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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Evan Greenberg Discusses the Advantages of Using Eurostar; Barney Frank Explains the Rationale Behind the CFPB. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired November 27, 2017 - 16:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
QUEST: Closing bell ringing on Wall Street - a record on the Dow, not so for the S&P 500 or indeed the NASDAQ. It doesn't look like it's going to
eke out a small record. But the Dow is showing the best of the gains. And helping kids rise above - that's learning how to do it properly. I thought
we were getting an extra gavel there -- but a firm, robust gavel. Trading is over. I'm back in New York. It's Monday; it's November the 27th.
Tonight - who's the boss? Washington is wrestling for control of a top Wall Street regulator. I will be joined by Barney Frank, the author of
Two top Republican donors buy themselves some time - literally - as the US media consolidation continues.
And in the days happiest merger, the House of Windsor gets an American investor. Now, I'm Richard Quest - live from the world's financial
capital, New York City - and I mean business.
Good evening. As the Dow closes at a near all-time record high - it just slipped back in the last second or two of trading - Washington is in a
battle over who runs one of Wall Street's biggest regulators. The Consumer and Financial Protection Bureau, the CFPB as you'll hear us talk about
throughout this program, was set up by Senator Elizabeth Warren and now is in the middle of a tug-of-war.
A lawsuit has been filed to stop the president's vacancy pick, Mick Mulvaney, the Director of Office Management and Budget, from OMB, from
Now, imagine you turned up to work and found two bosses. So, Mulvaney as you see in the picture on the left, is Donald Trump's choice. In Congress,
he once voted to kill off the Bureau.
Meanwhile, the outgoing boss had already picked his successor; his Chief of Staff, Leandra English, for the same job, claiming that she was entitled to
do so under the law. In a sign of Mick Mulvaney cementing his position, he arrived at work with doughnuts for the staff and told them he was the boss.
In the last hour the White House explained why he, Mulvaney, should get the job.
SANDERS: We think that a lot of the past practices under the previous director and under the previous administration were used more to advance
political ambitions and not about protecting American consumers, which is what that's supposed to be. And our goal is to make sure we get back to
QUEST: So, it's a stunning turn of events for an agency which was set up after the financial crisis and whose very raison d'tre is to shield
consumers. But it is fair to say that the CFPB is not popular on Wall Street - never has been, not since the day it was started.
The CFPB has been fining big banks - and that includes Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Citibank. And in a tweet, Donald Trump has called the agency,
"A total disaster. Financial institutions have been devastated," said the president.
So, what exactly is it? How close to that description is it to the truth? Richard Hunt joins me - he's the Chief Executive of the Consumer Bankers
Association. And it's fair to say, sir, you are no fan of the agency; are you?
HUNT: Well, that's not true. Look, if the CFPB had been structured as a five-person bipartisan commission like it was originally intended, we
wouldn't have had the circus we're having today. The fact is, the CFPB serves a very critical mission for all consumers. We're supportive of the
mission of the CFPB.
Where we have a disagreement is the structure. One person should not be running 1600 employees and $600 million budget. That's absurd for one
person to have all that control.
QUEST: Well, with great expect if that's your argument then Mick Mulvaney certainly shouldn't be running the Office of Management and Budget at the
same time as he's now been put in charge of this other agency.
HUNT: Well, I'm hoping Mick Mulvaney will come in and provide reasonable regulation.
QUEST: But he can't do them both.
HUNT: Not just one person controlling it. That's why we need a five- person bipartisan commission. Every other agency is going through transition in Washington DC and it's gone in an orderly process but not at
I just cannot believe that the departing director of the CFPB has the power to handpick their successor. He is the only person in this town that is
allowed to do that. Not the president. Not a United States senator. Richard, I bet you can't even pick your successor for your job, but Richard
Cordray can? That's where I think we've gone off the rails.
QUEST: Except Congress gave him the power to pick his successor - that's what the legislation says.
HUNT: Well, we don't know what it says. In a couple of minutes, we are going to have a judge who will opine whether that's the case or not. Look,
I am not a lawyer. I've talked to three lawyers today and got five different opinions - that's the problem. If we had a commission at the
CFPB we would not have this problem.
QUEST: Forgive me for interrupting - I wouldn't do so ordinarily - Mick Mulvaney is speaking. We do need to hear him. Do forgive me.
MULVANEY: CFPB and then met again in the afternoon with a broader group - probably three or four dozen folks - I'll tell you pretty much the same
thing I told them and then I'll take a couple of questions. Which is, this is an ordinary course of business in Washington DC.
