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First Move with Julia Chatterley
More Shocking Evidence in Trump's Impeachment Trial; China's President Xi Tells President Biden Conflict would be a Disaster; Variants Versus Vaccines, a Stark Warning from Germany's Angela Merkel. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired February 11, 2021 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR, FIRST MOVE: Live from New York, I'm Julia Chatterley. This is FIRST MOVE and here is your need to know.
Trial of terror. More shocking evidence in Trump's impeachment trial.
China call. President Xi tells President Biden conflict would be a disaster.
And variants versus vaccines. A stark warning from Germany's Angela Merkel.
It's Thursday. Let's make a move.
Welcome once again to FIRST MOVE. Fantastic to have you with us this busy Thursday.
Just ahead, the latest on Donald Trump's trial, the jobs market tribulations, and to brighten things up a bit, the timelessness of toys.
The CEO of Mattel joins us later to talk growth, digitization as they race ahead with Hot Wheels and Toy of the Year, Barbie. You might not have
Now, from Hot Wheels to hot financial markets, the Dow expected to hit a fresh record at the open, fueled by the reflation rotation into sectors
like energy and financials as we have already discussed this week, but the real recovery is slowing.
And last week, a further 793,000 people filed for first-time jobless benefits. More than 20 million people are still collecting benefits of some
form, and many will lose critical aid in March without a fresh deal.
As Mary Daly, President of the San Francisco Fed told us yesterday, a financial bridge must be built for the most vulnerable. It was a message
echoed by the Fed Chair Jerome Powell yesterday. He said, quote, "A society-wide commitment is needed to get to back to full employment, and to
tackle financial inequalities."
He also thinks the U.S. unemployment rate, just as a marker is somewhere near 10 percent, much higher of course than the actual headline numbers. We
have long argued, it is not the only country, there are more help also needed in the Eurozone, too.
The E.U. lowering its 2021 growth projections as lockdowns persists. Officials also warning of a surge in bankruptcies and bad loans. It could
come when government support ends. The post-COVID future looks both promising, but also precarious at the same time.
Let's get right to our drivers. Impeachment prosecutors resumed their case against former President Donald Trump in a few hours' time after a day they
produced shocking evidence, previously unpublished surveillance video and audio recordings from the riot at the Capitol on January 6th, as Lauren Fox
LAUREN FOX, CNN POLITICS U.S. CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER (voice over): House prosecutors will finish arguments against former President Donald Trump
today after using the second day of the impeachment trial to lay out their case, giving the Senate jurors an unsettling replay of the deadly Capitol
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): The evidence will be for you to see and hear and digest. The evidence will show you that ex-President Trump was no innocent
FOX (voice over): The presentation including never before seen video providing a new view of the attack from both inside and outside.
House prosecutors using security footage, police body cameras and police radio audio as evidence.
OFFICER: But this is now effectively a riot.
REP. MADELEINE DEAN (D-PA): And so they came, draped in Trump's flag, and used our flag, the American flag to batter and to bludgeon and at 2:30, I
heard that terrifying banging on House chamber doors.
FOX (voice over): Watch the rioters searching the Capitol for former Vice President Mike Pence. This surveillance video showing the moment Secret
Service evacuated him down a stairwell.
REP. STACEY PLASKETT (D-VI): After President Trump had primed his followers for months and inflamed the rally goers that morning, it is no
wonder that the Vice President of the United States was the target of their wrath after Pence refused to overturn the election results.
Listen to this man explain.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pence lied to us. He's a total treasonous pig and his name will be mud forever. Now, the real battle begins.
FOX (voice over): And another displays of close encounter for Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and his security detail.
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): They came within just yards of rioters and had to turn around.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where are you, Nancy? We are looking for you.
FOX (voice over): The rioters also targeting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who was evacuated to an offsite location.
PLASKETT: We know from the rioters themselves that if they had found Speaker Pelosi, they would have killed her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOICE OF PELOSI STAFFER: They're with -- we need Capitol Police come into the hallway. They're pounding on the door trying to find her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOX (voice over): Her staff barricading themselves within a conference room within her office suite as insurrectionists searched for the House
PLASKETT: One of the rioters as you can see is throwing his body against the door three time until he breaks open that outer door.
