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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Elon Musk Opens Up And Tesla Shares Go Heading Down, The New CEO Of Air France KLM Was Announced And The Market Is Down 3% In Its Stock, 1,400 Google Workers Signed A Protest Petition After Reports That The Company Would Build A Censored Search Engine Especially For China; Paul Manafort Jury Ask to Leave By 5:00 p.m. Eastern Friday; Worst Flooding in Nearly a Century Claims 324 Lives in the Indian State of Kerala; U.S. to End Funding for Stabilizing Syria; Two Palestinians have Been Shot and Killed in Gaza; Turkey Rejects Appeal for U.S. Pastor's Release; Turks Anxious of Weakened Currency; Trump Postpones Military Parade; WWE Stars Ring the NYSE Closing Bell; Crazy Rich Asians on Track to Top the Meg at Box Office; Amazon's Twitch Becomes Full-Time Job for Video Gamers. Aired: 4-5p ET
Aired August 17, 2018 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Dow Jones Industrials up the best part - half a percentage point. WWE ringing the closing bell today.
We're talking to that lady, Carmella, a little later in the program. Even WWE cannot break the gavel on Friday, August 17th.
Tonight, Elon Musk opens up and Tesla shares go heading down. The stocks off almost 9%. Donald Trump gives no quarter with a bold new plan for
corporate earnings reports and the President's parade is postponed. Washington goes to battle over the cost of how much it would take.
I'm Richard Quest, live from the world's financial capital, New York City, where, of course, I mean business on a good day for the Dow.
Good evening, once again, Tesla shares twist and turn on every word from Elon Musk. The founder and chief executive has revealed the heavy strain
that he's under. He's described the past year as excruciating. It's a deeply personal interview with the "New York Times." Investors showed
little sympathy for his plight.
She shares are down 9% on the day. Elon Musk believes the worst personal pain has yet to come. At times he was teary, at times he was laughing, he
told the reporters, sometimes he didn't leave the Tesla factory for three or four days, and he almost missed his brother's wedding. He was driving
to the airport when he tweeted about securing funding to take Tesla private at $420.00 and was not on weed. No one else reviewed that tweet before he
posted it, and he often can't sleep without the pharmaceutical Ambien.
David Gelles is one of the "New York Times" reporters who interviewed Elon Musk. He joins me now. Good to see you, sir.
DAVID GELLES, CORNER OFFICE COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: Good to see you.
QUEST: I suppose we can get in the minutia of what he said and all that, but what was your overall impression of the man when you could hear his
GELLES: This is a man who despite having accomplished so much this year is clearly on the edge. The extraordinary personal toll his work ethic has
taken, working 120 hours a week sometimes, sleeping at the factory, as you say has caught up with him. And the stress of the short sellers who have
been targeting Tesla's stock second guessing him, and his frankly relentless efforts to engage them on Twitter and fight back at every moment
has finally caught up with him.
QUEST: He doesn't have a number two as such and the board, there is some disagreement isn't it? He says they're not locking, but the board are.
GELLES: We have it on good authority that there is a process under way to try to get this man executive help. He's doing everything, and not just
one company, not just Tesla, but he's the CEO of SpaceX you have to ...
QUEST: But when we say he's doing everything. I mean, there must be a chief operating, there must be somebody who is head of the factory, there
must be a team of people who are running this thing because of the thousands of employees and the hundreds of thousands of cars they're
GELLES: One of the distinguishing characteristics of this man's career, however, yes, there are plenty of executives, but one of the things that
has differentiated this man's career from so many others is the degree to which he's hands on. If you look at his history, he's involved in the nuts
and bolts. He's involved in the production design, he designed the assembly line that these cars are rolling off.
QUEST: Are the board being negligent in the sense that they have presided over the situation as it has got worse, seemingly without taking any
GELLES: Here's what we know about the board right now. They were caught off guard by the tweet last Tuesday, August 7th. They want him to take a
break from Twitter and step back from it. He has refused to do so thus far. We also know that they have engaged a law firm to give them separate
counsel from him and the company.
QUEST: But he, as I understand, remember from last week, and he said, yes, he owns about 20% or so of the stock. It is still the board's company,
they are the shareholder's representatives. Why aren't the board being more proactive, not to get rid of him, but to provide him the support and
understanding that he clearly needs?
GELLES: Many corporate governance experts are asking these very questions today, and you have to remember, this story is still developing. I think
we're going to know more about what this company is going to do next week.
QUEST: Would that suggest potentially the announcement on privatization next week?
GELLES: No, I didn't mean to suggest that at all. Only to say that this interview came out late last night. The board is clearly reviewing this
story. They're clearly still in deliberations with their outside counsel and I don't think we are at the end of the story.
