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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS

Monetary Policy Changing?; Fox News Cancels Debate After Trump Pulls Out; Obama Names Supreme Court Nominee; OPEC and Non-OPEC Oil Producers to Meet in April; Taco Bell to Open First Store in China; China Invests in Football's Future; Richard Quest Continues on His Around the World Trip on Low-Cost Airlines

Aired March 16, 2016 - 17:00:00   ET

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


[ bell ringing ]

[16:00:10]

ELENI GIOKOS, HOST: U.S. markets got a boost from Janet Yellen and the Fed when trading closed an hour ago on Wall Street. It's Wednesday, March the

16th.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIOKOS: Tonight not so fast. The Fed says don't expect too many rate rises this year. The force awakens London and Frankfurt agree on a giant

market merger. And GOP dropouts. Fox News is forced to cancel its Republican debate because the candidates don't want to take part.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

I'm Eleni Giokos. And this is "Quest Means Business."

Well, a very good evening to you. And tonight, all eyes on Washington as a series of events there reshaped the political and market landscapes. For

the residents of the nation's capital, though, the focus is underground. The city's metro lines have shut down for emergency inspection so workers

have been forced into buses and cars to shuttle between events.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIOKOS: First stop, the Supreme Court. President Obama has thrown down the gauntlet to Republicans and announced his pick for the highest court in the

land. Next stop, the White House. After a series of victories on Tuesday, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are one step closer to the presidency. At

the end of the line, the Federal Reserve fears of an economic slowdown have prompted the Fed to slow the pace of rate hikes this year.

Now the Fed expects to raise rates two times this year instead of four. It also kept rates unchanged as investors expected. Janet Yellen spoke shortly

after the decision was announced. And she warned the future is uncertain and the Fed could change its mind again.

JANET YELLEN, FEDERAL RESERVCE CHAIR: You should fully expect that forecasts for the appropriate path of policy on the part of all

participants will evolve over time as shocks, positive or negative, hit the economy that alter those forecasts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GIOKOS: Well the Fed believes that the U.S. economy is going to grow by 2.2% this year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIOKOS: That's down slightly from the last estimate made in December. The Fed placed blame for the slowdown on, "the global, economic, and financial

developments." The Fed also warned prices will rise more slowly than expected. It's predicting inflation of 1.2% this year. That's well below

the Fed's 2% target. Investors welcomed the news of gradual rate hikes and the Dow spiked after the Fed's announcements. As you can see there it

closed the session up around 74 points. And the gulf price rose more than 2% in the session.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GIOKOS: Joining me now is John Authers and he's a Senior Investment Commentator with "The Financial Times." thank you very much, John, for

joining us. And it's just not about traditional monetary policy anymore. It's about the impact it would have on the global economy. It's about the

prognosis about the strength of the financial economic landscape as well. So what did you expect today? Are you surprised that we won't see that many

rate hikes down the line?

JOHN AUTHERS, SENIOR INVESTMENT COMMENTATOR, THE FINANCIAL TIMES: No, not at all. What we got, what we heard from Janet Yellen today was pretty much

what had been expected after the swoon in international markets back in January, largely by China but there were other factors involved there as

well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AUTHERS: It was obvious the fed couldn't possibly go ahead with another rate hike as soon as this month. That was no surprise at all. You've seen

this dramatic mismatch between what the Fed has been saying it's going to do and what the market is expecting. You needed to see that to come down a

little. That is what we got.

What did surprise me somewhat is how dove-ish, how lenient Janet Yellen was about the kind of expectations she was trying to form. And the other thing

that was quite intriguing to me was that the market immediately took what she was offering and asked for more.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AUTHERS: So at the beginning of the day, the chances that they were going to raise rates by another two times this year, which is what the Fed is now

suggesting is most likely, the market was putting that at a 40% chance immediately after Janet Yellen told the market, yes, that's what I'm going

to do, they scaled that back down to only 20% chance. So the game between the markets and the Fed continues.

[16:05:00]

GIOKOS: Absolutely. And it's not only about what is happening here in the U.S. You've got to look at the impact it's had on emerging markets, as well

currency volatility. You know a move that Janet Yellen makes reverberates around the world as well. What do you think the world economy needs right

now from the Fed? We talk about normalization of rates, but perhaps you know we're not ready for that as yet.

AUTHERS: What the world economy needed very urgently, in most of the cases, was a dollar that wasn't going to get too strong. When you're looking

across the emerging world, across the fears that we were going to have another true emerging market crisis, that comes because they have debt

denominated in dollars and it becomes that much harder to repay it if the - if the Fed starts raising rates attracting money into the U.S. and

strengthening the dollar, that makes it all the harder for countries like Brazil to repay the debt.

