Return to Transcripts main page


Dow Rallies to Fresh Record High; Trump: "No Such Thing as Global Currency"; White House Bars CNN From Briefing; IAG CEO: Good Results in Tough Climate; New York Times Plans Campaign to Defend Reputation; "Hamilton" Star Lin-Manuel Miranda on the Creative Process;

Aired February 24, 2017 - 16:00   ET


[16:00:00] RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: Quite remarkable. Literally, in the 30 seconds while the closing bell has been ringing, the stock market, which

had been down all day -- let's watch the closing bell. Come on, you've got to do us a good deed here. Come on. We'll accept that. The market is

closed. Before we get to the headlines, I'm just going to show you. All day, a sea of red. Absolutely, right the way down the market. I jest you

not, it was in the last 30 seconds before the closing bell that the market went positive. It's now just creeping up, a few points, up 7.4. The

significance of this, these are the gentleman that did it, frankly, by the way. These are the brokers and the specialists towards the end of the

closing bell that obviously were squaring the books. Whichever way you look at it, we now have 11 successive records in a row. Today was the

11th, and it's Friday, it's the 24th of February.

We're going back to politics. No such thing as a global currency. Donald Trump spells out his economic nationalist vision.

No entry at the White House. CNN and other media are barred from a press gaggle.

And all good things must come to an end. Well, the Dow, we thought, was heading for a grandstand finale, but in those last minutes -- I promise

you, look even there, it's extended to 9.1, a gain over 20,819. I'm Richard Quest, live in the world's financial capital, where I mean


Be still, my beating heart. Good evening. Literally, we use the phrase a late rally for the Dow, but that is a gross understatement in what happened

today. In fact, the rally is so late in the day, it was within the last minute when the Dow just notched up by 0.4, then 0.6, and then it picked

up. You can't even see any green on the chart itself. From the moment, the market opened, it was down. And we thought this was going to be, not

huge numbers, anywhere between 40 and 60 points. And the afternoon tootled along, down 20 to 30 points.

But remember, the Dow already had ten successive records behind it. This was going to be the 11th. And when the final bell rang, it's up 9.6. Have

a look at how the market, the actual, the vid grid, if you like, of what happened. The best of the day, consumers, Johnson & Johnson, but retailers

were strong. And you also saw that on the retail index. You have Walmart, Home Depot, you've Got Nike, as well. GE put on a good performance.

There's no real -- I suppose if you want to look at those that might have been losers, you've got Goldman, J.P. Morgan Chase, American Express. So,

the banks were on the downside. Visa though, sort of proves against my point. In other words, if you're looking for a theme for this particular

market, on this particular day, there really isn't any obvious reason one way or the other. Cristina Alesci is with me.

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNNMONEY CORRESPONDENT: Quite a remarkable turn of events, huh?

QUEST: Not good for a man of my age and my condition.

ALESCI: Oh, come on.

QUEST: What do you make of it?

ALESCI: The bulls won out the day. This is the 11th straight day of gains. This is quite remarkable. And it just shows you how strong the

optimism is in the markets, right, for tax cuts and lower regulation. At the end of the day, traders feel pretty good about what President Trump is

going to do for the U.S. economy and grow it.

But here's the thing, Richard, and if you want to jump in here with a question, but President Trump is at risk right now. Because whatever he

says in front of Congress next week has to be conveyed as bullish on the economy. If he says anything less than that, it would give a reason for

stocks to pull back. So, everybody's got their eyes set on what President Trump is going to say to Congress next week.

QUEST: But you take a look at that survey that came out, the J.P. Morgan Chase survey about executive confidence.

[16:05:00] ALESCI: Yes.

QUEST: Three quarters said they were confident.

ALESCI: Correct.

QUEST: Even the consumer confidence, even the Fed talked about it in the minutes. Not quite as bullishly as that, but the Fed talked about moderate

growth. It talked inflation moving back to its trend. The reality is, at the moment, I hesitate to use the phrase, the goldilocks economy, not too

hot, not too cold, but this economy is doing remarkably well.

ALESCI: It is doing well. And that's why you have the, you know, traders betting that the Fed may increase interest rates. That is going to tamper

growth. And so, the question is, how do you achieve that balance between raising the rates and keeping growth going. President Trump has an amazing

challenge in front of him. He has to deliver. Because all of the optimism, all of the growth is now priced into the market. You have some

of these names on the board right now, reaching historic highs. How do you justify those valuations? Where is the growth on the top line coming from?

Remember, investors don't just want to see cuts to spending, you know, trimming the fat. They want to see growth on the top line. Where is that

going to come from if we have isolationist policies? If we have policies that don't support global trade, that cut back and curtail immigration,

right? Those are two big questions.

QUEST: The market's only looking at one side of the equation at the moment.

ALESCI: Taxes.