QUEST: As for Elon Musk himself, I mean, he says he needs Ambien to help him sleep occasionally, no specifics how often, but the fact he's able to
talk about that is significant, and what got me, though, was the last line of the article this morning. Basically, find somebody else and I'll give
them the job. Find somebody else and they can do it. It is not quite a god complex, but getting very close to saying I'm the only person who can
GELLES: I think that's precisely what he's saying. And again, this has been ...
QUEST: But that's dangerous territory in a public company. When anybody believes that they - I mean, he is bigger than the company at one level,
but it is still another company.
GELLES: Yes. I think many corporate governance experts would agree with you.
QUEST: So what happens next? Do you think - you say he's a man on the edge. Do you think we are - and I'm not asking you to be a psychologist,
but are we heading to a scenario where, you know, he has to take time off for his mental health, do you think?
GELLES: He told us last night that he has not taken a vacation of more than a week since 2001. This is a man who has worked relentlessly, and you
can hear it in his voice. He needs a break. I think, he would admit as much, to your point, he doesn't believe that he can afford to take one. So
I think the big question is ...
QUEST: That's exactly the problem. That is the problem in a nut shell.
GELLES: He doesn't believe he can take his foot off the gas.
QUEST: Metaphorically, good to speak to you. Thank you.
GELLES: Thank you.
QUEST: Excellent reporting. It was an excellent article in this morning's paper. Thank you very much.
GELLES: Thanks for having me.
QUEST: And so, to put it into perspective, Tesla's share price has lost serious ground since that famous tweet. Clare, good to see you.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yes.
QUEST: All right, what have we got in terms of the share price here?
SEBASTIAN: Well, I think we can pull up the past month because it's certainly been volatile, Richard, and this is a very volatile stock at
about the time Elon Musk himself has said if you don't want to buy a bulk of stock, don't buy Tesla.
But the fascinating thing about this is, is he pretty much snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. This was the earnings report on August 1st. It
shot up 16%. Then we have the tweet here, another 11%. And the earnings report actually said that they are going to be sustainably profitable in
the next quarter. They're starting to meet Model 3 targets and then we have that tweet and the subsequent uncertainty, and now today, and you just
see that he's kind of brought it down almost 20% from the peak after the tweet.
QUEST: But one shouldn't be surprised if not to put too fine a point on it, and you know, the man is under such strain. I mean, the tweet itself
was bizarre. The reaction from everybody else has been extraordinary and now, this is today pretty much, you've got the questions about his mental
SEBASTIAN: Right, and I think based on everything if you talk to the investor community about this, are they worried about whether - about what
would happen if he did step back or are they worried about whether he's going to stay? I think a lot of them are worried about what happens if he
does step back. They don't want him to step back. They are investing as much in him as they are in the products and in the future growth of the
company. There's that dilemma there.
QUEST: Over the last six months to a year, the share price had risen sharply, there had been numerous - there's Tesla over five years.
SEBASTIAN: Five years, yes, it is more than - yes, that's more than doubled over five years.
QUEST: Right, now, look at it since January.
SEBASTIAN: In 2017, it was up 45%.
QUEST: So what happened in these two or three months?
SEBASTIAN: So this was the third of 2017. Two thousand seventeen was a year of hopes around the Model 3. We knew the car was going to go into
production; it went into production around July and after that, it was volatility around the production targets, and then this year, it has been
incredibly volatile, Richard, as they've missed those production targets on the Model 3. They said they were going to hit 5,000 a week at this point,
by December of 2018. They only hit it at the end of July.
They've said that they're on track now. So again, we have this situation where just as the company is starting to get to the targets that he set for
it, he goes off the rails.
QUEST: But one more point on this, the market or many analysts believe that this is where the share price actually should be based on earnings,
based on company performance. It's falling back, but on the basis of the CEO's mental condition and the question of whether or not he's fit to run
At some point these two be, the market would say, we'll get closer.
SEBASTIAN: I mean, you could say that. I think a lot of the reason for the share price growth is Elon Musk himself as well as it being the reason
for it coming down today. So I think without him, this is the dilemma for the board that you were discussing. What do they do? How do they get him
to take a step back without having him take too much of a step back and send the share price crashing back down to where it was five years ago.
QUEST: Good to see you. Thank you, Clare. That spat between the United States and Turkey shows no signs of cooling off. Coming up, President
Trump says turkey acted very badly and the US won't take it sitting down.
QUEST: Also, Google Chief Executive has 1.4 billion potential customers waiting in China and 14,000 employees aren't happy about the way he may be
about to offer service to them.
The new CEO of Air France KLM was announced and the market is down 3% in its stock. The Canadian, Benjamin Smith is taking the reins of the
company. And in doing so, the French unions are accusing the company of giving control to a foreigner and not protecting the airline' s interests.
Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, the Dutch pilots union has threatened to strike over work load pressures. Other airlines have employed executives
from overseas before. It is not new by any means.