So in terms of heading off the risk of crisis in the emerging markets which is what had a lot to do with the turmoil we saw back in January and early

February. That is what was needed. What is also important to mention is that in the case of Canada and Mexico, those are both countries that are

very dependent on oil and other resources, which tends to do worse when the dollar is strong.

Plainly both of those are very important trading partners for the U.S., they're two big neighbors. That's also a reason why it's not a directly

U.S. factor but it was still very important for the Fed to act on them. What is more - what is more intriguing and what could yet lead to some kind

of an unraveling, we'll have to see, is in the case of the euro.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AUTHERS: The European Central Bank has been trying very hard to weaken the euro. It failed last week. Janet Yellen successfully talked things down

today. Last week Mario Draghi failed to talk things down in the Eurozone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AUTHERS: the euro has strengthened against the dollar significantly again today on this latest news. That could be a problem for the ECB, we have to

see whether that will provoke a reaction. A weaker dollar is inconvenient for the Eurozone at the moment.

GIOKOS: All right, thank you very much, John, for those insights.

And investors have also been fascinated by the Fed's rate projections; the so-called dot plot. Clare Sebastian is here to help us read the tea leaves.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely Eleni. Well this is dot plot, this is what investors are fascinated by, they obsess

over it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEBASTIAN: Now you said that we're going to see two rate rises, that's the median projection over the course of this year. This is how we know that.

This is where rates are now, between 0.25 and 0.5%. And this is the medium projection so two quarter percent rises over the course of 2016. This is

what in fact - this is what Fed members believe right now.

But let's go back to December just to compare. This was the dot plot from December, and you can see this is the pattern that emerged for 2016. So a

much taller, much more optimistic pattern there. The minimum that anyone expected back in December was two rate rises over the course of 2016.

The maximum, as you can see, one very optimistic Fed member believed there would be seven rate rises over the course of 2016. So keep that in mind,

we're going to go back to March. Here you see this rather more squat pattern, the changes here quite significant. One Fed member has actually

revised down, they only think one rate rise is going to happen over the course of 2016. And the maximum anyone expects is four.

Now in historical context, this will mean if there's only the median amount, two rate rises over the course of 2016, a very slow tightening

cycle by historic standards. The last one we saw between 2004 and 2006, there was a rate rise a quarter percent rise at every single Fed meeting

over the course of 24 months.

But the question everyone is asking is should we really place that much store by the dot plots. Should we obsess over it the way we do? So I went

right back to the source, the man at Dartmouth University, A professor called Andrew Leven, who was actually an adviser to the Fed board between

2010 and 2012, he was the one who designed the layout of the dot plot and he told me why we should not be looking at this so closely, what it does

not show us, take a listen.

ANDREW LEVIN, FORMER ADVISOR TO FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD: The dots are point forecasts, which means each participant is supposed to write down what they

think is the most likely level that will be appropriate for the federal funds rate at the end of this year. Just a single number. But of course we

all know the economy doesn't always proceed according to plan. There's lots of uncertainty, different types of events can be important in shifting the

trajectory of the economy, and the dot plot does not convey those contingency plans at all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SEBASTIAN: So there you have it. The key to all this is that things can change. This is a survey frozen in time, what the Fed members think will

happen. Right now it does not take into account changes in the economy which is why we need to proceed with caution.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GIOKOS: Clare, well thank you very much for that. And of course just watching what some of the commentary has been on the dot plot, perhaps it's

not as credible as initially anticipated.

[16:10:05]

So now, moving on, it's a merger of equals that will create a European financial market giant.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIOKOS: We speak to the CEO of the London stock exchange about its proposed tie-up with Deutsche Boerse. That coming up next.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GIOKOS: Welcome back. Now Europe is about to get a new financial markets giant with the scale to compete with U.S. rivals. London's stock exchange

has agreed to join forces with Deutsche Boerse in a deal billed as merger of equals.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIOKOS: Now the new company will be based in London and it would build a powerful bridge between Europe's biggest financial centers. The CEO of

Deutsche Boerse Carsten Kengeter will run the newly combined company. And there's also still a chance that rival bidders could make a last minute bid

for the LSE New York Stock Exchange operator. Intercontinental Exchange said earlier this month that it was considering making an offer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GIOKOS: Now the CEO of the London Stock Exchange will step down on completion of this deal. A little earlier today I spoke to Xavier Rolet who

stressed to me that this was not an acquisition by the German Stock Exchange. He told me that the customers of the exchanges were at the heart

of this deal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

XAVIER ROLET, CEO LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE: That is exactly the right questions that need to be asked. What are the benefit to customers. And

I'll start with that because ultimately the customers are the ones who support our businesses and offer our shareholders the growth that we've

been able to deliver in the last six to seven years.

