18 months because of

the need for the next stage of it which is ratification. And here, once again, the parliament will finally approve the deal. It's Brexit.

If we go to another line, well, further on, somewhere a long way in the future, Britain could theoretically reapply for EU membership and that

could take 10 years to complete.

The Brexit minister, David Davis, said he's expecting a smooth ride for the parliament's approval to begin negotiations.


DAVID DAVIS, UK SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EXITING THE EUROPEAN UNION: This will be a straightforward bill. It's not about whether or not the UK

should leave the European Union. That decision has already been made by the people of the United Kingdom.


QUEST: Now my suggestion or my comment that the UK could vote to rejoin the EU nearly gave a coronary to my next guest who sort of sat up, bolt

upright in his chair. It's Peter Bone, the conservative MP, who joins me now.

Don't worry about that. We'll talk about that in 10 years' time. Let's talk about how easy will it be to get this one or two clause bill through

parliament to basically say, we approve invoking Article 50?

PETER BONE, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Well, I've had my own one-clause bill already in parliament, and it's in the private members. This will now be a

government bill.


BONE: No time for them to talk. So I'd expect the bill to be introduced this week. Second reading next week. The committee stage the following

week. So within two weeks it will have gone through the commons. Then it goes into lords. Now that's where there could be problems. If the lords

wanted to -- could want to delay things, then we could get into constitution crisis.

QUEST: Let's just go into the realms of the parliament act because if the lords decide to get strappy and delay it, well then you've got to have a

variety of procedures which basically -- will take you over two sessions. So then you're not being able to talk about passing parliament until

October or November of this year.

BONE: Well, that wouldn't happen. What I think the government would do is threaten to create overnight 800 new lords. Probably ex-hereditary lords

so it would swap the chamber. And the lords could not possibly hold up the will of the British people through a referendum.

QUEST: Right.

BONE: Just couldn't happen.

QUEST: So we're talking here about a delay -- a potential delaying but certainly things move forward.

[16:20:07] Let's look at the actual issue itself now because the lords are also, and the commons, are getting to look at the final deal. That will be

-- that will be in 18 months, two years time. That will be far more controversial. Because that's the moment when you are going to get your

amendments, your we didn't get single market. We haven't got sufficient access on customs union.

BONE: Yes. But I mean -- and I think it will be less than 18 months because I actually think the whole thing will be done a bit quicker than

that. But the issue is there's going to be lots and lots of parliamentary. We've got to repeal the previous bill. So we're going to have the great

repeal bill coming in some time. There'll be lots and lots of votes in parliament. But the question is, is any MP going to vote against the will

of the British people?

QUEST: On this question of what the final deal would look like. It's a negotiation and the prime minister has taken single membership off.

BONE: Out.

QUEST: Out. But really, there is this view that she's going to try and get through the back door what she didn't get through the front door. In

other words, get as close as you possibly can to membership of the single market or at least the benefits of it. Same with the customs union but

without action. Now that's not going to run for the European partners.

BONE: Well, it will actually because it's in their interest hugely to have a free trade deal with us. After all, they have 60 billion pound a year

surpluses. It's in their interest to do it.

QUEST: We've heard this again and again. Join the --


BONE: It happens to be right.

QUEST: Well, during the campaign.

BONE: Yes.

QUEST: But Chancellor Merkel said to her own industry -- industrial groups, do not put your British exports ahead of the importance of unity in

the European Union.

BONE: Well, that's -- I mean, she wants to destroy the European Union, that's of course up to her. But the directors of Mercedes will be telling

her, that's our biggest market. We've got to sell cars.

QUEST: And she may say to them, shut up. This is bigger than you.

BONE: And then what happens is we pull out, we go on to world trade rules. We're better off. They're worse off. Why would they cut their noses by

the face? It's not what Germans normally do.

QUEST: Talk me through what you want, expect, desire out of Friday's meeting between the prime minister and the president?

BONE: Well, I think it's fantastic that Theresa May is going to see President Trump so early on. There will be -- I wonder, will it turn out,

will it be sort of the Reagan and Thatcher? That's really intriguing.

QUEST: But isn't she in a difficult position here? Because on the one hand she wants to cozy up, to a certain extent.

BONE: Of course.

QUEST: But on the other hand she's read what British papers are saying about a madman at the wheel in Washington. And she does not want to be

seen too close to the president.

BONE: No, it's a special relationship between -- I think, and I am not sure you'll agree with this, but I think President Trump is going to do a

lot better than people expect. And I just wonder, we may get that really special relationship that --

QUEST: Right.

BONE: You know, that Mrs. Thatcher had with President Reagan. I just -- I think we just might be on the start of something quite interesting.

QUEST: Good to see you, Peter.

BONE: Nice to see you.

QUEST: Good to see you, sir. Thank you.

BONE: Thank you.

QUEST: Friday is when that meeting takes place in Washington.

The head of the British Select Committee on Brexit says he has little doubt that the government will trigger Article 50. He tells CNN's Isa Soares

that the opposition Labour Party will not stand in the government's way.


HILARY BENN, CHAIRMAN, EXITING THE EUROPEAN UNION COMMITTEE: Well, the referendum results showed that the nation was split almost exactly down the

middle. 52 percent voted to leave, 48 percent voted to remain. And that is reflected across the political parties.

Now Jeremy Corbyn, Keir Starmer, our shadow Brexit secretary, have made it clear that Labour will not obstruct the triggering of Article 50, will

enable that to go through, and I think that that is the right approach but there are other colleagues on different sides of the House who take a

different view. And I think we should acknowledge and respect the strongly held views that MPs have got. And in part, of course, that is the result

of how their own constituencies voted.