QUEST: We'll talk about that next week with you. Thank you very much.

ALESCI: Of course.

QUEST: Alan Valdes, senior partner at SilverBear Capital. Alan is with me. Good grief, Alan. When I saw you around "QUEST EXPRESS", the market

was down. Peter Tuchman sort of thought it was going to end positive, but it didn't go positive until, what, 40 seconds before the closing bell

started to ring.

ALAN VALDES, SENIOR PARTNER, SILVERBEAR CAPITAL: Without a doubt, we're watching it closely. It's often $7. It's off $6. It's off $5. It's off

96 cents. Then it switched up a point, up two points. I mean, you can't write this. It's just an unbelievable story.

QUEST: So, what happened? What happened?

VALDES: Well, you know, I guess it's Friday. You know, we were down a hundred. The traders saw it come back, come back, and they said, we better

get in. We don't know what happens over the weekend, but we better be in the market. And that's what happened. They sort of buying near the bell

and right on the bell, they bought.

QUEST: So, a lot of our viewers will want to know, how much of this very late turnaround comes from what's happening in that room where you are, in

terms of those specialists and brokers around the trading stations, actually doing transactions versus the millions of investors or brokers


VALDES: Well, you know, a lot has to do not so much down here, but upstairs. Those traders upstairs, they're watching this closely. And

they're actually the guys that implement the orders. They send them down here to the floor to be executed. Those are the guys saying, hey, you know

what, we better be in this over the weekend. We don't know what's going to happen, especially with this Trump. They're in it, and they've been right

so far, for 11 straight days, this market's going up. Eventually, we'll turn around. But right now, this apparently has legs enough to go. I

think what's going to happen, eventually, we'll sell on the news. When we get a firm tax plan, then you may see believe it or not, a market sell-off.

QUEST: I'm looking at the Dow components, and I can't see any common theme. You know, why is AmEx down, but Visa was up? Why did Nike gain,

but Caterpillar or I mean, Apple was up, Microsoft was down? There's no rhythm or theme to it.

VALDES: No, there's no rhyme or rhythm to it. There really isn't. If you had asked a hundred people this morning after the market opened, they would

have said, this is going to be a breather day. We're going to trade down. We're going to stay down today. People are taking money off the table,

it's a weekend. Not to be. Instead, they flip it around, like you mentioned, right near the bell and they're back in.

QUEST: Alan, I'll see you next week, down at the exchange. Thank you, sir.

VALDES: All right, Richard. Have a safe weekend.

QUEST: Have a good weekend.

It's not every day, I can honestly say, that you get that sort of momentum, that sort of excitement in literally the last moment of trading. And that

was a most exciting time.

Now, turning to the politics, "economic nationalism". It's a new phrase that's on full display at the moment. President Trump addressed has

conservative supporters. It was a speech aimed at the Republican base. Actually, not just at the Republican base, the core and hard-core of the

hard-core of the Republican base and it harkened back to the campaign. There were the predictable attacks on the media, just hours before the

White House Press Secretary barred CNN and other media organizations from an informal briefing. In his speech, President Trump played to the base

with a promise to build up the military and an economic message strident. He told his audience, there's no such thing as a global currency. His job

is to represent the United States.


DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: Global cooperation. Dealing with other countries, getting along with other countries is good. It's very

important. But there is no such thing as a global anthem, a global currency or a global flag. This is the United States of America that I'm

representing. I'm not representing the globe. I'm representing your country.

[16:10:00] QUEST: John King, we know, six decades of received wisdom about PACs Americana, almost down to the Monroe Doctrine hundreds of years ago,

we know that it's changed, but we rarely get a recitation of it in quite such blunt terms.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Richard. Any American president. Imagine if we went back in time a few years ago, eight

or ten years, if you asked George W. Bush, what's your job, to represent the globe or represent the United States. Of course, he would say in

answer to our question, represent the United States. But Donald Trump is out there pushing this nationalist message, pushing this America first

theory, because it is a defining theme of his campaign and now his presidency.

And it's interesting, that room he was, CPAC was founded in the Barry Goldwater days, for those familiar with the history of the American

Conservative Movement. It was a temple for Ronald Reagan. From Ronald Reagan on, the Republican Party became the party of free trade in this

country. And in many cases, even the immigration deal Reagan signed, a deal that let a lot of immigrants stay in the United States, had an amnesty

program as part of it. This president is very different. And what today was proof of, yes, he won the election, today was proof, Richard, he is now

the leader of not only the Republican Party, but of the conservative movement. Those are not always one and the same. Under Trump at this

moment is brother, they are.

QUEST: Is this a movement, John?

KING: That's a great question. It was a surprise and a takeover. It was a hostile takeover of the Republican Party. One year ago, Richard, this

very same event, CPAC, was the birth of the never-Trump movement. Many of the conservative leaders in the United States came to this meeting a year

ago, Donald Trump did not attend, and said, we have to do everything in our power to stop him. He is a fraud, some said, a cancer on conservatism, he

said, a threat to the future of the movement and the Republican Party.