GIOKOS: What is the risk of a "Brexit?" What is the risk of this merger happening and basically we see financial equity integration, essentially,

but on the sidelines we're talking about Britain leaving the European Union?

ROLET: We've said two things. Prior to the announcement of that transaction we've already explained that the London Stock Exchange group is a widely

diversified, globally present organization with about a quarter of our revenues in the U.S., a quarter in the U.S., a quarter in the Eurozone, and

the rest in Asia, China, and the collection of emerging markets.

So if there were any outcome of the referendum, that motivated our clients' decision to move some of their businesses from one geographical location to

another, we could certainly follow them. But we do not have any geographical preference or policies in our business. We simply operate our

regulated platforms close to our clients and even closer to our regulators.

The second point I would like to mention is this transaction is not conditioned on the outcome of the referendum. Whether the British people

vote to leave or to stay in the European Union, this transaction will go forward. It is a transaction underpinned by client savings, benefits to our

customers. It is a project to create the premier global financial infrastructure company. It is driven by shareholder and commercial

objectives to benefit our customers, not by political choice that may or may not be made in the coming months.

[17:15:00]

GIOKOS: We know that when Carsten Kengeter takes over as CEO there is still a concern that the shift of power, the power is going to shift to London.

What is your prognosis on this, what are you expecting to occur by way of power sharing between Frankfurt and London?

ROLET: I think that's a very good question. First of all, let me remind your listeners, this is not an acquisition of the German side by the

British side or of the British side by the German side, as I've seen printed erroneously. This is a textbook case of a merger of equals. It

matches all the technical description of an MOE. It is an MOE. And the regulatory structure will be maintained.

Exclusive regulation of regulated entities by the national regulators as well as the colleges that already exist for the regulation of our

clearinghouses. So the regulatory framework globally is going to remain unchanged. There is no plan, there was never any discussions of moving

businesses from one side of the pond or one side of the channel to the other. This is simply not the way that we operate. Our businesses operate

together with management, technology, marketing, product innovation, close to our customers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GIOKOS: Britain's finance minister says the country is well-prepared to handle a dangerous cocktail of economic risks. George Osborne gave that

warning as he delivered the country's budget. He also announced this year's growth forecasts have been cut to just 2%. Mr. Osborne insisted that the

government remained on track to meet its goal of returning to surplus by 2019. He also said his budget made the U.K. economy stronger.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE OSBORNE, U.K. FINANCE MINISTER: Five years ago we set out a long term plan because we wanted to make sure that Britain never again was

powerless in the face of global storms. We said then that we would do the hard work to take control of our destiny and put our own house in order.

Five years later, our economy is strong but the storm clouds are gathering again. Our response to this new challenge is clear. We act now so we don't

pay later.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GIOKOS: And storm clouds gathering again, it sounds like it's time for a drink. And actually that's what he warned, he said that the U.K. economy is

facing a dangerous cocktail of risks. So let's take a look at some of those key ingredients as we put this cocktail together.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIOKOS: We're talking about financial markets that are turbulent. The market volatility has calmed recently but many of the major markets are

still down for the year. So a shot of that. The Chancellor also warned productivity growth across the waste is just too low. So we're mixing that

in as well. Britain is a standout in Europe, but across the E.U. growth remains quite sluggish. And it's not just the waste, the outcome for the

global economy remains weak and the impact of China's economic slowdown is still being felt across the world. And of course no cocktail would be

complete without a bit of sugar or perhaps the lack of it thereof.

George Osborne announced a new tax on sugary drinks in an attempt to tackle childhood obesity. It will come into effect in two years giving the

industry time to find ways to reduce the sugar in soft drinks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GIOKOS: Now a little earlier today I spoke to the British Economic Secretary to the Treasurer, Harriet Baldwin and I asked her how those risks

were already impacting the U.K.'s growth prospects. She told me there is cause for optimism.

HARRIET BALDWIN, U.K. ECONOMIC SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY: The world economy is growing. And of course the U.K. economy was the fastest major growing

economy in 2014, it was just behind the U.S. as the second fastest in 2015. And the OECD is forecasting this year that is going to be the fastest

growing. But it's a slower pace and the whole world is gross at a slower pace. And particularly we're seeing a slowdown in economic growth in some

of the faster growing emerging markets. You know that's not going to be any surprise to your viewers.

I think what we have to do here in the treasury is make sure that we're being very prudent in terms of our public spending, and also welcome the

fact that as of today, the U.K. have further good economic news in terms of employment. We've got a record employment rate in this country, a record

number of people and work. And we want to just make sure that we secure that strong recovery and continue to be prepared for whatever the world

economy may have in store for us.