Take Alan Joyce famously from Qantas is the CEO, Irish-born. He had worked in Australia, but he has been in Australia for many, many years, so Alan
Joyce, whose - the worst criticism initially, but the turnaround he's done at Qantas has certainly paid to that. You've got the Irishman Willy Walsh.
Now, when Willy came to British Airways years ago, there was a huge furor about an Irishman running the British company, but since then, British
Airways, now part of IAG. IAG is a Spanish company along with Iberia and that's been there.
Emirates President Tim Clark, Sir Tim Clark, he is British, and his predecessor before him was Morris Flanagan. Sir Morris as well, so
Emirates on both occasions have gone for British CEOs, and right now the Polish expat Sebastian Mikosz is in charge of Kenya Airways. Sebastian had
worked a lot. He was fired from LOT or left LOT and then he went to Kenya Airways.
Daniel Roska is a senior research analyst at Bernstein and joins me now. Let's talk about it. The plight facing Benjamin is going to be tough.
They don't want a foreigner.
DANIEL ROSKA, SENIOR RESEARCH ANALYST, BERNSTEIN: Absolutely, Richard. and hi and thanks for having me on the show. I would argue that being a
foreigner or a nationality in a CEO really has nothing to do with running an airline space anymore. And I don't think the unions only have his
nationality as a concern right now.
QUEST: What do you think they're worried about? The fact it is a strong negotiator, the sort of statements they have made suggest that they are
worried about, this man has negotiated with the two unions at Air Canada, and he has been the President of Air Canada. So, he is evidently qualified
for the job.
ROSKA: Absolutely. I think he ticks a lot of the boxes and he was instrumental in implementing Air Canada Rouge back then. They are a low
cost platform. I think that's what the unions are looking at. They're getting somebody who knows what he's talking about. He is the COO for Air
Canada right now, so he really knows what the plight of the front line employees is. He knows how to negotiate with unions. He knows how to
handle a legacy and low cost environment in the same company, and I think the Air France board or Air France KLM board made a good choice here and
the reaction of the unions may just show how good that choice actually is.
QUEST: Right, but some would say that Pieter Elbers of KLM, the CEO of KLM was the natural fit to go into the top job. He didn't get it or whether he
did, but we don't know, he wasn't appointed, and I'm wondering whether he now has to consider his position.
ROSKA: Well, Pieter, you know, it has been a long-standing man at KLM. He came up through the ranks. I'm not sure he would have been entirely
excited to take the top job. I think he likes his environment in Amsterdam very much, and I would hope he stays on. The one thing that would have
spoken for Pieter basically is that he knows how the inner workings of the Air France KLM group work. That is definitely one thing probably we will
have to figure out.
ROSKA: Now, finally, the reality is, Air France as an airline, Air France KLM as a company seems to run on its own rules in the sense of the way the
company is structured, the way the company is financed, the way the company's unions operate. If you look at the battles of Lufthansa Group
and you look at the battles of IAG, Air France is still looking somewhat like from the last century.
I couldn't agree more, and first of all, I wasn't executive within the Lufthansa Group involved faulty negotiations and the offer negotiations and
it's a tough - it is a tough road to go. Remember, Lufthansa and also IAG 10 years before that endured a lot of strikes to come to the current labor
framework and that's the head of Air France KLM, which is why the stock price is down, by the way.
QUEST: And 3%, thank you, sir. Good to see you. Have a good weekend. I appreciate you giving us time.
ROSKA: Thank you very much, you too. Take care.
QUEST: Google's chief executive Sundar Pichai says he is not close to launching a search engine in China after a backlash from some employees;
1,400 Google workers signed a protest petition after reports that the company would build a censored search engine especially for China.
Earlier, on "Quest Express," the tech expert Lance Ulanoff told me that many companies have already done similar things as Google, says it is not
about to do.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
LANCE ULANOFF, TECH ANALYST: Companies like LinkedIn and Evernote have created versions of their platforms that do follow Chinese strict rules,
there's the great firewall in China, you only get in if they let you in there and you can only really work there if you allow - if you store your
data, basically with China, that means user data is open to the Chinese government.
So, you know, people have done it, some companies have done it without a lot of notice, but Google's a big one.
QUEST: But the reaction of Google for the CEO to come in and say, "Hang on, not so fast, we're not going to - we're not basically going to play
games with our principles in this." There must have been some real concern among staff.
ULANOFF: Yes, I mean, look, we have this sort of new trend with workers sort of rising up and questioning the activities of their executive group
and previously, we heard about companies being upset that Amazon is selling facial recognition to law enforcement, Google is working with the Defense
Department on projects and the employees are basically saying, "We don't want this. This is not how we want the company to work. it doesn't follow
But these are businesses and, Google is going to keep looking, I think, at China because it is a very big market, 1.3 billion people there. Google
has basically comparative services, virtual copies for each one of the services that we enjoy in the US and that means that they want these kinds
of services so companies like Google, yes, they want to get in there, but it is a super fine line. Are they willing to follow the censorship?