Luckily, when faced with the inner door, he moves on.
FOX (voice over): And watch Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman approach Senator Mitt Romney in a hallway telling him to turn around to escape the
SWALWELL: You know how close you came to the mob, some of you, I understand you could hear them, but most of the public does not know how
close these rioters came to you.
FOX (voice over): Managers blaming Trump for the attack, pointing to some of his words in the months before the riots.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The only way -- the only way we can lose in my opinion is massive fraud.
REP. JOE NEGUSE (D-CO): These false claims about election fraud, that was the drum beat being used to inspire, instigate and ignite them, to anger
FOX (voice over): Many Republicans saying that while the rioters committed crimes, Trump did not.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): The not guilty vote is growing after today. I think most Republicans found the presentation by the House Managers
offensive and absurd.
FOX (voice over): Senate Democrats need 17 Republicans to join them. But for now, only five or six are likely to vote to convict Trump.
SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R-AK): The evidence that has been presented thus far is pretty damning, I just -- I don't see how Donald Trump could be re-
elected to the presidency again.
FOX (voice over): The House prosecutors also replaying Trump's rally speech on January 6th and slamming the former President for his silence as
rioters carried out the attack.
REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D-TX): Even when President Trump knew what his words were causing, he didn't do any of those things to stop the crowd. In fact,
he did the opposite, he fueled the fire.
CHATTERLEY: John Harwood joins us now. John, it's tough to remain unmoved, I think impossible actually when you watch that video.
But what's key here for the prosecution and for Donald Trump's defense is whether you can tie what is excruciating behavior, I think too, as the
banner just read, what the prosecution was trying to say was the inciter- in-chief here and former President Donald Trump.
JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, in theory that is the key for the prosecution, but in reality, Republican senators are so
desperate, Julia, to avoid a vote to convict that they will seize on the thinnest of justifications not to do so, it could be the trial is
unconstitutional, therefore, I can't listen and weigh the merits.
Or it could be, he didn't literally say, I want the members of the riot to stab somebody with a flag pole or gouge somebody's eyes out or kill a
police officer. They -- because a significant chunk of the Republican Party has been radicalized, because that radicalization has led them to
disconnect to some extent from democratic processes that's why you had a violent insurrection at the Capitol to overturn an election, that's why
Republican senators apart from the insurrection and Republican politicians around the country look to restrict the right to vote.
They think the political system is moving away from them and therefore, they are going to resist, under almost all circumstances, voting to convict
this President because their careers depend on it and the status of their base within the United States depends on it.
CHATTERLEY: I mean, what you're saying here is that if prosecution doesn't matter, the defense doesn't matter, the witnesses doesn't matter. The
jurors don't matter here. It simply comes down to Republicans and their decision in terms of politics.
John, whatever we get here, you can't help but look at that, and actually, I listen to myself saying it and think something is fundamentally broken
HARWOOD: Something is fundamentally broken here. The Republican Party is broken right now. You've got a party that is -- has a critical mass of
people within it who fear the country is moving away from them and they are determined to protect their place by any means necessary and these
Republican senators are standing with them.
HARWOOD: Whether the Republican senators share that fear or not, they know their careers depend on it and so as you put it, the outcome of this trial
doesn't really depend on the quality of the prosecution or the quality of the defense.
There may be a small increment of Republican senators capable of being moved. We saw Bill Cassidy, the senator from Louisiana, being moved the
other day by the arguments of constitutionally, but we have zero indication that there are anywhere close to the 17 needed to convict former President
Trump, whatever the quality of the evidence.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, and that's it. We'll see what today brings. John Harwood, thank you so much for that.
All right, meanwhile the administration keeps working, President Biden holding his first phone call as Commander-in-Chief with Chinese President
Xi Jinping. President Biden raised concerns over Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang; President Xi warned that the U.S. should act cautiously saying
those issues are China's internal affairs.
David Culver is live in Shanghai with more. David, no surprise perhaps, it has been three weeks since President Biden began the President of the
United States. He has waited to make this call.
He made calls to plenty of other world leaders, but this perhaps the most pivotal and no surprise, the Chinese response here.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Julia, and you look at the calls as they played out, of course, it was to Britain, to Canada and to
Japan, as you mentioned, then three weeks later it's to China.