GIOKOS: Chancellor Osborne was also talking about the economic risks that we're seeing coming through from the notion of "brexit," as this debate

rages on. Could you quantify that for us? How important is the E.U. and economic integration?

BALDWIN: Well, of course the U.K. has been in the E.U. now for decades, and we're very closely integrated with the rest of the European economy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[17:20:05]

BALDWIN: That's been a problem, when the Eurozone, for example when Eurozone countries were going through difficult times, and it's something

that you know we're very pleased in this country that we have a special best of both worlds deal where we have our own currency the pound sterling,

and can take decisions independently as far as monetary policy is concerned. So that's really, really important in terms of withstanding some

of the economic shocks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: But it's also of course an economy that attracts a lot of foreign direct investment from around the world, a lot of people investing in this

country invest here because we're in the E.U. so it is the government's view, and one borne out by almost all independent commentators, that there

would be an economic shock if the U.K. were to decide on the 23rd of June to leave the E.U.

GIOKOS: And minister, a new tax on sugary drinks, and the money collected from that tax is also set to be reinvested into schools and childhood

development. And in fact this is in aim, in a bid to try and tackle obesity. Tell me a little bit about this move.

BALDWIN: Yes, it's a very interesting development because we do have a problem with obesity in children. We have a significant increase in terms

of obesity while children are in primary school. And the single most important source of that obesity has been found by both the British Medical

Association but also our chief medical officer to be sugar added to drinks. So this is a very specific levy. It's specifically on sugary drinks and the

producers of those sugary drinks. They have a two-year wait until it comes into force in which time we would hope they would reformulate those drinks

and reduce the amount of sugar that's contained in them. And by doing so, we would hope that children will be consuming far less sugar in their diet,

and it would be tackling childhood obesity.

GIOKOS: Sponsors were quick to drop Maria Sharapova last week after she admitted to failing a drug test at the Australian Open.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIOKOS: The CEO of one of those sponsors, Tag Heuer tells us why his company has only suspended and not terminated their deal with the world's

highest paid female athlete. Stay with us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GIOKOS: Welcome back, I'm Eleni Giokos. Now the Chief Executive of Tag Heuer says his company has suspended and not terminating its relationship

with Maria Sharapova, and that's an appropriate stance for sponsors to take.

Last week the tennis champion admitted that she took a banned drug but said she didn't know it was banned at the time.

Now Jean-Claude Biver is also the CEO of luxury watch maker Hublot and he joined me from the Basel World Watch Expo in Switzerland and started by

explaining his plans for growth going forward.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEAN-CLAUDE BIVER, CEO OF TAG HEUER AND HUBLOT: We want to be an accessible luxury brand. An accessible is very important for us. So we revised our

first price range. We see the price range between $1,000 and $2,500.

[17:25:03]

BIVER: Then we aimed to a new customer base. We aimed to the new generation. And to aiming to the new generation, we focused very much on

social media. We partnered with new ambassadors. We sponsored new events. And last but not least we also changed the product, the desirability of the

product. We made the product a little bit more sexy. We have very dynamic, ambitious plans for 2017 and 2018 for our connected watch, which is the

connected watch as it is today on the market is still more or less in stone age. Wait 'til what you will see from the connected, from the wearable s in

three or five years. It will be a revolution.

GIOKOS: Sir, let's take a look at your sponsorships with the likes of Maria Sharapova.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GIOKOS: In fact the deal with Maria Sharapova came to an end last year. You're currently looking at renegotiating. The announcement then derailed

that. How do you feel about what happened with her?

BIVER: I feel bad for her. I feel bad for her, because I know her, she's a very honest person. She's very -- has a lot of generosity. She has a lot of

children.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIVER: She always was ready with us to do events, to do charities. And I'm just sorry that something like that happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BIVER: But on the other hand, while it happened, we have just stopped our negotiation. It's not that, as you said, we didn't cancel the contract, the

contract was already finished, the end of the year. But we were analyzing how can we go for one more year and this negotiation is now on standby.

GIOKOS: Sir, do you think the criticism towards sponsors that they're being too harsh on female athletes I mean has any grounding?

BIVER: You know, I cannot judge what are the conditions and what do other people do. For me, when an ambassador is suspended by his federation, I

think it makes also sense for the sponsor to suspend its relation. But suspending a relation doesn't mean you terminate it. I think people are

just waiting until they know what is happening. Will she be banned three or five years? Will she be banned one month? What will happen? And I think

it's very normal from my point of view that the sponsor has the right, when something like this happens, to say I don't cancel my contract, i put it in

suspension to wait what is happening, because she might be very well innocent. So we cannot take a final decision to say we stop. We say we

suspend it.