What you're witnessing today at CFPB happens at every single agency, every single couple of years - which is a transition. It just so happens that
CFPB has never been through a transition before. It was inevitable at some point. It was either going to be now or in July that Mister Cordray left
and Mister Trump was going to get a chance - President Trump was going to get a chance to put someone in this position.
So, I had a chance to walk through with a lot of folks here who had not been through transition what they should expect. They should expect that
this agency will stay open. Rumors that I'm going to set the place on fire or blow it up or lock the doors are completely false. I'm a member of the
executive branch of government. We intend to execute the laws of the United States, including the provisions of Dodd-Frank that govern the CFPB.
That being said, the way we go about it, the way we interpret it, the way we enforce it will be dramatically different under the current
administration than it was under the last. Anybody who thinks that a Trump administration CFPB would be the same as an Obama administration CFPB is
simply being naive. Elections have consequences at every agency and that includes the CFPB.
I don't have specifics yet on how that's going to translate into action in terms of that new attitude that we're taking here at CFPB in light of the
fact that the Trump administration is now in charge. But I will tell you the same thing I told these folks today is what's happened immediately.
Effective today, we've put something similar in place here to what we did across the entire executive branch at the outset of the administration.
QUEST: Let's leave Mulvaney speaking there. I wanted to address with you now, sir, that bit that he actually talked about - the way in which the
agency - because we can spend a lot of time dealing with process and who's the boss and who's not and you're right; a judge will decide that.
Talk to me now, sir, about this idea as he said that the way the agency will work with this administration will not be the same as the previous but
at the same time it has to give consumer protections, which is its very purpose.
HUNT: Sure. We all need consumer protection. That's how banks thrive in this industry. You can have both together - consumer protection, safety
and soundness, consumers working with banks. That's how it's been set up from day one when we came into this country. So, you need both.
What I think Mr. Mulvaney is going to do is take a deep breath, look at every nook and cranny of the CFPB and see if he can work better - working
with the banking industry, working with consumers. Sometimes I would tell you Richard, we felt we were guilty before the person ever walked in. I
think the CFPB got off to a very rocky start at the beginning and it continued to the very end. We have to depoliticize the CFPB.
We need to bring in reasonable balanced approach for the consumer and the small business person across the board. There's just too much power in the
hands of one individual. This person has jurisdiction over every bank, every enforcement action, every examination issue, over every consumer
financial product. They have more power in one director that all of the other directors of the federal agency agencies combined in the financial
QUEST: The fear is - the fear is that this administration under Mick Mulvaney who has called this agency a joke, who is known not to support its
cause, who believes it's gone too far - the fear is that this administration will de facto gut the agency, so it becomes toothless, to
the benefit of your industry.
HUNT: We would not be in support of that whatsoever at all. We want to make sure the CFPB should run like the CFPB was intended to run. It did
become a political organization, especially at the very end.
Richard Cordray did not fill the deputy position for two and a half years and the last thing he did on his way out was named a deputy director.
That's not how an agency should be run. We want the CFPB to do its business of the CFPB.
And I've talked to many employees today at the CFPB who said they just want to do their job and depoliticize the CFPB.
QUEST: Thank you, sir. Thank you for joining us. Always good to have you on Quest Means Business - putting up for interview. We appreciate it.
Later in the program we're going to be joined by one of the men who helped build the banking regulation in the United States; Barney Frank.
Now the Dow Jones industrials - it fell from record. Right towards the end it was inching at a record for the Dow, but it couldn't quite hold the
gains. Energy shares were down, retail shares were up. The Dow is still up 22 points; 23,580 but at much smaller gains.
It's a magazine that Donald Trump claimed would probably have crowned him Person of the Year except he didn't want that honor. Tonight, investors
seem happy as Time magazine has turned a page.
Now the publisher of Time, Time Inc., has been bought by Meredith Corporation, for $2.8 billion. You can see the way the market absolutely
liked this deal on both sides. Time obviously goes up because it's going towards the asking price of 9.4. But Meredith goes up by 10.7 percent,
that is perceived to be a good deal for them.
A big chunk of the combined business will be sold to Charles and David Koch. They are the brothers - mega-donors of the Republican Party and
Meredith promises they will yield no editorial influence. No editorial influence, Brian Stelter. Do you buy that?
STELTER: We will see about that. Certainly, the Koch brothers' spokesman also says it's a passive investment, likening the company to a bank that's
just helping out here with Meredith's bid.
It is definitely unusual though to see the Koch brothers making a bid for a media asset. And there's questions about what's going to happen once the
Time Inc. brands are inside Meredith, set in the first quarter of the year.
I was able to listen and to time Inc. CEO, Rich Batista. He had a town hall with (inaudible) earlier in the day. There were a lot of questions he
didn't answer but it was clear from his answers that they are not committed to keeping all the Time Inc. titles.