QUEST: Right, and I guess the answer, of course, is at what point do the companies are not clearly here yet say, hang on, it is - we're running the
company, we've heard your views, we're doing this anyway.
ULANOFF: Yes, I mean. It is a tough thing because the bad press, I mean, I keep wondering how this happened, like, how word got out that they were
just thinking about this, somebody - some whistleblower inside the company basically decided to put that out there and basically put it into the
press, which forced the CEO to respond, and, you know that he was thinking about it, but the timeline was something that is not public and he's saying
it is a long way off. But he didn't say no.
(END VIDEO END)
QUEST: Donald Trump is considering doing away with a quarterly earnings report or at least asking the SEC to do that. The quarterly earnings
report often drive conversation here on this program. The president says the outgoing CEO of Pepsi Indra Nooyi talked to him about it recently.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: this took place when I had as you know, the world's top executives, among the world's top executives
and the head of Pepsi Cola, a great woman who is now retiring, she said - because I asked, "What could we do to make it even better?" And she said,
"Two time a year reporting, not quarterly."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: The way it works now, public companies must disclose sales profits and their balance sheet four times a year, and anything that is material to
the companies. Now, this has been the law since 1934 with the Securities and Exchange Act. And, of course, followed the 1929 market crash and the
Donald Trump's plan would move to H1 and H2 - half-yearly reporting season, similar to what happens in Europe, although many European companies that
are also listed in the United States or do have major business and investors from the United States do follow the quarterly reporting season
for that reason.
US CEOs constantly complain about short term-ism and say that the quarterly season requires them to miss long-term trends. Cristina Alesci has been
speaking to investors. What do they make of this call on the quarterly report?
CRISTINA ALESCI, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Investors don't like it because it's less visibility for them into a company and how technology and other
factors are changing their business on a fairly fast basis, right? You talk about technology and the way it impacts companies. Investors want to
know real time, they want to know even more frequently what is going on, not less frequently.
QUEST: I guess, though, the argument is always this long-term, long-term perspective versus short-term information. I mean, CEOs - some of those I
have spoken to sort of say, yes, it does require you to keep the street happy on a quarterly basis, and that sometimes requires you to take
decisions, short-term that you wouldn't do long-term.
ALESCI: Well, one legendary hedge fund manager I spoke to today, Stan Druckenmiller said, he doesn't buy it. He doesn't buy the fact that just
because a company has to put out quarterly earnings, they can't have a long-term vision, and one of the thing that he points to is Jeff Bezos.
Jeff Bezos he says has done it, and he also put out this - Druckenmiller also put out this statement, "This is the most myopic President in history
tweeting every hour. I find it very rich that he is proposing this with some veil that it's going to help companies think long term." So he's
calling BS and he says, "As an investor, I find it troubling, we would like to know what's going on with the companies. I think the President can lead
by example and tweet every six months." Asking the company - asking the President to take some of his own medicine there.
QUEST: Listen to Alan Valdes, who you're familiar with at the stock exchange and hwat he had to say ...
QUEST: ... on the question of quarterly versus half yearl.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALAN VALDES, PARTNER, WALL STREET CAPITAL PARTNERS: I think what you see is say Netflix, if you've got a six months report in January, now Apple may
report in February, Netflix has a bad six months that may weigh on the whole industry, and for no reason at all. I don't go for that. It's
usually from these companies that are bleeding money, you know, whether it's from the Trump casinos at one time to Elon doing a billion a year,
he's burning through.
I'm invested in a lot of equities. You want to see what's going on. You want to know you're your stock, what you put your money and how it stands
on a quarterly basis. I think it's fair for the investors. Stick with the quarters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Except - except, it is the level of detail in the quarterly and it is the way in which a single number can be picked upon as a barometer for
the entire well-being of the group.
ALESCI: You make an excellent point and in your intro, you pointed out that European companies, I mean, regulators there only require companies to
report on a bi-yearly basis. But here's the thing, the quarterly reporting in the US engenders a lot of trust in the US capital markets and some
analysts have argued that reporting on a regular basis means that US companies are valued more highly because you can see the results on a more
- there is more transparency.
QUEST: Is it likely that the President's call, which of course backs up what Elon Musk said in his statement ...
QUEST: ... and I'm not sure just necessarily want to go down that road, is it likely that the SEC is going to change this or are we just enjoying a
nice bit of silly season in the summer?
ALESCI: I think there is serious consideration going on based on what I'm hearing, but we might see a change.
QUEST: Well, we might need that.
ALESCI: Of course.
QUEST: This earnings season is almost over. the Dow, it was a sleepy day for stocks, volume was very light today. In the afternoon, look at that
rise in the market. What is that all about? It is about reports for US and China who were working on a deal. The biggest gains were Apple and
Caterpillar, that's exactly what you would expect, Apple at an time high.