There was different people in the room today, some of the same, but many new people in the room today. But listen to the applause as the president

talks about ripping up trade deals, a much more pro America-first agenda. Yes, he still says he wants to cut taxes and regulation. You are just

talking about that's key to the economic mood in the country right now. Still says he wants a strong military. Those are traditional Republican


But there's a much more populist, much more nationalist tilt to this president's economics and his promises. Now, let's see what happens when

he has to renegotiate NAFTA. Let's see what happens when he goes one by one to other countries and says, I want unilateral trade deals, not these

big packages like the TPP. We'll see what happens with the devil in the details, but the tone of this president is striking.

QUEST: But as long as he continues to throw some red meat their way, the Supreme Court Justice, highly conservative, the transgender bathroom, the

immigrant reform, that they call on. Whatever other ones we can come up with that are coming down, as long as he continues those lines, they stay

with him.

KING: There's no question that his base stays with him. His base is happy right now. The defining question in American politics right now, is that

enough to govern in the long-term? We are in the fifth week of a 240-week first presidential term. So, we'll see what happens. Can he sustain it?

But make no mistake about it, if you had any doubts about the Trump political strategy, a lot of people have been say since the election, when

will he reach out to the people who voted for Hillary Clinton? When will he reach out to Republicans and conservatives who still have doubts about

him? Well, put that aside. This president has proven from day one and he did it again emphatically today, he is going to play to his base, to his

issues, to his promises on the campaign. Whether it's about ripping up trade deals, building a wall, putting America first. This president has

decided, maybe that's only 40 percent, but I'm keeping my 40 percent, and I think that's the biggest group.

He's not trying to grow right now, Richard, he's trying to solidify his people. And as Cristina said at the top of the program, it works well in

that room of conservatives. Let's see the tone and reaction when he goes before the Congress next week, speaking not only to the members of

congress, some of whom are still nervous about this president, but to a country that is still polarized and divided.

QUEST: What an extraordinary week, and it ends in such terms with the CPAC and with the market at the last minute. John, have a good weekend and

thank you, sir.

KING: Pleasure to you, sir. You too.

QUEST: President Trump is promising to take swift action to prevent terrorists from entering the United States. In the comes day, the White

House is expected to unveil a revised order to close the border from people from certain majority Muslin countries. The president said nothing would

stop him from keeping America safe.


TRUMP: We are going to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country. We will not be deterred from this course. And in a matter of

days, we will be taking brand-new action to protect our people and keep America safe. You will see the action.


[16:15:05] QUEST: The secretary general of the World Tourism Organization says isolationism will lead to growing tensions and new threats. Taleb

Rifai says a travel debt will damage the U.S. economy. The secretary general joins me now. Good to see you, Taleb. Thank you for taking time

on a Friday evening. We're expecting this new order next week. How worried are you that it's going to be a version of the existing, but might

just be more legally acceptable in America?

TALEB RIFAI, SECRETARY GENERAL, U.N. WORLD TOURISM ORGANIZATION: Well, we'll have to wait and see, Richard. We're quite concerned about this.

For many reasons, as you well know. There's a message that comes out of it and there are the implications on the ground as to what this may do,

particularly the damage that would happen to the United States, itself.

QUEST: The fundamental fear here, of course, is that it slows down -- I mean, let's not talk about the immigration side of it. Just from your --

from the UNWTO's point of view, the travel ban, as put forward so far and likely in the future. What's its downside for you?

RIFAI: Well, first of all where, in principle, it's against what we stand for. We just heard the president of the United States say his flag is the

United States' flag. Our flag is the flag of the globe. Our concern is the global freedom of movement, the principles that are embodied in this

very sacred principle that people should be free to move. Because travel is good for everybody. And freedom of travel, open borders, is good for

everybody. That's the main concern. But the implications on the ground are going to be serious. Especially for the United States.

You know, the travel and tourism industry employs about directly 8 million people in the U.S., 20 million people indirect and directly are working in

travel and tourism. 250 billion U.S. were in receipts last year. Now, you'll remember September 11, 2001, the decade that followed that caused

the loss of $600 billion to the U.S. Nobody's going to travel to a country that doesn't feel welcome. This is a very serious message, Richard.

QUEST: Now, I need to just ask you while we have you, you're coming to the end of your tenure at the UNWTO, and we will be interviewing on this

program hopefully all the candidates that want to secede you. But I think you would have to agree that the tone of the secession for the secretary

generalship of the UNWTO, the tone of the campaign so far has taken a regrettable, critical tone. Would you say so?

