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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Israeli Prime Minister Reacts to CNN Report on Anti-Semitism in Europe; U.S. Pledges Military Assistance for Ukraine; New Report Indicates Manafort Held Secret Talks with Assange 3 Times; UN Reports the World is Failing at Climate Change Goals; SpongeBob Squarepants Creator Dead at 57; CNN Investigation Reveals Startling Rise in Anti-Semitism; Trump Administration Threatens to Cut GM Subsidies; Tesla CEO Elon Musk Cites it Takes 80-100 Hours a Week to Change the World. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired November 27, 2018 - 15:00 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: We're an hour away, the last hour of trade on Wall Street, a day that started off dreadfully down 200
odd points has recovered quite remarkably. But essentially for most of the day, we've actually just traded sideways with small losses or little gains.
Do you see it on the Dow 30? The best is Verizon up 2%. UT down nearly five. There are valid reasons for that loss. And these are the drivers of
The White House says there could be a breakthrough in trade talks with China, and that boosted those stocks that are affected by Chinese-US trade.
As GM cuts jobs, Uber's Chief Executive says soon we won't be buying cars at all, we'll be sharing them instead. And economic crisis on both sides
of the English channel, I'll be joined - I am going to be joined in the C- suite by Mohamed El-Erian to put all of this into perspective.
We are live in the world's financial capital New York City on Tuesday, November the 27th. I am Richard Quest. I mean business.
Good evening. There are high stakes trade negotiations that are playing out in Washington and on Wall Street. As President Trump and his top
advisers are threatening dire economic consequences, if the US and China fail to find agreement at the G-20 Summit in Argentina later this week.
The Trump administration's tone over the last 24 hours has veered from pessimism to optimism. Investors are trying to keep it up, the Dow just
broke home the last hour as the President's top economic adviser dangled the possibility of a breakthrough.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR, US NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: In his view, there is a good possibility that a deal can be made and that he is open to that.
He is open to that. But having said that, some caveats as always, certain conditions have to be met with respect to fairness and reciprocity as we've
said many times.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: And that uncertainty, whether it's reciprocity or what is going to happen is what has been biting the markets for so long. Today, although
there was marginally extra information, it didn't get us much further. This is the current situation. Let's just slash through the war of words.
When we talk about China and the United States and the issue of tariffs, this is what's actually happened so far.
The year started. These are the steel tariffs and washing machines and the like, which were imposed by the United States on China. With those, China
immediately responded with $3 billion worth of tariffs on US goods. Now, there are more skirmishes over the course of the year, some on tech, others
on US farmers, but it doesn't really matter which way around. Altogether, another $50 billion of goods on each side.
And then what was basically skirmishes turns to a full blown trade war. It happened when President Trump hit $200 billion in Chinese goods and China
responsively muted, it was just $60 billion on American goods.
So this is the situation going into the G-20. Another moment, the tariffs proposed are at 10%. But you need to remember, not all tariffs are equal.
This $200 billion, 10% and President Trump said he won't stop them from rising to 25%. Now, if those tariffs go up, well, which companies will be
affected? Look no further than Apple.
If this gets worse and President Trump's threatening tariffs on another $267 billion in goods at 25%. It effectively accounts for all Chinese
goods coming into the United States and Apple gets clobbered hard, down - you see, it's already down just under 1% at $1.47. Apple designs in
California, assembles in China, tariffed in Washington, it's not surprising that Apple stock fell after Donald Trump's comments.
But, I think this is rather cause of celebration. Today, we've talked about it many times. Mohamed El-Erian is well worth the trumpet roll.
Sir. Be seated. And we are in the same city on the same day to talk about the same subjects, which never seem to change. Let's start with China
trade and the US first saying it is going to, then saying it is not. What is your understanding?
MOHAMED EL-ERIAN, CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER AT ALLIANZ: Posturing ahead of very important discussions in a few days in Argentina. What you saw is
first President Trump said he is willing to go all the way in terms of increasing the pain for China and then today, as you pointed out, we've got
an opening saying he is also willing to negotiate.
So I think this is just posturing ahead of a very important conversation.
QUEST: Is this evidence of Trump as a master negotiator?
EL-ERIAN: It is evidence of the same negotiation process that led Korea, Mexico, Canada, and now increasing to say you know what, forget this tit
for tat, how do we diffuse the tensions? If the US is willing to incur economic cost, which it is from a trade war, other countries lose a lot
So this is just telling other countries, you know what, I am going to keep on pressing until you make concessions. And I think we are going to get
concessions from China.