GIOKOS: Having only one participant makes for a very awkward Republican debate. First there were three. Then there were two.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIOKOS: And in the end, only Ted Cruz wanted to debate next week. We'll explain, next.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:30:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:31:36] ELENI GIOKOS, CNN ANCHOR, CNN MONEY AFRICA CORRESPONDENT: Hello, I'm Eleni Giokos. There's more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment,

when Yum!'s chief executive tells me there are some tasty opportunities in China. And he's in it for the long-haul. It's time for Richard's eight-

hour overnight flight in his round-the-world on low-cost airlines challenge. First, a look at the news headlines this hour.

President Obama has nominated an appeals court veteran to the Supreme Court. If successful he would replace Antonin Scalia who died last month.

Obama warned the Republicans that if they made good on their vow to block his nominee, the reputation of the Supreme Court would suffer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: I simply ask Republicans in the Senate to give him a fair hearing. And then an up or down vote. If you don't, then

it will not only be an abdication of the Senate's constitutional duty. It will indicate a process for nominating and confirming judges that is beyond

repair.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GIOKOS: Donald Trump has told CNN there would be riots at the Republican convention in July if he doesn't get the nomination. Trump pulled even

further ahead on Super Tuesday after winning in Florida, Illinois, and North Carolina.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR U.S. PRESIDENT: If we're 20 votes short or if we're, you know, a hundred short, and we're in 1100 and

somebody else is at 500 or 400, because we're way ahead of everybody, I don't think you can say that we don't get it automatically. I think it

would be -- I think you would have riots.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GIOKOS: Clinton took big wins in a number of Super Tuesday states, including Ohio and Illinois.

Two female suicide bombers disguised as men have killed 22 people in a mosque in Northeast Nigeria. The first bomber struck inside the building

as worshippers rose for morning prayers. The second bomber then targeted survivors trying to flee the attack.

Four people have been arrested in Paris on suspicion of planning a terror attack, according to the French interior minister. A source close to the

investigation told CNN they were overheard discussing a possible attack. The police have not recovered evidence of a concrete plan.

The U.S. Federal Reserve says it now expects to raise rates twice this year instead of four times. The Fed cited weaker economic growth and market

volatility. Janet Yellen warned that the future is uncertain and the Fed could change its mind again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JANET YELLEN, CHAIR, FEDERAL RESERVE: You should fully expect that forecasts for the appropriate path of policy on the part of all

participants will evolve over time as shocks, positive, negative, hit the economy that alter those forecasts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GIOKOS: And the results of Tuesday night's primaries have left just three men standing in the race for the REPUBLICAN nomination for president.

Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich. Now, after Donald Trump said he was too busy to take part in next week's scheduled debate.

[17:35:00] It has been cancelled and the debate was supposed to be hosted by Fox News. Earlier this week, Trump told supporters that after 12

debates, he thinks it's enough.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I've had such fun with those debates. It's amazing. No, I've had such fun. I've liked the debates. But I think it's now enough with the

debates. We've had enough. How many times can you be asked the same question by the same people, right?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GIOKOS: The CNN Money Senior Reporter for Media and Politics is Dylan Byers. He joins me now from Los Angeles. Dylan, isn't it now very

important to talk about policy, to debate and engage about things going forward?

DYLAN BYERS, CNN MONEY, SENIOR REPORTER FOR MEDIA AND POLITICS: Yes, it's very important. It's also true that where we're at now in the Republican

primary process is we're finally at a point where we're down to effectively a two-man contest. There's certainly a lot of hope among the GOP

establishment that Governor John Kasich might be their dark horse. But realistically speaking, it's a contest between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

We haven't seen the two of them go head-to-head on the debate stage without the input of the likes of Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and others. So yes, it is

a very significant debate. And now the reason that Donald Trump has decided to skip out on it is because he doesn't see it as politically

advantageous for him. He doesn't see the net benefit in giving Ted Cruz the opportunity to have 90 minutes or 2 hours to go head-to-head with him.

So he decided to pull out. That led John Kasich to pull out. And that led Fox News to cancel the debate.

GIOKOS: Well I mean Dylan, let's look at the relationship between Donald Trump and Fox. That's one element. The second element many people are

talking about, that Donald Trump thinks his nomination is basically rolled up. What do you think the underlying reasons actually are?

BYERS: Well look, I think Donald Trump, he would like to say that his nomination is rolled up. The fact of the matter is while he's leading the

Republican primary, a majority of Republican voters coming out of those polling booths say they could not stomach the idea or they would not be

comfortable with the idea of Donald Trump as their nominee let alone as the president of the United States.