And you will see that reflected in the way in which MPs cast their vote. But there's really very little doubt indeed that parliament will vote to

trigger Article 50 and the process of Britain leaving the European Union will begin and the negotiations will start.

ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: But it could be somewhat protracted do you think in these debates -- with these debates in the House of Parliament?

BENN: I think I would sum it up like this. It was always clear to me that parliament was not going to be content to be a bystander in this process.

Parliament was determined to be a participant. And the Supreme Court today ruled exactly that.


QUEST: The lead European parliamentary negotiator for Brexit, Guy Verhofstadt, is also the former prime minister of Belgium in 2008, the

author of "Europe's Last Chance," which incidentally I wrote the blurb in the beginning describing it as the most interesting book on Europe and EU

disasters you will ever read.

And I'm sorry I'm not in New York to be sitting with you.

GUY VERHOFSTADT, LEAD EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARY NEGOTIATOR FOR BREXIT: I'm here. Yes. I'm here around your table, sitting around your table where

you normally are.

QUEST: Just leave the furniture on the way out.

Guy Verhofstadt, look, you want a seat at the negotiating table. Rather than just being consulted as the negotiations go on. But surely you're not

entitled to it. Article 50 merely says that the parliament should mote vote on it afterwards and Westminster is not going to have a seat at the

table. So why should you?

VERHOFSTADT: Because the European parliament has to approve the final agreement at the end. We can disapprove, we can approve. That will be

done a few months before the European elections. And the best way to secure a green light from the European parliament is clearly to involve the

European parliament in the European Union delegation.

QUEST: Right.

VERHOFSTADT: That will discuss with the UK authorities. And I think most now of the European leaders agree to do so.

QUEST: So -- but the treaty doesn't say that. Article 50 says the commission does the negotiation, not the parliament. And if you were to be

granted access to the room in the negotiation, you could certainly see Westminster saying, well, actually, Mrs. May, we want to be there as well.

We are not content just to wait to vote on it at the end.

VERHOFSTADT: I have no problem with a more enhanced thrall of Westminster. I'm for a parliamentary democracy. So I'm pleased that the Supreme Court

today decided that the parliament has a say in this. But the same is true for the European parliament. The treaty is not saying who has to negotiate

with the UK authorities.

QUEST: Right.

VERHOFSTADT: The treaty is saying that there will be a negotiation on the EU level. Involving, normally, the three institutions. And the three

institutions are the council representing the member states, the parliament representing the citizens and the commission who has the executive power in

the union. But I don't think that it's even a problem today. Far more important for the moment is the position of the UK government who has made

a very strong stand on this saying we've got to leave the European Union, we've got to leave the single market, we've got to leave the customs union,

we've got to leave at the same time the European Court of Justice and then saying in the same sentence, but the things that Europe is doing and that

we like, that we want to contain. Well, I can tell you one thing --

QUEST: Well, that's a negotiation. That's a negotiation.


QUEST: She's set out what she doesn't want. But I am curious. Will you allow -- would you allow the UK to negotiate with other countries for a

post-Brexit trade deal, the U.S., Australia, Canada, for instance, even though, technically, they're not supposed to enter the deal.

VERHOFSTADT: They cannot do that. The treaty is very clear. Until they have left the European Union, it is -- the European level who is dealing

with trade deals. And it's certainly in the first two years of the negotiation on the leave of European Union that is not possible. And even

that can be a longer term, Richard.

QUEST: Well, the U.N. says --

VERHOFSTADT: Because in the transnational -- in the transition period, it could be that it takes three, four years before the UK can start to discuss

and to negotiate a trade deal with other countries.

QUEST: Do you accept that under Article 50, where it talks about the -- the negotiation should also talk about the future relations.


QUEST: Between the exiting and that -- do you accept that that allows for the negotiation of the trade relationship, a free trade deal,

contemporaneously with the Brexit divorce?

VERHOFSTADT: No, you have to make a distinction. The withdrawal agreement, it will take two years, then there will be a transitional period

that can also take a few years. And in this whole period, it is still European Union who is responsible for trade. Also responsible for the

trade relations of the UK. Also maybe in this transitional period. And in the meanwhile, what Europe is going to do, it's going to speed up his trade

negotiations, not only with Canada, that's done in two weeks, the trade deal with Canada will be signed. We will have in the coming months also

trade with Japan. We're working with India.

So at the moment that Mrs. May is going to an American president who starts with a protectionist policy for the moment giving up TPP.

QUEST: All right.

VERHOFSTADT: What we are going to do with Europe is speed up trade because we believe that trade is creating jobs and not eliminating jobs.

QUEST: All right. I deeply regret also that I'm not --


VERHOFSTADT: And that's in my book. Richard, that's in the book. That's in the book.

QUEST: No, don't worry about the book.

VERHOFSTADT: I left a book for you here in New York with a signature of mine.

QUEST: Excellent.


QUEST: And I look forward to seeing you when I'm next in Brussels.


QUEST: Guy Verhofstadt joining us there.

This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. We're in London tonight.

[16:30:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got a book for you here in New York with a - with a signature of mine.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN QUEST MEANS BUSINESS HOST: Excellent. And I look - and I look forward to seeing you when I'm next in Brussels (INAUDIBLE). Thank

you for joining us. This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. We're in London tonight.


QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. Tonight in London, there's more Quest Means Business in just a moment. The democrats are calling Donald Trump's

bluff with a bill worth a trillion dollars in spending. A long flight from Athens to New Jersey has reopened, the most bitter disputes in aviation,

the United States versus the Gulf Three. We have that story (INAUDIBLE) in a moment after the news headlines because this is CNN, and here, the news

always comes first.

The new U.S. President is pushing ahead with his agenda while dredging up claims of voter fraud. A few hours ago, the White House Press Secretary

confirmed Donald Trump still believe it took place and that millions of undocumented immigrants voted illegally for Hillary Clinton, depriving him

of winning the popular vote on the (INAUDIBLE) Electoral College. Again, no evidence was offered.

Britain's Supreme Court has ruled there must be a parliamentary vote before Prime Minister Theresa May can begin the process of leaving the European

Union. It could be a set up for Mrs. May's plan to begin Brexit negotiations next spring. But the Downing Street spokesman says, the

ruling will not alter the Prime Minister's timeline.

In Los Angeles, the Oscars are gaga for "La La Land." The movie musical picked up a record 14 nominations. Just as they suffered from a lack of

diversity in previous years, this year nominees they took seven people of color. The 89th Academy Awards take place on February the 26th.

With 10 years and a trillion dollars, democrats in the United States senate say they have a plan to fix America's infrastructure and they're asking

Donald Trump to help get it done. Now, you remember, rebuilding roads and bridges was a key tenet of Mr. Trump's inaugural address.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We will build new roads and highways and bridges and airports and tunnels and railways all

across our wonderful nation. We will get our people off of welfare and back to work rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.


QUEST: Now, the Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says he's offering the President a way that he can make good on that promise.


CHUCK SCHUMER, UNITED STATES SENATE MINORITY LEADER: This bill would mean three things for this country: jobs, jobs and more jobs. And good paying

jobs to boot. As this bill hopefully moves forward, democrats are going to fight for environmental and labor protections. We will not support tax

credits for developers. We will insist that labor and raw materials come from America, just as the President promised in his campaign.


QUEST: Clair Sebastian is a correspondent in New York who has been monitoring and following the infrastructure debate. And look, there's

politics involved in this. So when you look at the democrats' plan, what part of it will the President find unpalatable so that he rejects it?

CLAIR SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Richard, there's really one key issue here and that's not what they're going to spend the money on, even how much

they're going to - they're going to spend. Trump has said all along that - they want to spend a trillion dollars on infrastructure. The question is,

how are they going to pay for it? Now, all along during the campaign, all we heard from the Trump campaign is this will be minimal federal funding,

mainly tax incentives and public-private partnerships.

Now, Chuck Schumer said today that while he's willing to negotiate with President Trump, he would find that option unpalatable for two reasons.

One, because it enriches he said wealthy individuals and big corporations. And, two, because it attracts the kind of projects that he says are not the

ones that America most needs. In order to bring in private money, you need revenue generating projects, things like toll roads, things like airports.

Those are already happening in America using private money. But he said that he really wanted to try and get the projects that he believes America

really needs. The road repairs, things like schools, things like water systems and that could not be done with private money.

But, of course, the problem that Donald Trump faces is that republicans don't want to see too much federal spending. That would help the deficit

balloon. So he faces a difficult political conundrum here. Does he side with democrats in order to keep a promise to his base and potentially risk

a collision course with his own party?

QUEST: OK, but there is agreement on both sides that the infrastructure of the United States is crumbling and poor and needs massive renovation. So

what you're really saying is the argument is how you pay for it.

SEBASTIAN: Absolutely. I think that it's very clear there's bipartisan agreement that a lot of American infrastructure needs upgrading. This is

something we heard from Trump throughout the campaign. He called for example, Upstate New York a death zone. He mentioned La Guardia airport

multiple times as like going through a third world country. And the democrats have got the bit between their teeth Richard, because they have

seen the republicans, you know, come out against infrastructure plans for the last many, many years or water them down. President Obama passed a 300

billion infrastructure plan just about a year before leaving office but that was much less than he wanted. So they've seen this trillion dollar

promise and they now want to see if they can challenge the President to execute it as he promise in the first 100 days.

QUEST: 100 days. Well, 90 - it depends if we count the Saturday and the Sunday if we start on the first on the Monday. Whichever way we count,

would you please keep counting for us. Clair Sebastian who is in New York now. As the eagle eyes amongst you notice that we do have a different --

somewhat larger, but we couldn't find the one that we brought back from Davos, it is somewhere but it's got a nice deep tone about it. The Dow

Jones industrials. Want the difference a couple of days night. Strong corporate earnings pushed the dow higher. The big gainers were finance and

tech stocks. And ever closer, we're now just 80 odd points, not slightly less, slightly also away 88 points away from 20,000. And it has been quite

a remarkable way in which the last week when we were in Davos, you saw the market around 19,800 but it has put on quite a bit of weight in the

interim. the Nasdaq and S&P have hit record highs. The pound swung like a pendulum around today's Brexit ruling. After the break, we're going to

talk about how sterling ended up taking a hit. And the reaction to the Supreme Court ruling the Parliament, Westminster, does need to get

permission before the UK can start article 50 negotiations.