RIFAI: I'm not so sure about that, Richard. There are a few examples here and there, but all in all, we have five, six candidates, they may become

seven or eight on the closing date of March 11, but I see it rather healthier than negative, as you are describing. There are a few incidents

between a few candidates and you research one of them in a previous interview, but that's not the general characteristics of the campaign


QUEST: But looking forward to having them all on this program to put them to the test, sir.

RIFAI: I look forward to see them, too.

QUEST: Excellent.

RIFAI: You so much, Richard.

Good to see you, Taleb. Thank you very much for joining us on this program. You very much.

Now, whether it was Brexit and the weak pound or fending off rivals, 2016 was a tough year for international airlines. You've IAG, it owns British

Airways, Vueling, Aer Lingus and Iberia. Chief executive Willie Walsh tells me that there was a very nasty hit on the currency front.


QUEST: Shares in IAG, the parent of British Airways, Iberia, Vueling, and Aer Lingus, they rose 4.5 percent on Friday as investors the applauded the

latest result. The operating profit jumped 9 percent, but that really doesn't tell you the whole story. Chief Executive, Willie Walsh, told me

the company managed to weather a host of problems, not least of which the severe drop in the pound, sterling, against the euro, which cost the

company 400 million plus.


WILLIE WALSH, CEO, INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES GROUP: I think these are very good results. What you see is multiple external issues impacting on the

industry. Plus, the dynamic of capacity and demand, that's always present in the airline industry. But the biggest factor actually, impacting on our

results in 2016 was the devaluation of the pound, following the Brexit referendum in June and that actually hit us by 460 million euros in the


QUEST: As I look at the results, and obviously, the Brexit overhang still remains quite serious. Are your plans for post-Brexit, for all the

airlines in the group, are they now well advanced?

WALSH: Well, we had plans before the referendum. It's no secret that I had voted to remain, but we have to get on with life and the decision has

been taken. I'm relatively relaxed. The negotiations on the terms of the U.K.'s relationship with Europe will clearly take a few years. I think if

you look at this from a customer point of view, there's overwhelming support for the regime, if you like that, as exists with the open skies, to

remain in place. Because consumers in Europe and the U.K. have significantly benefitted from that.

QUEST: Tim Clark told me recently that airline prices were now starting to get silly in many cases and it was starting to become almost ridiculous the

way there was this downward pressure. I see that in your results. It's classic. You're flying more people to more places and the revenue is less.

WALSH: Yes, but we're more profitable and it demonstrates what you can do if you're focused. So, we have focus on ensuring that we continue to

improve the efficiency of our business. We have demonstrated that we can enter new markets with our cost-base, where previously we wouldn't have

been successful, because we've gone through that restructuring. And we can succeed in an environment that is clearly much tougher.

QUEST: You're about to launch this long-haul, low-cost hybrid carrier from Barcelona. I mean, I can sort of see why you don't want to launch it from

London. You cannibalize your own business if you start introducing new airlines, out of say, Heathrow or in the U.K. But what is your vision, for

this new niche carrier, as it competes against, I presume, Norwegian.

WALSH: The reason we're launching in Barcelona is a critical feature of making long-haul low-cost successful is having a short-haul network. And

we have a fantastic short-haul network provided by Vueling. So, we can feed the long-haul through our own airline, Vueling, and develop the

network that way.

[16:25:00] But our vision is for this to be a pan European, low-cost long- haul airline. And we would not do it if we weren't convinced that it can generate the margin, the return on investment capital targets that we have

set for all the airlines in the group.

QUEST: I'm pretty certain that every airline and its brother at some point comes to your door and says, Willie, we should be thinking about doing a

deal. Your wry smile tells me that I may not be incorrect in that assessment. So, are you looking, Willie, are you looking?

WALSH: We're not looking and not every airline comes to us, Richard, but some airlines do. There's nothing at is particular of interest to us at

the moment. We are ready and we're willing if the right opportunity comes along, but at the moment we're not actually pursuing anything.

QUEST: And your own position, you're not looking -- I mean, you've been head of IAG now since its creation. Before that, BA, you're comfortable

where you are?

WALSH: I'm very comfortable being interviewed by you. I always am, Richard. So, I'm looking forward to the next one.


QUEST: There we are, Willie Walsh, telling it as it is. And the results from IAG.

The chief executive of a PSA group has a week of high-level talks a meeting the British business sector and the head of the U.K.'s is labor union.

The French automakers in talks to buy GM's European business, Opel. Valter Sanches is the general secretary of the global trade union, IndustriALL,

whose German affiliate met PSA this week. He joins me now from Geneva, via skype. Thank you, sir, for taking the time on a Friday night to join us.

Look, obviously, you're worried about jobs. You're worried about pensions, you're worried about future investment, but as a matter of principle, are

you against PSA taking over Opel and Vauxhall?