So the truth is that there's a lot of background discussions going on among members of the Republican establishment who are still trying to figure out

a way to stop Trump from becoming the nominee at what's called a brokered convention or an open convention. Ted Cruz still believes that he is the

most viable candidate because he's the only one who has consistently beaten Donald Trump in a series of states. And Trump, as he told CNN just hours

ago, he believes he's earned it, he deserves it, and if he's not given the nomination, there will be riots at the convention. And unfortunately he

might not be wrong.

GIOKOS: All right, Dylan, thanks for those insights.

And we now head back in Washington. A different political site is brewing. Barack Obama has nominated Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in

the face of a Republican leadership that has promised to block his appointment. And of course the White House, interesting to see how that's

playing out, but let's take now a look at how this is going to play out further. We've got White House Correspondent, Michelle Kosinski joining us

now from the U.S. Capital.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Eleni, right, so the White House would love to see Merrick Garland be this perfect consensus

nominee. I mean somebody so moderate, with such stellar credentials that it would make Republicans look as bad as possible if they indeed don't

consider him. The White House wants to apply pressure coming from the public as well to convince Senate Republicans to at the very least give him

a fair shot. And if they don't, then White House would like to inflict maximum political damage right before the elections.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KOSINSKI: (voice-over) Facing the political reality that his nominee may never even get a meeting with the Republican Senator much less a

confirmation hearing, today President Obama defiantly unveiled his choice for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland. Selling him directly to the

American people.

OBAMA: I've selected a nominee who is widely recognized not only as one of America's sharpest legal minds but someone who brings to his work a spirit

of decency, modesty, and integrity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSINSKI: (voice-over) The president extolled the 63 year old former prosecutor's hard scrabbled background. The longtime Justice Department

lawyer and Federal Court Appeals Judge in D.C., grew up in Chicago, earned a scholarship to Harvard, and graduated with the highest honors.

OBAMA: And he put himself through Harvard Law School by working as a tutor, by stocking shoes in a shoe store, and in what is always a painful

moment for a young man, by selling his comic book collection. It's tough. Been there.

[17:40:10] KOSINSKI: (voice-over) Garland surprised the crowd with emotion, his voice breaking several times.

JUDGE MERRICK GARLAND, SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: This is the greatest honor of my life, other than Lynn agreeing to marry me 28 years ago.

KOSINSKI: (voice-over) Yet even as Garland's nomination was being rolled out in a carefully choreographed Rose Garden ceremony, he was already being

declared dead on arrival on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

ORRIN HATCH, U.S. SENATE REPUBLICAN: I don't think it's unreasonable to ask our colleagues to put this off until after the next president is

elected.

KOSINSKI: (voice-over) No one is challenging Garland's qualifications. The White House says he has more Federal judicial experience than any

Supreme Court nominee ever. As a federal prosecutor he worked on cases against terrorists, Timothy McVeigh, the Unabomber. That experience,

however, hasn't calmed Republicans. Even those who previously confirmed his appointment to the D.C. Circuit. They say it's not about the person

but the principle of not putting forward a nominee who would shift the balance of the court just before a presidential election.

MITCH MCCONNELL, SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Give the people a voice in filling this vacancy.

KOSINSKI: (voice-over) Today the president didn't hold back on all he believes is at stake.

OBAMA: It will provoke an endless cycle of more tit-for-tat. Faith in our justice system will inevitably suffer.

KOSINSKI: (voice-over) And tonight, as the political divisions over the nomination harden, the White House made clear it will sell one message to

Americans.

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Treat Chief Judge Garland fairly. That's all we're looking for here, is a little bit of fairness.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KOSINSKI: So now a few senate Republicans have said, Ok, maybe they will sit down and at least meet with Merrick Garland. Not to say they'll give

him a hearing, let alone a confirmation, but to meet with him. And the White House sees that, at least publicly they're saying it give us them

some optimism that Republicans could change their minds down the road. They say they've done that before. Eleni?

GIOKOS: Right, thanks for that, Michelle.

With that showdown in Washington over the Supreme Court nomination in full effect, Mr. Obama will travel to Saudi Arabia next month to meet with Arab

leaders. His visit will come just days after OPEC and other major oil producers say they will gather to discuss the problems plaguing the

industry. News of the meeting brought fresh hopes for a freeze in oil production and caused crude prices to rise. CNN Money's Emerging Markets

Editor, John Defterios has the details from Abu Dhabi.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN MONEY EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: They were hoping to have their follow-up meeting next week in Moscow. But OPEC and non-OPEC

members will take another month to see each other face-to-face. A Gulf source telling CNN money a full lineup of participants has not been set

yet. But in a statement, host country Qatar said, that around 15 OPEC and non-OPEC producers are supporting the move to freeze production. Four

major players led by the world's two biggest exporters, Saudi Arabia and Russia, met in February. They agreed in principal to freeze output at

January levels, but the latest oil market data revealed that both Russia and Saudi Arabia wrapped up their production in February.

