Return to Transcripts main page
QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
ECB Holds Fire on Tightening Policy; Assange Makes Offer to Tech Giants; Happy Birthday, Bull Market; Trump Sued by DC Wine Bar; South Korean Court to Rule on Impeachment; Washington AG Challenges Next Travel Ban
Aired March 9, 2017 - 16:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:00] ZAIN ASHER, CNN HOST: And all the excitement there marks the end -- he hit it again. All that excitement there marks the end of another
trading day on Wall Street. If you look in the background, there the QCP actually stands for Quality Cap Properties. That company you see right
there is actually celebrating their spinoff. But I've got to say it has been a bit of a lackluster day on Wall Street. They have been hovering
pretty much flat all day. Although we did get down about 60 points at one point. Everybody sort of seems to be sort of holding their horses.
Getting ready for that all important jobs report that's coming to us tomorrow.
All right, it is Thursday, the 9th of March. Tonight, it's not yet time to tighten. The ECB holds off scaling back the stimulus.
Julian Assange tell tech companies, I can help to cure your systems.
And on Wall Street the bull market stampedes it's way to an eighth glorious year.
Hello, everyone, I'm Zain Asher and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
All right, tonight, the European Central Bank holds its fire. Things may be finally looking up for Europe's economy. But Mario Draghi is resisting
pressure to follow the Fed and declined to begin weaning the Eurozone off it stimulus. The bank kept interest rate at record lows and left its
assets buying programs intact. Assets calls are to perform in line with the Americans and spicing up monetary policy. ECB president, Mario Draghi,
said, the Eurozone is slowly looking heathier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIO DRAGHI, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK: This is longer the sense of urgency in taking further actions, while maintaining the economic
monetary policy stance including the forward guidance. But that urgency that was prompted by the risk of deflation isn't there. That was the
judgment, the assessment of the governing Council.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: And the political pressure is now mounting on Draghi and the ECB to get out of its aggressive stimulus plan. Germany's Finance Minister,
Wolfgang Schauble, is calling for a timely entry into the exit from loose policy at the ECB. The IFO Institute, a think tank in Munich declared it
data shows the time is now for Draghi to take his foot off the gas. Meanwhile, the ECB is falling out of sync with the Federal Reserve. The
CME group now sees a 90 percent chance of another interest rate rise from Washington next Wednesday.
Jean-Claude Trichet was the man steering the European Central Bank through the debt on the global financial crisis. He joins us live now from Paris
tonight. So, Jean-Claude, thank you so much for being with us. You are literally the perfect person to talk to since you had Draghi's job in the
past. So obviously, the ECB leaving rates unchanged. Just want to get your thoughts on that and also when do you anticipate seeing an interest
JEAN-CLAUDE TRICHET, FORMER PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK: Well, first of all, of course nobody and the market was not expecting any increase of
rates today. That's absolutely clear. Neither of course, and interruption of the QE, but it's true that the situation is improving in Europe, as was
noted by many indicators, I have to say. One is that the fact that unemployment is going down. But it remains much higher than in the U.S.
And let's not forget that in the U.S. we are delivering a 4.7, 8. We are delivering a 9.6 in Europe. So, we are still at a level which is much
[16:03:48] But growth, real growth is improving. The projections are better. Inflation is picking up a little bit. So, I think there is a real
case to be encouraged in Europe. But you can see the Council of Governors decided that it was not yet time to change the action even if they had
withdrawn some kind of forward guidance on the possibility to embark on new very bold measures. They have considered that the risk was such that they
should not maintain that and I think it's important.
ASHER: The fact that you had inflation roughly around that 2 percent mark, I mean, how does that change things going forward in terms of monetary
TRICHET: Of course, what they're looking at also helps as well as in the US., of course. It is the core inflations that is behind the headline.
ASHER: And that's much lower.
TRICHET: And that is pushed up, of course, by the price of oil and commodity. But, yes, it is a .9 percent for three months. Before it was
.8 during practically one year you see. So, it's a very, very slow and meager increase. But of course, it was in the right direction and with
unemployment going lower, with the growth being confirmed, of course, you expect that the core inflation itself will grow progress in the up. It is
more or less what they are projecting, the staff is projecting in the medium run in the two years to come.
But all taken into account, they started changing a little bit the overall forward guidance, but they maintain exactly the same forward guidance for
the interest rates on the one hand and for QE on the other hand.