In other words, Time, Sports Illustrated, People - those titles could well be sold off to other buyers in the future.
QUEST: All of which used to be in this house.
HUNT: That's right. All part of Time Warner. A number of years ago Time Warner CEO, our boss, (Steph Buckas) decided to spin off the magazines. He
saw a future where these magazine sales and advertising revenues were going to be declining. They certainly have been, and Meredith feels it needs
more scale to compete.
QUEST: So, is Meredith just buying old news?
HUNT: They are buying a lot of print magazines.
QUEST: Right. That's what I'm saying. I mean, why do they want these magazines?
HUNT: I think partly it's a play that if they have a bigger amount - if they have a bigger share of the marketplace for magazines they can have
more control over ad sales. But I do think a lot of this has to do with local TV stations as well.
QUEST: Right. Finally, I just want to turn your attention -
HUNT: Surprise me. What is it?
QUEST: Donald Trump yesterday took a potshot at CNN International.
HUNT: Ah, yes.
QUEST: The network - of course, this very network.
HUNT: This one. Yes.
QUEST: Overnight, where has the consensus been on his view that we are a version of fake news and we are not representing the United States to the
world which of course PR said - CNN PR said, that's not our job.
What do most people in the industry now say about this?
HUNT: I've been impressed by how much support there's been from journalists outside this network all standing up for CNN, saying, here is
the president of the United States once again assailing a free press. It's unhealthy and it's undemocratic; no matter what network he's targeting. It
is a flashpoint and we see it every once in a while.
This weekend he's criticizing Time magazine and CNN. And today he's criticizing every major network in the country except for Fox News. So,
here we are again; the president is angry at the news coverage. It seems that whenever he gets frustrated by what's in the news, the news suddenly
becomes fake in his mind. But I think most people see through it.
QUEST: Of course the news never stops; neither do we.
HUNT: I've heard that before.
QUEST: Good to see you. Paris is the city of love. It wants to become the city of business. After Brexit it has wooed one major insurer.
Chubb's Chief Executive will join me in the C-Suite. I'll also show you the piggybank of jobs that we are starting here on Quest Means Business.
Around the world, this is CNN international.
QUEST: They met on a blind date last year; now they are set to marry. Prince Harry and the American actress, Meghan Markle, have spoken of their
joy and excitement after announcing their engagement today. The wedding is to take place next spring.
The Queen says she's delighted for them. Prince Harry describes how he popped the question in their first interview as a couple.
DAVID: It happened a few weeks ago - earlier this month here at the Royal cottage. Just a standard typical night for us.
MARKLE: Just a cozy night. What were we doing? Just roasting chicken. It was just an amazing surprise. It was so sweet and natural and very
DAVID: We're a fantastic team. We know we are and we hope to over time try and have as much impact for all the things we care about as much is
MARKLE: I am very excited about that. Very early on we realized we were going to commit to each other and we knew we had to invest the time and the
energy in whatever it took to make that happen. So, yes, with the filming schedule it was not the easiest because it of course included a lot of
DAVID: Other than you didn't have any idea what time zone you belonged for the last year and a half.
QUEST: Max Foster is outside Buckingham palace. Ms. Markle looks much more at home answering these questions in front of the cameras than his
FOSTER: When you've been at these events, Richard, and you know how much pressure it is particularly when you come out for the first time in what
was a massive bank of cameras when I went to Kensington Palace earlier on when they did their - they just came out for the cameras really for a
moment and have a couple of words and then they went on into that interview which was pooled between the broadcasters.
And she did perform spectacularly well. And I think a lot of the reaction of course - he's a very popular figure, Prince Harry - has been how
endearing the interview was and how they clearly had a very strong connection and chemistry.
But there was this tinge all the way through the day as well about this - it was a very orchestrated series of events today and Harry was very aware
that Meghan was coming under this pressure and he's been very keen to protect her throughout this whole process and sometimes you can see him
looking over trying to protect her, trying to make sure she was okay. But ultimately it went very well for her. And her acting skills clearly came
into effect today and she came across really, really, well.
QUEST: And when we think back to when the relationship was first I would say formalized or at least announced and made public, that announcement and
that statement that Harry and his office put out - that basically warned the press off; didn't they?
FOSTER: They did. He's been fiercely protective of her. There was a period he talked about a few months into when the relationship started he
was trying to keep it quiet; it did leak. And then various tabloids reporters and paps were trying to get what information they could, and they
were pursuing her quite severely. And he really came out with this very powerfully-worded statement saying, you've got to keep away.
QUEST: Do we know yet - St. Paul's Cathedral or Westminster Abbey?