Crude prices have snapped back from their 12-year lows of just over $27 a barrel on hope that cooperation will help rebalance the market. The

International Energy Agency expects about 600,000 barrels a day of higher cost production to be cut this year. And the U.S. oil and gas rig count

fell to a 70-year low. Despite this attempt at unity, one high profile player, Iran, will remain outside the pack. Oil Minister Bijan Zangenehis

is holding to his position that he wants to boost production to 4 million barrels a day this year, following years of intense sanctions. So far, his

stance is not derailing a deal. But we won't know for sure until they all sit down next month. John Defterios, CNN, Abu Dhabi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GIOKOS: So China already has Yum! Bands pizza as well as fried chicken. By the end of this year, they will also have tacos. After the break the

CEO of Yum! Brands explains why he's so bullish on the Chinese middle class.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GIOKOS: Yum! Brands is persevering in the face of a slowdown in China with the helping of Mexican food. The fast food company says it plans to open

its first Taco Bell in China by the end of this year. And the CEO, Greg Creed, sat down with the host of CNN money, Maggie Lake. He told her

there's still enormous opportunity in the Chinese middle class.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GREG CREED, CEO, YUM! BRANDS: Now if you think about it, GDP at 6.5 percent. It's not the 10 percent it was, but it's a heck of a lot better

than other countries' GDP. We just think there's an enormous opportunity. The middle class, the burgeoning middle class, we think the middle class

can grow from like 300 million to 600 million people. That's like double. That's like adding an America, adding a United States. We think there a

long, long away from new units, have about 7.5 thousand units in China today. We can easily see our way to 20,000 units.

GIOKOS: And that includes, I understand, introducing Taco Bell to the Chinese market.

CREED: Right.

GIOKOS: What are the growth opportunities for that brand?

CREED: Well I think first of all, if I said to you millennial, youthful, socially engaged, you would think of China, right. Those are sort of big

descriptors of China. They're also descriptors of Taco Bell. People are really becoming food experimenters. And so wherever I go around the world,

people are actually becoming a lot more adventurous with their food. What's also well-known is that it's such a social brand, that the awareness

of Taco Bell in China, in a lot of other markets, where the brand doesn't exist, is really high.

GIOKOS: That's amazing. So they will have a taste for tacos. Will that be a big part of the business? Can it grow as substantially as the other

parts?

CREED: The good news is that we're not expecting any Taco Bell success in the spinoff. So the spinoff right now, we've just suggested, will be an

incredibly strong KFC and Pizza Hut business. But the ability for Taco Bell to be successful with all the outsiders. It's like the icing on the

cake. I'm actually very confident it's going to do well.

GIOKOS: Have you learned anything from some of the experiences that you had in China? Are you doing things differently? Because you're talking

about massive global supply chains. How can you keep them secure?

CREED: Well I mean, you've got to obviously put process and discipline, you have to make it a priority. From my perspective as the CEO of Yum!,

there is no more important priority than food safety. And so it starts with me. It starts with everyone. We are maniacal about food safety at

Yum!. That's the only way to say it. And we have the same standards around the world. So we don't have a lower standard in one country than

any other country. In my mind, everyone is creating equal. Everyone deserves to have the safest food. The other important thing from our

perspective is we don't see food safety as a competitive advantage. We will share any breakthroughs in food safety with all of our competitors.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GIOKOS: Beijing's attentions were firmly focused on their football team on Wednesday, who opened the Chinese super league season with a goal-less draw

against Tianjin. They were managed by Alberto Zaccheroni, who's managed most of Italy's top clubs and the Japanese national team. As CNN's Matt

Rivers reports, top managers aren't the only investment being made in Chinese football.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT, BEIJING: View from above the Evergrande Football School is expansive. Fifty pitches spread out across some 160

acres in Southern China's Guangdong province, the biggest in the world. It's ambitious to say the least, a trait matched by a young student far

down below.

HE XINJIE, STUDENT: (through translator) I want to play for the national team, and then play for Spanish clubs, like Barcelona, Real, Madrid.

RIVERS: (voice-over) He Xinjie is skinny 14-year-old mid-fielder from Fujian Province. His family doesn't have a lot of money. So when he got a

full scholarship to Evergrande eight months ago, he didn't think twice. For him, football is life.

[17:50:00] XINJIE: (through translator) I feel really lucky to be here. Otherwise I'll be in some normal school playing football on the side.

RIVERS: (voice-over) He's one of more than 2,000 students that live on the Evergrande campus. Eighty percent of their time is spend inside these

ornate buildings attending class. The rest of the time, they eat together, live together, and they train together. Collectively they represent the

future of Chinese football.