VALTER SANCHES, GENERAL SECRETARY, INDUSTRIALL (via skype): It's not a question of being against the takeover. Of course, we're always concerned

of the 38,000 workers at Opel and Vauxhall. In Europe, they're always concerned, because most of the merger companies are taking over normally

may result in a loss of jobs and production sights. But the most important thing is that the message that the CEO of PSA send to our unions and our

affiliated unions in Germany and in the U.K., was that they were supposed to improve the business, increase the investments and most of all, keep the

negotiations aligned with the unions.

QUEST: Do you believe him?

SANCHES: Well, the fact that we have -- this global union has an agreement, a global free market agreement with PSA since 2006. And they

are keeping their word. They are keeping their negotiation in line. And we are about to renegotiate this agreement on the next 7th of March, we

will sign a new version of this agreement and in this agreement, this is included something that every business that's controlled by PSA will be

included in the negotiation.

QUEST: So, in a sense, let's face it, General Motors has been trying to get rid of Opel for some time. We know from car manufacturing numbers,

that Opel's productivity and Opel's profitability is considerably lower than the European average. So, I guess if a deal is done, turning Opel and

Vauxhall around is very likely to cost jobs or benefits?

SANCHES: Well, it's always the fear that we have. We're trying to improve in this renewal of this global agreement. We're including some strong

language to keep the negotiation lines on. And we think that for PSA, that makes sense. Because today PSA is the second largest European car producer

and acquiring Opel, Vauxhall makes sense for the business model, what they're trying to achieve, especially after the Brexit decision.

QUEST: Sir, we'll talk more about it. We thank you for taking time and hopefully once this deal comes to fruition or otherwise, we will be able to

chew over the various terms with you. I appreciate it.

SANCHES: Thank you.

QUEST: As we continue tonight, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, Donald Trump has launched another extended attack on the media. He's promising to put a

stop to what he calls it "fake news". And how the mainstream media is responding, particularly "The New York Times." after the break.


QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. More QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment. When a senior vice president at "The New York Times" tells me how

the paper is trying to defend its reputation.

And the creator of "Hamilton", Lin-Manuel Miranda, tells us how he turns ideas into an award-winning reality.

But of course, this is CNN, and here, on the network, the news always comes first.

A suicide car bomber has killed as many as 60 people in northern Syria. The Turkish state media reports that dozens have also been hurt. It

happened near the town of al Al-Bab, which has just been retaken from ISIS. A terror group is claiming responsibility for the attack.

Iraqi forces are making progress against ISIS and as they push into western Mosul. Commander is telling CNN `s troops are now within 1 km of an area

with government buildings as forces secure Mosul airport on Thursday.

Police in Malaysia say the and chemical weapon known as a VX nerve agent, was used to build a half-brother of North Korea's leader. That killed Kim

Jong Nam apparently was exposed to the poison at Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur Airport. Two female suspects are in custody. Several North Koreans are

also being sought for questioning.

At the White House, today, CNN and several other organizations were barred from entering an informal briefing. No details or reasons were given.

Those that were -- for which there was no room, you've got obviously, ourselves, CNN, you've got "The New York Times", the "Los Angeles Times,"

and you have "Politico". Now, those that were given access include "Breitbart", the "Washington Times," and one America news network. "The

Washington Post" wasn't in the room at the time. The AP and "Time" magazine boycotted the briefing because of the way it was all handled. CNN

has called this exclusion unacceptable. Sara Murray joins me now from the White House. Sara, if I'm not mistaken, you were there, you were there at

the scene of the crime when it all happened.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Turned away at the gates, Richard Quest. We tried to get in, along with all of the other major television

networks, which were all allowed in, but CNN, I was told, was not on the list for this briefing. And it's worth noting, Richard, that they do

briefings in a lot of different ways here at the White House. There are the on-camera briefings from Sean Spicer we're used to seeing. But

basically, everyone can get into and you wait to be called on. There are off-camera gaggles that they often do in the briefing room, and sometimes

the White House will invite, for instance, a group of columnists to come in for briefings with some senior officials.

[16:35:06] This was a little bit different, though, because what we saw was the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, and the communications staff

sort of cherry picking news outlets without any rhyme or reason, other than allowing in a number of outlets like "Breitbart", like "One America News

Network", like the "Washington Times," who seem to be a little bit more sympathetic to the president and excluding networks, the news outlets that

the president himself has expressed his displeasure, including CNN, "The New York times," and Politico.

QUEST: OK. So, the atmosphere in the White House press room is often -- well, it's always adversarial, and it's often acrimonious, but it sounds,

Sara, as if it's getting almost war-like.

MURRAY: Well, it's certainly adversarial. Because we are trying to get information from the White House that they don't always want to give us.

