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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Dow Surges as Fed Signals Low Rates Through 2023; U.S. House Report Blasts Boeing and F.A.A. for Handling of 737 MAX; France Struggles with New Surge in COVID-19 Infections. Aired 3-3:30p ET
Aired September 16, 2020 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: An hour until the end of trading and it is a bullish day on the market, a very strong
day. We will get to reasons why.
But if you look at the Dow Jones, you will see how it responded to a variety of factors that took place particularly look at the last whoosh at
2:00 in the afternoon, and of course, that tells you there was a specific reason. We will explain it.
The reason is, the Federal Reserve said it is basically leaving interest rates at these ultralow levels until at least 2023.
Boeing is accused of a horrific set of errors in the run up to its 737 MAX crashes.
And German officials now say there is no question of a second wave of coronavirus.
Live from London. It is the middle of the week, it is Wednesday, the 16th of September. I'm Richard Quest, and I mean business.
Good evening. The rally in the markets just doesn't seem to want to end. And today, there was a very strong reason for it. The U.S. Federal Reserve
whilst leaving somewhere rates on hold basically told us that they were going to remain on hold until 2023 at least.
If you look at the prognostications and you look at the forecast and the members of the Federal Open Market Committee, you get an idea that they
also think economic growth will be faster, unemployment will fall further, and the Fed's new asymmetric policy on inflation rates means that they will
tolerate inflation over two percent well beyond 2023.
Christina Alesci is with me to run this. Now, I think -- we will deal with the technical sides in a second, Cristina. Let's just look at their better
forecasts for growth. It is still going to be bad, but it is better than it was and for unemployment.
CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN BUSINESS POLITICS AND BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Richard, it's better than expected for sure. That was in the numbers. But
that doesn't change the policy that the Fed is going to leave interest rates low for a very long time, affirming -- confirming really what
Chairman Powell had said in Jackson Hole. We are not even thinking about thinking about raising interest rates.
And you know, despite the fact that we have better forecasted numbers on the economy, the policy hasn't changed. What I found most noteworthy about
today's announcement in the press conference that I was listening to that Chairman Powell was giving just before I came on with you is that he
painted a very different picture of the U.S. economy than the President has, especially last night we heard the President touting this V-shaped
recovery, cheerleading the stock market, saying that everybody benefits from the stock market when that's clearly not true.
Chairman Powell, however, painted a realistic picture saying that there are still 11 million people out of work in the U.S., that families are still
struggling to make ends meet and there is still a lot of pain and suffering in especially the middle to lower income levels, Richard, and that is the
The other thing that I picked up in Chairman Powell's comments in that press conference was the idea that more fiscal stimulus is needed. Again,
calling on the U.S. Congress to do more, saying that the initial round of stimulus really helped support economic growth and that more will likely be
And if you look at the forecast for growth going forward in the private sector, all of them factor in some kind of fiscal stimulus going forward --
QUEST: Right, but we know that the fiscal stimulus is stuck, and the best opinions seem to suggest it would almost be impossible to get something
between now and the election. Does the Fed allude to anything else more that they think they should be doing?
ALESCI: Well, it is interesting. They were pressed by a couple of reporters on asset purchases, and will they give guidance on asset
And you know, the Fed -- Chairman Powell said he is not going to give any more additional guidance, and that was the big question I think in terms of
what happens going forward that people wanted some more guidance on.
And it seems like the Federal Reserve is not going to give any more guidance on asset purchases. I think the big concern going forward for many
people in the real economy is whether or not the Federal Reserve is creating any kind of asset inflation to the point of where it creates a
bubble -- troubling bubbles.
And as we know, every time interest rates have been low for a long period of time and we have had asset prices increase, we have seen economic
inequalities increase as well, and the Fed is just not equipped to deal with that kind of inequality.
So this is something that Chairman Powell has acknowledged in the past, that it could fix one thing, which is spurring economic activity, and
giving forward guidance to businesses and to Wall Street, but what happens in the real world when that causes asset bubbles and increases income
inequality? The Fed is not equipped to deal with that.
That really falls, again, Richard, on Congress.
QUEST: Cristina Alesci. Cristina, thank you.
