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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Trump Foundation Agrees to Dissolve Amid Lawsuit; Belgian Prime Minister Resigns Over Migration Backlash; U.K. Troops on Standby as Government ramps Up No-Deal Brexit Plans; Neo-Nazi Couple Who Named Baby After Hitler Jailed; Alan Greenspan: Bull Market is Beginning to Fumble; Trump Pledges Second Round of Payments to U.S. Soybean Farmers Hurt By China Tariffs; Dow Recovers After Briefly Turning Negative; Fed Meeting Begins Amid Market Volatility; Tilray Teams with Novartis to Distribute Medical Marijuana; U.S. Surgeon General Labels Teen Vaping an "Epidemic"; Fresh Prince Star Alfonso Ribeiro Sues Over Dance Moves; Rapper 2 Milly Alleges His Dance Moves were Copied. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired December 18, 2018 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, ANCHOR, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: We are an hour to the end of trading on Wall Street, and the day has turned nasty. Good gains up to
330-odd points up and in the last few minutes, the first losses of the day and they are starting to accelerate. So, what's happening in the market is
certainly turning very down. And look at the wider market. These were three greens just five minutes ago, and now we've got downs for the Dow,
the S&P which is also off and the NASDAQ, where we'll see losses extending.
If you actually look at the Dow components, what had been a sea of green throughout the - or field of green, maybe, throughout the course of the day
has now got encroaching red moving throughout the Dow 30. To understand what's happening and why the market has turned south, this is what's moving
We've got the biggest Fed meeting of the year and it's under way. Donald Trump has been telling Jay Powell to ignore the meaningless numbers.
President to Chairman, ignore and don't rise. Oil prices get over the fear of global growth. They fall to their lowest level in years. And Novartis
makes its marijuana play, big pharma is getting more involved with pot stocks. We are live in the world's financial capital, New York City on
Tuesday, it is December 18th. I'm Richard Quest, and I mean business.
Good evening. We'll have the day's business agenda in just a moment. We weren't terribly sure what was going to happen, but we certainly weren't
expecting what did take place during the sentencing of Michael Flynn. The judge overseeing Flynn's case has delayed sentencing to get the former
National Security adviser more time to finish cooperating with investigators as part of a plea agreement.
Flynn's lawyers requested the pause after the judge made it clear Flynn could go to prison. Here's what the White House Press Secretary, Sarah
Sanders, told the press a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The delay is something between General Flynn and the courts, and that's something for
them to determine what that timeline looks like. In the meantime, we wish General Flynn well and we will continue to focus on doing what we do here
every single day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: To Washington and Kara Scannell is standing by. And let's understand exactly. He went for sentencing, so where did it all suddenly
KARA SCANNELL, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Richard, it was a wild and unexpected ride in the courthouse today. Michael Flynn went in for sentencing and
between the agreement that he had with the Special Counsel's office, he was looking at zero to six months but most likely no time in jail at all.
The Special Counsel's office said he was cooperating substantially, that he has helped them, that he has met with them 19 times and helped them
investigate multiple cases, but Flynn's lawyers had put into one of their sentencing memos that maybe the FBI didn't give him the full warning when
he went in to meet with them, maybe he was tricked, so the judge began with that but then he took a hard right turn and was questioning and saying, you
know, Michael Flynn, these activities that you did, lying to the FBI, you lied to members of the administration, you did so from the West Wing of the
White House, and the judge said, you know, these are very serious crimes. Why should I give you no jail time?
And he also focused a lot on the foreign lobbying that Flynn had done working in secret for the Turkish government, questioning at one point,
kind of thinking out loud, was this treasonous activity? He said he was just pushing the prosecutors to see why Flynn should get a light sentence.
But through the course of this hearing, which the judge even took a 30- minute break in the middle of it. Through the course of it, he was signaling that Michael Flynn was going to jail and so Flynn's lawyers took
him up on this signaling and asked the judge if they could delay the sentencing so Flynn could show exactly how much he's been cooperating, so
the judge put this off until March, Richard.
QUEST: So, Flynn until March, which gives plenty of time for Flynn to cooperate with any other investigations that might be under way, including
the Mueller investigation.
SCANNELL: That's right. I mean, his cooperation is expected to continue. You know, the Mueller team had referred one of their investigations to a
different U.S. Attorney's office, charges against Flynn's business partner, when he had his lobbying group.
SCANNELL: And one of their clients was announced yesterday. It's quite likely that Flynn would be called to testify if this were to go to trial.
So, we expect to see more of Michael Flynn and now he has a little bit more pressured to show that he's doing a lot to cooperate.
QUEST: What about the Trump Foundation, which bit the dust today? The Trump Foundation agreed to fold as part of an agreement, a complicated
agreement, essentially this is the Trump family trust or - sorry, this is the Trump Family Charitable Foundation. Essentially, they seem to be not
disagreeing, but by merely folding accepting many of the allegations against them.