QUEST: Sufficient, because Donald Trump - they already made some concessions on autos, which wasn't sufficient. And how damaging is this
trade war, globally?
EL-ERIAN: So it's a lot more damaging to the US's trading partner than to the US.
QUEST: But are we seeing evidence of that?
EL-ERIAN: Oh, look what's happening to the Chinese economy, the Chinese economy is slowing and the Chinese policy makers are having to go back to
old tools. They are like cranking up an old engine that is increasingly exhausted because they are now put in a corner.
QUEST: Can you directly link the Chinese problems to tariffs? Which have been in about eight or nine months, can you directly make that lineage?
Surely it's too soon for them to be having a major --
EL-ERIAN: So there are leading indicators. The market being one, the Chinese market has been hit very hard. Another one being sentiment
indicators. They show that that is slowing. The third one is foreign investment flows. They are slowing. So there are indicate that suggest
that China is feeling the pain. Now the US is also feeling it, look at Apple. But in the US, it is much more company specific, whereas in China,
it's economy specific.
QUEST: The Fed - let's come back to the US economy. The Fed having said it's going to be data dependent appears to be on a trajectory. Would you
EL-ERIAN: So the Fed was on a trajectory. This was a new Fed. The power Fed was different. It says we want to normalize and we are going to do so.
Over the last few days, the markets have started to sense that maybe the Fed would soften. Over the next few days, we are going to find out whether
this is really a new Fed or old Fed?
QUEST: What are you looking for? Comments from Powell? What? Referring once again to data dependent?
EL-ERIAN: Yes, and referring to the fact that the Fed is market sensitive. You know, investors --
QUEST: Which market?
EL-ERIAN: The S&P. No, they are totally US focused, whether it's the economy or the market, they are US focused. They say spillovers --
QUEST: No, no, I mean in terms of which markets are they looking at? Are they looking at the bond markets obviously where treasuries having been up.
They are over three and on the 10-year, they have now pulled back a little bit. Are they concerned about the dislocation of equities?
EL-ERIAN: So I think that they are starting to ask the question, should we be concerned about dislocation? When they look at the US bond market, they
look at the spread between short-term bonds and long-term bonds. That is down to about 21 basis points, which is very low. But it's because of
Germany. That is being influenced by what's happening in Germany. So they pay I think less attention to that than they normally would.
QUEST: We've always - all roads, no matter how much we like to be higher in thinking about economic values and this and that and the other, but all
mark - all roads bring us back to the market, don't they?
QUEST: And the market had a pretty awful November, followed by a pretty torrid October. Do you see a leveling or bottoming, do you see any form of
EL-ERIAN: I think volatility is a new reality. We come in from a period of very low volatility and markets were excessively comforted by Central
Banks. You know, when have you an institution with a printing press in the basement and just basically says, "I will print as much money as I need to
repress financial volatility," the market does that for you.
Now, these Central Banks are stepping back. So investors should expect a lot more volatility.
QUEST: So it's not over?
EL-ERIAN: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. There's going to be three digit moves. Look at today. Today is a perfect example. You showed two
big movements and they reflect investor's wish list for this week. One that the Fed is more dovish and we got a speech from the Vice Chair and two
that Trump and President Xi's administration will agree on something. We got better indications for that.
QUEST: Don't go too far. We've only touched the surface. There is still Brexit to do over and argue and other things, so we will get a cup or two
or a glass of water. Times are hard. So breaking news to CNN, police in Maryland are investigating reports of an active shooting situation at the
Walter Reed Medical Center. Eyewitnesses say - inside the building say they have been told to continue to shelter in place. One person said loud
speaker announcements have said it's still an active situation.
Another person reported hearing lots of sirens. Now, Walter Reed is the US Army's flagship medical center, it's just outside Washington, DC, so it's
of strategic importance. We'll bring you more details on that.
As we continue tonight, the chief executive of Uber has a radical vision for the future saying, "More than 10 years from now, you won't a car
because you won't need to." The ability to think big maybe what got the CEO the job in the first place. He was brought in to repair after a series
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
DARA KHOSROWSHAHI, CEO, UBER: Hopefully, you won't own a car, will you essentially come to us and we will give you the choice of whether you want
to take regular Uber, you want to pool with someone, but we are also going to show you this is a bus stop that's sent to you and a bus is going to be
coming in six minutes from now. You can take the bus today or you can take an electric bike or scooter today as well. We want to give you every
LAURIE SEGALL, SENIOR TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT, CNN: What do you say to the drivers who say, "Dara, I'm afraid that I am going to become
KHOSROWSHAHI: I think first of all, I'd say, I understand the fear. My experience every single time is that machines and humans are the thing
that's superior. Self-driving technology for a long time is not going to work in every single use case. If there is an airport drop off and
pickups. Like, good luck for a machine to figure out exactly how to get there
The promise of autonomous is that it is going to bring the cost per mile per of transportation on Uber, which right now is about double the cost of
car ownership per mile to essentially the cost of car ownership.