Now, to Boeing and the MAX plane. A new congressional report after an 18- month investigation is sharply critical of both Boeing and the regulator, the F.A.A.
There were two crashes, of course, you are well aware, of the 737 MAX, and now, this congressional panel says, in their words, troubling management
misjudgments, disturbing patterns of technical miscalculations, and most worrying of course, the regulator that with the organization, the F.A.A.
that's supposed to be there to make sure everything was done correctly, well, they were either bamboozled or seemingly weren't on top of what
needed to be done.
For the U.S. Congress is to say this is perhaps the most official way of hearing the mistakes that have taken place with the 737 MAX.
QUEST (voice over): Three hundred and forty six unnecessary deaths. That is the damning take away from a U.S. congressional investigation into the
737 MAX. Detailing alleged failures of Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration.
The problems first came to the public attention nearly two years ago. Lion Air flight 610, a 737 MAX carrying 189 people crashed into the Java Sea
only 13 minutes after takeoff.
Then, in March 2019, what we had been told was unthinkable, a second MAX crash. This time, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, it went down only six
minutes after takeoff, 157 passengers and crew were killed.
This time, the international authorities took quick, severe action.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are going to be issuing an emergency order of prohibition to ground all flights of the 737
MAX 8, and the 737 MAX 9. Hopefully, they will very quickly come up with the answer. But until they do, the planes are grounded.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST (voice over): Twenty months later and the MAX is still grounded. This new report puts the blame not on the pilots in those doomed cockpits.
Instead, it details how years before these crashes took place, management at Boeing intentionally downplayed the significance of their new MCAS
flight control system.
And a too-cozy relationship with the regulator, the F.A.A. failed to provide adequate oversight.
For 346 victims and their families, it has been justice delayed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL NJOROGE, FAMILY OF ETHIOPIA FLIGHT 302 VICTIM: It never leaves me, but that my family's flesh is still in Ethiopia, mixed with the soil and
jet fuel and pieces of the aircraft.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST (voice over): Boeing first tried to blame pilot error. It became clear, software pushed the hopeless aircraft's nose down. The executives
eventually said, they had accepted responsibility. The company paid a combined $50 million to the surviving families as a start.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DENNIS MUILENBURG, FORMER BOEING CEO: We've made mistakes and we got some things wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST (voice over): The families said that wasn't enough and confronted the then CEO, Muilenburg directly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NADIA MILLERON, FAMILY OF ETHIOPIA FLIGHT 302 VICTIM: When you make mistakes like that and you can acknowledge them, then, you know, maybe
someone else should do that work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST (voice over): Muilenburg was finally ousted earlier this year. The new CEO and former chairman, David Calhoun has promised to get Boeing's
most important product back in the air.
The failure of the MAX has been devastating to Boeing's reputation and its profits.
Now, in the final phases of testing before approval to return to flight, Boeing is promising the 737 MAX will return to service, as they describe
it, as one of the most thoroughly scrutinized aircraft in history.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now, Boeing has put a statement out concerning the congressional panel. It says it cooperated fully with the inquiry. They go on to say they
have made fundamental changes to the company.
The F.A.A., which as you know as you heard me say was also criticized says they will work to implement improvements, continue to follow a thorough
process not a prescribed timeline for returning 737 MAX to service.
Pete Muntean is our aviation correspondent. He is with me from Washington.
QUEST: We will get to the sort of the wider issues in a second with Mary Schiavo, but from Washington's point of view, it is a general acceptance
that this report has nailed it.
PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, there are so many sharp, new details in this new report, Richard. As you point out, it really
focuses on the years leading up to these two incidents rather than putting the onus on the pilots and the flight crew.
You know what's so interesting here is that this really highlights two instances in particular where Boeing engineers attempted to down play the
significance of the MCAS system, the maneuvering control and augmentation system that has been at the heart of these 737 MAX investigations.
One instance where a Boeing test pilot in a simulator struggled with the system for 10 seconds, ending in a catastrophic result. And then Boeing
engineers exchanged e-mails saying they wanted the system considered as part of an existing system rather than a new one in order to avoid
additional scrutiny by the F.A.A.