So, that can lead to some interesting press briefings and some interesting lines of questioning along the way. But I certainly think we have seen a

president and we saw this from him at CPAC this morning, a conservative conference here, and he opened his speech there by railing against the

press. He has called media organizations the enemy. He declares stories he doesn't like fake news.

So, I think we really have seen this coming from the principle himself. He believes that it's a rallying cry with the voters that supported him and

that when he came into the White House to shake up institutions, he did that not just running against the Republican Party or the Democratic Party,

but he did that by running against mainstream media organizations. So, I don't necessarily think it's surprising to see that this is the

continuation of that in the White House. But it certainly is a big break from the norm. This is not something that we have seen in the past from

previous Republican or Democratic presidents.

QUEST: We should look forward to your reporting next week when hopefully they will let you in. Sara Murray, thank you.

Now, some U.S. newspapers are doing what they can to protect their reputations. The masthead of "The Washington Post" website now includes

the slogan, "Democracy Dies in Darkness." Which is -- controversially, they've just added to their masthead. In the same genera or the same idea

of standing up, "The New York Times" the tundra is airing its first TV ad in seven years. Now, the advert, which will be shown during the Oscars.


THE NEW YORK TIME ADVERTISEMENT: The truth is, our nation is more divided than ever.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The truth is, alternative facts are just plain delusional.

TEXT: The truth is alternative facts are lies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The media needs to be held accountable.

TEXT: The truth is the media is dishonest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The truth is locker room talk is harmless. TEXT: The truth is a woman should dress like a woman.

TEXT: The truth is woman's rights are human rights.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The truth is, we need to put the safety of the American people .

TEXT: The truth is we have to protect our borders.

TEXT: The truth is his refugee policy is a backdoor Muslim ban.

TEXT: The truth is we need a full investigation of Russian ties.

TEXT: The truth is leaking classified information is the real scandal.

TEXT: The truth is climate change is a hoax.

TEXT: The truth is the Supreme Court seat was stolen.

TEXT: The truth is hard to find. The truth is hard to know. The truth is more important now than ever.

The New York Times


QUEST: The sheer plethora of newspapers, "The New York Times," for example, the senior vice president of "The New York Times," David Ruben,

joined me at the Stock Exchange and told me, this ad, how it was designed, and what its purpose was.


DAVID RUBEN, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: There's a dialogue going on at the moment about how hard it is to find facts and know what the

truth is. And we absolutely believe that and don't believe there's any one source of the truth. We do believe that quality, independent, original

journalism from expert journalists on the ground makes a difference to people's understanding of the truth. And that this spot is meant to both

say that, but also to portray it.

QUEST: I mean, at the end of the day, this will be perceived as an attack on the president and the administration and the way they're running things,

in the sense that they have put the truth into question.

RUBEN: I mean, we see this as, there's a lot of things that are making it hard to find the truth today. A lot of discussion of fake news.

QUEST: That's the president.

RUBEN: Also, what you see in your social media feed and if you're sitting digitally, we know it's very hard to know what's true and what isn't. So,

what we're really trying to say here is just that we believe that free press and the work that our journalists do have a really strong role to

play in that process.

QUEST: Choosing the Oscars, choosing the Academy Awards, I mean, it's obviously very expensive, and it didn't happen by accident.

RUBEN: We absolutely want to be part of the dialogue that's going on at the moment about the truth and how one finds it. We've seen since the

election quite a growth in our subscriptions. And so, we think that being in the news our self has something to do with -- has everything to do with

that growth. We were looking for a high-profile appointment viewing moment. This is when our ad was ready. And this is the biggest thing on

TV upcoming.

[16:40:00] QUEST: Was there much debate within "The Times" on whether you should do this?

RUBEN: Whether we should do the campaign itself?


RUBEN: Not really. We've seen a couple of things. One is that we've seen that readers in general, many don't have an understanding of what it takes

to do the reporting that we do. But interestingly, when we tell them, if we're able to they will them, we see a bend in their willingness to pay.

So, we've been looking actually, for months, at how do we tell this story more effectively. Obviously, the current moment and the dialogue going on

has heightened our desire to be in a more sort of premium appointment- viewing moment like the Oscars.

QUEST: So, since your campaign is about the difficulty of finding the facts, let me ask you a straightforward fact, if I may.


QUEST: The president says and calls you the failing "New York Times".


QUEST: Are you failing?

RUBEN: We've had -- we're now over 3 million subscribers. That's up 50 percent over a year ago, and up over 25 percent in the last quarter.

QUEST: And how is "The Times" weathering, in the same way that we have to weather, an onslaught, a regular diet and onslaught of presidential attack?

RUBEN: Look, one of the things that we're seeing is that there's an increased heightened interest in what's going on in the world at the

moment, and that's good for interest in "The Times." People are trying to figure out what's happening and they're turning to us to figure out our

take on what it is. And the role we play in helping them understand that truth is exactly what this campaign is about.