When autonomous brings that cost down, we believe that we can replace car ownership, itself. So this is not a company whose goal is to double in
size. This is a company who we think we can grow 20 times bigger, 40 times bigger.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
QUEST: You can see more of the Dara Khosrowshahi's interview with Laurie Segall at cnnbusiness.com. It is part of Laurie's new series, "The Human
Code" speaking to those influential leaders in Silicon Valley about the technology that runs our lives.
As we continue tonight after killing hopes of trade truce with China. President Trump turns his attention to Prime Minister May's Brexit deal, in
QUEST: Prime Minister Teresa May says her Brexit deal does leave Britain free to make trade deals, including those with the United States, despite
the fact that Donald Trump said it might not. The PM said the talks on a new UK-US deal are already under way. She was speaking in Wales as she
began a countrywide charm offensive to work up support for this deal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: What the political declaration makes clear is we will have an independent trade policy. We will be able to
strike trade deals around the rest of the world. We're talking - well, we have a working group that is working with the United States looking at
exactly this issue, but also we are talking with others around the rest of the world about the possibility of trade deals there as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: James Blitz from "The Financial Times," who watches these matters closely. He's with me tonight. James, what does she hope to achieve? As
we have proved on this program last night, the arithmetic is against her. So if she loses in ten days' time, what's all this about?
JAMES BLITZ, WHITEHALL EDITOR, THE FINANCIAL TIMES: Well, that's a very good question and there isn't a very good answer to it. As you say, the
starting point is that Mrs. May has comes up with a deal. She signed it with the European Union on Sunday. It's a deal which basically leaves us
half in and half out of the economic arrangements with the European Union. But the fact is that it is totally being lambasted and attacked in the
House of Commons, that happened yesterday.
And the likelihood is that when the votes comes on December 11th to the House of Commons, she is going to lose and lose quite badly. What happens
then is really unclear. We could have a full blown political crisis in which a whole load of issues might come up. But for starters, her deal
looks at this moment to be pretty dead.
QUEST: Okay, now, in that situation the Europeans have said not unreasonably, we won't renegotiate. But as you know of old, the
ambassadors are tweaking an agreement to get it through a recalcitrant legislature as they have done on different treaties. It will take more
than a bit of tinkering to get this one through?
BLITZ: Yes, I agree with you. I mean, I think that if she lost by a few votes on December 11th, she could try and go to the European Council later
that week and get a little bit of tweaking, too. The very loose political declaration that has been signed, which hasn't gotten any legal status, but
it's not going to make much difference to the situation in the House of Commons.
The much bigger question that will arise, if she does lose, and effectively is pushed out of power, whether the House of Commons can go down the road
of a whole load of other things it could do. Possibly a second referendum or a completely different kind of very close relationship with the European
Union as like, for example, being in the European Economic Area, where we would basically be in the single market and customs union. Those are the
questions the EU might have to confront.
QUEST: And on this question of can the UK do or do not do other deals? As I understand the issue, it only becomes relevant if at the end of the
implementation period, you're falling on the backstop and it's only in that situation that the UK would be in a customs union that would prevent long
term doing other deals?
BLITZ: Yes, that's exactly right. That's what conservative MPs, hard Brexiteer, hard line conservative MPs don't like at all. The bottom line
is, Mrs. May's deal basically means we are going to be in a customs union arrangement for a long period of time. That means that we would have to
abide by the external tariff that is set by the European Union on all goods and that means we can't do trade deals. That's what President Trump was
QUEST: Right, now, there is another valid point that critics are making surely is that in implementation period, whilst the negotiations are taking
place over the political declaration to the long term future, every Prime Minister in Europe and President Macron, on fisheries, the Spanish on
Gibraltar, everybody can hold the UK hostage to get a proper trade deal?
BLITZ: That's exactly right. And that again is one of the things that hard line conservatives don't like. If there was a trade deal side with
the European Union, it has to be signed by unanimity. Everyone of the 27 countries in the EU has to sign it off.
What you have seen in the last few days is Macron has been saying we are not going to sign unless we get what we want on fish. The Spanish are
saying, we are not going to sign unless we get what they want on Gibraltar. So what a lot of people are saying about Mrs. May's deal is it just ties us
down and effectively leaves us in a worse situation than we're in as members of the EU.