FOSTER: We don't but we might find out tomorrow, Richard. So, we're looking at could it be Westminster Abbey in the big event? Is he senior
enough still in the Royal family with these younger kids coming along to justify that particularly in this sort of Brexit frenzy at the moment -
concern about austerity? Or is he going to go for something smaller perhaps at Windsor or down at St. James? We're not quite sure. I'm
putting my money on LA, because I quite fancy getting some warm weather.
QUEST: You look freezing. Max Foster at Buckingham Palace. I know - this cold snap has arrived in Britain. Max, thank you - teasing us for where
the wedding will take place. Later I'm going to be talking to the founder of one charity that's worked closely with Meghan Markle and you'll hear her
speech on why she's proud to call herself a feminist.
Now the Royal engagement as Max was describing there is an uplifting moment in a nation - Britain - struggling with Brexit negotiations. The economic
news is less than joyous. Various businesses are breaking up with London and are moving out. The executive search firm (inaudible) is opening an
office in Dublin and banks are leading the way out.
So, I want to introduce you tonight to our new piggy bank of jobs that will track the firms that have announced their destinations. Frankfurt, Dublin,
Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris. These are the main destinations for jobs particularly in the financial services leaving the city of London and going
to one of them. So, over the next few months we will be following closely where those jobs - and although it's not exact, you are certainly going to
get a pretty good idea.
For example, Frankfurt which has had five - Deutsche Bank, Nomura, Citi, Standard Chartered and Goldman Sachs - that is in the lead with five. And
then in Dublin you have two - you have Barclays which picked Dublin over Frankfurt and the Bank of America. Now the reason is, they say, it
benefits from a common language.
In Amsterdam you have one bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and then you get the new home of the European medicines agency. Remember last week it
was announced was going from the UK over to Amsterdam.
So, to the heart of the EU and where in Brussels where only one institution so far has announced it's going there and that's Lloyd's of London and that
probably makes a certain sense about it because it's much more regulatory- based than say markets based as the rest of them.
And finally, to Paris, now Chubb has picked Paris. The chief executive will be with me in just a moment. HSBC has also gone there, and Goldman
has got a second up there and the CEO of Goldman, Lloyd Blankfield, says many Americans prefer to live in Paris.
So, take a look at the piggybanks so far. Remember, we know the jobs have to go because of the passporting rule but Frankfurt is eking out a lead
over Paris and I think that's the way it's going to be seen. But let's be clear, French authorities are hoping that many more will follow and they're
pulling out the stops to make it happen. CNN's Melissa Bell is in the French capital.
BELL: Paris, the city of love. But could it soon be the city of business? To the Northwest of the French capital its business district, (inaudible)
grows by the day. Because space is being found for the 10,000 jobs the French authorities are hoping to lure here from London by 2019. Partly
through aggressive advertising, Brits are being urged to ditch the fog in favor of the frog and even locals are making their way home.
Claire Vacher and her digital marketing startup moved to Paris from London a month ago because the grows she says is going to need to hire.
VACHER: Before you didn't have like any sort of issue to recruit people to come to London. Nowadays a lot of people ask themselves before moving to
London. But it's just that because they don't feel like that much - it's not as attractive as it used to.
BELL: Big business and banking are also bullish about Paris. The CEO of Goldman Sachs tweeted that he was struck by the positive energy of the
city. Strong government and business leaders here are committed to economic reform and are well through the first steps, he said. Not to
mention, the food.
Good news for Emmanuel Macron who's been trying for months now to change France's image. The European Banking Authority has announced moving from
London to Paris. The French president wants banks and businesses to follow.
MACRON: There's something happening in France. There's momentum. What is this thing? There are men and women in this country who want to act to
invent innovate - men and women who want to be proud of their country. They want their country to succeed.
BELL: French business leaders are encouraged. (Pierre Vaudarin) runs a company that makes aeronautical parts on the outskirts of Paris. Labor law
reform has made it easier he says to adapt to market cycles. Business confidence is close to a 10-year high but here says there is still a long
way to go.
(VAUDARIN): 35 years of stupid economic decisions cannot be reversed in five years and we still have a big and heavy bag in the back to hurt the
race of the competition worldwide.
BELL: Business leaders here at (inaudible) point out that whilst attracting startups might prove relatively easy, drawing biz business to
France could prove harder simply because the tax burden remains as great as it is.
And changing that they suggest would take a kind of cultural shift here in France where things like money and success and a cultural shift that would
take far longer than the five years of Emmanuel Macron's presidential term. Melissa Bell, CNN in Paris.
QUEST: Evan Greenberg is here - he's jobs chief executive. It's good to see you, sir.
GREENBERG: Nice to see you, Richard.