QUEST: "The New York Times."

Now, the world's only superpower is looking inward. President Trump delivers a message of "economic nationalism". It was a phrase that was

used yesterday by Steve Bannon. We need to interpret "economic nationalism" after the break.


QUEST: President Trump told the conservative conference today that there was no such thing as a global currency. You heard earlier in the program.

He closely followed remarks by his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, yesterday. Bannon touted the administration's so-called economic



STEVE BANNON, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: We have wide and sometimes divergent opinions, but I think the center core of what we believe. That

we're a nation with an economy, not an economy in some global market place with open borders, but we're a nation with a culture and a reason for

being. And I think that's what unites us. And I think that is what is going to unite this movement going forward.


QUEST: Nation with a culture and a reason for being. Economic nationalism. Ian Bremmer is here. He says if you represent the world's

only superpower, you represent the globe. Ian represents himself the president of the Eurasia Group. He assesses political risk for businesses

and governments around the world. Let's not delve into whether "economic nationalism" is good or bad yet. Just tell [16:45:00] me what it means.

IAN BREMMER, PRESIDENT, EURASIA GROUP: It's a focus on -- is the America first for economics. In other words, the idea that American corporations

aren't, they're really global corporations. They maximize their profits for the benefit of their shareholders, their fiduciary responsibility.

They don't care if jobs are in the U.S. or someplace else, and if tax rates are better someplace else, you'll see a corporate inversion. They'll pack

their bags. They'll leave your country. It's the antithesis of what patriotism would be.

QUEST: Right, so when you put it like that, I'm in favor of economic nationalism. After all, I like the companies in my country to put the

workers in my country first and to promote jobs and investment in my country.

BREMMER: Yes, indeed. Of course, since 2000, of all the manufacturing jobs that have left the United States, 86 percent have left because of

efficiency gains. In other words, automation and robotics and AI, 14 percent, because they're going to other countries.

QUEST: But you have to agree that there has been a prevalent view by big corporations that it doesn't matter where they make the money. If you're a

global corporation, you know, well, we can move the jobs to eastern Europe or we'll move them. And let's face it, if the gains are better in China,

we'll sell there.

BREMMER: That's right.

QUEST: That's what this is reversing and there's a certain sympathy for that.

BREMMER: I'm very sympathetic to it. Anyone that looks at global corporations have to understand, that they're not in it for the common man,

they're in it for profitability. And that's why they need to be properly regulated. Now the problem in the United States, of course, is that the

private sector cash has been so great, they've been able in many cases to actually capture the regulatory process in energy and finances and the

rest, which has allowed them -- and if there's no referee, if the government is effectively playing for the corporations, then the people,

the common people in the United States, don't get anything from globalization. That's the problem.

QUEST: But this is a -- this is a failure of previous administrations in different countries.

BREMMER: Yes, it is.

QUEST: Arguably, people who told you and I at Davos, you know, globalization was good, but forgot about those people left behind.

BREMMER: That's exactly right.

QUEST: It's not surprising there's this backlash.

BREMMER: Not at all. No. Globalization clearly is the most efficient way to grow the global economy. And literally, billions of people have come

out of poverty around the world over the past generations because of globalization. And goods are cheaper. But if the people benefiting from

globalization, the top 1, the top 0.1 percent, in the United States, in Europe and Japan, forget about the working and middle classes in America,

then those people have no reason to support globalization. And many of them didn't vote and many of those that voted, voted for Sanders and Trump.

QUEST: So, when you now have Steve Bannon, espousing, as indeed Donald Trump it today, economic nationalism. From your point of view, what's the

downside of an economic nationalism? Because the way I see it, if I'm a coal miner or a car worker or a widget maker in the Midwest, I'm thinking

this is what I want more of.

BREMMER: Yes, well, I guess there are two reasons. There are two pieces of downside. Assuming that they could execute well, and so far, the team

has shown they can't execute well in their first 35 days. Let's assume they get competence. Let's assume that the executive orders are smoother

and things start to work once they get some experience. The one problem is that the level of efficiency in a global market place goes way down. And

the United States is interlinked to all these countries. So, if we're going to start beating hard on China. China almost our size, with a

government that's much more centralized and powerful, they'll hit us back. And that is a consequence is going to make goods -- the price of goods is

going to go way up. Border taxes, you want to put border taxes on car parts go 10 times between United States and Canada before they're made.

Cars are going to cost ten times what it costs right now.

QUEST: But as a matter of principle in economic nationalism, can you support it?

BREMMER: The second reason why you can't support it or why it's very hard to support is because I don't see how it brings jobs back. 20 years ago,

it would have led to a lot more jobs in the U.S. Today, you can build walls, it's not going stop robotics. It's not going to stop AI.