And it obviously, it's not an introductory phone call. These two know each other when it was Vice President Biden, of course, they had many meetings
and talks. However, now, it's different. It's Commander-in-Chief. It is the President Biden with President Xi and it comes after four years of what has
been, the perhaps most strained relations between the U.S. and China.
And I look back to how the Trump presidency, the administration with President Trump and President Xi started and you have to even recall that
visit that President Trump had coming here to China, seeming to like the pomp and circumstance, of course that was followed by the trade war, the
tariffs that were imposed and a lot of other issues as you mentioned, namely human rights ones.
Now, it was under the Trump administration, more of a focus on the economy and perhaps a bit more on the military. We look now towards the Biden
administration, it is very possible that the focus is going to be heavily put on human rights issues, one of them that you mentioned in Xinjiang, the
far western region of China where you have widespread allegations of human rights abuses towards the Uighur ethnic minority, the Muslims.
And that is something that President Biden brought up in this phone call and he also brought up on the crackdown on the pro-democracy protest in
Hong Kong and of course, the rising tensions surrounding Taiwan.
All of those are responded with a lot of sensitivity from China's part. President Xi according to the state broadcasters, CCTV in Xinhua, saying
that that's China's business, those are domestic affairs, those are internal issues.
Julia, we heard that over and over, so that's continuing now into this new administration. It remains to be seen though what exactly action-wise the
Biden administration will take towards any of those issues, particularly human rights here.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, I think the message there is pretty clear in English or American, "butt out" quite frankly from the Chinese side.
CHATTERLEY: It was interesting to see some of the comments that were made by a senior administration official saying, look, we found merit in the
basic proposition of an intense strategic competition with China and the need to engage on this, but we found deep problems with the way in which
the Trump administration went about that competition, which I think is clear from many angles here, David.
What about as far as trade goes? Because the message seemed to be from the Biden administration, nothing will change at least in the short term?
CULVER: Something you and I have been talking about a lot. I mean, you go back January of last year of 2020, that's when that Phase 1 of the trade
deal was signed. It was January 14th-15th depending on the time zone you were in, and shortly thereafter, of course the outbreak, so COVID changed
But it does seem as though the Biden administration is going to keep the tariffs in place, but it is not only the tariffs we are talking about,
Julia, as you well know, we are also talking about the intense pressure that's been put on Chinese companies, everything from Huawei to SMIC to
Sino, so those are as of now are going to stay in place.
The Biden administration and President Biden himself, seeming to not want to praise the Trump administration for putting those in place, but as you
mentioned, not rolling them back just yet.
And it is interesting because you look at the strategy here, and something you and I have looked at over the past several months, and that is that
perhaps this does not put the Biden administration in a corner, so much as giving them leverage now to deal with China.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. David Culver, as always, fantastic to have you on the show. Thank you. David Culver there.
CULVER: Thanks, Julia.
CHATTERLEY: All right, let me bring you up to speed now with some of the stories that are making headlines around the world.
Myanmar's military ruler urging people to get off the streets and get back to work. Doctors, teachers, railway employees and many others have joined
growing demonstrations against the coup that toppled Aung San Suu Kyi's government.
Protesters turned out for a sixth straight day on Thursday.
The President of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee is set to resign on Friday according to Japanese media after he made sexist remarks. At a
Board meeting last week, Yoshiro Mori suggested that women talk too much. The organizing committee isn't commenting on the reports.
All right, still to come here on FIRST MOVE, Serbia's vaccine variety, the country offer citizens a choice of vaccines as it races ahead on rollout.
We've got the Prime Minister talking us through these schemes and plans.
And the big business of child's play: Mattel sees sales surge as parents seek COVID secure ways to entertain their kids. The CEO joins us later this
hour. Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE live from New York where U.S. stocks look set to rise to fresh records.
Stimulus hopes offsetting stressing new jobless numbers. Almost 800,000 people filing for first time benefits last week.
PepsiCo is higher pre-market after a profiting revenue beat. It is hiking its dividend by five percent, too, and sounding optimistic on 2021.
Suddenly, corporates feeling positive enough to give guidance. Pepsi and Coke have been laggards so far this year, perhaps on fears that
entertainment venues might take longer than expected to fully reopen.