QUEST: Now we're in London, appropriately on the day the Supreme Court announced that parliament has to be involved in giving permission for

article 50 negotiations to begin. And the Brexit vote took its toll on the pound which has already been in the doldrums. If we do take a look, you'll

see exactly how. Bear in mind these times at the bottom these are eastern times so just add five hours to it. so what you have, as you head towards

the decision round about here, sterling briefly tops 125 before the announcement of the decision. And then it slips back quite dramatically,

but I think the interesting thing is, even as investors factored in the defeat for the government by the day's end, you're well and truly back

where you started from showing the ability of the market to withstand what could be quite a nerve-racking movements by politicians and lawyers. Now

Dr. Vince Cable is a former MP and was the UK Business Secretary until 2015. A short while ago, he told me that most politicians are fighting for

the nature of a Brexit deal rather than the principle of staying in the European Union.


VINCE CABLE, UNITED KINGDOM BUSINESS SECRETARY: Why today is important is that it's a very important political ruling which establishes that

parliament is supreme or parliamentary democracy matters such as Brexit should be decided by parliament and not by plebiscite and that is a very

important principle. Now I think in the short run it makes very little difference because the government is almost certainly going to win the vote

for article 50. Jeremy Corbyn the leader of the opposition is going to support it, we understand. And the government has already conceded that at

the end of the negotiating process, whatever is agreed will have to be approved by parliament. So there is no enormous difference there, and the

judges have also ruled that the devolved assemblies in Scotland and Wales don't have the details of this process.

QUEST: Within the framework of the parliamentary debates that will continue as they review the final deal, surely overarching in all of this

is that the referendum won. And to leave the EU. And that ultimately, that will be the goal.

CABLE: Well, the referendum was won. It was won narrowly, but it was won. I've never seen any point quibbling with that. I think what my party, the

liberal democrats would argue and indeed many others indeed a lot of conservatives and labor people would say, well, that referendum did not

authorize the government to proceed with what it calls a clean break or a hard Brexit. With very, very nature cuts in our links with the European

Union which go far beyond the mere requirements of leaving the European Union. And that is where the big battleground now is. It's over the

nature of Brexit rather than the principle of it.

QUEST: But explain how can you leave the European Union but still remain a fundamental part, say, for example, within the jurisdiction of the European


CABLE: Well, the problem is that international rules around regulation have to be subject to some kind of arbitration. Now, supposing the

government were to walk away altogether from the European Union and put itself under the jurisdiction of the World Trade Organization, then there

are legal panels which then resolve dispute which operate much like the European Courts of Justice. They -- these international legal requirements

are not a consequence simply of Europe. They're a consequence of our being heavily involved in international trade and investment. And the British

government, unlike Trump in America, believes in an open system. And, therefore, in legal rules which bind conduct.


QUEST: Dr. Vince Cable who is talking to me earlier. Now the FTSE, I'm really liking this rather large bell we managed to acquire last we try and

find the other. This has been a (INAUDIBLE).

The FTSE closed a smidge in the red after today's Brexit ruling. The interesting one was BT, old British Telecom. BT shares were down more than

20 percent of their share after the accounting scandal at its Italian business. The crisis worth around $10 billion from BT'S market value,

finished off just roughly about 17 - as a roughly 17 -- 18 percent.

The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has says Brexit will considerably diminish the U.K. economy. Now, the Prime Minister was speaking to me at

the World Economic Forum last week. And I asked Mr. Rutte if he wants a pragmatic deal for Britain.


MARK RUTTE, DUTCH PRIME MINISTER: Let's face what is happening here. I mean, the UK had to make a choice between controlling migration or having a

lower growth rate. And (INAUDIBLE) and to make this choice, controlling migration and what we will get in return is a considerably diminished

economy. Yes, of course, we now have to negotiate. And the outcome we will negotiate just --

QUEST: With respect, Prime Minister, you have the power to mitigate that diminished economic performance by offering greater access to the single

market. It's not as - it's not as given that there would be lower economic performance in the UK, providing you gave greater admission to the markets.

RUTTE: Well, the rules are very simple. When you have admission to a single market, you need to accept the free movement of people. Clearly

what Theresa May wants and the government is to control migration from Eastern Europe. The strange thing is that she'll end up by having a

smaller economy, so calls control migration still the same numbers of people coming in because she will need them anyway.


QUEST: Now Rutte, the Dutch Prime Minister (INAUDIBLE) faces his own electorate this year.

As we continue tonight, are the U.S. Airlines about to go into battle once again with the Gulf three? This time it's over Emirates which is planning

a flight from Athens to New York.


QUEST: Etihad's Airways group CEO James Hogan is stepping down and joining an investment company. An ambitious expansion plan he pioneered. Well,

it's clearly unknown what happens to the equity - Etihad equity partnerships, whether or not they survive. James Hogan's been the chief

executive since 2006, and he grew the Abu Dhabi national carrier to compete with Qatar Airways and Emirates.

In doing so, he took stakes in seven airlines, including Air Berlin and Al Italia, both stakes which of course enormous problems. Now, the Band Aid

has been ripped off the relationship between the big three American carriers and their gulf rivals. Last year we talked a lot about how they -

- this lot were complaining about this lot.

Well, now Emirates is throwing down the gauntlet, says open and fair skies, a trade group representing the U.S. industry or U.S. carriers. The

complaint is over a new Emirates route. In its essence, the new Emirates flight will go from Dubai to Athens where it will then pick up more

passengers in Greece going on to Newark, New York. It's called a fifth freedom flight. And Dubai also currently does a similar flight via Italy,

via Milan on the same route. Open sky says that President Trump must protect American jobs. Two years ago on this program, the then chief

executive of Delta said U.S. jobs were directly at risk because of the gulf three.