John Deere up nearly 3%, makes farming equipment, and missed earnings. The chief executive says sales are growing even in the face of tensions over
As we continue, it feels good to be the world champion, just ask Carmella from WWE.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARMELLA, WWE WRESTLER: I am the champ, right? So life is good, baby.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Well, it's business as usual, the difference, she's the champ. She just rang the closing bell and she'll be joining me on "Quest Means
Hi, I'm Richard Quest. There's more "Quest Means Business" in just a moment. But it's Donald Trump versus DC in the battle over paying for a
military parade. And earlier this week, we introduced you to the "Crazy Rich Asians," the first box office numbers suggest that producers will be
as rich as well. As we continue tonight, this is CNN, and on this network, the facts always come first.
It appears there have been no verdict today in the trial of Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort. Jurors asked the judge to be
released by 5:00 p.m., in 30 minutes from now, because one of them has a social engagement.
Mr. Trump called the tax evasion trial, very sad today, saying Manafort is a very good person. The worst flooding in nearly a century has now claimed
324 lives in the Indian state of Kerala. The southern state has been battered by monsoon rains since late May.
There's been landslides and flash floods, they blamed the deaths of 164 people over the last 10 days alone. The army, the Navy and the coast
guards are all helping with rescue efforts. The U.S. State Department says it will end funding for stabilizing Syria.
There's a quarter of a billion dollars that was intended to rebuild Syria, but instead be diverted to other projects. It's another sign the Trump
administration intends to remove the U.S. from the long-running conflict. Two Palestinians have been shot and killed by Israeli forces after protests
along the border defense between Gaza and Israel.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, that is, Egypt and the United Nations are trying to broker a long-term ceasefire between Israel
and Hamas. One of Turkey's high criminal courts has rejected a request to release an American pastor from house arrest.
That's according to a Turkish media, Andrew Brunson has been held in Turkey since 2016. He's accused of helping to plot a coup against the President
Erdogan. And more on that story, Donald Trump says pressure on Turkey will go on as long as it takes if the country won't release the American Pastor
The Turkish lira resumed its fall on Friday, down almost 4 percent, it shows that earlier on Thursday, there's nothing more than just a dead cat
bounce. The U.S. President said in uncertain terms, the United States is ready for more action.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, Turkey has been a problem for a long time. They have not acted as a friend, we'll see what
happens. They have a wonderful Christian Pastor, he's a wonderful man, Pastor Brunson, they made up this phony charge that he's a spy and he's not
He's going through a trial right now, if you call it a trial. They should have given him back a long time ago. And Turkey has in my opinion acted
very badly. So we haven't seen the last of that. We are not going to take it sitting down, they can't take our people. So you will see what happens.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: After a week of watching their currency just about collapse, John Defterios went and spoke to Turks about how the strain is impacting their
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR (voice-over): This is ground zero for the Turkish lira. The (INAUDIBLE) or standing currency exchange
in all Istanbul. Where August 11th quickly became known as black Friday.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): As long as the tension with America continues to be high, as long as there're limited cash reserves
here, the dollar is open to rise.
DEFTERIOS: An aggressive tweet by President Donald Trump announcing a new round of tariffs sent the lira on a better-than 15 percent tailspin. Bank
employee Mekta Gunno(ph) says the daily generations are hard to digest as prices continue to rise.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It has a sharp impact on us. We feel it in our kitchen, cafes and on our salaries. To see our salaries
losing its value is scary.
DEFTERIOS: Such as the daily grind as Turks come off the buses early to work, feeling the effect of strained U.S.-Turkey relations.
(on camera): With a good instinct for the mood on the street, the scrappy Turkish President took the gloves off one day proposing a boycott against
U.S. electronics and then the next, slapping tariffs on a long list of American goods.
(voice-over): Recep Tayyip Erdogan went into a higher gear, announcing emergency measures to limit Turkish companies from swapping liras for
And he made it clear to Trump Turkey has friends. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov one day followed by the Emir of Qatar who delivered
a $15 billion cash injection when Turkey needed it the most.
(on camera): Though all hands on deck approach helped stop the panic- selling of the currency. But the harsh reality is Turkey's long-term problems will not vanish overnight after years of prolific spending.
(voice-over): In Taksim Square, a prime example of the Erdogan growth strategy. Construction of the grand mosque, part of a boom that he
[16:35:00] The chief economists of Turkey's powerful business association says local companies and banks are burdened with too much foreign debt.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They need to find 180 billion planning for the next year, and intentions(ph) are also at the Central Bank's standard on 100
billion. So there's a gap and that's what investors have been focusing about.