Vaccine makers are more than doing their part though. AstraZeneca saying today it hopes to ramp up production to more than 200 million doses per
month by April of this year.
Not too be outdone, Merck says it is discussing ways to produce other firms' vaccines after dropping plans to develop their own. Teva
Pharmaceuticals say it could co-produce vaccines, too. More good news.
CHATTERLEY: Let's turn now to vaccine rollouts, delays and supply shortages have hit nations worldwide but one nation, Serbia, is well and
truly racing ahead. It now has the highest vaccination rate in Europe after the U.K. and citizens can even choose between three different vaccines.
And I am pleased to say, joining us now, Ana Brnabic, she is the Prime Minister of Serbia.
Prime Minister, fantastic to have you on the show. Thank you so much for joining us.
ANA BRNABIC, SERBIAN PRIME MINISTER: Thank you for the invitation. It's great to be with you, at least online.
CHATTERLEY: Absolutely. Congratulations, as I mentioned, on your vaccine rollout. Just begin by explaining the moment you decided not to wait
around, to wait for help, simply to go it alone and talk to not only the U.S. vaccine makers, but also China and Russia, too.
BRNABIC: Well, I have to say, very, very early on, we have in Serbia made the decision to treat obviously the vaccine procurement as a key priority
for our country and it was an effort actually led by the President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic with the support from myself as the
Prime Minister and the entire government actually.
And we decided to go directly into negotiations with the different producers, not treating this as a geopolitical issue, but treating it as
what it is and that is a healthcare issue, and try to get the vaccines as soon as possible to Serbia, which is why we were actually one of the first
countries in the world to sign a contract with Pfizer and we were the second country in Europe to get Pfizer vaccines delivered already mid-
December after the U.K.
But we were also one of the first countries to sign a contract with Chinese Sinopharm and the first country to actually receive Sinopharm vaccines and
start a mass immunization campaign.
So we treated -- decided to treat it completely as a key priority for our country and our citizens and the second part of that success story, I
think, is did digitization.
We have placed digitization of all of our public services as kind of key priority in the government's work about four years ago, which helped us
very quickly have a very, I would say, collaborative information system based on the artificial intelligence which makes the whole process very
easy for citizens, very transparent and for us easy to manage.
CHATTERLEY: I mean, there's so much in there, and I'll come back to your second point, which I agree is a critical factor here and we've seen that
around the world, which is digitization and making this simple and providing access.
But I want to go back to the first point that you made and you said, "We chose to see this not as a geopolitical issue, but as a health issue." And
I just want to explore that a little bit.
There will be people that look at this for a couple of reasons and say, this is a geopolitical issue when you're talking about perhaps getting
favors, doing deals with nations like Russia or China, particularly as an E.U. accession country. How do you see that? How do you view that?
BRNABIC: Well, again, I don't want to even participate in those conversations. I really believe that vaccination is a number one issue for
people around the globe right now and it's an issue of saving lives, it has nothing to do with politics or geopolitics.
And again, I mean, as an E.U. accession country, our strategic focus is to become an E.U. member. I would say that you know, we participated in all of
the E.U. efforts to get the vaccine and develop the vaccine.
So as a small country, we have donated 2.1 million euros through European Commission for the development of the vaccine for the benefit of all of us.
We are also part of the World Health Organization COVAX mechanism, but we thought it would be prudent that we start negotiations with all other
producers and as I said, you know, we are the first country to get -- the first vaccines to arrive to Serbia were the Pfizer vaccines.
But you know, in our view, Sinopharm vaccines, Chinese vaccines and Sputnik Russia vaccines, you know, they are safe. They are effective and that is
the only thing that matters to us and by the end of this month, we are going to have to get a first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines as well.
BRNABIC: So we are doing everything whatever can to make sure that our people are immunized as soon as possible and that we are safe and that the
economy and the life goes back to normal as soon as possible.
CHATTERLEY: As we all do. Just on your point though about the E.U., are you relieved in some way, and it's strange choice of words, but relieved
that actually, you weren't already in the E.U. because it is fascinating that both you and the U.K. actually are managing to do this far quickly,
simply because you negotiated alone rather than collectively as the E.U. did, and they have obviously struggled.