QUEST: James, I have permission to ask you a small question for a quick answer. How much of a mess is this?
BLITZ: Biggest post-war - post-Second War mess in the United Kingdom. Far worse than sewers. Enormous issues on the table. The future of our
relationship with Ireland, the future with the union, our place in the world. No clear idea how we are coming out of it. Very serious, indeed.
QUEST: Hopefully, you will help us understand it as we go through this process. James, excellent to have you with us tonight. Thank you very
BLITZ: Thanks, Richard.
QUEST: Now, a quick update on the Walter Reed Medical Center, the Department of Defense spokesman has told us that the situation there was
only an exercise and there is no active shooter threat so. So we can put that to one side.
Let's stay on Europe where across from the UK in France, well, these are the sort of scenes that President Macron has been witnessing, and we have
been seeing on the streets. Now, the President has condemned the violent protests. They are known as the yellow vests and this is why.
The yellow vests are called so because they are worn - because every French driver has to have a high vis yellow jacket along with a red triangle for
if they break down and an emergency. So they're called the yellow vest protests.
In a speech earlier today, President Macron said he is standing firm on the fuel tax that started this thing, though, he wants to review it every three
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (Through a translator): I'm not muddling up hooligans with fellow citizens who want to send a message. I
understand these fellow citizens, but I will not give in to those who seek destruction and disorder because the republic is about public order as well
as the freedom to express opinions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: So, CNN's Mellissa Bell in Paris reports on the background to the yellow jacket protests.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
MELISSA BELL, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: An explosion of violence transformed the Champs-Elysees on Saturday with paving stones ripped out and thrown, water
cannons and tear gas used and for several hours, a police force struggling to contain the anger that had gripped Paris's most famous street. It was
the second Saturday gathering of a wider protest, now in its 11th day.
It began on November 17th, amid less violence but in greater numbers when the yellow vests kicked off a protest against a hike in the fuel duty
that's contributed to a 16% rise in the price of diesel this year.
Over the next few day, many of the barricades remained in place, manned by protesters wearing the high visibility jackets that are obligatory for
motorists in France. Borne as a call to action on the internet, the movement is in the hands of no single union or political party. Its focus,
broader than just the cost of petrol. Its chants and placards aimed at the cost of living in general and the liberalizing policies of the French
President, in particular.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Through a translator): We are very disappointed by Macron. I voted and believed in Macron, but I regret having voted for him.
If I had to do it again, I would never vote for him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (Through a translator): We done eat as we'd like to every day. It's not normal. How long will this last? I think it's not
normal, so the protesters should continue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BELL: In Brussels over the weekend, Emmanuel Macron whose popularity rating have fallen, tweeted to thank the police and condemned the violence
which his Interior Minister laid squarely at the feet of the far right. There are calls on the internet for a third Saturday of action next
With opposition politicians accusing Emmanuel Macron of having failed to hear his people despite last Saturday's considerable dint.
Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
QUEST: Mohamed El-Erian is with me once again to put this into context. Brexit, how serious does it seem from your point of view. James Blitz just
there saying this is the biggest post-war political crisis, but economically is it significant?
EL-ERIAN: It is serious for the UK in two ways. One, it could disrupt the economy. But two, it has sucked the oxygen away from any other policy
issue. For the last two-plus years, Brexit has been the only issue. There has been no discussion about competitiveness, productivity, adjusting to do
with realities, so it has both a direct and indirect cost.
QUEST: And then you look at what's happening in France. Now, President Macron is making great strides to reform France pensions, workers' rights,
and all of those sort of things. And this was the predictable result?
EL-ERIAN: Right, and this is the problem with Europe is that they need a policy handoff from cyclical growth, to something that lasts longer, think
of structurally strengthening the economy and they simply can't do it because of politics. It's true in Italy, it's try you in France. It's
true now in the UK.
QUEST: Are you worried about Italy? I mean, the government appears to have capitulated somewhat on the budget. But the underlying tension
between Italy and the banking system which is my words not yours, a basket case?
El-ERIAN: Okay, so I am worried that they may end up in a confrontation with the EU that's unnecessary. So the EU has to give a little bit because
Italy needs some growth. The problem is that the Italian politicians have to use it, the space that they are creating in the deficit for pro-growth
policies, not just giving things away; so both sides have to address.
QUEST: And then, I mean, I realized it's a smorgasbord of Europe, but these are the situations. You have got Britain with Brexit. Macron with
these riots, Italy with budget problems and Germany which should be the center of stability moving to a process of increased instability because
Merkel is coming to the end of her time.