So, we will see what happens. They considered they are still committed to maintain rates at the low level until they consider that the overall
inflation is anchored in line with the definition, you know, less than two, but close to two. By the way, we have exactly the same definition of price
stability on both sides of the Atlantic. And also in Japan and also in the U.K. So, I would like to draw your attention on that. It is very
ASHER: Yes, and you mention that is important to focus on not just inflation overall, but core inflation. I want to get your thoughts on
European politics. How worried are you about elections in key member states? Namely Germany, and France, Netherlands as well.
TRICHET: Well, the Netherlands, of course, is the first to come, the 15th of this month. Nobody is expecting that I would say nationalists,
protectionist, sensitivity would be in power. But they are now at the level of the two most important political parties in the Netherlands. But
it will not, you know, be a game changer.
In France, we have elections that are very important too. I don't expect Pour Nationalite to win. And I think that all polls and surveys are
demonstrating that it is not in the cards. That being said of course, this is an important sensitivity, and it represents in France, more or less, the
Brexit sensitivity and the overall, I would say, Trump sensitivity. But I don't think that there is a case for thinking that they could be
overwhelmingly dominant, as is the case in the U.S. or in the U.K. And then of course, we have the election in Germany. Where you also have, the
sensitivity picking up, but without, I think, no hope of being in the next government. So, the main problem in Germany is whether or not the
Chancellor would be back her own position, which we will see. I mean, it's a democracy and of course, there is a lot of debate in Germany. But
fortunately, it seems to me not, you know, of the type of debate that you might have again, in the U.K. and in the U.S.
ASHER: All right. Jean-Claude Trichet, always appreciate having you on the show and getting your thoughts. Thank you so much for being with us,
Over in Europe, the markets closed mainly higher as investors digest Mario Draghi's comments.
In London, the weakening Price of oil dragged Dow mining stocks on the FTSE 100. Toyota says it's preparing for a worst-case scenario after Brexit.
The carmaker is concerned over the possibility of terrorists being imposed when Britain leaves the EU's single market. The CEO of Toyota Europe,
spoke to our Eleni Giokos at the Geneva Motor Show. She asked him if there was a cloud happening over Europe's car industry. Take a listen
JOHAN VAN ZYL, CEO, TOYOTA EUROPE: Well, I don't think it's kind of a dark cloud. I think it it's a strong wind, which is blowing. And we need to
prepare ourselves for that.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNNMONEY CORRESPONDENT: Let's take a look at some of the political issues that might be playing out. The likes of Brexit. We don't
know what that's going to look like. What are you pricing in?
VAN ZYL: Well, you know, in terms of Brexit we've always said that our position is that we would like to have free market access. We like to see
friction free transactions. And of course, a kind of standardization and utilization of the current regulatory framework for litigation purposes.
That is the task of the U.K. government to negotiate then. Our task is now to make sure that we've got a very efficient operation in the U.K. We are
committed to the U.K. and we will continue to drive to improve our efficiencies there.
GIOKOS: What would a 2.5 to 4 percent tariff due to your business out of the U.K.? Is that at the top of your mind? I'm sure you're doing the math
VAN ZYL: You know, in terms of the tariffs or duties, which we will apply. We'll have to see what that is. If we need to prepare ourselves in terms
of efficiencies we should look at the worst-case scenario, and that's what we are preparing ourselves for. What is the worst-case scenario? It's a
WTO regulatory framework. If that's going to be the case? Will the duties be faced in or the tariffs be faced in our outward? We don't know. So, we
can only focus on one thing and that is efficiency.
GIOKOS: Tell us about your big reveal today? What are you pushing this year?
VAN ZYL: So, what we've reveal today and what we showed the world is i- TRIL. Which is a concept vehicle, which is a vehicle which we asked our designers and research and development people to go out to the younger
target market and asked them what would they like to see in a vehicle of the future. And they develop their answer i-TRIL, which is a three-seater
vehicle. It's electric. Is prepared for autonomous driving. It's got a very unique seating position. And of course, it's got the lean technology
of the i-road in it. So, very, very exciting vehicle for the future urban mobility.
GIOKOS: Your hybrid sales in Europe are up 40 percent. They make up around 32 percent of your EU sales. That's such a fascinating trying to
look at. Why is it so successful?
VAN ZYL: I think you know, what happened to us is that we differentiate ourselves on a hybrid. We really focused on selling hybrids. We launched
the first hybrid are ready 20 years ago. We just sold more than 10 million hybrids globally. It took us 10 years to sell the first million. It took
us nine months to sell the last million. So, the diffusion of this technology is now happening. People are accepting it. It's becoming part
of mainstream. And we are hybrid. Toyota is the leader in every country in Europe in terms of hybrid sales. And we will continue differentiating
ourselves with the hybrid, and technology.