BRNABIC: I can't really say that. I mean, you know, there are many, many benefits that E.U. member countries have that we unfortunately do not have,
including the budget support, the financial support for the recovery after COVID-19.
So, you know, at this particular point in time, I just think that everyone needed to have a little bit of a different approach, and not just the E.U.,
I think worldwide.
I think what was supposed to happen is that, you know, that multilateralism was supposed to kick in. Everyone say what their priority needs are, see --
you know, we all sit down and see where the production facilities and what we do we all need to do in order to support the production and increase the
capacities of those productions.
So, again, you know, I think -- I think at the end of the day, the E.U. will do good and, you know, perhaps it was a late start, but I'm sure that,
you know, it will come out stronger.
CHATTERLEY: You know what, it is fascinating and you mentioned it, the platform that you've produced allows people to choose which vaccine they
You also said, look, they are safe, all of them are safe in our view. People can effectively get what they choose, and I know different members
of your government took the different vaccines to make that point.
What are you seeing from the Serbian people? Are they specifically going for one vaccine or another? Or are they simply just grateful to get a
vaccine as soon as possible?
BRNABIC: The greatest majority of people are basically saying that they would -- they are applying for vaccines, whatever vaccine we have, and
obviously all of them need to be safe and that, we are following very closely the registration process of those vaccines in their home countries,
but also throughout the world including the World Health Organization or E.U.
So you know, we were -- our own local agency registered Pfizer a day after F.D.A. registered it in the U.S., or a couple of days before I think E.U.
registered Pfizer, so we are closely following the -- you know, we are trying to be very, very safe, you know, have kind of almost double or
So we are waiting for someone to go ahead and register the vaccine first and then we also in parallel look at the paperwork and the samples and we
register it ourselves, so our citizens know that it's safe.
And predominantly, they are applying to get any of the vaccine that is currently available. Chinese Sinopharm vaccine right now is also very, very
popular, but that is also due to the fact that we have the most of the Chinese vaccines.
Last night, I was waiting for a plane with 500,000 Chinese vaccines, but it depends. I mean, Sputnik, Pfizer, you know, different people select
different options, and as I said, soon enough we'll have AstraZeneca as well.
So you know, what's important is that they get vaccinated and not which vaccine they use.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, and you've moved incredibly swiftly. I was just looking at your current situation with COVID, and I just want to get your sense
very quickly, because I look down your restrictions and they are a lot less restrictive actually than many other nations, and yet, you've managed to
keep your COVID cases on a relative basis per proportion of the population pretty much the same as the E.U. and the United States. How are you
BRNABIC: To be perfectly honest, I don't know. I mean, you know, we are trying very hard to carefully balance between the economy, but also, you
know, the psychology of the people, of the citizens that had enough of the restrictions, but also balance it with health measures.
BRNABIC: And thus far, we are succeeding. I think people are quite disciplined. I think also the employers in the restaurants and coffee shops
and cafes and bar are trying very hard to do their bit because they appreciate the fact that they can work, you know, they have perhaps, you
know, more restrictive hours of working, but they still work.
So they are helping us with those measures and I think that's providing results. But, again, from the very, very early on, I mean, firstly, we had
some of the most restrictive measures in the world. But then we figured out --
CHATTERLEY: And November was clearly a torrid time, we saw that on the chart, too.
BRNABIC: And from then on, we were just trying very, very hard to balance work and life with the health measures and, you know, discussing this on a
daily basis, but on an hourly basis I would say. You know --
CHATTERLEY: Prime Minister, I have to stop you there because I have to take a break. But I can't tell you how refreshing it is to hear a Prime
Minister, say, "I don't know" and we are taking it day by day and we're just going to work on it.
Prime Minister, fantastic to chat with you. Thank you so much. Come back and talk with us soon and congratulations again.
The Prime Minister of Serbia.
BRNABIC: Thank you much.
CHATTERLEY: Thank you.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. U.S. stocks are open for trade and are in the green. There are lots to watch today including Disney after the
closing bell. Shares in fact, up more than seven percent this week, close to record highs in anticipation of good numbers and of course, the Disney
Plus streaming service.
Can't forget crypto though, also in the cumulus. Bitcoin near record highs on news that more established firms are embracing digital currencies, as
you can see up near six percent.