Samya Stumo was 24 years old when she died on one of these crashes and her father tells me that Boeing and the F.A.A. failed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL STUMO, FATHER OF CRASH VICTIM: They are still hiding the ball like they did before, like they did between the crashes when they kept the plane
in the air when they knew the thing was a killer plane. Between the Lion Air crash and the Ethiopia crash that killed my daughter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MUNTEAN: Now, Boeing continues to stand by this design saying it has implemented numerous changes and as you point out, Richard, it says that as
this recertification process continues, the MAX will reemerge as one of the most scrutinized aircraft in aviation history.
QUEST: Pete Muntean in Washington. Mary Schiavo is with me. She is a former Inspector General at the Department of Transportation in the United
States. She also represents some families of victims from the Ethiopian Airlines flight and is involved in the litigation against Boeing.
But Mary, as you read this congressional report, and I have seen your notes and you have already read it. Did it tell us anything we didn't know, that
this MCAS was a dreadfully designed and even worse implemented new piece of software of Boeing and the F.A.A. should have known better?
MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, yes. It did tell us more than what we knew before, and it also put it for history and also so the public,
the regulators, and Congress don't forget and so we don't repeat these mistakes.
But there is a lot of new information here and more crystallized information.
For example, it really highlights two dates at which point it seems like the disasters were inevitable. In March 2016, there is a lot of discussion
about three things that happened then that the change to the MCAS system was made so it would operate at lower at attitudes meaning that allowed it
to operate when the flights were taking off.
And then as within hours of when that was approved by the F.A.A. and of course, the F.A.A. really didn't understand it at all, it was rubber
stamping. Then they decided not to tell the pilots and the critical decision not do failure analysis even though they knew as Pete discussed in
his piece just before us, even though they know that Boeing pilots in the simulator failed, and at 10 seconds had a catastrophic result.
Boeing also knew that in regular flight operations, the catastrophic result could come as early as six seconds.
So Boeing failed at 10 seconds, but in real life, it could fail even before that.
And then again, in March of 2017 -- excuse me, of August of 2017, Boeing realized that this angle of attack disagree system didn't work in 80
percent of the fleet and we were discussing whether or not to tell people, whether or not to the operators, and they said, no, we are not going to
So, that I think was the last chance to avert disaster, and those events are really highlighted in this report.
QUEST: When I read -- when I see what Boeing has done to repair the instant faults that led to the MCAS incident, things like having two angle
of attacks that need to agree. Only being able to fire once. Limiting the amount at which MCAS can push down the nose.
These are all things -- it begs belief that Boeing never thought that these would be required to start with.
SCHIAVO: Well, that's right and it is not -- and you can't believe that when you read the report. Because, you know, Boeing had so much information
about it and there is also some really interesting things in the report, and it's almost like there is more coming.
For example, they talked about the subcontractor, Rockwell Collins, where they call them Collins having told Boeing, hey, wait a minute we found out
that you know, there is a problem here, the angle of attack disagree light doesn't work that we -- and the report says that they told Boeing this.
SCHIAVO: Well that's a very important piece of information that we didn't know before and it puts a lot of -- you know, you could really question the
credibility of Boeing because now we have another party saying you knew this.
QUEST: Mary, one of the significance of this report it is probably the major report that will be done in an official capacity in the United
The F.A.A. has done a lot of reports on this, that, and the other. But the two crash reports will have been done by the authorities at the airlines in
the nations where they are, Ethiopia and Indonesia.
So to some extent, this is all -- I mean, we don't have a traditional NTSB full report in the way we would have. This arguably heads towards that
SCHIAVO: Exactly. It is an important public document for the people of the United States and for aviation safety because while you can access the
preliminary reports from the other countries, they don't address some of the overarching issues that are really important to the United States, and
that is what Boeing did and what actions it took and what it did wrong here. And so that's very important.
It is also important for the flying public and it is vitally important for two other entities, the Federal Aviation Administration and Congress,
because both have to fix the messes that they have made.
I mean, the F.A.A. comes off terribly in this report. Literally, just not understanding anything. It seems to me -- this is my opinion -- it seems to
be not told the truth by Boeing at many turns and the report contains an interesting story that after Lion Air, the F.A.A. had a draft report where
it says oh, well, we are confident that Boeing disclosed things and didn't do anything wrong.