ASHER: QUEST MEANS BUSINESS would like to wish a very happy birthday to the bull market on Wall Street. It actually turned eight years old today.
The Dow was actually up a whopping 213 percent since March 9, 2009. It is by the way the second longest run in history. In recent months, we've seen
the Dow surge past 20,000 and then it just broke through that milestone 21,000. You see these milestones getting more and more frequent. And it's
really easy to forget just how bleak things once look. In fact, this time eight years ago, the Dow was at a 12-year low. The selloffs being
unstoppable. And at the New York Stock Exchange there was even talk of the Dow falling to 5,000. Take a listen.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Just a remarkable fall. There's some interesting stories. In fact, I have the Wall Street Journal right here where I can
just show it you. It says, "Dow 5,000? There is a case for it." So, I'm not been a hold onto that paper. I hope that scenario is wrong, Richard.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: Time out. Time out. That sort of gloom we can do without at start of the week.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Teddy Weisberg is at the New York Stock Exchange. He has more than four decades on the trading floor. Teddy, you have literally seen it all.
So, just take us back to that time, March 2009. Layoffs left and right, corporate earnings collapsing, and now we've surpassed 21,000. Did you
ever think it would happen this quickly?
TED WEISBERG, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, SEAPORT SECURITIES: What a difference a day makes. I guess what a difference eight years makes. You know,
listen, if I look back over my lifetime and Wall Street, which is slightly more than 50 years, certainly 40 some odd years on the trading floor. You
know, I think in that lifetime I've seen three really dramatic selloffs. 1973, 74, which was very much like 2008, 2009, and then the crash of 87.
Now, the difference is the 87, it was more or less over in one day. The market was down 22 percent in one day in 87.
I think, you know, these things happen. You know, you get dislocations, but luckily, they don't come along very often. I mean, in 50 years, three
really major debacles in terms of the stock market. I would say that's a pretty good track record. And actually, makes a very good long-term case
for equities and for owning equities for the long-term.
ASHER: So, tell me, can people -- can investors relax? I mean, can we sort of breathe a sigh of relief? Because I'm just wondering what sort of
-- I'm asking you if you can look into a crystal ball basically. But sort of see any pickup in the near-term future? People talk about this
administration as being very corporate friendly. But any sort of hiccup you can see on the horizon?
WEISBERG: Well, I think the answer is yes, unfortunately. You don't have a crystal ball. I don't have a crystal ball.
ASHER: I wish I did.
WEISBERG: And your viewers don't. Because if one of us did, if any of his did, we probably wouldn't be --
ASHER: We'd be very rich.
WEISBERG: Yes, we be sitting on a yacht someplace floating around in the Mediterranean. But listen, owning stocks is always risky. So, let's not
delude ourselves into thinking that there's no risk, no matter what the levels of the markets are. But so much of stock markets are driven by
human emotion for which it's very, very difficult to define. Whether it's at 20 percent, 30 percent, 50 percent, 100 percent, you know it just
depends on where we are at any given point in time. So, the answer to your question is, absolutely there are hiccups ahead of us. Unfortunately, we
don't know what they are. And I would say to you because there is so much emotion in stock trading that stock markets and individual pricing of
stocks is really not rational. On one level this is a spectacular business, very challenging and a lot of fun, and also very risky. But on
the other hand, is not rational.
ASHER: It doesn't make any sense.
WEISBERG: Well, because markets tend to always overshoot. If we go back to the spring of '09, in 2008 the market was down 38 percent from the
trading highs to the trading lows. Obama gets inaugurated in January '09 - - I'm not blaming it on Obama, but it was just poor timing on his part. And the market goes down another 12 or 14 percent. So, from the trading
highs to the trading lows March 2009, go back to the fall of '07 when the sellout started, we were probably down close to 50 percent from the highs
to the lows. That was pretty ugly.
The only other time I would compare that to in my trading lifetime, would be 1973, 74 when the Dow went from Dow 1000 and sometime in '73 to Dow 580,
560. So, it's a similar percentage move. And what's also interesting about the first three months of '09 compared to the first three months of
2017, you had a new president. The market went down 13 percent. We have a new president. The market is up 13 percent. It's the complete flip of
what we experienced.
ASHER: Teddy, gosh, you have an amazing memory, but I'm sorry I'm going to have to leave it there. The man who has seen it all. Teddy, thank you so
much. Appreciate that.
WEISBERG: My pleasure.
ASHER: Of course.