QUEST: So, you were just saying as we were listening to Melissa Bell, your decision to move more resources for want of a phrase to Paris is more about
capital and jobs, per se. Is that right?
GREENBERG: Well, when it comes from the French point of view, it is more what we're bringing besides legitimacy of child in our European
headquarters there substantively it will result in substantially more capital invested in France and it will be less about an increase in jobs.
QUEST: This is all predicated on the fact that the UK won't have passporting rights there therefore it's necessary to move this capital jobs
resources whatever we describe it as, across within the mainland EU?
GREENBERG: Correct. And we're assuming that. We're assuming they don't have passporting. And, look, Richard, business thrives in an environment
of certainty and we need certainty for our own organization so, we've made a decision.
QUEST: You've made that decision - explain to me then what you see your remaining UK operation being, besides just servicing the demands of the UK
itself; which is a sizable market.
GREENBERG: Well, that's - you just said it. That's a sizable business for us, number one. And both for the UK market and also remember Lloyd's is in
the UK and they will maintain their London UK operation which is a global marketplace for insurance business.
QUEST: Right. So, I guess what I'm trying to understand is the non-EU business, the international business - Middle East, Africa - will that
still report through London, if you like? Or will that go towards Paris?
GREENBERG: That which goes into the Lloyd's marketplace will still be out of the UK but understand Chubb is a global insurer. We trap the business
locally in Latin America, in Asia, in the Middle East where we have operations in all those countries around the world.
What finds its way out of those countries and into the London market, we'll continue to underwrite out of London.
QUEST: So, the commitment - because everybody obviously in Britain only last week probably every week almost as well. The view is -
GREENBERG: You more than me.
QUEST: But the view is, turn off the lights. Everybody in the financial industry is going to be going overseas. But I'm also hearing people say
now it's not going to be as bad as forecast. What do you think?
GREENBERG: I don't think in the financial services industry - I don't think it's going to be a happy day for London and Britain. I think it's
going to be diminished to some degree. But I also don't think it's binary and that it's going to be dire. I think it will remain a major financial
center. But let's be practical - to do your European business you have to have a European headquarters and that business is moving out.
QUEST: Why when you look - was it Frankfurt - not Frankfurt or Amsterdam. You saw me with the piggybank where the jobs are going. Why did you put
yours into Paris? Was it because of existing resources?
GREENBERG: I'm going to give you - we have a major operation in Germany as well. The last reason was I prefer Paris. But as the first reason, look,
before we could passport we had a headquarters in Europe and it was headquartered in Paris. And that was a great experience.
The regulator was very professional, very practical. They were easy to do business with. We didn't find this English language problem that I hear
others talk about.
And by the way it is a major hub, Paris. And so, it just made practical sense. Then when it came to negotiating where we would put it this time
around, the French were not only eager, they were very practical, Richard.
QUEST: Finally, the significance of the ability to go between London and Paris by the euro star in the future - which some suggest that that is an
ideal relationship for many financial industries.
Paris and London because there is still great connectivity than say schlepping out to an airport.
GREENBERG: I agree with that because we're going to be sharing resource back and forth between London and Paris. In fact Paris was very
accommodative about the governance structure that we would be using on the French, over the French operation and allowing us to use resource out of
the UK. And the Eurostar makes that even more practical.
QUEST: Good to see you sir, thank you.
GREENBERG: Good seeing you.
QUEST: Please come back again. We need to talk about insurance and hurricanes and things like that.
GREENBERG: You call me, I'm here.
QUEST: Excellent, thank you very much indeed. As we continue tonight after the break Bonnie Frank will be with us to talk about the CF and what
exactly happens now to this organization that's being held (inaudible).
(BEGIN COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest, there's more Quest Means Business unjust a moment. I'll be joined by Barney Frank who gave his name to the banking
rules that are now under attack. Our next guest finance ministers quit in order to run for President against his old boss as we continue, this is
CNN. And on this network, the facts.
QUEST: Britain's Prince Harry and the American actress Megan Markel are engaged to be married. In their first interview, the fifth in line to the
British throne said he proposed to Markel earlier this month at their Nottingham cottage at Kensington Palace. Markel says the moment was
romantic and that harry got down on one knee. Sources described the moment the couple met saying that stars were aligned.
The resort island of Bali is under the highest warning level possible after several volcanic eruptions from Mount Agung over the weekend. The warning
means there's potential for another eruption. More than 27,000 residents have been evacuated from their homes. Longberg International Airport
closed temporarily. Flights have now resumed on Monday.
President Trump's made a joke about Pocahontas on camera in front of a group of Native Americans. It happened during an event with the Navajo
Code Talkers in the Oval Office when he likened the Democrat House Leader Elizabeth Warren to Pocahontas.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago, they call her Pocahontas.