And of course, that draft report got pulled and never came out, so it shows that the F.A.A. was completely out of it. They have to change that around
or they will have no credibility and they affect the credibility of the United States aviation industry.
So, the F.A.A. can fail, but it takes down our industry with it.
QUEST: Mary Schiavo, thanks for joining us. Always good to have you.
As we continue tonight, Europe is preparing for a second wave, if it hasn't already started. German officials believe a second wave is inevitable. And
in France, the spikes are everywhere to be seen.
QUEST: The Bavarian Prime Minister says there is no doubt that a second of coronavirus case is going happen. It comes at the same time as overall,
Germany is doing better than other E.U. partners.
France and Spain are facing a surge in infections and Madrid could be about to re-impose targeted lockdowns on Friday. We already know for instance
that Israel of course is to re-impose a national lockdown on Friday.
France has had record cases over the weekend, and now the country has to work out exactly what it has done wrong and the extent of the provisions
needed to put it right.
CNN's Melissa Bell reports from Paris.
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It's the young driving the newest wave of COVID-19, French officials say. Now, they are passing it on
to their older relatives.
This dramatization by health authorities meant as a warning of how France's rising numbers are now beginning to lead to a strain on hospitals.
Like this one in Bordeaux, one of France's hotspots. The head of its ICU says it is now nearing capacity with very little known about its longer
term ability to cope.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. OLIVER JOANNES BOYAU, HEAD OF ICU UNIT, BORDEAUX UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Second wave is probably less high, with less patients that arrive at the
same moment, but unfortunately, probably more prolonged.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BELL (voice over): For the doctors and nurses on the frontline, it's about dealing with a virus that is here to stay. This hospital is preparing for
the arrival of more COVID-19 patients, but unlike last spring, will continue to treat other emergencies as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. CATHERINE FLEUREAU, MEDICAL DIRECTOR, BORDEAUX UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL (through translator): The University Hospital will be dealing with those
two populations, and that is what makes the situation harder.
It's also going to be harder than last time because this wave, I think, will grow progressively, and then last over time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BELL (voice over): But as he shows us around the ICU, Dr. Joannes Boyau says that at least now, lots more is known. The use of steroids and
specially adapted ventilators that can now avoid contamination means that this time, intubations are down 50 percent since the spring he says.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BELL (on camera): Because intubation is dangerous, and intubation is painful and it's a last resort.
BOYAU: Yes, intubation increase the risk of ICU stay duration. Sometimes we don't have the choice and we have to intubate the patient and ventilate
the patient, because he's not able to use the oxygen that we bring to him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BELL (voice-over): So, doctors are better at dealing with COVID-19, but that doesn't mean they are not worried.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOYAU: The major problem is to keep the wave really, really low. If the wave grows up a lot, we will face a large number of patients with COVID
that will come, and we will not be able to treat and to manage all of the patients.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BELL (voice over): With capacity fast approaching in the hospitals in France's hotspots, it's a question of the system's ability to cope that is
once again being posed, less dramatically, but no less urgently.
Melissa Bell, CNN, Bordeaux.
QUEST: Now, if you look at the way the numbers are at the moment, the OECD is predicting a faster rebound next year assuming everything goes according
to plan with vaccines and the like.
Major European economies are projected to outpace the U.S. The U.K. in particular is likely to double in terms of its growth, but then bearing in
mind how far the U.S. fell back. Also, Germany, Italy and France.
Moncler's CEO Remo Ruffini, he joins me from Como in Italy. Good to have you, sir.
So, we will get to your shift towards digitization in the e-economy in just a moment. If we look at how you are weathering so far, and a reopening that
has to be done so tentatively and carefully, how would you say it's going?
REMO RUFFINI, CEO, MONCLER: You know, again, the digital world has changed a lot. You know, it has changed a lot since basically since March.
We learned to work from our house. We learned to have meeting all around the world, but also it has changed also the approach with the customer.
I think we really changed our strategy since when we realized that the world was changed basically, and through digital, we really have the
possibility to talk with them in different ways to prepare a different approach, to start selling products in a really different way, maybe from
the stores through digital, through Skype, through WeChat, and through all the tools we have.