Concerns mount about who has access to CIA's hacking toolkit. WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, says, there's one group that actually should get
access. Will tell you who they are after the break. Don't go away.
ASHER: Welcome back everybody. WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, says he wants to give details of the CIA's hacking operation to tech companies so
they can patch security holes. Assange says that WikiLeaks has even more information, that is by the way on top of thousands of CIA hacking files
they released earlier on this week. He said it was in the interest of users, i.e., you and me, to get the manufacturers involved.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JULIAN ASSANGE, WIKILEAKS FOUNDER: Considering what we think is the best way to proceed and hearing these calls from some of the manufacturers, we
have decided to work with them. To give them some exclusive access to the additional technical details we have. So, that fixes can be developed and
pushed out so that people can be secured.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: CNN's private security reporter, Jose Pagliery, is following this story. He loves all things tech, so this is right in his will house. So,
Julian Assange just said he is not revealing details of the cyber tools. He wants tech companies like Apple, for example, to be able to fix some of
these. How surprising is that move do you think?
JOSE PAGLIERY, CNNMONEY CYBERSECURITY REPORTER: It's not. Because this is a typical hacker move. Hackers do this all the time when they want these
holes to be patched. And so, typically hackers will go to companies and say, listen, I found a way to break into your iPhone, computer, device
whatever. You got to fix this. Sometimes he asked for payment. But in this case WikiLeaks' cofounder is really just saying that they want to
patch this so that no one can break into an iPhone, a Samsung phone, a TV, a computer. The idea here is that everyone is exposed by these types of
bone abilities and he wants to close that.
ASHER: So, people at home who are watching, who are learning about these vulnerabilities in these hacking tools that the CIA has, what can they
learn from all this? What should they know about this?
PAGLIERY: Well, not much. The real lesson here is not too surprising. There is an intelligence agency and is doing spine, right. I mean, that's
not new. What might be new here is that the tools that the CIA had, if you believe WikiLeaks, have now moved out in the open. They been stolen. And
now cyber criminals or foreign governments can use them to spine people too. And so, for the person sitting at home, on the one hand, if you
didn't think the CIA was spying on you before, they probably are spying on you now. On the other hand, if these tools did get out in the open,
there's a danger to that. This is collateral damage. Because people who would spy on you can. Taking personal information or bank account,
ASHER: You know, one thing that Julian Assange did say, is that I'm just sort of loosely quoting there. He said, "The CIA creates its cyber weapons
arsenal. Stored it and they didn't even secure it." He talked about this sort of gross incompetence. Is he right, what's your take on that?
PAGLIERY: It's really early to tell. So, at least one Congressman, here in the United States, has asked for an investigation to look into this. If
those findings are made public, then we'll find out where these tools were placed? How they got on the open? And what was lost exactly? But it's
really early days. That is a firm assertion made by WikiLeaks. There is no way for us to back that up.
ASHER: All right, Jose, thank you so much. Cyber security expert in the house. Thank you, appreciate that.
The grades are in for America's infrastructure and the results are not good. A D+ in fact. President Trump has fought for $1 trillion investment
in infrastructure. Today the president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, called on the president to follow through on his promise and get
the money flowing now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NORMA JEAN MATTEI, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CIVIL ENGINEERS: The United States is serious about achieving infrastructure fit for the 21st
century some specific steps must be taken. But beginning with increased long-term consistent, consistent investment. Delayed investment only
escalates costs and increases the risks of an aging infrastructure system.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: So, you can here that the overall grade in terms of America's infrastructure was a D+. Obviously, not very good, but some areas did
actually end up scoring better than others. The key area that did actually score pretty good was rail. But that doesn't mean the fact that they got a
B doesn't mean they are completely out of the woods. Passenger rail still has a lot of problems, particularly with an aging infrastructure and also
poor funding as well.
Let's look at some other key areas. Transit, mass transit scored a D-. That's larger because of maintenance issues. Aviation not so good.
Aviation also scoring D, largely because of airport infrastructure not being able to keep up with demand.
Let's take a look at some of the other areas. So, if you were traveling by car things aren't necessarily that much better that's because the roads,
i.e., the roads that you are driving on are getting a D score. The bridges slightly better getting a C+.
And when you think of infrastructure is not just about airports, roads and bridges and that kind of thing, drinking water as well is a key factor.
When you see this D grade, the first thing that comes to my mind is of course, the Flint water crisis and water having lead here in the United
States in Flint, Michigan. Also, energy is scoring a D+, not so good. In terms of solid waste, a little bit better, it scoring a C+. It's America's
waste disposal. Wastewater getting a D+. And in terms of the cost to fix all of this a whopping, get this, I'll just circle it for you a whopping 4
1/2 trillion dollars, which is dramatically more than what the administration right now is planning to spend. I believe that's it.