DEFTERIOS: Which means the livelihood of the average Turk on the street and their populist leader will be closely linked to the wings of the U.S.
president and the U.S. dollar. John Defterios, Cnn, Istanbul.
QUEST: You are familiar with the old saying, "don't rain on my parade". Well, don't worry, Donald Trump, there won't be any rain your parade
because the parade is being canceled by you. He's canceled the pre- military parade that he was hoping to host or have in Washington in the Fall after costs allegedly ballooned from 12 to $92 million.
American Legion says that money could be better spent on veterans. Donald Trump says now we can buy some more fighter jets, Cnn's Ryan Browne is at
the Pentagon -- this is a very strange business.
Look, Browne, they've already got the troops, they've already got the police force, they've already got the street, they've already got all the
facilities. Now, besides the extra cost of overtime, how did they get to this figure of 90 old million.
RYAN BROWNE, CNN: Well, Richard, it's a very interesting question. You know, we're hearing very competing kind of ways that that number was
arrived at. In fact, the D.C. mayor's office says it's gotten a bit of a Twitter spat with President Trump. President Trump blaming the high costs
of this parade on D.C., saying that the city had produced high estimate costs on its part of it which is mostly a security issue.
D.C. has parades in demonstrations fairly regularly where there were D.C. police involved, other measures are taken. So this is something that the
D.C. said it put forward its numbers, they put that at about 21 million. But again, not much clarity on what the costs were because very much so,
Pentagon is saying that the numbers were very much in a planning phase.
So there hadn't been any kind of final numbers yet arrived to, in fact. Secretary of Defense Mattis pushed back on that $90-so million figure
yesterday, saying that no final decisions had been made. So it's a bit -- it's a bit --
QUEST: Yes --
BROWNE: Confusing on how they got to those numbers.
QUEST: But this is a fiasco. I mean, the president says he wants to have a parade having seen the French parade, and he would like to have something
similar. And everybody gets ready for this possibility of a parade at some point this year, and then the costs.
I mean, you think somebody would have worked out it's going to cost this much. Isn't that all rather embarrassing for both president and Pentagon?
BROWNE: Well, it is an issue, it's definitely a story that's kind of become a lot bigger due to these -- the numbers that have kind of come out
in recent day --
QUEST: Right --
BROWNE: Now, initially, several months ago, they were looking at $12 million for this parade. So that's it, actually kind of a big jump.
Again, a lot of this depends on what they actually wanted in the parade that hadn't been determined. How many vehicles, how many aircrafts, how
many troops, those things are very much influx.
So yes, very much President Trump himself saying he's now going to go to Paris to go to the actual 100-year anniversary parade, marking the end of
the centennial -- the end of World War I. So now no parade in 2018, that looks like for now.
QUEST: Extraordinary business, thank you, see your sir --
BROWNE: Yes --
QUEST: Thank you. As we continue tonight after the break, President Trump wants quarterly reporting to be abandoned. My next guest will flattened
anyone that gets in her way. We're talking WWE at the NYSE, well, a guest like no other, looking forward to come out on who joins me from the
exchange after the break.
[16:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: Now, it's not often that wrestling superstars get to ring the closing bell, and they absolutely smashed it, literally, and figuratively
as well. One, two, he tried, he tried but was unable to break the gavel, others have broken it before. At the end, initiated.
You saw there, Carmella and Shinsuke Nakamura and Bobby Lashley. This weekend is SummerSlam and it's one of the biggest events of the year. The
WWE streaming service has seen an explosion in popularity and so has the share price.
I was just looking at it again during the break. It is way up, 150 percent year to date, that's better than any stock on the S&P 500. And look at
that, look at the boost. They were down at 31 at the beginning and you end up best part of 80 tonight.
Now, the SmackDown women's champion is Carmella who you saw there and she joins me now. For official bias, she's a former NFL and NBA dancer and
that's what she gets what she wants when she wants it. Good to see you, thank you for joining us.
LEAH VAN DALE, WRESTLER: Thanks for having me, and I just want to say I think if I were to be the one with the gavel, I would have broken that. So
maybe I should try it next time.
QUEST: Next time, absolutely -- did you have -- did you have a discussion over who was going to use the gavel? Did you -- you know --
DALE: You know, we didn't even get to pick, they just appointed Shinsuke to be the one to do it, so next time, I'm just going to appoint myself.
QUEST: Very wise. Tell me about the streaming service and tell me about what happens on Sunday and the significance of SummerSlam.
DALE: So WWE is all about family, fun and entertainment. We're always putting smiles on people's faces, and that's exactly what we're going to do
on Sunday. We are coming live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, we're going to be on the WWE Network starting at 7:00 p.m., sold out crowd.
SummerSlam is the biggest event of the Summer, and it's actually our second biggest pay-per-view of the year, so it's going to be a lot of fun.