QUEST: But that requires not -- I mean, in many ways, the front end is the easy bit, setting up the online portal, even the payment system. But it
does require a different distribution channel and a different back end.
Now, if you are suddenly going to dramatically increase digitization, how difficult is it to deliver the product?
RUFFINI: I mean, I think, you know, just to make one step back, I think omni-channels today is very important. You know, two years ago it was
enough to have your own store in the best city in the world. I think today omni-channel is everything. You have to be able to talk with the different
customers, with the different channels.
I think, retailers are very important. You know our store is very important, our dot-com is very important. The mini program with our channel
is very important. You know, you have different channels to talk with them.
And then organization and logistic is very important as well. But I think the most important thing today is to have a front end totally different
than before is to be able to talk with the customer with a different channel and different approach -- totally different approach.
QUEST: If there is a second wave and some politicians say it is almost certainly here already, and we know anyway we are going into a difficult
time as the winter comes in the northern hemisphere, I wonder what you, as a retailer, a galleria, what do you now want from governments? What more
help? Do you need an extension of job creation schemes or job retention schemes?
Do you need more loans or access to credit? What's the key that you now seek?
RUFFINI: I mean, it really depends country by country. You know, as you see the situation direction right now, you know, basically, the region that
is most suffering is Europe for sure, because the luxury world in Europe is very for travelers, for Asian people, they come to visit our country.
Having said that, the United States for example, since July, is better. I mean, I think we have a very good like for like and this is something
unexpected, honestly, very positive performance compared to last year.
And Asia is -- let's say China is very successful because the people they are not traveling anymore, they buy locally. And unfortunately, we have
starting some second wave as you mentioned.
For example, Japan. Japan was quite good since -- honestly, since the beginning. Not as good as last year, but it was quite good. And now the
government said to stay home. I mean the business is going down again.
Second wave for us will be very bad because as you know, we are an outer wear luxury brand and we sell a lot in winter.
QUEST: Right, right.
RUFFINI: But from now to December we have a big part of our revenues to do it. It means, second wave could be a really big problem. For sure we need
help, but from the government, we need more to stay tuned with our customers to have new ideas, to have a new energy, to have a totally
different way to talk. If the second wave come, it could be a problem.
QUEST: Thank you. Thank you, sir. I appreciate it. We will talk as the winter goes on and we see how things move on. Hopefully, sir, you will come
back and talk to us again about this.
Now, the number of months goes on, and we are having masks galore. Some places require them all the time. Other places, only inside, sometimes
And yet, the Chief Executive of 3M says demand is way outstripping their ability globally-- of all manufacturers.
An exclusive interview with 3M's CEO after the break.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. There's more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment where the 3M chief executive
tells us, it's almost impossible to keep up with the demand for masks. And the Michelin star chef Daniel Boulud is with us. He's opening a new
restaurant in Manhattan, you might say, is he mad?
We'll talk about why and what he's going to do and what the restaurant industry needs, as it potentially faces the winter and a second wave. All
of that in a moment after the news headlines, because this is CNN. And on this network, the news always comes first.
The director of the CDC, Robert Redfield, says a COVID vaccine won't be widely available before the second or third quarter of 2021. That's even if
an initial vaccine comes later this year. Redfield says the limited supply will be prioritized to begin with and getting back to normal will take
Tropical Storm Sally is plummeting parts of the Southern United States with high winds and destructive flooding. Sally made landfall earlier Wednesday
as a Category 2 hurricane. It has now weakened as it inches northeast from the Gulf Coast in Florida and Alabama. More than half a million homes and
businesses have lost power.
Japan's new prime minister is vowing to kickstart the world's third largest economy. Yoshihide Suga was elected by parliament on Wednesday, long-time
advisor to the outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's, also promising to contain the spread of coronavirus.
3M says that its ability to produce masks, in fact, the global ability to produce all masks from all manufacturers, is being vastly outstripped by
demand. And to make matters worse, in California, Oregon, on the west coast of the United States, there is also an increased demand for masks, because,
of course of the pollution from the wildfires. CNN's Poppy Harlow spoke to the chief executive about the demand and their ability to supply.