CHATTERLEY: BNY Mellon the oldest U.S. bank announcing today it will offer Bitcoin services to its asset management clients. It says digital assets
have now become part of the main stream. Alicia Levine said as much earlier this week, too.
MasterCard announcing yesterday that it will allow its merchants to accept payments in crypto soon, too. Wow. There are a lot of change in the space
of a few short weeks.
Back to Earth, a little bit though with Uber. Its shares lower after reporting an almost $7 billion loss for 2020. It is narrower than the
previous year though, they are focusing on the moneymakers like food delivery, selling off other businesses like the flying taxis.
The delivery business in fact, now almost as big as its ride-hailing part of the business.
To toys now, and those that we all grew up with, these are the Mattel power house brands like Barbie, Hot Wheels racing cars and Fisher-Price early
learning toys, now add in film and television content like "Courtney: An American Girl Movie," as well as digital offering, gaming and music, and
you can see why Mattel delivered a smashing fourth quarter.
A lot of stay-at-home parents are buying toys to keep their kids busy, helping Barbie to keep her crown as the top toy in the world.
Ynon Kreiz is the CEO of Mattel, and he joins us now. And I am not joking, Hot Wheels, and great to have you with us, Ynon. It was a real hit. Barbie,
Toy of the Year. Now, some people might not believe that but it's true.
Ynon, can you hear me? There I was getting all excited. We seem to be having a few technical issues there. We are going to take a quick break and
see if we can get him back up.
As you can see, I am revved up to have this conversation. Stay with us. We are going to try and get him back.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. No more playing around, fingers crossed, Ynon Kreiz is the CEO of Mattel and he joins me now. Ynon, can you
YNON KREIZ, CEO, MATTEL: Yes, I can hear you. Hi, Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Fantastic. Great. Great to have you with us. Just before the break, I was doing an introduction, talking about your earnings, talking
about Hot Wheels and Barbie and the fact that was the Toy of the Year in 2020.
A lot of people staying at home and finding ways to entertain their children in more traditional ways. Talk us through it.
KREIZ: Well, this was an outstanding quarter for the company with our best performance in years, with strong demand by consumers and another milestone
year for Mattel.
For the second consecutive quarter, we achieved double-digit sales increase and achieved the highest fourth quarter growth in 15 years. This was a very
large performance in profitability with fully operating income that was 2.5 times higher than last year.
But this is not just about the quarter or the year, it is about a multiyear strategy that is progressing very well which puts us in an excellent
position to continue to increase profitability and accelerate our growth this year and beyond.
CHATTERLEY: I mean, you've got all sort of things going on, and to your point, this is a part of a broader transformation, a shift to digitization.
You recognized that online would have to play a pivotal role and I was just looking at the numbers, I think online sales now are more than a third of
all global sales?
KREIZ: That's right. We have performed very strongly in our online retail and ecommerce, continue to maintain our momentum. E-commerce grew in the
fourth quarter by over 40 percent and for the full year, by over 50 percent, and as you said, it now represents over a third of our global
We actually ended up being the number one manufacturer in e-commerce in the U.S. in the fourth quarter and grew our e-commerce share in the U.S. in the
fourth quarter and the full year, so very strong performance there.
CHATTERLEY: Do you think you can sustain that?
KREIZ: We're very confident about our momentum. If you look at what we have achieved over the last three years, you're seeing consistent delivery
of our strategy.
We achieved growth for the second year in a row. Our EBITDA increased by $600 million in three years. Our gross margin improved for 10 consecutive
quarters for a total of more than -- 1,100 basis points in three years.
So very strong consistent performance, consistent execution of our strategy and we believe we're going to accelerate our momentum and continue to grow
at a large scale.
CHATTERLEY: I mean, you've got, as I said, a lot going on. You're taking same of the very familiar brands. UNO, I remember playing it growing up and
But your background also in TV media and you're taking some of those brands that everybody recognizes and promoting movies, putting on TV. I believe
you've got up to 50 different sort of TV visual projects going on as well. This is part of expanding and transforming the brands, too.
KREIZ: Exactly. We own one of the strongest catalogues of children and family entertainment franchises in the world, and we have a tremendous
opportunity to take our grants and extend them beyond the toy aisles.
So we announced 11 motion picture projects already. We have more -- we have 17 television shows in production and more than 25 projects in development.