All right, joining me now is Norma Jean Mattei, is the president of the ASCE. She's also a university professor. So, she's actually used to
giving out grade. So, Norma, thank you so much for being with us. You know, looking at that scorecard, it looks pretty dismal. We're giving it a
D+ in terms of American infrastructure. Is there any sort of hope on the horizon?
MATTEI: Well, there is hope. That $4.5 trillion is an investment that we need to make in our infrastructure over 10 years. But we are making an
investment in infrastructure at the level of about $2 trillion. So, that leaves us gap. So, the gap over a 10-year time period is actually $2
trillion. Not quite as big as 4.5 that you have up there.
ASHER: So, there are some people watching this from developing countries where there are issues with drinking water. There is issues in terms of
getting reliable power supplies. Who sort of look at this idea that America has failing infrastructure and they can understand it. Just
explain to us what metrics you're using to grade the United States?
MATTEI: So, the A through F, A would be brand spanking new, all the new bells and whistles. B would be infrastructure that is in place and it
might have a few miles on it so to speak, but it's still in good condition. C, average. D, poor condition. F, failing or critical.
Some of those developing nations are looking at us because, well, we were developing about 100 years ago, we were in the same position. So, we've
got infrastructure we put in place -- actually our grandparents put in place, our parents put in place, that we've been taking about a generation
off. This generation has stopped funding and investing in infrastructure.
ASHER: So, how does poor infrastructure, or near failing infrastructure impact the average, sort of working class American families?
MATTEI: So, we've done an economic analysis and out of your pocket, out of my pocket, out of the average American's families pocket, we pay the cost
of not investing in infrastructure. We pay because there is a hit that we take. And each year our disposable income shrinks by $3,400. That's a
little more than nine dollars a day, nine dollars a day that you are paying for poor infrastructure. D+ average.
ASHER: So, Norma, just in terms of the solution, in terms of the administration obviously promising about $1 trillion in terms of
investment. In terms of a solution though, what should be this administration's biggest priority. Because on my screen I mentioned
airports, I mentioned roads, I mentioned bridges and drinking water as well. What should be the biggest priority?
MATTEI: Well, 16 sectors and you really can't single out one sector in say, wow, that's we're we have to put all our money. Because across all of
those 16 sectors there's needs. So, if we really want to wisely spend the investment that we can make we have to single out those pieces of
infrastructure that are most critical. So, either they're the closest to failing so they might negatively impact human safety, or they might
inevitably impact if they fail, our economy. So, those are the ones we really have to focus on first.
ASHER: So, I drink drinking water, all right, Norm Jean Mattei, thank you so much for being with us and showing your perspective. Thank you.
The Trump administration and the Trump organization are both facing brand- new legal challenges from residential hotels to travel bands. We will have the latest on those legal challenges after this break.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, I'm Zain Asher, coming up on the next half hour of QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, a Washington wine bar takes Donald
Trump to court claiming unfair competition and the trial of the century begins in South Korea just hours before we learn the fate of the country's
ousted president. First though here are the top news headlines that we are following for you at this hour.
News just into CNN, police in Dusseldorf confirmed that there are injured people at the city's main train station, there were no fatalities, the
injured right now are being treated. Officials added that they have little information on potential suspects. When passenger on a train bound for
Dusseldorf told CNN his train was diverted to Cologne.
U.S. officials tell CNN as many as 400 U.S. Marines armed with artillery are now on the ground just north of ISIS' self-declared capital in Syria,
the deployment outside Raqqa. They will support local militias when they try to drive Isis out of the city in the coming weeks. Separately, about
100 U.S. Army Rangers are also now stationed near the Syrian city of Manbij.
And 31 people, most of them teenage girls are dead after a fire at a Guatemalan home for abused children. An attorney there says the fire
started after some of the residents set a mattress ablaze after an apparent thwarted escape attempt.
All right, legal opposition to President Trump's revised travel ban is not growing, the Attorney General of Washington State is asking a federal judge
to block the new travel ban. Bob Ferguson claims the new order hasn't actually fixed the legal flaws in the first order. New York, Oregon,
Massachusetts now say that they are going to be joining in on Washington's suit, early this week attorneys for Hawaii asked for a temporary
restraining order on the ban. The van is supposed to take effect next Thursday, CNN justice reporter Laura Jarrett is following the story.