LIU JIANGNAN, PRINCIPAL, EVERGRANDE FOOTBALL SCHOOL: (through translator) Our school aims to improve the level of football in China and cultivate

some stars, while helping them grow as people.

RIVERS: (voice-over) The principal, Liu Jiangnan, says his school reflects a growing trend in China. Football is becoming more popular.

(on camera) Every Saturday, the entire school gets together and teams from different grades play matches against one another. It's the kind of scene,

young kids involved, parents coming out to watch, that the Chinese government hopes gets replicated time and again, across the country as

everyone gets more invested in the sport. President Xi Jinping, a big fan of the beautiful game, has led a surge of investment in youth football.

The sport is now a mandatory part of school curriculums. There are plans to have 20,000 football-themed schools up and running by 2017. The

ultimate goal is to win a World Cup.

SERGIO ZARCO DIAZ, FOOTBALL COACH: (through translator) To do that, though, you need to develop star players.

RIVERS: (voice-over) That's the task facing people like Sergio Zarco Diaz, a Spanish youth coach who moved to China four years ago as part of a

partnership between the school and European heavyweights Real Madrid. We asked if he has any future Messi's or Renaldo's on his roster.

DIAZ: (through translator) I hope so. But we're not in a rush. Because we know that this is a process that takes time.

RIVERS: (voice-over) As for the 14-year-old, He Xinjie, who might not be the next Messi just yet, but the next time China makes the world cup, he

says he'll be a part of the reason why.

(on camera) You're reminded of China's ultimate goal as soon as you arrive at the school. This replica of FIFA's World Cup trophy sits right out

front its entrance. Principal Liu says, he hopes that the national team can manage to qualify for that tournament in the next 10 to 15 years, and

maybe even one day, well down the road, even win. Matt Rivers, CNN, Tianjin, China.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GIOKOS: Take a 6'2" tall man, put him in an economy seat on a budget carrier, and then tell him to sit still for eight hours. Well that's the

sad reality for Richard Quest as he embarks on the latest leg of his epic around the world trip. First, a highlight from "MAKE, CREATE, INNOVATE."

GIOKOS: Eight and a half hours in an economy seat on a budget airline. Well that's what Richard Quest is experiencing right now. And I really

feel sorry for him. But it's something that wouldn't have been possible just a few years ago when low cost airlines focused on short-haul no-frills

flights. That has all changed now. Richard is flying from Singapore to Sydney. It's the latest leg of his epic around-the-world trip, all on

budget carriers. And it seems all the travel is starting to take a toll.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[17:55:00] RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: It is day five and we are in Asia, in Singapore. That's the Merlion, the famous landmark and the Marine Bay

suns on the harbor. We have now flown five airlines. So we're halfway through the number of carriers that we're going to take. But things start

to get really difficult from now on in. All the flights so far have been between three, four hours long. Now they get much longer, from Singapore

down to Sydney, eight hours plus. Then from Sydney up to Honolulu and to Los Angeles. So far we're managing on about one and a half hours sleep per

night, but that's not in a bed. That of course is in some economy seat. All is going well. A few delays, but we push on. Next is Australia.

Richard Quest, CNN -- where am I?

UNIDENDIFIED WOMAN: Singapore!

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GIOKOS: With absolutely no leg room, I really do feel sorry for him.

Well today's commute in Washington, D.C. might have made low cost flying look like luxury. And commuters in the U.S. capital were not amused.

We'll show you, next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GIOKOS: At the peak of rush hour right now on the East Coast, and spare a thought for those trying to get home in Washington, D.C. As we mentioned

earlier, there is no metro service across the whole city. The entire network has been shut down for safety checks. The decision came so late

that even the city's mayor didn't find out until late afternoon on Tuesday. If you want to get a sense of just how frustrating it was for D.C.

commuters, this was the front page of the "Washington Post's" free paper. "Bang Head Here" is their advice.

[17:00:00] And I'm going to say, don't try that at home. It was the Federal Reserve's rate decision in Washington, D.C. that also gave a boost

to U.S. markets today. Let's take a look at how markets fared. Investors welcome the news of more gradual rate hikes. The DOW, as you can see, they

closed up around 74 points, up 4/10ths of a percent. Also the gold price faired quite well and that was up 2 percent in today's session.

Moving on to European markets, and they closed before the Fed's decision was announced. The major indices ended mixed. We had energy stocks

posting strong gains. That's because oil prices rose. Deutsche Bank shares fell 5 percent. Meanwhile, Ritchottehat the COO says the bank is

unlikely to turn a profit this year.

That's your update on the markets front. And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for today. I'm Eleni Giokos in New York. I'll see you again tomorrow.

Good night.

END