QUEST: And so to our top story tonight, Donald Trump's budget chief has announced a 30-day
Freeze on all new regulations of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the CFPB, after the President picked him to run the regulator. The CFPB
was created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Law in the wake of the global financial crisis and it's been a political footfall every since.
CHRIS DODD, FORMER CHAIR, U.S. SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE: The cops were not on the beat and they allowed too many of these institutions to go out and
lure people into these, into these dreadful loans they could never afford.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: New oversight agency called the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. It's charged with just
one job-looking out for the interests of ordinary Americans in the financial system.
BARNEY FRANK, FORMER REPRESENTATIVE (D) MAINE: You can empower regulator but if the voters put into office, or if the Supreme Court can put into
office someone who is ideologically opposed to regulation, then you can't save yourself. No structure will overcome that ideological resistance.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We expect to be cutting a lot out of Dodge right, because frankly I have so many people, friends of
mine that had nice businesses that can't borrow money, they just can't get any money because the banks just won't let them borrow.
MICK MULVANEY DIRECTOR OF THE U.S. OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET: It's a wonderful example of how a bureaucracy will function if it has no
accountability to anybody. It turns up being a joke and that's what the CFPB really has been in a sick sad kind of way.
QUEST: Barney Frank is the former chair of the House Financial Services Committee joins me now. The organization that you set up seems about to be
either made the toothless tiger or gutted for exactly what the reason [you for] caused what happened-an ideologically different administration.
BARNEY FRANK, FORMER REPRESENTATIVE (D-MA): Yes, we tried to write the law to stave that off, basically to try to prevent someone who was totally
opposed to it from taking over and the key there is whether or not the President who hates the organization and thinks there shouldn't have been
one, doesn't like the idea of consumer protection in principle, if he is able to appoint someone to run it without having to go through Senate
confirmation-that's what people are missing. If the President wins on this legal issue, he can name an acting director ad infinitum so that if he
names someone who the Senate wouldn't confirm, that doesn't stop him. And here's the point, the senate is probably not going to confirm, the Senate
wouldn't confirm a Mulvaney for the CAPB because there are Republicans who support the consumer agency.
QUEST: But we end up with the classical situation today where two people turn up, the Deputy Director pointed as the outgoing went and Mulvaney
under a vacancy...
FRANK: Yes, and it will be resolved by the courts. That's why we have courts. This is an issue. There was no alternative.
QUEST: But did you forecast that this could happen? Was this in your mind, this sort of synclinal-
FRANK: No, we thought we had taken care of it by writing legislation that said if there was a vacancy, if a director couldn't serve that he would
appoint somebody. We believed the Trump people are not following the law. They obviously think they are. That's why we're going to go to court.
QUEST: On the substantive issue of the amount of power given to the Director, a guest earlier in our program said there was too much, that
this person wielded more power than any other director in any other agency, basically judge and jury, and had been far too aggressive with the
FRANK: That is nonsense. You're talking about someone who is in the bank industry. This is a man who never found anything that was problematic
until the place collapsed. I would like to go back and see while he was for more moderate kind of protection. What was he for? Let me go to this
one where he said all these terrible things, "I wish the Mulvey, the Trump, and Mr. Hunt to the others. They talk in general about how troubled this
age is. Have any of them ever given you one specific example of abusive behavior?
I'm sure they haven't because they don't have any. For all of their complaints that this is an agency out of control, they literally have not
go a single horror story because the reason is that if you look at what the agency does, it helps who have been overcharged by their credit cards. It
helps people, I have a family member who had a student loan and the loan was paid off and they were being dunned by another company to pay it off
again. Now these people knew enough not to do it, but unsophisticated people wouldn't.
But I do want to stress that, for all their complaints about the agency, have you heard in all of this a single instance where they have over
reacted. Secondly, for a guy in the banking industry to say that is ridiculous. The controller of the currency is a single individual who is a
major bank regulator and has a fixed term overlapping the President's term and his agency is not subjected to appropriation. It's all of the things
that they say is terrible of the CFPB but they don't like consumer protection so they only complain about it there.
QUEST: The way - the way Dodd Frank is being - it's not being gutted fully yet, but it has been filleted, slowly but surely in different ways. It's
being salami sliced off. Does that worry you now?
FRANK: Not as much as I thought it might be. But in fact, it's not that bad. The House passed a bill that would have killed the whole thing, but
nobody took them seriously and (ph) the Senate has ignored it. In fact, in a couple of areas, even the Trump appointees have said, yes, we've got it
The Head of Consumer - the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, the single biggest grant of new power we put in the bill was to regulate
financial derivatives, which were the wrecking balls and were totally unregulated. And Mr. Giancarlo, the Chairman of that committee, has
essentially adopted our scheme. Jay Powell who is now the new chairman of the Federal Reserve, basically is somebody who accepts the basic framework.