RICHARD ANDERSON, FORMER DELTA AIR LINES CEO: The Middle East carriers, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, cannot deny huge government subsidies.

And those government subsidies are the issue, and they are violations of the WTO, definition of subsidy and their violation of U.S. open skies

agreement. And that's really what this is about. It's about its fair competition, and when governments dump subsidies, that's a huge violation

of U.S. trade policy. It's no different than Chinese companies dumping steel in the U.S. market or other industries, agricultural industries in

Europe or South America trying to dump agricultural products in our market. It's just against fair trade policies. And in the end, the U.S. is a big

loser because it's all about jobs.


QUEST: Jill Zuckman is the chief spokesperson for Open and Fair Skies, and she joins me from New York. And Jill, look, I know there are arguments

backwards. The reality is, though, legally, Emirates is entitled to run a fifth freedom flight over Athens bearing in mind, and let's ignore the fact

that U.S. carriers don't serve that market year round. So what is your objection?

JILL ZUCKMAN, PARTNERSHIP FOR OPEN AND FAIR SKIES CHIEF SPOKESPERSON: Richard, thank you for having me. Of course they are. Yes, they are

entitled to do that. Our objection is to the whole scheme. Emirates, Etihad and Qatar are fueled by billions and billions of dollars in

government subsidies from their treasuries. They can do - they can fly wherever they want, whenever they want, without regard to consumer demand.

They can do it without regard to profit. And we're saying the whole seat scheme doesn't make sense. And is a violation of our agreements.

QUEST: You litigated this issue to, quote, Kellyanne Conway, and you litigated this issue sort of some - last year. And the Obama

administration decided not to go any further with it. Certainly didn't go to negotiation --

ZUCKMAN: That's actually not true, Richard.

QUEST: Well, you didn't go to any - go on.

ZUCKMAN: The Obama administration held informal talk with the UAE and Qatar. And unfortunately, they were rope a doped by the UAE and Qatar

which ran out the clock. The Obama administration is out of office. They failed to enforce our agreements, and now we have a new President. And

it's a new day.

QUEST: So, let's ignore the Emirate's flight. Then let's just put it bluntly. Are you hoping that President Trump does for open and fair skies

and the U.S. carriers what President Obama didn't do, which is reopen the Open Skies Treaty?

ZUCKMAN: President Trump has said he will enforce our international agreement, and he will protect American jobs. The open skies agreements

with the UAE and Qatar are being flagrantly disregarded. The other side is just running rampant over the United States, and it's long past time that

the U.S. government stand up for an industry that's responsible for 11 million jobs and $1.5 trillion to the U.S. economy.

QUEST: In this -- in this battle, or in this hope that you've got, I assume you are politicking and lobbying extremely hard than U.S.

administration so that you become one of the first examples that they go to.

ZUCKMAN: Well, Richard, President Trump has been in office only since Friday. Today is Tuesday. We very much want to engage with his new team.

They're still getting into place, but we've made it clear that we look forward to working with them because we think this issue is perfect for

President Trump.

QUEST: Jill, I offer you the same apology. I often give a hard stuff. My apologies that you visit me in my studio in New York and I'm in London.

Next time I'll be sitting opposite at you opposite of the desk.

ZUCKMAN: That would be wonderful. Thank you Richard.

QUEST: Thank you.

We'll have our profitable moment after the break.


QUEST: Tonight's profitable moment. We're in London, because of course you had the Supreme Court decision today on Brexit and on Friday the

British Prime Minister is the first world leader to meet President Trump at the White House. What's clear is that both sides, Britain and the United

States, Donald Trump and Theresa May have a common cause with Brexit. The issue is how those two are negotiated. So that it doesn't annoy the

Europeans but at the same time, they hold together the Transatlantic Alliance. And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight. I'm Richard Quest

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




[16:30:00] DREW NIEPORENT, OWNER, MYRIAD RESTAURANT GROUP: Danny's a terrific person and perhaps this works for his group.

Economics of the restaurant business are miserable, Richard. They just don't work. And the tipping equation is part of American culture.

And it might work for Danny Meyer but it doesn't work for the vast majority of restaurants in this country.


wherever you travel in the world you leave a tip on the restaurant.

It's got out of control in the United States some people would say. Is the idea of a 20 percent tip on a meal that was probably quite expensive to

start with.

NIEPORENT: But, Richard, let me tell you. These are hardworking people. And, you know, this is a complicated issue.

Danny's a terrific person and perhaps this works for his group. Economics of the restaurant business are miserable, Richard. They just don't work.

And the tipping equation is part of American culture, and it might work for Danny Meyer, but it doesn't work for the vast majority of restaurants in

this country.

QUEST: But the problem is not tipping per se because, you know, wherever you travel in the world you leave a tip on the restaurant.

It's got out of control in the United States some people would say. This idea of a 20 percent tip - on a meal that was probably quite expensive to

start with.

NIEPORENT: But, Richard, let me tell you. These are hardworking people and, you know, this is a complicated issue. I would acknowledge that.


NIEPORENT: But to just go to the extreme. You're not a stupid person - if you're leaving 20 percent on $100, that's $20. Danny Meyer's going to

charge you 30 percent more on the prices.

So he's looking at you and he's saying, you know what, you don't have to leave a tip. But I mean he's banging you for another 30 percent, not 20

percent. And that is where the problem lies.

He's not doing you any favors.

QUEST: I wonder though when you talk about this, I've always had the feeling that you're transferring your wage bill to me.