El-ERIAN: Yes, and I would have said, believe it or not, and most importantly Germany. Because Germany has been the anchor. Germany has
been the economy driving growth. Germany has been the one that has been able to get agreements on lots of things to keep the Eurozone going.
So focus on the Germany issue, it doesn't capture the headlines, but it's really important.
QUEST: So to pull the strands together, on both sides of the Atlantic, condemnation - there are deep economic - we are all growing. We are
expecting slower growth next year. What worries you?
El-ERIAN: So the key issue is divergence. So, yes, the global economy is growing but the divergence is growing. The US actually is going to
continue growing at 3%. The rest of the world is going to slow down, and the big question for 2019 and beyond, does the US pull everybody else up or
is the US dragged down by the gravity?
QUEST: And Donald Trump has everybody exactly where he wants them on trade, because he's got the fastest growing economy?
El-ERIAN: Exactly. That's why he is pushing them so hard.
QUEST: Good for you, sir.
El-ERIAN: Wonderful. Thank you.
QUEST: Please, next time, well, it will probably be another millennium before we are both in the same studio at the same time. Well, we always
appreciate you just talking to us from the West Coast.
El-ERIAN: My great honor. Thank you.
QUEST: Now, as we continue tonight, memories of the holocaust are fading. If you look at the studies, anti-Semitic crimes are on the rise. If you
look at the facts, a major CNN investigation uncovers shocking perceptions about the influence of Jews in business and finance. And we will talk
about it after the break.
[15:30:00] RICHARD QUEST, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Hello, I'm Richard Quest, a lot more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment. When Donald Trump
says he could cut all government subsidies to GM over its plans to cut American jobs.
And work-life balance began. Elon Musk says no one ever changed the world working a 40-hour week. As we continue tonight, this is Cnn, and on this
network, the facts always come first.
The Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu is warning of a new kind of anti-Semitism. Speaking exclusively to Cnn, Israel's Prime Minister said
the extreme left and radical Islamists are increasingly targeting Israel with sunder and lies.
Mr. Netanyahu was responding to a new Cnn survey that found an alarming rise and anti-Semitism in Europe. The Prime Minister warned that anti-
Semitism attacks Jews first and never stops there.
Ukraine's president says the U.S. will provide full assistance, including military assistance to defend the country's sovereignty. Petro Poroshenko
says he's received the assurance from the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a phone call. Ukraine's mobilized reserved troops and stepping
up air defenses after Russia captured two dozen sailors during a confrontation in the Kerch Straits.
A day after we learn Paul Manafort's plea deal is dead, now we're hearing that the special counsel Robert Mueller's team is investigating a meeting
that took place between the former Trump Chairman Paul Manafort and the Ecuadorean president. "The Guardian" reports Manafort met with WikiLeaks
founder Julian Assange at Ecuador's Embassy in London.
A new UN report says the world is failing to emit carbon dioxide emissions based on its goal set in the Paris Climate Agreement. It says if the
countries continue on the current path, the average global temperature could rise3.2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, that would have
dire consequences for human health and global economies.
Steven Hillenburg; the creator of the cartoon series "SpongeBob Squarepants" has died at the age of 57. Last year, Hillenburg revealed to
being diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrigs disease, and said he would work on his show as long as he was able to. "SpongeBob Squarepants" has aired on
"Nickelodeon" since 1999.
It is a trope in a cannon that dates back centuries, and yet refuses to confine itself to the dustbin of history. The Jewish people as puppet
masters in business and finance, scapegoated and unfairly blamed when others bemoaned their own like a path.
A new investigation by Cnn reveals that more than a quarter of Europeans still believe that the Jewish people have too much influence in business.
Our polling shows anti-Semitic stereotypes are alive and well in Europe, and the memory of the holocaust is starting to fade. Cnn's chief
international correspondent Clarissa Ward reports.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): To give us our unprecedented look at anti-Semitism in Europe, we spoke to more
than 7,000 European citizens across these seven countries. Forty four percent said they believe anti-Semitism is a growing problem in their
country with 40 percent saying Jewish people are at risk of racist violence there.
Sixty three percent around two-thirds of the people we spoke to agree that commemorating the holocaust helps ensure that such atrocities will never
happen again, but awareness of the genocide seems to be fading. Of the people in the 18 to 34 age bracket that we spoke to, almost two-fifths said
they had either never heard of the holocaust or had just a little knowledge of it.
The situation is especially bad in France, 8 percent of people we spoke to there, across all age groups said they had never heard of the holocaust.