SCANNELL: Well, so, they agreed to shut down the charity today, but the lawsuit that the New York Attorney General's office brought against the
Trump Foundation is going to continue. So their legal issues are not over here, and in fact, I mean, the New York Attorney General has said that, you
know, this was a pattern of illegal activity, that the Trump Foundation was essentially used as a checkbook for Donald Trump's political campaign and
his business interests.
We expect to see this continue to further play out in court unless a settlement is reached, but the Attorney General's office is seeking $2.8
million, saying that that is the amount of money that the Trump Foundation misused and they're also asking for a ban from Donald Trump and his three
children -- Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump -- from serving on the board of a charity in New York State, Richard.
QUEST: Thank you. It is worth reminding everyone, just as you finish, if you'll allow me that we are talking about the President of the United
States and one of his senior advisers, I just thought of it. Thank you.
As the Fed gathers to decide its most controversial rate decision of the year, and possibly over the last few years, the stock markets are receiving
their slide. If you look at the numbers, it's all rather sad the way the day started so well.
The Dow Jones Industrial is now not only given up the gains but now have negative. The question is whether the Fed will stay the course, despite a
barrage of criticism from the U.S. President. The Dow has given up the gains of more than 300 points and it is in need of help. Otherwise, it
could post its worst December since the great depression.
President Trump continues to put pressure on the Fed. A "Wall Street Journal" editorial on Monday urged the Fed to ignore the politics and
follow the signals that suggest a prudent pause in raising rates. Not surprisingly, President Trump jumped on that. In a morning tweet, he told
the Fed, "Feel the market rather than go by meaningless numbers."
Ken Brown is the editor of the "Wall Street Journal's" "Heard on the Street," and Catherine Rampell is CNN's political commentator and columnist
for the "Washington Post." Good to see you.
KEN BROWN, EDITOR, WALL STREET JOURNAL, HEARD ON THE STREET: Good to see you.
QUEST: Let's talk about - let's get rid first of all of this question of Donald Trump putting pressure on the Fed at just the moment before the
BROWN: Yes, it's kind of unprecedented or at least for decades, it's unprecedented. I mean, the question is, he puts Powell in a very difficult
position because if he doesn't raise rates, everyone's going to say he's beholden to Trump and that could do worse things for the market.
QUEST: In other words, Donald Trump may have just got the result he didn't want because he didn't keep quiet.
CATHERINE RAMPELL, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN: Right. I mean, this could totally backfire. We don't know that it will, to be clear, but the thing
is that the Fed's political independence, both real and perceived, is sacred, right, it's so important for the stability of prices, for the
growth of the economy, the long-term growth of the economy, for the Fed to be seen as a politically independent institution, that it is shielded from
the day-to-day whims of whatever election is coming up or whatever the President wants, and by putting Powell in this position, Trump is basically
forcing them into a corner, to say, we need to reassert our independence.
QUEST: Aren't we being - "naive" is maybe too strong a word. Because we all know that pressures put on in many different ways versus just being
done, and also, isn't it rather good that the President has a view, he says it and if the Chairman doesn't agree, he's there for seven years, he
BROWN: It's not a bad idea to have, you know, a dialogue and all of this stuff. The problem is, Jay Powell, you know, comes in, and his main goal
is to control inflation and keep unemployment low. So, inflation is okay. Unemployment is very, very low, at a decade's low, and so for him to then
say, okay, everything's okay, I'm not going to raise rates, would be a big surprise to the market.
Almost - a couple of weeks ago, everyone in the market, based on the futures market thought he was going to raise rates. Now, it's a little
QUEST: The politics of this and the irony as one of our guests yesterday was saying, is if he'd left Janet Yellen ...
RAMPELL: Oh, absolutely.
QUEST: ... who is far more dovish - we don't really know whether Jerome Powell is dovish or not. He hasn't had a proper chance to extend his
QUEST: But if it had been Janet Yellen, she would have been worried by what we're seeing in the market.
RAMPELL: Well, she may or may not have been worried, but she is known as a dove, right, meaning that she's more likely to err on the side of not
raising rates if there is any sort of ambiguity. You are right with Powell, we don't know. But I think that this question of political
influence is incredibly important, yes, Trump got his man in the job. He's been very vocal about how disappointed he is with that man, and even if he
gets to appoint a new person, you don't want the President even looking like he is exerting political influence over any decisions that these
technocrats are supposed to be making.
QUEST: Listen to what the former Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan says, that the Fed is used to ignoring what is heard in political arguments from
Julia Chatterley spoke to Chairman Greenspan and said there are many good reasons for the Fed to change course.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
JULIA CHATTERLEY, HOST, CNN: The noise emanating from the White House, we have a President who --
ALAN GREENSPAN, FORMER FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: O tell you, which --
GREENSPAN: Noise, well, that's interesting.