NIEPORENT: OK that's - but everything is transferred to you. You're the customer. Everything that we charge based - is based on - us being able to

meet our expenses to be able to stay in business.

And you're looking at somebody who's opened over 40 restaurants in the last 30 years, all around the world including in the communist country known as

California -

QUEST: Right.

NIEPORENT: And where I did pay wages of $10 per hour, and guess what? Everyone got paid except for us, the investors.

QUEST: So would you be in favor or do you believe that tipping should be withheld in the case of bad service? Unlike as it - I mean I've had

literally somebody run down the street after me saying you didn't leave me a big enough tip.

We've all heard those stories. But it happened to me.

NIEPORENT: As long as they didn't do anything to your food while you were still there. But the answer is -


NIEPORENT: -- of course, Richard, you're allowed - you're the guest.

QUEST: Right.

NIEPORENT: And if you don't receive commensurate service, you're entitled to leave whatever you desire which includes zero.

But the truth is, is that we're in a service business and these people work hard and they deserve that 15 or 20 percent that you've been leaving - that

millions of people tonight will leave in restaurants in New York City.

QUEST: Do you think the law should be changed in the United States so that tips can be shared? Tips coming through to the front -

NIEPORENT: Absolutely.

QUEST: -- because many people don't realize that tips given to waiters or the waiting staff cannot be shared by federal law with those back of house.

NIEPORENT: Absolutely, because the generation that you're looking at in Danny Meyer, what we did want to try to do when we first came up was make

the system equitable.

And that would have been to take gratuities and share them equitably with our entire staff. And then we got kicked in the teeth because there were

lawsuit after lawsuit - basically ambulance-chasing attorneys. None of these things got adjudicated in law, we all have to settle because you know

how lawyers can be.

And anyway, the bottom line is, yes, without a question the law should be changed about the distribution of gratuities.

QUEST: I wish I had a glass to say cheers.

NIEPORENT: I was about to say, this is the only time I had never been offered a glass of wine (LAUGHTER). Thank you, Richard, you're tremendous

at what you do.


QUEST: Ah, compliments of the season. Now with dinner over, it's obviously time to go to the theater. And with that in mind, I have the


I need - well I can get very parky at this time of the year. And of course hats and coats are just part of it.

Yes, I've also got the smartphone even though the actors would prefer I leave it at home.


[16:36:28] QUEST: To film or not to film, that is the question. Benedict Cumberbatch stars in "Sherlock" and the Barbican's production of "Hamlet."

And earlier this year he called on his fans to put down their phones and just watch the play. He said the flashes and red lights in the audience

makes it hard to concentrate.

It is a view shared by many actors and dancers and singers. Heather Hill from "The Phantom of the Opera" gave me the perspective as seen from the




"-- Believe you can float on air

Then click your heels three times

If you believe,

Then you'll be there

Believe in yourself --

QUEST: I would never do that.

HILL: Thank you. (LAUGHTER).

QUEST: Heather Hill is my guest. Come and join me. Magnificent. A classical singer and actor currently on Broadway in "The Phantom of the


HILL: Yes.

QUEST: So what do you make of people filming? Has it ever happened to you? Do you see it happening?

HILL: It happens all the time, it really does. And I think that people aren't aware that on stage we can see all of that. You know, when you were

a kid and playing with flashlights, you tell ghost stories and you light up your face like this and try to be spooky, right?


HILL: Well when you have a dark theater, that's exactly what happens when someone looks at their cell phone, iPad, they take pictures with their

iPads or, you know, starts texting.

QUEST: The - so Cumberbatch just said stop it please, it's distracting, enjoy the performance. You do agree with him on that then?

HILL: Absolutely.

QUEST: And you'd applaud the fact he's come out and said that.

HILL: Yes, it was definitely a nice way to do it.

QUEST: It was, wasn't it?

HILL: And it wasn't, you know, it was a situation that didn't fortunately have to stop the show which occasionally has happened.

QUEST: Have you ever seen that happen?

HILL: I haven't been there when the show actually came to a halt, but it's definitely distracting and it actually can be dangerous because, you know,

there's a lot of complicated choreography going on and you can't always look at your feet and someone flashes right by the stage and it can be

distracting, yes.

QUEST: What would you say to viewers watching now who would say `I want to take this moment home, I want to record.' Well just, you know, that

wonderful moment of you just singing? What would you say.

HILL: Well you know the glory of live theater is a live performance. I mean you can watch movies, you can watch TV from the comfort of your own

home, but the experience is actually - it's a live art. You feel it - you can feel the sounds, you can feel it through your chair even and that's

part of the beauty of it.

I would just encourage people to go see more theater. There's so much happening.

QUEST: What always amazes me - and I love the live theater, absolutely enjoy it - what always amazes is that does anybody think that it's right to

get this out. Because if you and I are sitting next to each other, you can see my screen, and you can see me filming away --

HILL: Right.

QUEST: -- and it's distracting you, it's distracting the people behind me. So what is wrong with people do you think?

HILL: I think it's a combination - you have some people who don't know, especially young kids who live with their phones and they're -

QUEST: Their parents should have taught them.

HILL: I know, I agree but some people just need to be taught what etiquette is for the theater. And other people just aren't really

concerned about everybody else and that's unfortunate because it doesn't just affect you, it really affects the people around you.

And it takes you away from the show, you know. Shows are magical, you want to be in the moment.


[16:40:08] QUEST: Tiptoeing on the brink of disaster. The New York City Ballet was near financial ruin this year when a savior danced in to the


Now, after some fancy footwork, the company has put its troubles behind it. Claire Sebastian went and found out more.