We recently announced the UNO film. There is an UNO game show, a whack-a- mole game show that we recently announced and we continue to expand our library in these new verticals, and this is a very exciting opportunity. It
is part of our mid to long-term strategy, but it is already tracking well and gaining a lot of momentum.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, you're a future-forward CEO, and in that vein, I am going to be asking every CEO this, because we are spending an extraordinary
amount of time talking about digital currencies. Any plans at Mattel to take some of the cash on the balance sheet and invest in digital assets
like Bitcoin? Do you have a view on this, sir? And I'm smiling as I say it.
KREIZ: Well, we a lot of opportunity to invest in our own operations, our own brands, and this is what we are doing. This is the journey we're on.
If you look at our performance and how we continue to outpace the industry, both in the third quarter and in the fourth quarter, and the full year,
this is driven by own assets, our own brands that still -- we believe still at an early stage of how far they can go.
So we have a lot of opportunities for internal investments.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, your own business is strong enough that you don't need to diversify at this stage, I think that's the message.
KREIZ: That's right.
KREIZ: Yes, still a lot of momentum. A lot of momentum ahead of us.
CHATTERLEY: Congratulations on the results. Sir, come back and speak to us soon. Ynon Kreiz, the CEO of Mattel there. Sir, thank you.
KREIZ: Thank you, Julia.
CHATTERLEY: We're back after this. Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. When 20-year-old student, Alex Kearns wrongly believed he owed nearly three-quarters of a million dollars
on the Robinhood trading app, he tried to contact them, and when he was unable to get support, he committed suicide. His parents are now suing
Robinhood claiming it lures investors to take big risks without guidance.
Matt Egan talked to them about their experience.
MATT EGAN, CNN BUSINESS SENIOR WRITER: Is there any doubt in your mind that Robinhood is to blame for your son taking his own life?
DAN KEARNS, FATHER OF ALEX KEARNS: What we feel is that if he had been able to get ahold of somebody that he would be alive today.
He had no training. He had no income. He had no qualifications to make those sophisticated trades.
TEXT: 20-year-old Alexander Kearns died of suicide after seeing a -$730, 165.00 balance on his Robinhood account.
EGAN: And can you take us through what happened?
DAN KEARNS: As best we can put together, he was trading a spread and he got assigned and that assignment apparently -- well, it triggered a margin
call e-mail that he got at 3:00 in the morning for $170,000.00.
As far as the screen goes, I have no idea how they show a minus 730 cash balance. I think that's just a user interface error that Robinhood has
EGAN: So he didn't actually owe $730,000.00?
DAN KEARNS: No, he did not.
EGAN: So, he tried to reach out to Robinhood, did he have any success?
DAN KEARNS: No, he didn't. He did try three times. Not much difference now, but their motto at the time was exclusively e-mail. He just got canned
EGAN: Robinhood has made a series of steps to try and approve its platform, including providing guidance to options customers, updating how
it displays buying power and providing more voice support for its customers. What is your reaction to those changes?
DAN KEARNS: I think, those are all great, but it doesn't take anything to just begin trading options right from the get-go. So where are the
guardrails, I guess is my answer back to that? And where is the phone support? Those are two crucial items that I think they need.
EGAN: Some might argue that your son was ultimately responsible for the investment decisions he made, not the app, what do you say to those people?
DOROTHY KEARNS, MOTHER OF ALEX KEARNS: I think it would be different if he made the investment decisions and he lost a lot of money based on those
decisions and he took his life, it would still be tragic, we would not be here today doing that interview because that would have been his fault.
I don't think the decisions that he has made were really poor choices. The outcome was poor, but I think if he would have gotten a response from
Robinhood or if there was any type of disclaimer on that screen, it wouldn't have been a problem.
DAN KEARNS: In the suicide note, he cited this is the reason for what he was doing. He also said, he didn't want to die. He made that perfectly
clear and expressed his regret for having to do what he ultimately did. It is almost like he martyred himself just to save us from what he thought
would be a huge financial burden, which of course isn't the case.
TEXT: "We were devastated by Alex Kearns' death. Since June, we've made improvements to our options offering ... We remain committed to making
Robinhood a place to learn and invest responsibly." Robinhood statement.