CHATTERLEY: What would you call it?
GREENSPAN: Well, if you want to call it noise.
CHATTERLEY: Criticism. Complaint coming from the President towards Jay Powell. As a central banker, how do you handle that?
GREENSPAN: I wore ear muffs, myself.
CHATTERLEY: Big ones.
CHATTERLEY: We have a President that makes comments to a Central Bank governor, saying, you shouldn't be raising rates.
GREENSPAN: Yes, how do you know they're listening?
CHATTERLEY: You don't. You don't. I guess, the risk is there.
GREENSPAN: Look, I'm saying right now that the economy is slowing down.
CHATTERLEY: So there's a reason not to hike rates.
GREENSPAN: It is perfectly credible that rates may go lower as a consequence of that. But it is wholly independent of what anybody in the
Congress, President, otherwise are talking about. In other words, they're changing policy because the economy's outlook is changing.
CHATTERLEY: So, big ear muffs and hold the line. Is that the advice?
GREENSPAN: Well, that's what they do. I've not been aware of any policy changes which would primarily be driven by political considerations. The
culture of the Federal Reserve System just does not allow that through a very long period of time, which, as I say, I wore figurative ear muffs on
the grounds that I was acutely aware of the fact that we were doing nothing that could remotely indicate we were doing something other than what the
statute says we are doing, and unless you can make that point, you can't impeach a governor, and as far as I'm concerned, that's probably the case
CHATTERLEY: What about transparency? Because I think the Federal Reserve today is perhaps more transparent in communicating with the market than it
was during your era. Do you think that's a good thing?
GREENSPAN: It depends on how good we forecast. My view was always that unless you had a very strong conviction, it doesn't serve any useful
purpose to communicate to the marketplace that what you might do if it's a small - relatively small probability or a very wide range of probabilities.
You don't help the market. There's - I think that where you can help the market is when you indicate when you are reasonably certain that something
fundamental is changing differently from it had in the past.
CHATTERLEY: The risk is that you're late.
GREENSPAN: It is a risk that you balance against, the risk of being too early.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: In that one sentence, we go back 20, 30-odd years to Alan Greenspan, the risk of going late is risk against going early. Should the
Fed move? Should the Fed raise rates tomorrow?
BROWN: Well, I'm not the Fed President, but it's a difficult time right now. The economy - the U.S. economy is very good. All fine. Global
economy is slowing a lot. China is slowing. Europe is slowing. You know, many big global stock markets are in bear markets already. And so the
question is, looking out to next year, when you - because you're always trying to look forward, what's going to happen to the U.S. economy?
QUEST: Donald Trump could face the electorate in 2020 with a slowed economy.
RAMPELL: Or a recession.
QUEST: I was just about to say.
QUEST: No, no, thank you.
RAMPELL: Stealing your thunder.
QUEST: No, you're far from it. You're making my argument. Or a recession. What does that do for the political machinations?
RAMPELL: Well, clearly, it's not good, right? I mean, Presidents always get blamed, appropriately or otherwise, for the state of the economy. Not
only the level of the economy, but the direction of the economy, and Trump has basically staked his political fortunes on the developments in the
economy and particularly the stock market, actually, right, of which was always kind of a dumb idea because what goes up can also go down.
So, yes, I mean, the economy is basically the only major metric on which the American public has a favorable opinion of this President, so if it
goes south, he's really in trouble, and there was actually this "Wall Street Journal" survey of Wall Street economists that came out, I think,
either this week or last week, showing that more than half of economists believe that we will have a recession by 2020 and you know, it's not
necessarily going to be Trump's fault.
At some point, business cycles turn. That's why they're called cycles and this particular expansion is a little bit long in the tooth. We are in one
of the longest expansions on record, so it's going to happen at some point, whether or not it's Trump's fault is a separate issue, but he will probably
be blamed nonetheless.
QUEST: In a word, do they raise rates tomorrow, yes or no?
RAMPELL: I think probably. That's what markets are expecting. But who knows?
BROWN: I would say yes.
QUEST: It's not going to be good to think of it, but thank you.
RAMPELL: Thank you.
BROWN: Thank you.
QUEST: Thank you. And then more from Alan Greenspan later in the hour including why he thinks we are heading for stagflation. The world's
richest football cupper sacked one of the most decorated managers of the modern era. Manchester United and Jose Mourinho part company, as sometimes
called for the reset of a club's entire operating structure.
And get your phones ready. Go to cnn.com/join. The question today is all about the Red Devils, in a moment.
Cnn.com/join where we are talking Manchester United tonight on the day they sacked Jose Mourinho. Go to cnn.com/join. Forbes says that ManU is still
the world's most valuable team. Our question to you tonight is, are ManU - Manchester United, still the biggest club in the world? Yes or no? Go to
cnn.com/join to vote. Are they the biggest in the world?