MIKE ROMAN, CEO, 3M: Even today, the demand for N95s is greater than not only our production capacity, but the entire industry.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Yes.
ROMAN: So, we're still facing a challenge to meet that demand. And we are working in partnership with other companies to look at ways that you can
ROMAN: -- N95s. We're also exploring ways to bring other kinds of respiratory solutions. We have disposable or reusable respirators which are
another solution. They can't meet all the demand either, but it's -- there are other things that we're doing to fight it from other angles.
HARLOW: I just wonder what the lesson is learned for the country going forward, right, if we have another pandemic? And if you think the U.S.
wasn't prepared for this, I mean, look how much was lacking in the national stockpile. Was that a failure of the administration and of Congress?
ROMAN: Well, I think what -- one of the lessons that's clearly already being learned is, investing in inventory and capacity. And it's --
ROMAN: -- public-private partnerships that are doing that, part of the investment in -- with the DOD, is to be able to have capacity to build an
inventory of N95s. It's also true, we're doing that in partnership with health care providers, making sure that they have sufficient inventory. And
it's -- so, it's -- there's a learning that's coming out of this pandemic that we broadly -- we were not ready for the demand.
HARLOW: Can you tell me about that moment when you found out how big this was going to be in your huge role as a company in it?
ROMAN: It was a very serious moment for us, a big responsibility, but something that we were ready for and passionate about. And I don't, you
know, I think it was -- I'm very proud of the way we stepped forward without hesitation. We --
ROMAN: We did things more quickly than we would in any other situation. We have 80 factories in 29 states. And we produce nearly everything we sell in
the U.S., in factories in the U.S., including our largest production of N95 respirators. We do that around the world. We produce locally for the
demand, locally. We have not offshored production to import back into the U.S. We've been able to manage to bring some capacity that we have
available around the world back into the U.S. and a significant amount to make a difference. And that's --
HARLOW: Right, you've been bringing some masks --
ROMAN: heard of being able to bring it --
HARLOW: -- from China, from Asia, back to the United States.
ROMAN: Right. And that's an opportunity to really bring our supply to the hotspots.
HARLOW: You've set a bellwether for the economy. Are you seeing good signs? Are you seeing a slowing?
ROMAN: Well, there's still a lot of uncertainty out there. That said, there have been encouraging signs. We've seen improvements in areas like
automobile builds. We've seen, I would say, strength in areas like home improvement and continued demand in areas like personal protective
equipment and biopharma filtration. So, it's -- we have seen sequentially, a momentum in the end markets.
QUEST: That's the CEO of 3M. Now, the situation facing, of course, the wildfires on the western coast of the United States. Now, L.A. Metro
service wants to help reduce emissions, whilst at the same time, of course, the smoke continues. And you have the problems of the pandemic. The Public
Transport Authority is considering free rides. The president of the L.A. Metro is Phil Washington. He joins me now. Mr. Washington, I can see the
free rides helps in the sense of people's pocket. But how does it help otherwise, surely free ride -- excuse me, just makes your budget even
PHIL WASHINGTON, PRESIDENT, LA METRO (via Skype): Well, first of all, Richard, thank you for having me on. What I have proposed as a study for
the possible elimination of Metro Transit fares, to our board of directors. And the idea behind this is understanding that the residents of L.A.
County, many of whom are below the poverty line, I can think of no better way to, you know, really provide them what I call a tax break for low
income Americans by going fairless on our system.
QUEST: Who picks up the shortfall? Because whether it be the London tube or the New York subway or any other transport for London, all those you'll be
familiar with, everybody in public transport is showing a massive shortfall in revenue. Central governments haven't necessarily said they're going to
step up. So, as you grapple not only with the increased costs of keeping your services moving, who makes up the difference?
WASHINGTON: Well, what we've asked and what I've directed our task force to do in a three-month Task Force, kind of, mission is to identify for us
funding opportunities to make up the gap through local, state and even federal, to really research what we can do. Also, research how we can
reprioritize things that is within our budget to create a fairless system. There's also a number of other challenges that we see. There is the --
WASHINGTON: -- house challenge. There are many, many more challenges.