That's around 5 million people in France alone, more than double the population of Paris. The international holocaust remembrance alliance
spells out what anti-Semitism is with 11 specific examples.
[15:35:00] One is the myth that Jewish people control global media, economies and governments. In Europe, 28 percent responded that Jewish
people had too much influence in finance and business across the world. A view that was most common in Poland and Hungary.
Europe's understanding of how many Jewish people there are in the world is also way off the mark. Sixteen percent of respondents thought that Jewish
people make up at least a fifth of the global population. According to Pew Research, it's a 100th of that, around .2 percent. Clarissa Ward, Cnn,
QUEST: Now, we are a business program, of course, so we needed to look into this further from our point of view. My investigation found that
while many people won't openly admit to being anti-Semitic, they still subscribe to offensive stereotypes which is why we want to talk about it
tonight in the business context.
One in five people in France, Germany and Austria say Jews have too much influence in the media. This kind of caricature has persisted since the
middle ages. Famously Shylock in Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice", a Jewish money lender portrayed as greedy and vengeful.
In our own time, there's been the criticism of George Soros widely being construed as implicit and sometimes explicit anti-Semitism. The Jewish
billionaires recently been accused of paying people to protest against Brett Kavanaugh in the U.S., funding migrants trying to cross the U.S.-
Mexico border and plotting to take control of the Hungarian government.
Rabbi Daniel Cohen joins me from Jerusalem. Rabbi Cohen, the survey you may have seen what Prime Minister, your Prime Minister Netanyahu said about
it or said this evening and pointed out the appalling nature. But in our business context tonight, you are well familiar, aren't you, that there is
this perception that putting it bluntly, Jews have too much money and too much control.
DANIEL COHEN, RABBI, CONGREGATION AGUDATH SHOLOM: Yes, it's something unfortunate that throughout history people have targeted Jews for. It's
obviously just canard and certainly reflects a -- I think a deep-held anti- Semitism, and unfortunately, it's rearing its ugly head again.
QUEST: And yet, at the same time, we go back through history, I mean, the stereotypes go back to the middle ages and before and right the way through
Shakespeare and right the way through the Greek eras and early Islamist eras. You see always that it was the Jewish and the Jewish people who were
the money lenders or those who were involved in commerce. So that's the linkage that the anti-Semites make today.
COHEN: Yes, I think, unfortunately, you know, it's again a cover-up for a certain degree of, you know, anti-Semitism or jealousy. The truth is
within the Jewish faith, the notion of business ethics and really trying to be a light when it comes to particularly interactions between one person
and the next is a reflection of a deeply-held value.
So all of those are so counter to what the Jewish faith, not only professes, but also lives in daily life.
QUEST: Why do you think it is then, rabbi, why do you think that time and again, whenever there's a story, a corporate story, and there happens to be
a Jewish CEO or a Jewish chairman, outcomes the canard as you say, oh well, those Jews are at it again?
COHEN: Well, I think just two points here. And number one, within the Jewish faith, somebody is held deeply responsible if anything that they do
in many ways creates a certain profane nature within the world. And it's certainly something that we frown upon deeply.
I do think though we're living in a world that is extremely connected, but people are not connected to each other. And it's very easy to lay blame to
somebody that you don't know. We're living in a world all over really where there's too much focus on the other and not seeing the face of God in
When you get to know somebody, when you see the face of God and the goodness in another human being, that I think really lies at the root of
trying to eliminate not only anti-Semitism, but all forms of racism.
QUEST: Rabbi, when you hear the study that we've done, and you hear that 8 percent-to-10 percent of all people we surveyed in France hadn't heard of
the holocaust. What do you say to that?
COHEN: I think it's inexcusable. I think as Winston Churchill said, "those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it." It's an
obligation of every country to teach holocaust education, but also really to stand together. I was in Pittsburgh recently, and I have to say, thank
God in America, the response is very strong united across all fronts in condemnation of what happened.
QUEST: So --
COHEN: And I think that's important in Europe as well.
[15:40:00] QUEST: So when, for example, the "Pittsburgh Newspaper", you will be familiar, prints the first words of the Kurdish on its front page
afterwards. Does it -- I mean, it's awful to say, but does it take major catastrophe, disaster, atrocity, to bring people back to basic humanity?
COHEN: Yes -- no, for sure. I mean, I think it's something that I speak about a lot. It's no great accomplishment on September 12th or after a
tragedy for people to come together. The challenge is for all of us proactively not to wait for that crisis. But really to get to know the
stranger, to get to know somebody whose faith is not my own, whose color of skin is not my own --
QUEST: Right --
COHEN: And to see that there's so much more that unites us, and I think that's our challenge in our generation today.