QUEST: We'll keep voting open for the next few moments. Now, some said that what happened today was inevitable, a case of turgid football, fracas
in the dressing room and a board seemingly reluctant to sanction the recruitment wishes of the manager.
So instead, ManU has sacked the self-anointed special one, Jose Mourinho, after the club's worst ever start to a Premier League season. Now the
club's entire business structure is under scrutiny.
Firstly, you have the U.S. owners, the Glazers, who publicly listed the company in 2012 and look at the share price. It goes - the listing is here
- 1995. Get as much as 26 and a bit and now it's down at 18.30, below the listing price and below certainly over - sorry, below the year to date.
Down around 10%. They were up some 5% on the day on the news.
Revenues though, are at a record high, but the club has debts of more than half a billion dollars and it's connected to the controversial purchase of
Manchester United, those debts, when the Glazers bought it 13 years ago.
HR spending has been massive for limited return. Mourinho spent $455,000.00 on - I beg your pardon. Do forgive me. I'm getting my numbers
all wrong. $450 million, of course, silly me, on 11 players. Couldn't get one for $45 million. Marquee signing, Paul Pogba cost more than $100
million alone and sat on the bench during their 3-1 hammering by Liverpool at the weekend.
United are now paying two managers who are no longer with the club -- Mourinho and David Moyes who replaced Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013. Now, Alex
Ferguson of course, had a remarkable 26 years at the old Trafford. Alex Thomas is outside old Trafford. Alex, this is - this is an earthquake in
the football world, but was it entirely foreseeable?
ALEX THOMAS, SPORTS ANCHOR, CNN: Yes, it was foreseeable, but I think the timing, the exact timing as in earlier on this Tuesday here in England, has
taken us by surprise. All sorts of rumors and reports about whether they would wait for Manchester United to maybe fail in the next stage of the
Champions League when it resumes in February, when United have been drawn against the mega rich French champions, Paris St. Germaine and surely they
would crash out actually the terms of the contract meeting with Ed Woodward, the Executive Vice Chairman here, effectively, the CEO, would
have to pay Mourinho a lot less to get rid of him.
Instead, Mourinho all but dared them to sack him after that defeat to archrivals Liverpool on Sunday and they've called his bluff and he's gone.
QUEST: Why? What did they do? What was the bluff that was called?
THOMAS: You mentioned the talking of Mourinho briefing quietly and actually not so quietly sometimes about the club not backing him, not
giving him the money to sign the players he exactly wanted. That's a bit of a hollow claim to some, because he has brought in someone like Alexis
Sanchez from Arsenal, highly rated Chile international striker who's just not fired since coming here to Manchester United. He was an Arsenal hero.
There is the Brazilian midfielder, Fred, again highly rated, but hasn't performed. And you can say that about a lot of players under Mourinho, the
man who is the most successful active coach in this modern era, seeming to now be losing his magic touch.
QUEST: Well, let me turn that back on you. Lose his magic touch or not being given a fair chance? He's not been in the job - I mean, he's been in
the job a while, but to show true, long-term benefits, arguably, takes longer than he's been given.
THOMAS: Yes, but football is a sort of business where you don't get that time and he pales next to some of the coaches that have got good since he
first came on the scene a decade and a half ago. Someone like Pep Guardiola, the other Manchester club here, Manchester City, who everyone
Jergen Klopp, the manager at Liverpool, their Northwest England rivals, but that's where that restructuring here at United comes in and you were
mentioning a little bit earlier. Maybe Ed Woodward, who the Glazer family, the Americans who own United love so much because he's made them so much
money should then maybe perhaps go back to a more commercial role, bring in a CEO figure with real football experience and a sporting director and a
continental style under that, maybe that would then pave the way for a future manager to be more successful.
QUEST: Alex, unfair question, totally unfair, but we'll go for it anyway. The question we've been asking our viewers, of course, are Manchester
United still the world's biggest football club?
Now, you can take that any way you like. You can take it numerically, you can take it financially, you can take it on the football field. I'll allow
you to define your own answer.
THOMAS: As a brand, yes, they are. As a football club, no, they're not.
QUEST: Well, that was short and to the point. Thank you, sir. Alex Thomas, who's on top of it for us tonight. And the way in which those of
you who have voted at cnn.com/join -- most of you think Manchester United are no longer the world's biggest football club. You heard Alex say, as a
brand, yes, but as a football club, no. Which raises the very interesting question, which we could always ask at some point, how long do you remain a
good brand if you're not number one on the field?
We'll talk about that in the future. The final numbers, no, 43% - sorry. No, 59%; yes, 41%. As we continue, the brand, well, one of the best brands
in economics, globally, that still shines and sparkles is Alan Greenspan. He says the party is over on Wall Street.
In a moment, the former Fed chair says investors should start preparing for the worst.
Hello, I'm Richard Quest. A lot more "Quest Means Business" in just a moment as we continue. You are watching CNN, and on this network, the
facts always come first.