QUEST: And do you accept that a revision of the Volcker rule within it is warranted or merited?
FRANK: Only for the banks that are under $10 billion. And here's what - and the bill is I think - let me go through, because I - we never thought
that the banks that are under $10 billion in assets aren't really affected by it. But they have over - over complying.
So I've supported since 2013, a proposal that we explicitly exempt them. But for the rest of the Volcker rule - for all these complaints, you been
- (ph) appropriately, but Donald Trump told me about how his friends couldn't get loans. Nonsense. That has been statically, totally
There is no (inaudible) of complaints of people in general in the business community not being able to get loans. By the way, to be sensitive (ph)
though, is a pun (ph) game isn't it? (ph). Doesn't come from our bill, it comes from the money laundering, bank secrecy and the patriot act. But the
- the arguments that they can't get loans, there's just no evidence for it.
QUEST: The American's with the rest of the world, watching what is going on at the moment and wondering how and why this situation has been allowed
to deteriorate to such an extent.
FRANK: Which situation?
QUEST: Well, the idea of this - see, you end up of two bosses -
FRANK: Oh, as you know what -
QUEST: -- charging up -
FRANK: -- people who are looking at the total shambles -
FRANK: --in England over Brexit can't understand why American is having this little dispute and people can't understand - well, see they - hang on
a miracle. Can't get a government together, or wondering why we can't get a directive -
QUEST: With - but they -- I tell you -
FRANK: I doubt your premise. I doubt that with all that's going on with a focus.
QUEST: But they all - when they see a president who then talks about fake news and they see a President on the whole questions of -
FRANK: Oh, I share -
QUEST: -- harassment -
FRANK: -- that generally about the president. I just disagree with this notion, that again, with what's going on in Germany, with what's going on
England, with no government, of no I (ph) - have -
FRANK: -- I wish that things would have gone better. What?
QUEST: In the bigger picture?
FRANK: Oh, well, look - what we have here is a fact that you had a president who got elected by fooling a lot of people into believing that he
was going to stand up for average citizens and is now leading an assault and trying to dismantle the most effective thing we've done to protect
average citizens. And so sometimes you go to court to have a dispute.
But I have to say, and I regret that, but the American government is at this point is just tied up in a lot of others and - but - and he was the
last point I would make. And then I'm - the reason they are doing it this way is - and the reason they are not trying to change it legislative way is
the American people should put the Consumer Bureau any issues - they haven't brought up any issues, because they know they would be on the wrong
QUEST: Good to see you, sir. Thank you.
FRANK: Thank you very much.
QUEST: A think that (ph) the top of the Mexican government, the former minister has resigned and it paves the way for him to run for President
next year. And that of course, all depends on what happens to NAFTA in the mean time.
QUEST: Minister Finance Mr. Jose Antonio Meade has resigned, filling speculation on (ph) run for president in the elections next year. That is
being replaced by the chief executive of Phoenix; the oil company Patrick McConathy joins me now.
Now, if he doesn't run for president, then why is he resigned?
PATRICK MCCONATHY: Well, there's two open spots right now. In July, there's going to be a presidential election and in - on Friday the Central
Bank of Mexico is going to need a new governor. But listen, I think the big picture is looking it seems - and he actually confirmed earlier today
that he will very likely run for president. Jose Antonio Meade is probably the best chance Mexico's ruling political party; the PRI has to stay in
power. This party has held on to the presidency for 76 of the last 88 years, Richard. But their whole - they're in a crisis of confidence right
now. You have (ph) scandals left and right with president Penunggu, ad you have Mexico's deadliest year on record. So far this year nearly 21,000
Mexicans have been murdered. So, if Meade does run for president, he's going to have his hands full.
QUEST: Is he - is he popular?
MCCONATHY: Well, he's widely respected, he's a Yale educator economist, you know he is - he's scandal free at the mount which is something that
many people in the PRI can't say. So, he's got a track record that - he's not very well-known, because he's been in the finance circles here.
QUEST: But he's been on this program though I mean we - we've spoken to him in - in the past.
MCCONATHY: But importantly, probably for US Mexico relations, he has a (ph) with US (ph) secretary ignition.
QUEST: OK, on this question of the relations with the US, the NAFTA negotiations and just bring us up to date on how - how close to collapse or
at least progressed they are.