QUEST: Rabbi, let me ask you a very blunt question if I may at the end --
COHEN: I'm ready --
QUEST: And I ask this as a fellow Jew, what do you say to those people who would say to your face, it's true, the Jews are running most of the media
companies and being really big media companies. If you look at the top of the banks, you will find a Jewish presence on the board. They're all in
it and all up to it.
COHEN: I would say very straight that I think that, you know, our obligation in this world, there are different people that obviously earn
things, work for things and it's no reflection of the goodness or the divine within any human being. And I would say to anybody who is anti-
Semitic, ask yourself not what you can do to increase the darkness or fight it or complain, what are each one of us doing to build a better world?
And I think that's our responsibility. And I believe that at the end of the day, I believe that's what we all want, to live in peace, to find
harmony, to appreciate diversity, and I think that's really our obligation, not to throw stones but rather to bring light.
QUEST: Rabbi, thank you.
COHEN: You're welcome, thank you very much.
QUEST: As we continue tonight, the Trump administration is threatening to penalize GM after the company said it was closing its U.S. plants. That's
an extraordinary development, watching exactly where they penalize, how will they do it? What subsidies will be withdrawn? We'll get to the bottom
of it after the break.
[15:45:00] QUEST: President Donald Trump is threatening to cut all subsidies to General Motors after the company announced thousands of job
cuts and plans to close five plants in North America. The tweet came shortly after the White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow spoke on the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KUDLOW, WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISER: There is disappointment that it seems like GM would rather build its electric cars in China rather than
in the United States. We are going to be looking at certain subsidies regarding electric cars and others, whether they should apply or not.
I can't say anything final about that, but we're looking into it. Again, that reflects the president's own disappointment regarding these actions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Cristina Alesci is at GM's plant in Lordstown, Ohio, where it looks as if the light snow, and I'm sure the freezing temperatures are there.
General -- the president says very disappointed, nothing being closed in Mexico and China when you saw it. Subsidies including electric cars, is
this what they wanted to hear from the president, the laid off workers in Ohio?
CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The community here is shocked and frustrated and, frankly, they want to hear anything. They want to hear a
pushback, and that's what the president is giving them. But Richard, as you know, it's really unclear what these electric car subsidies or removing
them for that matter will do in terms of increasing the amount of jobs or bringing jobs back from China and Mexico.
It's not going to address the problem and the plant behind me which manufactured the Chevy Cruze. The problem of course with that vehicle is
that Americans just aren't buying sedans at the rate that they used to.
QUEST: Right --
ALESCI: They're preferring SUVs and light trucks. So it's really unclear how this policy relates to actually fixing fundamental problems with the
U.S. auto industry, Richard, now --
QUEST: Well, let's just get to the bottom of this. Donald Trump and I'm sure Larry Kudlow would say, fine, you're not selling the Cruze anymore,
so instead, build your electric SUVs and your Pickup trucks, instead of building them in Mexico and China, build them in those plants in the U.S.
ALESCI: Right, so then implement policies that would encourage them to do that, right? So we have to see that from the administration and we just
haven't. And there's nothing to indicate that GM doesn't have the capacity and the other plans to build the SUVs and the light trucks.
Now, electric vehicles, you might be right, they're really -- they've chosen to produce those outside of the U.S., but the U.S. responsibility
here is to incentivize these companies to do their business here especially if those cars are being sold here. It's another thing if they're being --
QUEST: Right --
ALESCI: Sold in that home market wherever they're being manufactured, Richard, as you know.
QUEST: Thank you, it's cold, I'll let you go and get back into the room, looks like you're freezing there in -- thank you.
ALESCI: Of course --
QUEST: The age-old adage, is it better to work harder or work smarter? Well, ideally you do both. Elon Musk says if you want to change the world,
you've got to put in at least 80 hours a week. Now, is that right and is it worth it? Get the phones ready, go to cnn.com-slash-join. Your working
hours and your working views after the break.
[15:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: With our joined panel, question of the day, cnn.com-slash-join, please, out with the phones and go to cnn.com-slash-join. Where we will
pick up exactly -- nobody changed the world on 40 hours a week. Those are the words of Elon Musk. He's become famous for amongst other things,
sleeping in the Tesla factory as he tries to grow his car company.
When someone on Twitter asked just how many hours are needed to change the world, Musk responded, "varies per person, but about 80 sustained, peaking
above a 100 at times. Pain level increases exponentially above 80."