In a surprise move, a U.S. judge has delayed sentencing for Donald Trump's former National Security adviser, Michael Flynn to give him more time to
cooperate with investigators and do a plea deal. Flynn's attorneys chose that option after the judge suggested he could go to prison for lying to
the FBI. The White House says it still believes Flynn was ambushed by the Feds.
President Trump's personal charitable foundation has agreed to dissolve under court supervision amid a lawsuit over its finances. The New York
State Attorney General claims Mr. Trump and his three eldest children violated campaign finance laws and abused the charity's tax exempt status.
[15:30:00] RICHARD QUEST, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: The New York State Attorney General claims Mr. Trump and his three eldest children violated
campaign finance laws and abused the charity's tax exempt status. The Prime Minister of Belgium setting down Charles Michel's government fell
after coalition partners abandoned him. Michel's downfall was his decision to adopt a controversial UN plan on immigration.
The widespread protests against that position over the weekend. And Britain's Defense Secretary says 3,500 troops will be on stand by for a
possible no deal Brexit. The British Prime Minister Theresa May will pitch her Brexit deal to parliament in the middle of January.
In the meantime, the cabinet has been ramping up preparations for leaving the EU without an agreement. A British couple who named their son after
Adolf Hitler are being jailed after it was found they belonged to a far- right banned terrorist group.
Adam Thomas and Claudia Patatas were sentenced to six years and five years in prison respectively. They became notorious after posting pictures of
their newborn son, to whom they had given the middle name Adolf.
The man who famously cautioned against irrational exuberance during the dotcom bubble has a new warning for investors, get ready to run for cover.
Alan Greenspan thinks the bull market's days are numbered. Julia Chatterley asked the former Chairman of the Fed what's driving the
volatility that we're seeing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALAN GREENSPAN, FORMER CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL RESERVE: It's not a surprise. Human nature is not a surprise. The volatility is a function of how we
speak, think, and feel, and it is variable. In other words, there's a herding instinct in humans.
There's all sorts of characteristics and you put that together into a financial market, and it moves.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN REPORTER: Do you think we're still in a bull market, an equity bull market?
GREENSPAN: Not really, no, it's beginning to fumble. You can see it by reaction in the recent days. It would be very surprising to see it sort of
stabilize here and then take off again. But it's happened in the past, however, at the end of that one, run for cover.
CHATTERLEY: What do you think the message is that the bond market is sending as of this moment?
GREENSPAN: What's happening now is we're getting a very significant rise - - and I shouldn't say all that significant, but a pronounced rise in real long-term interest rates. That, if you look at history, compared it to
last 15 or 20 years, is the key factor which is bringing the stock market down.
In fact, it accounts for all of the weakness recently and I think it's going to continue to account for it because we're in a period now where I
think long-term rates are going to rise.
CHATTERLEY: How much more adjustment to account for the rise in real interest rates that you're talking about do we need to see?
GREENSPAN: I don't know.
CHATTERLEY: But more?
GREENSPAN: I don't know anybody who knows. No, but we're not through the cycle. As I said in the book, Adrian Woolbridge and I published very
recently, we're moving towards a stagflation-type of environment. Which means we're going to both going to get inflation and stagnation. And that
is a toxic mix. And the outlook is not terribly enterprising, shall I say.
CHATTERLEY: Where do you see those leveraged risks today?
GREENSPAN: Leverage is about average. I personally think it's going to go up, but that's not a critical issue. The major question is the toxic
asset. It's not the leverage per se, it's really the leverage which occurs in the context of the toxic asset. If you don't have the toxic asset, you
don't have the problem.
CHATTERLEY: Is there a toxic asset today?
GREENSPAN: There are always toxic assets, remember which ones are viable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Donald Trump says there's more bailout money on the way for American soybean farmers, even after China placed a massive order last week
as part of a temporary trade truce. U.S. farmers were hit particularly hard on the recent tit-for-tats on tariffs.
[15:35:00] The Vice President of the American Soybean Association Bill Gordon joins me via Skype. Bill, good to see you, thank you for taking the
time. Are you satisfied with, now, what the administration is doing, the more money and the more help?
Because some money was put aside already, but it was never going to be enough to satisfy your members.
BILL GORDON, VICE PRESIDENT, AMERICAN SOYBEAN ASSOCIATION: No, and that difference, that aid that was there was trying to bridge that gap, that
short-term gap until we get these markets exactly. It's not enough money to try to make us whole with the $2 loss in markets from the Chinese exit
out of our market.
And then this purchase amount to about 4 percent of what they bought last year, now total soybean purchases. So it's a good start, but it's got --
they have a long ways to go.
QUEST: The long and short of it is your members are going to lose out.
GORDON: Absolutely, and then that's part of the whole, you know, the whole conversation we've been having with the administration is we need these
trade deals in place, not only with China but with Europe and Korea and Japan and anybody else that wants to do fair trade with us.