WASHINGTON: So, this forces that work now to bring back those results.
QUEST: Phil, I, you know, the difficulties cannot be overstated. I mean, not only are you trying to run a public transport service in a pandemic,
now you have the additional problems, of course, of West Coast wildfires. With all the pollution and all the other issues, how difficult is it?
WASHINGTON: Well, it's very difficult, but I, you know, I have a good team here. We are still running our service. Typically, we move about 1.2
million people a day, that's pre COVID. We got down to a low of about 275,000 a day. Now, we're back up to almost 600,000 a day. And these are
essential workers. This is very important that we keep mobility moving. That we keep this economy me moving. So, those essential workers who
provide the foundation for our economy can get to work. Yes, it's difficult, but I have a good team and we are keeping things moving in the
largest county in America.
QUEST: Thank you, sir. I appreciate you taking time out of some very busy days to talk to us tonight on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Back in a moment.
WASHINGTON: Thank you, Richard.
QUEST: CNN "CALL TO EARTH," you're well familiar of the inspirational stories of what people are doing to help protect the environment and save
Planet Earth. Tonight, Emma Camp, who is a Rolex associate laureate, and the work that Emma is doing to protect the coral reefs.
DR. EMMA CAMP, MARINE BIOLOGIST, UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY SYDNEY: You live on the surface and you just see blue. But as soon as you put that mask on,
and you look underneath, you see this underwater city, there's all of these colors and different fishes. And for me, that just drew me in. It was this
whole underwater world that you wouldn't know. My name is Dr. Emma Camp, and I'm a marine biologist at the University of Technology Sydney.
CAMP: Climate change is doing lots of different pressures on coral reefs. One of the big ones is that the oceans are getting warmer. So, that's
making it harder for the corals to survive into the future. Also, the oceans are becoming more acidic. The oceans are getting less oxygen. As a
research community, we are at a point where we understand that time is running out for coral reefs, particularly in terms of their resilience to
And ultimately, this is really trying to buy time for coral reefs where we get climate action to where it needs to be. My focus has been looking at
corals that live in natural extreme environments. Because corals, we know, typically like really pristine, blue and crystal waters, but actually they
can also live in some really hostile, unusual places. For example, the mangrove lagoons where I spend a lot of my time, the waters naturally warm,
naturally acidic and has low oxygen conditions.
So, why study those corals that live there? What can we learn to try to help build resilience of the reef as a whole? To really understand how the
corals, behave in that environment, we started what we call transplantations. You move some of the corals from the mangroves to the
reef. And then for the same species of coral, we take some from the reef and bring them into the mangroves. And we look all of those parameters
again to see whether or not the resilient corals stay resilient when they moved out of the environment.
And also, whether the other corals can actually tolerate those extreme conditions or not. I think getting people to care about coral reef is a
challenge. A lot of people have never seen a coral reef and may never see a coral reef. So, I think the way that we have to approach this is through
education -- to better preserve -- explain to people what corals are, working out what the connection is that that person may have to a coral
reef to make them locomotive and to care.
I am hopeful for the future, that I'm also becoming increasingly concerned that time is running out. If we don't act in any of these critically
important ecosystems, not just coral reefs, but also the rain forests, and how coral regions are going to be degraded to a point where we actually
can't go back.
QUEST: My word. I do hope you found that as inspirational and interesting as I did, seeing coral reefs. And we'll have plenty more of those stories
with inspiring stories, CALL TO EARTH. And let me know what you're doing in this regard. It is #CallToEarth.
QUEST: Welcome back. The pandemic has not stopped some Michelin star chefs from trying to work out ways to keep their restaurants open. For instance,
Daniel Boulud, who is -- and turned New York his DKB -- his DBK into DBK terrorists or terrace on the menu, in terms of offerings at least 25 tables
outdoors, seven entrees, and a quarter of the usual staff.
So, why, at the same time, is he moving ahead on a new seafood restaurant in Midtown? It's called Le Pavillon. It's opening early next year, named
after the iconic former French restaurant. The chef is with me now via Skype. Chef Daniel is with me. It is always good to see you, sir. I'm
always glad to have you on QUEST.