Laura, thank you so much for being with us, I need legal help breaking this down. In terms of a new ban what sort -- because they did fix a lot. They
did change a lot, what sort of legal flaws still remain do you think?
LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: This is really a continuation of the earlier lawsuit in Washington state, Zain. And the attorneys there say
despite the fact as you say that the president's new executive order made certain changes like excluding those with green cards or other visas, the
new travel ban still suffers from legal flaws like discrimination based on national origin. And you might remember that back in early February a
federal judge in Seattle blocked the implementation of the original travel ban. And attorneys for the state say that ruling is still in place, and so
it should talk implementation of this new travel down as well.
[16:05:00] ASHER: How does intent actually matter because even despite the fixes compared to the first travel ban and this one, there is still this
lingering idea that only a year and half ago Donald Trump during his campaign did actually announce that there would be if he was elected
president total and complete shutdown on Muslims entering the United States. How much is the intent behind the ban still a factor, do you
JARRETT: I think we're going to see that still significant factor, and the latest complaint that we saw from Hawaii, they took page after page 2
detail all of the president's various statements about Muslims on the campaign trail. Now of course, the White House is saying this is not a
Muslim ban, the Department of Justice is saying this is not a Muslim ban, but I think that we can expect in these lawsuits to hear that time to time.
ASHER: Some people are saying that this order would actually damage the state's educational institutions in Washington and in Hawaii, private
business, and affect tourism as well, and discriminate against families with relatives overseas. Is that going to be a factor in terms of how all
this plays out?
JARRETT: I think it will, certainly the first time around the Washington state Attorney General said, hey, this is really affecting our ability to
recruit good faculty. And it is also affecting students who want to travel back and forth to home. And now Hawaii is also adding the fact that it
also harms people who have relatives in one of the six banned countries who want to bring them to the United States. For instance, an American Imam
living in Hawaii is part of that lawsuit, and he says my mother-in-law is trapped in Syria, and now is not able to come to the United States.
ASHER: Right, so discrimination for families with relatives overseas is also a factor. Laura stick around because I want to update our viewers on
another story related to Trump that we also are following, and that is the fact that a wine bar is suing Donald Trump, President Trump alleging that
his hotel in Washington gives him because he is the US president after all, unfair competitive advantage. The Trump international Hotel has already
been the spotlight with lawmakers questioning whether the property is a conflict of interest for the president. The Cork Wine Bar is the first
business competitor to actually sue Mr. Trump while in office, the owners of the bar say they do not want money, they just want to be treated fairly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KHALID PITTS, CO-OWNER, CORK WINE BAR: This is an unprecedented situation, the conflict is obvious and by bringing this lawsuit we believe that we
will show that the president's ownership of the Trump Hotel and his actions have given him an unfair competitive edge. We are not seeking money as
you've heard. We simply want to level the playing field so that all DC restaurants can compete fairly and equally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Laura Jarrett is of course back with us again, I guess the idea is this then, you can't really compete, you can operate your business fairly
if the business next door happens to be owned by the president. Do you think they have a case here?
JARRETT: Well, that's exactly right, Zain, their point is look, president Trump has a huge leg up here because foreign diplomats and other businesses
want to curry favor with him naturally. And this restaurant Cork is only around 15 minutes away from Trump's hotel, so not exactly next-door. But
it is still here. Now there is a very low bar for them to meet, and it is interesting they decided to sue in State DC Superior Court. They did not
sue in federal court where the standard can be pretty onerous. But in order to get through this initial period, all they have to make is a plain
showing that they can succeed. And at that point if they do that, they can get depositions, they can get documents and they can really try to get
Trump's taxes which is what most people want to get their hands on.
ASHER: I thought it was so interesting they didn't actually want money, they are not suing for money, they are just saying we want to be treated
fairly because this is in their eyes unfair competition, all right, Laura Jarrett, live for us there on both stories, thank you so much, appreciate
The South Korean president could have just hours left on the job, we will have the latest on the country's remarkable web of corruption allegations
stretching from boardrooms to the top tiers of government. That's next.
[16:10:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ASHER: I want to update you on some breaking news just into CNN a few minutes ago. Police in Dusseldorf say they have arrested one person, they
have arrested one person after an axe attack in Dusseldorf's main train station. This is apparently the aftermath of that scene, officials are
saying that several people were injured. There were no fatalities but one person has been arrested. Martin Sebastian Abel is a green party
politician he was in the area at the time, he joins us live now. So, Martin Sebastian thank you so much for being with us. Just describe to our
viewers what happened.