Canada, Mexico, you know, they're our partners, they're our closest allies. We need to have a good fair trade agreement with them and let the farmers
have the markets and we'll rather have trade, not aid.
QUEST: This president, and I'm afraid it isn't economic, it is a political question, as much as an economic one, because the president has managed to
offend pretty much all those trading partners of which you have just spoken.
GORDON: I think that's his way of doing trade deals, and there, again, it's not my job, I guess, as an American, but as a farmer, we need the
trade. How it gets back to the trade is what's important. How we got here, you know, is looking in the rear view mirror, we need to get these
trade deals in place.
Offending them or not, we need to work forward and on our countries. We're allies, let's get together and make these trade deals happen sooner than
later. You know, this short-term gap for farmers is really hurting out here in rural America, and it's just going to roll over into the economics
of the cities when you start to see rural America hurting.
QUEST: If as best you can tell is rural America still pleased with their vote for Donald Trump?
GORDON: Well, I think it's individual, right? You know, it's kind of blocked into rural America who voted for Trump or not. You know, the
individual voted for either president candidate. I think they're -- they support rural America, generally supports the administration, supports
They just want to have --
QUEST: Right --
GORDON: Opportunities to be viable, successful. So, it's hard to say that they do or don't. It's more of a, hey, we need our markets and we need
our income out here so we can raise our families just like people in the cities do.
QUEST: And back to soybeans, which is where we started. Can you see any bright spot? I mean, you know, going into this because the price remains
under pressure, and as you said, China's purchases are just 4 percent of what they would normally buy. Is there a bright spot that you can point
GORDON: There's a couple, you know, there's other trade partners, European Union --
QUEST: Right --
GORDON: Has come on and bought a bunch more soybeans and Japan has, so when you get those trade agreements, but you look home domestically, we
have a pretty strong -- a very strong livestock market, consumption of pork, chicken, beef, and then dairy.
Dairy's been kind of oppressed --
QUEST: Right --
GORDON: Here lately, but we're trying to get them up, but really biofuels and biodiesel in general with California coming on and mandating more
biofuels in their market, it's a clean, renewable energy and it uses the excess oil we have after not used from the cooking aspect of it.
So it's a huge market, it has room to expand and EPA has raised those gallons --
QUEST: Right --
GORDON: We can -- we can produce more, it's renewable, creates jobs, so that's a bright star and we have a lot of expansion available, so we get
the help of the public and the administration, we can expand a clean, renewable diesel fuel and clean, renewable fuels for better environment.
QUEST: Good to see you, sir, thank you, all the best for the festive season for -- Merry Christmas to you and your family, sir, wish you the
GORDON: Thank you, thank you for having me.
QUEST: As we continue tonight, the U.S. Surgeon General says teenagers believe e-cigarettes are cool and safe, and now it amounts to a vaping
epidemic. Our investigation finds that leading e-cigarette company has been funding social media posts that helped to get teens hooked in the
[15:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: If the Fed's still planning to raise rates, it will do so as the warning signs get louder. This month's on track to be the worst December
since the great depression for the Dow and the S&P.
Now, it's not any stocks which are vulnerable to worries about global growth. Fuel light is flashing as well, oil prices are in a bear market,
U.S. crude hit a 15-month low today. And then they've got the political pressure, a steady drum beat of criticism from Donald Trump and the Fed
can't get the impression it's doing the president's bidding, giving in.
Paul La Monica is here. Look at today's Dow, Paul, because it's very instructive to what we've seen. The market opened up higher after
yesterday's horrible fall. It gets to a gain of about 330 or so points, then we lose those gains and something of a scintilla returns at the end.
PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, we've got a nice rebound at the end, but still, this mini-rally if you want to call it
that, only gives us back a little of what we lost yesterday. I think investors are still very anxious about what the Fed is going to do and say.
I mean, there's still a high probability that the Fed is going to raise rates tomorrow, and the question then becomes, what does Jerome Powell say
about the future? Or is the Fed potentially on hold throughout 2019? If the data warrants that, will they continue to raise rates next year?
That's going to be the key question, and I think that everyone's going to be watching including the president.
QUEST: So what do you think they do tomorrow, raise rates?
LA MONICA: I think they raise rates tomorrow. A lot of people I talked to are discussing it as a dovish rate hike, if you will. The dots in the so-
called dot plot will probably suggest that fewer rate hikes in 2019 may be in the cards now than previously expected, and Powell reaffirms that in
whatever comments he gives and questions he answers during the press conference.
QUEST: Now, Paul, big pot's getting some help from major pharma, and in the first such deal of its type, you have seen Tilray work with Novartis to
distribute medical -- serve marijuana in places where it is legal. Now, we've seen already other companies getting into this.