CLAIRE SEBASTIAN, CNN PRODUCER: At the New City Ballet, they're putting the final touches on Act 3 of "Swan Lake."

It's a turning point in the story and there's no room for error.

The Ballet's executive director Kathy Brown knows exactly how they feel. Six years ago she was hired to rescue a company in crisis.


KATHY BROWN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NEW YORK CITY BALLET: The deficit has been increasing over the past several years and it had reached a high level

of $8.5 million which on our side of the budget which was roughly $65 million at the time.

That's a lot.

SEBASTIAN: The U.S. was in recession and people were cutting back on culture. She cut costs, reducing expensive foreign tours.

She also realized it was time to rethink the marketing strategy.

BROWN: The way that people consume culture now is so dramatically different from what it was, you know, in the past.

And you just have to accept that it's not going to go back.

SEBASTIAN: To reach new younger audiences, she added social media to the repertoire and encouraged dancers to get involved.

By 2013, those efforts had turned the deficit into a small surplus and there was one more crucial ingredient - star power.

Over the last four years, the ballet's full gala has brought top fashion designers and choreographers together and raised more than $10 million for

the Company.

The idea came from one very influential board member.

SARAH JESSICA PARKER, ACTRESS AND NEW YORK CITY BALLET BOARD MEMBER: Ballet has a long history of really important designers designing for

productions and new ballets and I think that there are people who are coming here tonight for the first time.

And I'm willing to bet the farm on the fact that this will not be the last time they'll be here as an audience.

SEBASTIAN: I know ticket sales are now up 26 percent since they started the turn-around plan. Last year that brought in revenues of over $31

million. That's 311,000 tickets.

So whether it's perfecting Act 3 of "Swan Lake" or running the business of the ballet, the key right now is keeping up the momentum.

Claire Sebastian, CNN New York.


QUEST: From those fancy feet to fancy wheels. Silicon Valley and Detroit's biggest companies are trying to make driverless cars a reality.

And the biggest speed bump may be the fleshy bit between the seat and the dashboard (LAUGHTER).


[16:45:16] QUEST: From the horse and buggy to the horseless carriage. Look, no hands.

The great part about the holiday season a chance to play with everybody else's toys.

Silicon Valley's top firms - Apple, Uber, Google and Tesla, they're racing each other to make driverless cars a reality.

And the traditional automakers are getting into gear as well. Samuel Burke discovered owning a car that drives itself takes quite a bit of getting

used to.


SAMUEL BURKE, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: All right, so tell me what's going on in this puppy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're in charge of everything but the car will make sure that you don't hit anything.

BURKE: One, two, three! (YELLS). That's so cool. (YELLS).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The system brakes for you because it has the 360 degree protection.

BURKE: How close am I?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was like 10 to 15 centimeters.

BURKE: That's a little close for comfort.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's too close for comfort but it's close enough for safety.

BURKE: Say hello to me and my driver. And there it goes backing in, and it looks like we even have some room to spare.

How does this car know where to park?

WERNER HUBER, BMW: The car has a map onboard -

BURKE: And the parking lot?

HUBER: -- the parking lot.

BURKE: And how did it get that?

HUBER: It get it for example by a Wi-Fi connection at the entrance or like a navigation system has a map always onboard.

BURKE: And the question I always have about these cars is, if it crashes, who's responsible? Me? My insurance? You - it's your fault if it



BURKE: It's not mine, I'm not driving.

HUBER: Since there is no driver involved in the driving task, he can't be blamed for any failures.

That means -


HUBER: -- we will take care for this consequences.

BURKE: OK, it's a little closer to that car than I would have done myself if I were driving. And look, I'm even in one piece.


QUEST: Why buy one car when you can buy 10 or even 100?

That's what the world's top boxer Floyd Mayweather has done. No surprise - from a man who says money is his middle name.

Towbin Motor Cars of Las Vegas has sold Mayweather more than 100 cars in the last two decades. The owner, Josh Towbin, makes his services available

to Mayweather all hours of the day and night.

The boxing champ calls, the cars arrived. Mr. Towbin told me every visit is different and the cars that Mayweather drives off in are not what you

might expect.

JOSH TOWBIN, OWNER, TOWBIN MOTORCARS: From Dodges all the way up to Rolls- Royces, he's bought them all. I mean he's bought so many different kinds of vehicles - every different model, make, color - it's pretty wild.

QUEST: And he buys them at some odd times - before fights, after fights, because of fights. When does he buy them?

TOWBIN: (LAUGHTER). He buys them all the time. I mean, a lot of the cars he's bought from us - the majority of the cars which you'd be very

surprised to hear are gifts for family, friends, for his team.

He's unbelievably generous behind the scenes and you don't hear that reported on much at all. And it's wild to see it - so much fun, and you

see the faces of the people he gives the cars to.

It's like - it's like watching a TV show - the gift-giving TV shows every time he does it, and it's a lot of fun.

And then obviously you know about the cars that you see all over the place that he buys for himself - the beautiful cars he has.

QUEST: Josh, what does he do? Does he ring you up and say, `Josh, I need a couple of cars.' Or does he actually pop along and say, `I'll have one

of them, three of them and give me that one in blue'?

TOWBIN: It's different every time. You have no idea how it's going to be. I mean, he'll show up with celebrities at 3 in the morning and a whole

group of people having fun or he'll show up by himself and we'll drive around looking at cars for an hour just me and him.