MARTIN SEBASTIAN ABEL, GREEN PARTY POLITICIAN: I came out of parliament, it was not in session but we had a meeting on the chamber for budget and
finance, and as always, I took the train, and the train stopped one station before the main station, and they said everybody go out, there is an
emergency going on and you have to walk there by foot. As I came there I saw the emergency units arriving, a lot of firefighters and ambulances, and
all of a sudden there were a few police vehicles arriving at high speed. And so, I grabbed my stuff and went in the other direction.
ASHER: Were you given any details, did you clean any details about the actual attack itself, about the actual axe attack?
ABEL: I have read things on Twitter, I don't know if they are true, I don't have a confirmation from official accounts like the police or the
firefighters that there has been an arrest. I don't know if it's one attacker, I don't know if there are others, all I can say is that I picked
up a colleague of mine who saw my twitter posting and I drove him to the next main station in the city not far away from Dusseldorf, so he can make
his way home. The police were searching for another attacker, that is all I heard, that is all of what we heard over twitter and over the radio that
there is an investigation going on that there is maybe more than one attacker but this information is also not confirmed.
ASHER: We know that one person was arrested, I want to make it clear to our viewers we don't know the motive, we haven't been told anything about a
motive from police, but just tell us, Martin, I mean how on edge is Germany given the fact that we have seen these sorts of attacks in the recent past?
ABEL: Of course, the Berlin attack, it was really shocking because it was the first time a major attack happened in Germany. But it is not that we
are very alarmed and we are on the edge, there have been some big events in Cologne and also Dusseldorf called Karneval was the big festival with
millions of visitors.
[16:45:00] There was -- we were a little bit edgy but a lot more police in the last years but I would say, I would describe the feeling of most of the
people are acting normal, they are not anxious or something like that.
ASHER: Just to recap to our viewers, we don't know really anything about a motive as of yet, we do know that one person has been arrested, no word on
any sort of fatalities, but there have been people injured. Martin Sebastian Abel, thank you so much for sharing your story with us.
And historic moment for South Korea just hours after one of the country's top businessmen began a so-called trial of the century. We are expecting
to hear whether the corruption scandal will bring down the country's president. The decision is expected in around four hours from the
country's constitutional court. President Park could be immediately removed from power after her impeachment in December. At the same time,
Samsung's de facto leader is facing a criminal trial accused of bribery to try and win favor with president Park. CNN's Alexandra Field has more.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In South Korea, it does not get bigger than Samsung that is the country's largest conglomerate, now
it's de facto chief the heir apparent is behind bars and he is the subject of national attention. Prosecutors have charged him with embezzlement and
bribery when they are calling at the trial of the century. If convicted even on the embezzlement charges J. Y. Lee would face a minimum of five
years in prison. Prosecutors say that he orchestrated payments of tens of millions of dollars to a close confidant of the president in order to curry
favor for a corporate merger that helped to consolidate his power while his father the Samsung Chairman has been ailing in the hospital since 2014.
Attorneys appeared in court for a preliminary hearing in this case on Lee's behalf, he was not present in the courtroom. They have denied any charges
of wrongdoing. Lee is charged along with four other Samsung executives as part of an investigation into a widespread political corruption scandal.
Back in December lawmakers voted to impeach South Korea's president, on Friday a constitutional court will decide whether or not to uphold that
ASHER: And it is also important to mention president Park has denied any wrongdoing along with four other Samsung executives.
March 14th is My Freedom Day and CNN is partnering with young people around the world for a student led day of action against modern-day slavery.
Driving My Freedom Day is a simple question, what does freedom mean to you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Those who have freedom forget how important it is, and I think it is a right to express yourself without interference whenever
and wherever you are.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freedom means being able to express myself in every aspect of my life without fear of persecution, prosecution and retaliation.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Freedom to me means having no limitations, means that you have the opportunity to create vision for your life. Freedom is also
the opportunity to chase your dreams and aspirations.
ASHER: Such mature perspective from those young students, and of course we want to hear what freedom means to you at home as well, just post a photo
or video using a #myfreedomday. And you can see your video and videos from all of us here at CNN team on a special website. You can just go to
When they come back on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, hotels with the difference, how do you fancy sleeping on the London eye, we will look at that and
plenty of other niche accommodations. That story next.
[16:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ASHER: The London Eye is Britain's most popular paid for tourist attraction, and it is going to become a hotel for one night only. In a
competition organized by Trip Advisor on March 30, the winners will sleep in a glass pot which has been specially converted into a bedroom. The
airborne boudoir will be parked at the very top of the attraction all night unless of course you need the bathroom in which case they will bring you
slowly I presume back down to earth.