QUEST: What's it -- you've been asked this many times, but it's -- I still find it fascinating. What is the attraction, do you think -- why is WWE so
successful and more importantly, I mean, what does it -- what is its selling power if you like?
DALE: The WWE like I said is all about family, fun and entertainment. It's great for anyone at any age, there're kids, for adult shows, young
kids, they come with their grandparents, it's just all about having fun, and if you can forget about the hurries and worries going on in your
everyday life and you can come to our show and just let loose of your family and have a little fun and -- I mean, I'm the champion, I'm the
SmackDown women's champion.
So what more reason do you need to watch WWE --
QUEST: I mean, absolutely, I agree, I agree, and you'll be defending that at some point, I hope.
DALE: I will be defending it on Sunday. I have a match against Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair, and I promise you, I'll be walking out of
SummerSlam the same way I'm walking in with this title right here, it's not going anywhere.
QUEST: What's the secret to a good, entertaining bout? Because you want to win, it can get pretty -- as we're looking at some pictures, it can get
pretty full on, but at the same time you don't want to kill anybody on the way. So what's the secret to it all?
DALE: Well, what we do is a lot of hard work, it's entertainment, it's athleticism, it takes a lot to get into these matches that we have. But
for me, I'm the moon-walking, trash-talking princess of Staten Island, so for me, I'd like to have fun, I like to be physical in the ring.
[16:45:00] But I also like to talk a lot of trash, so that's my specialty and that's what I used in my match to get in my opponents head a little bit
QUEST: All right, give us -- get in my head, get in my head and get --
DALE: Oh, you want me to get in your head --
QUEST: I want you to get in my head and I want you to give me a bit of trash.
DALE: Well, Mella is money because I beat Charlotte Flair, not once, but twice, and I'm the first woman in WWE history to beat both Charlotte and
Asuka, and that was the first time I missed money in the bank. So come on now. You don't want to get in the ring with me, let me just tell you that.
QUEST: I think I agree with you ma'am, thank you very much indeed for joining us, lovely to have you on the program tonight --
DALE: Thank you --
QUEST: Absolutely business news with a difference, and you know, the sheer amount of money that WWE makes proves why of course we have to -- I mean,
we'll always cover these sort of important stories. Coming up next, it's opening weekend for "Crazy Rich Asians" --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To make your day, name is Mick Yung(ph) --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, you guys know about my boyfriend(ph) --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hell yes, he was just the biggest developers in all of Singapore --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: And the Asian romantic comedy is facing lofty expectations -- after the break.
QUEST: Now, "Crazy Rich Asians" brought in $5 million at U.S. and it was on Wednesday, putting the film on track for a solid opening weekend. It's
a Rom-Com, Hollywood's first film with an all Asian cast in a quarter of a century, equivalent of Asian-American entrepreneurs across the country
rented out theaters for special screenings.
And on Wednesday, the executive producer Kevin Kwan told me, it's a lot riding on the first few days.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN KWAN, AUTHOR: We really needed something where we could show and prove Box Office numbers. Because we wanted this movie to be an example of
how movies of this sort tell diverse stories, interesting original characters can work, can succeed.
And the only way to really show that is to see what happens at the Box Office on opening weekend.
QUEST: And to that extent, if this is successful, then the Rom-Com duplicates will inevitably start of some -- one description or another,
KWAN: Probably, but we're also hoping that this really offers opportunity for more voices, more diverse vices, telling stories that aren't just
necessarily crazy rich.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[16:50:00] QUEST: Cnn's entertainment reporter Chloe Melas joins me now. Chloe, 5 million, I suppose were used to sort of the large numbers at the
blockbusters on the Friday and Saturday there was. So how do you rate the 5 million?
CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Hi, well, Richard, hello there, and it is -- it is not too shabby. Five million dollars just spying, the
movie is projected to make about $6.5 million today and a $30 million projected five-day opener.
The movie came out Wednesday in the United States. I've seen the movie, Richard, one of the perks of my job, I get to see these movies in advance
and it's great, people are going to love it. And just like you said before, this is the first time in Hollywood that we've seen an all Asian
cast in 25 years, not since "The Joy Luck Club".
And why this is so important, Richard, is because Hollywood has been notorious for whitewashing, for casting American white people in Asian
roles, in African-American roles for years. And you know, to see the type of representation on screen is --
QUEST: OK --
MELAS: Big for the Asian community.
QUEST: Right, this is -- this is a huge step forward and an advancement in that sense. If the audience takes to this, is there any evidence yet as to
how the audience -- this is playing out. The angle there has been, if you like of the whitewashing will only be noticed when they start actually
changing things and viewers -- movie goers go to see it.
MELAS: Well, this is the first step. Hollywood has been with this Me Too movement with, you know, calling out like Scarlett Johansson recently when
she was going to be cast as a transgender man in a movie, and now she has backed down from that role.