Musk's prescription runs counter to everything we're starting to learn about productivity in the workplace. Studies consistently show shorter
working weeks brings less stress, more sleep, happier employees who work better. Cnn.com-slash-join where we're asking you today, what's more
important in your work?
Life-balance or changing the world? Yes, they're not mutually exclusive, but if you knew working 80 hours a week, you had to work 80 hours a week to
change the world, which would you go for, changing the world or work-life balance? Cindy Goodman is a journalist who writes about a working life,
joins me now from Fort Lauderdale in Florida.
It's not a fair question, I grant you, Cindy, but you know, do you subscribe to Musk's view, whether it be 80, 60 hours a week, you do have to
put those number of hours in if you are going to be successful and change the world?
CINDY GOODMAN, JOURNALIST: Well, I mean, I partly subscribe to it. I think the story that diminishing law return after a certain period of time.
Are you as sharp, are you as productive, are you really changing the world or are you too exhausted and losing your clarity of thinking?
So I think it's really hard to change the world in 40 hours a week, there's always more to be done, right? We are always struggling, we want to do
more. But there is a point where you probably are not as productive, and maybe that 120 hours a week is some of those hours you're working
QUEST: Right --
GOODMAN: You're not at the top of your game.
QUEST: Right, but your point -- you make -- look, we can argue or disagree about the numbers, whether it's 80 or a 100 or 115. But essentially, you
are saying, you're agreeing with Musk that 40 hours won't cut it and we can argue whether it should be 60, 70 or 80 that you should work?
GOODMAN: Well, I don't know that if you're working in a very effective 40 hours, if you are very productive in your 40 hours, sure, maybe, I don't
know about change the world, but you can certainly get a lot done. We've seen a lot of CEOs who are very effective in their 40 hours who really
believe in holding to those 40 hours.
So and then we see very effective CEOs who work a lot more. So I think it's just a matter of how productive are you in the time you have. A lot
of people sit at their desk and get caught in e-mail land and waste a lot of time, and you know, they're not using that 40 hours productively.
So I mean, I think today, I think we can effectively say in today's world, there's always more to be done. We're in a 24/7 world, right? So there's
always going to be more work, it's just a matter of how efficient and effective are you?
QUEST: OK, so time to put your hand up. How many hours a week do you work?
GOODMAN: Well, I do what a lot of people do --
QUEST: Yes --
GOODMAN: I work to a certain time at night, and then I take a break, and then I get back on my computer later in the evening. And I think that's
today's working style. I think many people do that, they'll come home at a decent hour, they'll have --
QUEST: Right --
GOODMAN: Dinner and you know, time with their families and then get back on the computer late at night.
QUEST: Very wise, thank you, thank you ma'am for joining us from Florida. Let me just point out, it was 60 -- 67 percent of you said work-life
balance would be more important if working 80-to-100 hours a week was the way you changed the world.
[15:55:00] And so the last few minutes on Wall Street, and well, the Dow has actually risen. It's actually now up -- almost the best point of the
day. It's crawled its way back from some heavy losses seen earlier in the day. So it is going to end positively.
The White House claims a trade breakthrough with China is possible. If you look, though, the Nasdaq and the S&P by the way, the S&P is up, the Nasdaq
and tech stocks are indeed not quite as strong. In fact, there have been losses on the Nasdaq throughout the course of the session.
Verizon is the best of the day, United Technologies, which is still the lowest point of the day because of a perspective breakup into a three-way.
Now, there you see what the difference of the market is over the course of the day. The Dow Jones is showing the best of the gains, S&P is up, but
this is interesting.
The Nasdaq with tech, not huge losses, but it's clearly managed to withstand the outward pressure for it to propel the rest of the market.
FANG is also lower, tech, Amazon particularly is off in the closing moments of trade. There is the markets, we have a profitable moment after the
break as we head towards the closing bell.
QUEST: Tonight's profitable moment, which is better? To relax and take the day and take it easy? Or to work, until a bitter end? Elon Musk says 80
hours to 100 if you're going to change the world or to be successful. Arguably, that's simply too much, 67 percent of you said if that's the
price of changing the world, then you'd rather have the work-life balance instead.
I suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle. The reality is though, taking Malcolm Gladwell with his whole 10,000 hours if they're going to be
really successful or something. Those who sleep on the job, unless they are exceptional, unless they are unique, unless they have special powers.
Most of us are just going to have to keep going on the treadmill of work to try and make whatever we can, however we can. And that's really the
reality of life. No slacking on the job. And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight, I am Richard Quest in New York.
Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it is profitable. So the Dow -- the bell -- the Dow is up strongly, the bell is being rung, the day