QUEST: Somebody has to build the robotics. On this program, yesterday, the president of the National Association of Manufacturers, when I put that

point to him, said, absolutely rubbish, Richard, we'll build the robots that will make the jobs.

BREMMER: What's interesting, the robotics right now, most of the industrial robots in the world are being made by the Chinese, not by the

United States. Ultimately, we can have a U.S. manufacturing base that's going to have robots in the U.S. and they'll be made in China.

QUEST: Good to see you, sir.

BREMMER: You too.

QUEST: We'll talk more about economic nationalism.

BREMMER: We can do that.

QUEST: We will.

Better believe it. Saturday night, cream of Hollywood, you're going to hear from Lin-Manuel Miranda, the man behind the massive hit Hamilton, now

an Oscar nominee. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.


QUEST: The red carpet. The flashing lights. The music. All this week on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, we've been preparing you for the biggest night in

Hollywood. We've had the "CREATORS" as we look forward to the Academy Awards, which take place on Sunday.

Now, so far, you've heard from Oscar nominees, you've heard from Dev Patel, Natalie Portman, Ruth Nader, and Damien Chazelle. Our final nominee is

different. This is the chap, Lin-Manuel Miranda. The man behind "Hamilton," the hip hop musical about the life of the first U.S. treasury



SONG FROM HAMILTON: Past patiently waiting and smashing every expectation every action an act of the creation I'm laughing in the face of casualties

the first time I'm thinking past tomorrow.


QUEST: If Miranda does win a best original song Oscar on Sunday, he will be the youngest ever to win what's known as an EGOT. An Emmy, a Grammy, an

Oscar, and a Tony. Now, he's got three of them already. It's the Oscar that is missing. So, he also takes center stage in this episode of



LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA, ACTOR, PLAYWRIGHT, COMPOSER: My job's to fall in love for a living.

It's falling in love with an idea and falling in love with it so much that you have to see it through to completion. It's not enough to go, it would

be cool if we did this or cool if there was a song like this. It's about that song or that impulse or that creative idea that sort of doesn't leave

you alone. It bugs you in the shower, bugs you when you're walking your dog. It bugs you when you're changing your son's diapers and it doesn't

leave you alone until you finish it. Those are the ideas that I try to really sort of chase and write down when they feel true. And it's that

simple and it's that complicated.

We had a student written theater group at my high school. Where students would write plays, they would submit them, and another bunch of students

would pick five plays and direct them. So, I have the opportunity to produce at 12 years old. Would I be writing hip hop songs or trying to be

an artist? I might be doing a totally different thing if that club hadn't existed.

I sort of look for the music at the piano that I feel best serves this mood or this moment. I'll record just enough of it to get a loop, and then I'll

go off and talk to myself. And I'll just sort of figure out the lyrics as I'm walking the dog or I'm washing dishes. Or I actually I need to be

doing something else to be able to work on the lyrics in a real way. But I just talk to myself until it feels true. And when it feels true, I write

it down.

When I'm composing, I'm acting. When I'm writing how far I go, I'm Mauna. I'm Mauna until I figure out what Mauna needs to say and when we sat the

right way I write it down. And when I'm acting and when I'm playing a role, I'm looking for the truth of those words.

[16:55:00] You always want to meet your heroes, right, but you rarely get to meet them in a situation where they're seeing your work. And I got that

every night. They've just been hit with 2 hours and 45 minutes of "Hamilton" and then I meet them and that's an incredible feeling. Because

to get past all the initial like, oh, my god, I'm talking to Bruce Springsteen or oh, my god, I'm talk to Eminem, or oh, my god, I'm talking

to Don Kander, it's thrilling when your heroes see your work. Because it's a conversation between what they did that you loved and the thing you made.

While I want to get as much done in the time I have on this earth as anybody else, I also am very Zen about the fact that, you know, there are

going to be things I write that people love. There are going to be things I write that people hate. Where "Hamilton," I knew I was doing my best

work. I knew I was doing everything I knew about musical theater and everything I knew about hip hop and throwing them in the same pot. And

seeing what kind of pie I'd make. I didn't know whether it would be a success or not. But I was like, this is going to be tasty. I don't know

if anyone else is going to like it, but I like it. So, you kind of have to satisfy that first, and then the rest is out of your hands.


QUEST: The "CREATORS", geniuses or geni, one and all. A Profitable Moment after the break.


QUEST: Tonight's Profitable Moment. There aren't many days like we saw with the market where it had been down so very heavily throughout the

course of the session, and literally, a minute to go, it turns positive and we end up with the 11 successive day, not just of gains, but of the market

being at a record. We're aiming for 14. That take us back to the 1890s. Still got some way to go. But I leave you with a thought that the market,

all the markets rose very sharply as this bull rally continues. And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight. I'm Richard Quest in New York. Thank

you for joining us. Whatever you're up to in the days ahead, I hope it's profitable. I'll see you on Monday.