And you see, you know, from TV shows to movies where people are getting cast in the right roles. I mean, if you look at the Great Wall with Matt
Damon just in 2017, it took place in 11th Century China, why he was cast with the man band and everything in that role, he had harsh criticism at
So yes --
QUEST: Very good decision, fair criticism because at the end of the day, you're employing -- you're employing the right actor for the right role at
the right time. And Matt Damon does bring with him millions of adoring fans who are likely to go and see it.
MELAS: That's true, but at the same time, people want to see themselves in films and we want accurate representation, and that is what this is all
about. Will "Crazy Rich Asians" be one of the biggest blockbusters of the Summer? No.
But does it break down barriers for Asian-American actors to have these rightfully sole roles for themselves? Yes, especially when you look at
movies from the beginning of Hollywood that had --
QUEST: Right --
MELAS: You know --
QUEST: But just back to this idea, because when the transgender case came out just earlier this year that you were talking about in the casting of
that particular movie, and I noticed very carefully that the criticism was -- although, that the core was to allow for a transgender actor to take the
role, perhaps creating more opportunities in that sense.
But if that diverse character doesn't come with star power, then what happens to the movie? How is --
MELAS: I'd say --
QUEST: Go --
MELAS: I'd say too bad, right? Than let a new star rise and have that role and we don't have to see the same actors in all of these movies.
Personally, as someone who covers entertainment, I get tired of seeing the same people in the same roles.
But you know, when we had the movie, the television show on Amazon, "Transparent", obviously so many people were upset --
QUEST: Right --
MELAS: That it was a man playing the role of this transgender woman. So again, it's an issue that we're seeing across the board, that people are
really making an effort and studio stars and studio heads to make sure that this does not become a problem --
QUEST: Right --
MELAS: In the future.
QUEST: Have a good weekend, thank you, really --
MELAS: Thank you --
QUEST: Appreciate the discussion. Big screen stars of the future will be more diverse, the smaller screens will be even more so professional.
Videogame streamers are the new celebrities. Cnn's Clare Sebastian.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN (voice-over): This is how a day's work begins for a full time twitch dreamer known online as CostinegenSDA(ph), well, Costi(ph)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, said --
SEBASTIAN: He doesn't want his name or location revealed for safety and privacy reasons.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My count on three, two, one --
SEBASTIAN: He is happy though to let us in into his basement world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm essentially running my own business, figuring out, you know, what I'm going to stream, how I'm going to stream it and figuring
out what games my audience wants to watch, also responsible for every dollar that comes into it all.
SEBASTIAN: Twitch is a live-streaming platform that's become a Mecca for gamers watching other gamers. Amazon bought it four years ago for almost a
[16:55:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello Snake(ph), how is it going?
SEBASTIAN: And for popular users like Costi(ph) --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And go --
SEBASTIAN: There are ways to make it pay.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So go through channel subscriptions through donations or through ad revenue.
SEBASTIAN: And which is the most lucrative?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would say the subscriptions for sure.
SEBASTIAN: Costi(ph) says he has about 1,200 subscribers, each of them pays $5 or more a month which he splits with Twitch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, here, got a new subscriber, yes, sounds like a good time --
SEBASTIAN: He specializes in all the games and he has a popular sidekick.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is my best friend, comedic foil and business partner, his name is Young Puss(ph).
SEBASTIAN: As gaming and E-Sports have taken off, Twitch has cornered online streaming.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we're on average now, you have over a million people watching Twitch and currently which is significantly more than many
SEBASTIAN: It's even created its own celebrities, 27-year-old Tyler Blevens(ph) known as Ninja broke records on the platform in March when
Rapper Drake stopped him remotely for a game of fortnight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm a 99.9 percent sure that we are about to break Twitch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes, let's do it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There we got with --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And Twitch is no longer just about gaming.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now that it's established itself as that platform for online gaming for East Sports, you're seeing all sorts of other brands,
things like the "Washington Post" and many others attempting to go on to Twitch to track that younger demographic.
SEBASTIAN: For Costi(ph), the game is just the gateway. A bit lonely to sit in your basement doing this all day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, not really. You know, we're constantly interacting with a bunch of people. I would say loneliness is probably the
last thing on your mind.
SEBASTIAN: He has a community now all over the world, just waiting for his next move.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many shots is of a female zombie?
SEBASTIAN: Clare Sebastian, Cnn.
QUEST: We'll have our profitable moment after the break.
QUEST: Tonight's profitable moment, there are so many things I could talk to you tonight about the quarterly report, Elon Musk, foreigners running
airlines. They were all big stories that we covered in our program tonight.
But you know something, it is the 17th of August, it is a Friday, volumes are low and most important of all, I am off next week, so we'll put all
those issues to one side and it just merely remains for me to say to you, that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight, I am Richard Quest in New York.
Whatever you're up to in the week ahead, I hope it's profitable, I will see you in a week or so.