DANIEL BOULUD, MICHELIN-STARRED CHEF AND RESTAURATEUR (via Skype): Thank you, Richard.
QUEST: Before we talk about the new --
BOULUD: Thank you.
QUEST: Before we talk about the new restaurant, tell me, the existing, you know, I know New York is now going to 25 percent indoor capacity --
QUEST: -- with your outdoor capacity. Many restaurants have said fine dining, that they can't make money at these sorts of numbers. It's just
BOULUD: And for me, I don't think the fine dining we used to run will be sustainable right now. But we have -- we have put (INAUDIBLE) cafe, and
that, of course, the price is half the price it used to be at Daniel. The seating capacity is barely half. So, not even less than half. But at least
we brought all the staff in proportion to try to be able to provide the service and the cuisine we're known for. But of course, it's not just
We know that New York City is not Miami or Palm Beach, for example, where we can have our terrace all year long. And the weather is getting colder.
And we worry about that and --
BOULUD: -- like all my colleagues all over North America, for sure.
QUEST: So, you've got the PPP. And we've had PPP once, you know, in terms of government help and PPP too. What are you going to need by way of
support as you go into what could be a long difficult winter?
BOULUD: I don't know. We are trying -- we're going to open 25 percent entire in two weeks, three weeks. We are trying to build under terrace, I'm
going to build the little cabanas which going to be warmer. So, at least, we can maintain a little bit of service outdoor still, for people who don't
want to come indoor. But I think we'll have all the good measure indoor to be able to welcome our guest indoor as well.
And we are looking also at rating maybe a little bit of a different mood, a different stage for the transitional time where we want to have, you know,
instead of fine dining --
BOULUD: -- you have to make it a little bit more fun dining. So, this way, you know, we have --
QUEST: So, why --
BOULUD: I have a lot of casual restaurant. So, I can adapt easily with that.
QUEST: Why a new restaurant? I know you want to grow the business. But why the investment in a new restaurant when everything is so uncertain? Was it
simply too late to put a stop on it?
BOULUD: Of course, we have been working on it for three years now. And I think Le Pavillon, which, in French, Le Pavillon mean a place where you go
to gather to celebrate, to party, to -- certainly, a pavilion is always located in a park or nearby a park with greenery. And I think the
restaurant there, despite the reference of an old restaurant in New York, who used to be the patio. I think the real reference is that we're going to
have a garden inside the restaurant. It has very high volume.
So, it's not really -- it's still indoor-outdoor, outdoor-indoor. And so, I think I'm looking forward to that, and it's going to be in 2021. And we
hope by then, we have a vaccine and the world will come back to normalcy or at least a better than now, for sure. But Le Pavillon is the project, new
tower and a beautiful project.
BOULUD: That's one time to build --
QUEST: I will be back in New York -- I will be back in New York in a couple of weeks, I will be coming to pay you a visit and we can talk more over.
And you say not fine dining at the moment, but I'm sure your offerings at your tables will certainly be tasty for dinner. Daniel, it is always good
to see you. Thank you, sir, for --
BOULUD: Thank you. I look forward to seeing you. Many thank you.
QUEST: Thank you. The markets that you -- I want to update you with the markets because the Fed decided that it obviously was going to leave rates
on hold, but it gave us the best indication of what it believes is going to happen in terms of the economy going forward. Now, it believes that
obviously, the economy is going to contract this year, but not by as much as previously thought. Maybe 6 percent, as opposed to 7-1/2 percent.
And the rate of unemployment at the end of the year could be seven percent, with getting down to four percent by 2023. As a result, interest rates are
on hold, but oh dear, oh dear. Well, that optimism. I wasn't expecting that. That optimism that we saw -- that took the market up several hundred
points has evaporated. And that's because the reality of the situation has now come home to roost. And now we're just at 45 points.
So, the Fed boost has bust, as they say. We'll take a short break. There'll be a PROFITABLE MOMENT on the other side. This is QUEST BASED BUSINESS
tonight from London. Good evening.
QUEST: All right. No PROFITABLE MOMENT. Instead, we're going to join Joe Biden, who is giving a speech and a talk on his plans for how he will
handle COVID vaccines.