MCCONATHY: NAFTA is standing on it's last leg, Richard. Negotiations as all three sides have said are not going well. The Us is considering
proposals on - especially on how we manufacture cars here in North America that Mexico and Canada say are deal breakers for them. There's going to be
another sixth round or f negotiations in late January in Canada. And there's only one more round - the seventh round and think about this, we're
five rounds through Richard, (ph) and there's been no progress made.
QUEST: Good to see you Patrick.
MCCONATHY: Thank you.
QUEST: Megan Markle is no ordinary royal bride to be, I'll speak of the found of one charging has worked closely, to Prince Harry's new fiance,. We
continue, it's Quest Means Business.
QUEST: Megan Markle is far from your typical British royal about to be. She's an American divorcee, a celebrity in her own right, and assault
proclaimed feminist. With a speech in 2015, Markle told a (ph) how she realized she could make a more equal place.
MEGAN MARKLE: When I was just 11 years old, I unknowingly and somehow accidently became a female advocate. See I had been in school watching a
T.V. show in elementary school and this commercial came on with the tag line for this dishwashing liquid. And the tagline says women all over
America are fighting greasy pots and pans. Two boys from my class said yes, that's where women belong, in the kitchen. I remember feeling
shocked, and angry and also just feeling so hurt it just wasn't right and something needed to be done. So, I went home and I told my dad what had
happened. And he encouraged me to write letters, so I did to the most powerful people I could think of. And it was roughly a month later, when
the soap manufacturer Procter and gamble, changed the commercial for their ivory clear dish washing liquid from women all over America are fighting
greasy pots and pans, to people all over America. It was at that moment that I realized the magnitude of my actions.
QUEST: (Ph), an actor, he wrote a Megan Markel was a counselor at One Young World summit; Kate Robertson is the co-founder of One Young World.
She joins me now from London. And the reality is that, you know they say Megan Markle is a royal from modern age with a husband to be who also takes
a great care of interest in - in specific causes. They'll make a marvelous couple.
KATE ROBERSTSON: It's - it's wonderful news. Good evening Richard, it's nice to see you again. It's just wonderful news, it's a happy day. I
think they make for those the things you're talking about, I think this is a dream team.
QUEST: The dream team aspect, I mean I've never seen - you know, I cover - in my days when I was the royal correspondent, I've seen more than a few
than a few awkward moments with new royals, this was not one of them. Poised, knows what she wants, and has - has theory and philosophy to back
it up, would you agree?
ROBERTSON: I would agree, and I fortuned you that when I saw them doing their - their photo (ph) today, it's so obvious that these people are
happy. And that was something that struck us about her when she was with us for the first time in One Young World in 2014, she's authentic. She's
authentic and (ph), she's not celebrity bandwagoning, she's absolutely authentic. And I thought-I really like-
QUEST: But authentic about what? Authentic about what?
ROBERTSON: She was - I was in touch with her because we had heard about her, I was a fan of (ph). We had heard that she was authentic about her
point of view on gender equality, and I found her to be so not only authentic, stunning eloquent and (ph). Which is not an obvious thing for a
T.V. actress, and she was that thing. And it seemed to me the relationship with Harry today, that looked authentic, now did it not?
QUEST: So, I don't want to be sour in any way, but-
ROBERTSON: No, don't be sour. Don't be sour, Richard.
QUEST: But - do you worry that she will be allowed to continue in this vain of fourth rightness, standing up for these calls, or will there be the
natural wish to rub the edges, bake it into more iodine (ph)?
ROBERTSON: I can't see it. You know, I look at her and his Royal Highness and they - you're looking at people that are in their 30s. These are not -
are not - are not very young kids. And I think the edges have been rubbed off by now with both of them.
So I - I can't see that and I think his Royal Highness is - has flourished in his own right. I think we'd all agree to that. And I think she - she
fits under his wind or - she wouldn't want me to say that - along side of - along side him extremely well.
QUEST: Good to see you. Thank you so much.
ROBERTSON: And you. Thank you, Richard.
QUEST: Lovely to have you with us on tonight's program. Thank you. We will take a profitable moment.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN.
QUEST: Tonight's profitable moment. Tonight the Royal Family in Britain is in much better stead as a result of the engagement of Prince Harry to
Meghan Markle. A new team (ph) has been created and by that I do not just mean the couple you see before you. Oh no, you're talking about a buy-1-
get-1-free almost here.
A two-for as the Americans say. Because with William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and now with the Prince Harry and his bride-
to-be, you're going to end up with a very powerful team. And a powerful team that will take the British monarchy well into this century.
It's interesting the development and the way it's moved forward. Watch this space. You ain't seen anything yet.
And that's a Quest Means Business for tonight. I'm Richard Quest in New York. Whatever you're up to in the ask ahead, I hope it's profitable.
I'll see you tomorrow.