I am -- I mean, it's up, Tilray is up seven -- well, 16 percent. I'm impressed, I'm impressed. Not at big pot, but that Big Pharma spotting
this movement and moving as fast as it can.
LA MONICA: Well, I think a lot of people had expected this. This was kind of a third leg, if you will, of the stool with regards to where marijuana
and legalization of it was going to be going. You had, as you mentioned, consolation brands, the big Corona brewer, they announced a deal to invest
in canopy growth on the recreational side.
Then you had Cronos, another Canadian cannabis company getting an investment from Altria on the tobacco side.
QUEST: Right --
[15:45:00] LA MONICA: Now you have Novartis with this deal for Tilray, which -- you know, not an equity investment, per se, but it does validate
that medical marijuana is legal in several states in the United States.
QUEST: And now the --
LA MONICA: It's in Canada and several other countries around the world.
QUEST: The governor of New York says he will introduce a bill next year which Albany seems willing to accept. Finally, you have this bizarre
situation though, where Canadian manufacturers can launch on the New York Stock Exchange because they're legal in Canada.
But U.S. manufacturers of pot can't launch on the New York Exchange, they have to launch on the Canadian Exchange.
LA MONICA: Yes, it is quite strange where you have that phenomenon where you're not going to see a company that is a recreational cannabis company
based in, say, Colorado, launching here. It's all these companies, it's Toronto-based companies, other provinces --
QUEST: Yes --
LA MONICA: In Canada, you know, and that's I think probably going to remain the way it is until you get legalization from a federal level, which
probably isn't coming any time just yet.
QUEST: It is fascinating though, the federal government -- I mean, you'll end up with more states with medical and recreational marijuana than not,
and yet the federal government still won't move.
LA MONICA: Yes, I mean, I think also with Jeff Sessions stepping down as Attorney General, that's seen as a green light for the industry that more
states might be able to get away with doing what they want without having to worry about federal interference.
QUEST: Good to see you, sir.
LA MONICA: Thank you.
QUEST: You're welcome --
LA MONICA: Have a great holiday.
QUEST: And you, it's close, I must not forget. Now, the United States Surgeon General is issuing a call to action after he labeled e-cigarette
use among teenagers as an epidemic. Cnn's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta had a months-long investigation into the rise of vaping.
He found that one company in particular dominates, thanks to a large part to social media.
CHRISTINA ZAYAS, BLOGGER: We captured some photos.
SANJAY GUPTA, NEUROSURGEON & CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: This is Christina Zayas at work.
ZAYAS: Added some lifestyle of me.
GUPTA: For the last ten years, she's made her living as a blogger and social media influencer. One of her recent jobs, post positive content
about the e-cigarette JUUL.
ZAYAS: They really wanted to appeal to the younger market, and they did.
GUPTA: JUUL had hired an influencer marketing firm, which then reached out to the then 35-year-old Christina in September of 2017, hoping to target
her 57,000 Instagram followers.
ZAYAS: If you are a smoker, then please let me know your interest in a collaboration with JUUL.
GUPTA: Christina shared that 5 percent of her followers are in the 13 to 17 age range. They're especially susceptible to being influenced according
to Stanford researcher Dr. Robert Jackler who's been following JUUL since early marketing campaigns more than three years ago.
ROBERT JACKLER, STANFORD UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: They advertised exactly where young people live. Young people today are on social media.
They're on their phones, continuously throughout the day, looking at social media channels.
ZAYAS: JUUL's team reached out to me to work together, we came up with working on a sponsored post which is just a blog post and then on Instagram
post, their budget was, OK, we can offer you a $1,000.
GUPTA: JUUL declined an on-camera interview, but conceded it paid fewer than ten influencers who were all smokers or former smokers and
collectively paid less than $10,000.
SCOTT GOTTLIEB, COMMISSIONER, FDA: But I think it's incumbent also upon the companies that are marketing these products to also take steps to try
to crack down on the youth use.
GUPTA: FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb's concern is that teens are not aware that many e-cigs contain high levels of nicotine, which is addictive,
particularly harmful to the developing brain and more likely to lead to traditional cigarette use.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, the FDA seized thousands of documents from e-cigarette maker JUUL.
GUPTA: Since the FDA cracked down on JUUL this Fall, the company says it ended its social media campaign in the United States. Dr. Jackler says too
little, too late.
JACKLER: Turning off JUUL's own contribution to this at this point doesn't matter because it's become a fad, and it's taken on a life of its own.
GUPTA: For her part, Christina has stopped using JUUL, and while her Instagram posts and blog reached more than 5,000 people, she wonders if it
was worth it.
ZAYAS: Stepping back, I think that when I saw all the kids smoking it at this festival during the Summer, it just kind of turned me off to it, and
I'm actually considering writing a blog post on why I quit.
GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Cnn reporting.
QUEST: As you and I continue after the break, dancing your way into court. A TV star claims a video game is destroying and copying his moves -- and,
well, when in doubt, sue.