You just never know. It's completely different every time. It's fun. It's like watching a TV show every time he comes by.

QUEST: But what sort of cars does he like. Because what's interesting is whether it's a Bugatti or something very fast and racy, but listening to

you, he likes the Bentleys, he likes the Rolls-Royce. He likes a bit of quality.

TOWBIN: He does. He loves all different types of cars. He's funny - you'll see him drive in a Dodge Pickup Truck that he's bought from us and

then you'll see him drive in a Bugatti or three Bugattis at one time, they'll drive in a row.

[16:50:09] It's just totally different. You never know what mood he's going to be in, and as far as what car is he going to drive and it's fun to


But he's bought 16 Rolls-Royces just from us.

QUEST: Sixteen?


QUEST: Ah! Hang on, Josh, hang on. Because I've always wanted to own a Rolls-Royce. I think it's a gorgeous vehicle. It's a motorcar. It's not

an automobile, it's a motorcar. I think you'll agree with me on that.


QUEST: What on earth does he do with 16 Rolls-Royces?

TOWBIN: Well it's not all at one time. I mean, believe it or not the last few he's bought were for other folks for gifts.

You know, he's bought these Rolls-Royces as gifts. And people have talked about Elvis Presley or certain people giving cars away - he used to give

away Cadillacs.

But Floyd Mayweather, my great friend, he gives them away Rolls-Royces as gifts. I mean, I've never seen anything like it.

He is unbelievably generous behind the scenes.

QUEST: Right. I won't ask what you charge Mr. Mayweather for a Rolls- Royce because I suspect he probably gets a bit of a discount. You must give him a bit of a discount, don't you?

TOWBIN: He gets special deals -


TOWBIN: -- I mean, he's our number one customer by far.


TOWBIN: He kind of dictates what it's going to be. We leave it up to him.

QUEST: Good. And he pays in cash!

TOWBIN: Yes, it's funny to see the different people's reactions when he brings out the cash, you know. And I think he knows that and I think he

enjoys it.

We had to get a new cash-counting machine because our cash-counting machine couldn't keep up.


QUEST: Ninety minutes, 1,300 costumes and 72 legs all moving in perfect harmony. The secrets of the Rockettes are revealed this Christmastime.


QUEST: Radio City Music Hall where there are few holiday traditions in New York more iconic than the Christmas Spectacular.

The Rockettes will wow more than a million people this year with their sky- high kicks and the spectacular effects.

When it's Christmas in New York, -- well the Rockettes are part of the city's tradition. I went backstage to see how the Rockettes have kept the

curtain up for 85 years.



QUEST: This classic performance featuring Santas and soldiers. Those precision sky-high kicks by the world-renowned Rockettes.

And so backstage to see how it's all done.

You are?


QUEST: And you are?


QUEST: And you have been a Rockette for?

STACY: This is my second season.

QUEST: The second.

LOGAN: I've been kicking up my heels for 11 years now.


QUEST: Eleven years!

Give me some idea of just how demanding this show is.

LOGAN: Well it takes an awful lot of athleticism. We practice for six weeks before the show actually opens and then during the run of the Radio

City Christmas Spectacular we perform over 200 times.

And then in any one day we can do as many as four shows.

STACY: So the show's 90 minutes and the Rockettes have up to eight routines within the show.

QUEST: If I'm going to visit the Rockettes, I need to learn how to kick sky high like a Rockette.

LOGAN: Take it off, yes.


QUEST: We mean business!

LOGAN: OK, we're going to in a bevel. So pop your right foot. Beautiful. Step on your right foot, bring your left one up to your knee. Put it up,

bring it back in and then put it down.

[16:55:09] And then we'll repeat that on the other side.

QUEST: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.


QUEST: Shall we try this again.


LOGAN: Absolutely.

QUEST: Do the -

STACY AND LOGAN: Pop your foot.

LOGAN: Step - this is called the passe. Put it out, bring it back in, put it down.

Other side - in, out, down - good. Step, in, out, down, step.

Try it a little bit faster. Point your toe. Kick! One more. Tada!

Yes. Great job.

QUEST: Outfits, outfits, so many outfits. Of all the costumes that you get to wear - and I'm looking at some over here. You will have to wear them

all at some point.

STACY: We do.

LOGAN: We do. There's eight costumes in the show which means seven costume changes. And one of those is as fast as 70 seconds. Very, very


QUEST: Which one creates the most challenge for you?

LOGAN: Well, I would say the most challenging one is our Christmas outfit --

QUEST: Why is that?

LOGAN: -- from "Here Comes Santa Claus."

STACY: See, it's very heavy and doing a routine in this gets -

LOGAN: -- a little pounds to you.

STACY: -- adds some extra pounds to you. (LAUGHTER), right?


QUEST: Wow. That is actually quite heavy.

Some of their favorites include the wooden soldier.

That hasn't changed much?

LOGAN: Has not changed since 1933 - very, very iconic.

QUEST: Oh, my goodness.

STACY: Oh, my.

LOGAN: This one's your size I think.


QUEST: And then there's this little number. I see doing "Quest Means Business" with this. Thank you very much, Ladies.

STACY: Thank you.

QUEST: (Inaudible). Thank you.


QUEST: It has been a treat and a privilege to bring you our program during the course of 2015. And thank you for making the time to join us for our

nightly conversation on business and economics.

And that's this special edition of "Quest Means Business." As we look forward to the New Year, whatever you're up to in 2016, (RINGS BELL) I hope

it's profitable.