CHATTERLEY: And Matt joins us now. Matt, it is heartbreaking, whichever way you look at this and we can't take away from that.
You asked some very important questions there. You can democratize access to finance, but the education is key, too and it is where the
responsibility lies from these platforms versus as an individual to know what you're doing when you're trading complex tools.
EGAN: Yes, Julia, this tragedy really does put a human face on some of the potential dangers of this free-trading boom that Robinhood has helped set
You know, to your point, their goal -- Robinhood's goal is a noble one. They want to democratize investing. And when you think about the inequality
problems that the world faces right now, when you think about how many people missed out on the last bull market, that is a good thing, but there
are risks here.
I mean, they have made it cheap and easy to use sophisticated financial instruments like options which is what Alex Kearns was using.
And the family's lawsuit argues that Robinhood has not provided the necessary customer support nor education that is needed to support these
novice investors. I mean, they say that Robinhood designed its app to look like a video game and that's a way to lure younger users and to minimize
real world risk.
Now, to be fair, Robinhood has made some real changes since this tragedy happened in June. They've stepped up the requirements for how much
experience investors need. They have stepped up education as well.
But, you know, Alex Kearns' dad, he tweeted -- Dan Kearns tweeted out this morning that he really wants to draw attention to what he sees as
operational issues around Robinhood.
He said, quote, "We hope to make a difference and be a change agent." So, Julia, let's hope that this tragedy is a wake-up call to investors, to the
brokerage industry at large, and of course, the regulators.
CHATTERLEY: I couldn't agree more. I couldn't have said it better, Matt, I absolutely agree, and we will watch this very closely. And of course,
irrespective of the outcome of that, our hearts are with his family, his parents there.
Good job. Matt Egan, thank you for shedding light on that.
All right, a strong new warning over coronavirus mutations and variants. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is saying the newly emerging variants risk
wiping out, quote, "the successes" achieved by vaccinations.
Cyril Vanier joins us live with more. So you see this and you immediately sit up and listen in. What more did Angela Merkel say and what did she mean
CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the German Chancellor is very worried, Julia, because as she put it, Germany, like many other European
nations is fighting three aggressive mutations of the virus by which she undoubtedly means the variants first identified in the U.K., in South
Africa and in Brazil.
Now on the one hand, you actually look at Germany's COVID numbers at the moment and they are good. They have about 10,000 infections a day or less,
which is down from 20,000 to 30,000 they had at the beginning of the year.
So, the partial, but strict national lockdown that they have been under since mid-December has worked. It has already been extended multiple times
and it was extended again yesterday until at least March 7th.
On the one hand, you look at those numbers and you think, well, Germany's situation is good.
On the other hand, Angela Merkel is warning we have this new threat, these new variants that are spreading with experts warning that they may become
the dominant variants before long, and we know that these are more transmissible than the previous iterations of COVID.
So what the German Chancellor does not want to do is lift the restrictions too soon so that all the efforts that the Germans have put in since mid-
December, where they saw all nonessential businesses closed, so that all of those efforts had been in vain. That is the situation Angela Merkel was
explaining in her speech she wants to avoid -- Julia.
CHATTERLEY: And what about the restrictions, very quickly, Cyril because I know she wanted to maintain those restrictions and has long been pushing
for tighter ones. How will it play out?
VANIER: Well, there's a back and forth between her and the regional governments because Germany is a Federal state. So one of the major issues
We understand that Angela Merkel would have liked to see those stay closed, but actually, it is going to be a local decision from the regional
governments and they will start reopening region by region starting February 22nd.
VANIER: And then reopenings -- well, from March 7th, if and when this national lockdown actually ends on that day and is not extended once again,
then retail will be able to open -- will be able to reopen gradually as will museums.
It is all going to be very gradual. It is all going to depend on the prevalence of the virus. The government wants to get it at less than 50,000
-- I beg your pardon, let me get this right -- 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants -- Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, and they have brought it right down, but it is just that little extra to go and people just have to hang on in there.
Cyril Vanier, great to have you with us. Thank you for that.
All right, that's it for the show. I'm Julia Chatterley. Stay safe as always.
"Connect the World" is up next with an interview with the Irish Prime Minister, the Taoiseach, Micheal Martin.
Stay with us. Don't move a muscle. That's up next.