[15:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: Now to a fascinating lawsuit where a TV star is suing a video game developers for allegedly copying his dance moves. The plaintiff is the
actor, Alfonso Ribeiro, who starred in the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" back in the '90s. A picture tells a thousand words, so take a look at his
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now put it side-by-side with the video game character in "Fortnite". There we go, in the lawsuit, Ribeiro says the company's
unfairly profited from using his likeness. He accused the epic games, the manufacturers, and Take-Two Interactive, of exploiting his protected
Now, the actor's attorney is also representing the rapper 2 Milly in a similar lawsuit against epic games. He created Milly Rock back in 2015.
Take a look, but blink and you'll miss it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Well, when in doubt, have the thing done for real, 2 Milly is with me. Good to see you, sir --
TERRENCE FERGUSON, RAPPER: Yes, sir, nice to meet you --
QUEST: Thank you very much, just give us a show exactly what it is.
FERGUSON: Oh, the Milly ride --
QUEST: Yes, the Milly ride, yes -- right, well, tell me why you decided to sue. When did you first realize that this was all going wrong and actually
it was being used by epic and "Fortnite"?
FERGUSON: I guess it was season 5 when they premiered it in the game. A bunch of DMs, a bunch of Twitter requests, e-mails, everything was like,
you, your game is in the dance, you need to sue, "Fortnite" stole it. Even like big artists, major artists like Joe Buttons and stuff, they have their
own like show, daily struggle, they say, you, you must sue "Fortnite", and I'm like, "Fortnite", what is that? I don't even know what it is --
QUEST: So you weren't even familiar?
FERGUSON: I didn't know what it was --
QUEST: No, I was neither until --
FERGUSON: I didn't know --
QUEST: Today. So you looked at it, you decided the two were very similar --
FERGUSON: Yes --
QUEST: But it's -- but come on, why sue them?
FERGUSON: But the problem is -- the problem is that if they put the dance in the game and just like use it for motions, it differs than actually
selling. Like you're selling my whole -- it's like you're selling me.
QUEST: Because they -- because you're paying $9.50 or something to get the right not to vote --
FERGUSON: I believe it was $9.50 --
QUEST: Yes --
FERGUSON: Something, it went down $5 --
QUEST: Oh, dear --
FERGUSON: But you know what I'm saying? That's mine, it's mine. I created that, that's -- I get booked for shows for that. I get booked to perform,
everywhere I go, they want me to perform that with the dance. So I feel like if someone else can take it and sell it, then I should be fairly
QUEST: You're not the only one who can do a bit of dancing, I want you here, I've had a bit of a dancing myself --
[15:55:00] FERGUSON: Oh, you trying to get your rock?
QUEST: Have a look, have a watch. I can make a move or two. There, you see? Right --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: USMCA, my knees will feel it tomorrow.
FERGUSON: You've been around.
QUEST: Right, so, if I'm going to do this, all right, it's the end of the year, ritual humiliation time --
FERGUSON: Yes --
QUEST: It's the -- so what moves do I need to perfect?
FERGUSON: The Milly rock.
QUEST: The Milly rock.
FERGUSON: Milly rock, you want to -- try and get your Milly rock started?
QUEST: Right --
FERGUSON: Right, start, see, it's a whole lot, you've got to have your feet, your feet --
QUEST: Clearly, they weren't intended for brogues.
FERGUSON: That's what I'm saying, look, check the feet, the feet is all over, then it's the arms.
QUEST: While we're doing this, let's take a look at the market behind us because it's been one of those sort of days, and I'm pretty certain --
FERGUSON: Go ahead, you've got to catch it like that --
QUEST: Hey, look at this, we have gone down over here, but now we seem to be back up again --
FERGUSON: Really, rock it up up --
QUEST: Yes, Milly rock it up, thank you, we'll take a break, and a profitable moment after the break, sir. you are a gentleman --
FERGUSON: Pleasure, man.
QUEST: Thank you.
FERGUSON: All right.
QUEST: Tonight's profitable moment, I thoroughly admire 2 Milly for what he's doing in suing "Fortnite". For now, look, at the end of the day, this
guy has a move that is his, and he's used it, and it's recognized as, indeed, does Ribeiro have a move, and somebody else, not just wants to
promote it or to use it to promote something else, but they're actually making money out of it.
And that's the point that he was making tonight. They are selling it, right. And if somebody's going to sell something, and if you just think
this is all a bit silly over a dance or so, think about what you do every day in your job. How would you like it if somebody came along, copied it,
sold it, and didn't acknowledge or give you any money?
Which is why I thoroughly applaud what they're doing. We'll leave it to the courts to decide who's right or wrong, but standing up for yourself
must always be applauded. As we finish tonight, that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, I am Richard Quest in New York.
Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it is profitable. We end with the Dow up, barely, at 97 points.
The day is over, the day is done!