A few years from now the gym chain Equinox Fitness will open its first ever hotel here in New York, I found out why they think customers will come
ASHER: Some may call it a stretch but Equinox is preparing for a new push into a new industry, and their sites are set high. The company's most
ambitious project yet, the launch of the first ever Equinox hotel.
HARVEY SPEVAK, EQUINOX EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN: A lot of people said it is hard to make money in fitness and we've proven that to be wrong, we think we
will do the same thing on the hotel side.
ASHER: Their target client, business people looking to keep fit on the road.
SPEVAK: People when they travel, they want to maintain has become a daily routine, they want to maintain that healthy routine. And you know what, it
is pretty hard if not impossible to maintain that routine on the road.
ASHER: Equinox's first hotel is set to open in 2019 in the massive new Manhattan development, Hudson Yards. Over the years, major hotel chains
have upped their game and offered improved fitness services. Spevak says he will go them one better.
So, I am a client and I come to one of your hotels, just some of what the experience is going to be the moment I walked through the door.
SPEVAK: Certainly, you will have a full-service flagship Equinox club so you can participate in classes, use an expanded spa experience, work out
with a trainer if you desire, but really have a true, full-service fitness experience, and unparalleled experience at Equinox that I am recognized
for. But there are elements we will bring to the experience as well.
ASHER: But marketing experts say that won't be an easy feat.
PETER SHANKMAN, BRANDING AND SOCIAL MEDIA CONSULTANT: It is one thing when you spend an hour or two hours a day at a gym, it is another thing when you
were at a hotel for one, two, three, five days a week. If it is not the customer service that you have come to expect that is going to reflect
poorly on Equinox Hotels and it is going to reflect poorly on Equinox, the whole brand.
SPEVAK: We are not afraid, we are a private company, we are very entrepreneurial, we are very long-term focused. And we have a history of
being disruptive and we think there is another opportunity to be disruptive. And we feel pretty confident that we will be successful.
ASHER: This is one CEO who is pumped up about the future.
ASHER: Jim Brett is the president of West Elm which is a lifestyle retailer. Moving into the hotel business it promises to offer a chic
experience for customers wanting something new. So, Jim, thank you for being with us. So why is a furniture company going into hotels, just
bridge that gap for me?
JIM BRETT, PRESIDENT, WEST ELM: Sure, we all have to think of new ways to grow our business, and I think it is all about just deepening your
relationship with your customer. And we have a great relationship with our customers in their home, we now have broadened that relationship to work
with West Elm Workspace. And now we want to broaden that relationship to Away with West Elm Hotels.
ASHER: It is interesting because it does make business sense because any hotel guest to stays at one of the West Elm Hotels will be able to buy the
furniture that is surrounding them. If you sleep on a bed and you find it comfortable, you could buy the bed if you want to. Same thing with the
drawers, same thing with the desks. Is that what you hope to happen?
BRETT: Absolutely, and you know it has provided an interesting source of inspiration for our design team to create new products for our line,
because each hotel is going to be completely different in total celebration of the locale. Because that's what we think modern travelers want now. Is
to really experience the place where they are.
[16:25:00] ASHER: What is the biggest challenge do you think for a furnishing company to go and develop its own line of hotels? What is the
biggest challenge do you think?
BRETT: We are really good at designing obviously, products and experiences, and that is really what we are focused on. The operations of
the hotel, we developed a joint venture partnership with some incredible operators that will exclusively be operating West Elm Hotels. So, I am not
trying to figure out how to deliver room service. On focused on and my team is focused on what we do best, which is designing the experience. And
then the third leg of the stool is really the owner and developer of the building and the complex around it, and we are really not just looking to
sign leases. We are looking for developers who are interested in really building out experiences for their communities, and the hotel is one aspect
of that experience.
ASHER: One thing I found interesting is that they played my piece about Equinox launching their own hotel. There focused on New York City, and
after they get done with New York City they're going to Los Angeles. You guys are picking Detroit, Savannah, Georgia as sort of secondary cities.
Why are you starting that way?
BRETT: These are cities where we think we can come in and have a real impact on the community. There's a huge revitalization happening in the
cities. We have great successful store locations. Our retail is very atypical for most retailers, we have been going into urban environments not
the malls. An experienced great success being part of revitalizing a community. And you're going to have a really local experience in the
ASHER: Jim, we have to leave it there.
BRETT: No problem.
ASHER: We are out of time, I producer is in my ear, all right, that does it for us, that was QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, I am Zain Asher in New York,
thank you so much for watching, I will see you all on Friday. Have a great night.