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First Move with Julia Chatterley
Reddit Redux as Meme Stocks Set to Rally Again Thursday; Progress Being Made in the Vaccine Race; Australia Passes Law Requiring Big Tech to Pay for News. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired February 25, 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: GameStop shares surge once more.
Vaccines versus variants. Moderna and Pfizer trialing adaptive serums against new variants.
And status update. Big Tech must now pay for news content in Australia.
It's Thursday, let's make a move.
A warm welcome once again to all our First Movers around the globe on what could be another meme-orable day on Wall Street.
Take a look at this. GameStop, the troubled video game retailer up more than 63 percent premarket after rising over 100 percent in the last hour of
It follows news earlier this week that the company's CFO was either forced out or simply stepped down. I feel compelled to point out, not that you
need it that this is not a normal share price reaction to that kind of news. This is not normal either.
This rally was perhaps in part fueled by activist Board member, Ryan Cohen tweeting out a picture of a McDonald's cup and an ice cream cone. Confused?
So am I.
Here's a bit of context here. GameStop shares are nowhere near the lofty peaks of one month ago. That said, other meme stocks like AMC, the cinema
chain, Blackberry and Koss headphones have been perking up, too, as you can see to varying degrees.
Are we looking for the return of the Redditeers? You remember the social media platform chat stocks, perhaps. But Wall Street meanwhile was unfazed
The NASDAQ bouncing almost one percent and the Dow closing at fresh record highs, a bit of consolidation going on today as global bond yields move
higher once again.
Asia, though added to gains. South Korea, higher, more higher actually, than the losses that it made on Wednesday's session. U.K. stocks higher,
too. The investors are bracing for a potential corporation tax hike when the government unveils its new budget next week.
Money needs to be raised of course, to pay for COVID financial relief.
Speaking of COVID relief, the U.S. House expected to pass Biden's aid package tomorrow and then pass it over to the U.S. Senate. New numbers
justifying that requirement and need once more, another 730,000 Americans filing for first time jobless benefits last week, so we go from the jobless
jolt to the Reddit redux.
Let's get to the drivers.
Christine Romans joins me now. I know, I can hear you sighing already, and I'm sighing with you, but I'll let you do it first.
I'll tell you what, you know, if you're a retail CEO or perhaps even a CEO in the airlines space at the moment, you'd be looking at your CFO and
thinking, if he steps down or I remove him, perhaps my stock will rally 160 percent in the space of three days. I'm joking, it wouldn't. This is
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It's not a normal reaction. And you know, in this story, you have to peel away all
of this sort of like hype, you know, message board hype to find what is the fundamental that maybe they're trying to hold on to here. A CFO leaving?
The idea of hiring an executive search firm to find the appropriate candidate to maybe help with the digital transformation of the company?
Remember, it is a company that has been going through a painful restructuring, closing underperforming stores and sort of changing its
business model to satisfy the 21st Century gamer, 21st Century consumer of these sorts of consumer products and gaming products.
So I can see the fundamental in there, but the reaction is just not appropriate for that. It shows you the hysteria, the froth and the rumor
that are involved with some of these stocks.
You know, GameStop meme stock. It's not the overall market. Maybe it's kind of indicative of froth in the overall market, but this is a whole new beast
in and of itself.
You and I have talked about it before and it reminds me so much of the movie, "The Wolves of Wall Street" where you have people with great
enthusiasm and a full mind who are driving up the price of a stock and in many cases for just no reason whatsoever.
You know, how do we know what is happening here? Certain people are profiting on it and pulling novice investors into the game. That is what I
really, really worry about here.
It's these memes of rocket ships and diamond hands that suddenly are some sort of subliminal signal to buy a stock. That is not fundamental investing
in the stock market. That's gambling in my view.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, let's melt to some of the hype in that, that melting ice cream, quite frankly, an activist investor, a Board member of GameStop
tweeting out pictures like that, I mean, it is very reminiscent of Elon Musk, but Elon Musk is an entirely different character and a different
Yes, I think we all just need to take a step back and try and add some professional behavior here.
ROMANS: Have you seen anything like it though? I can't remember a parallel, though. I'm trying to remember in market -- recent market history
a parallel to something like this. You know, just regular people driving up a stock with maybe no fundamental backing whatsoever.
CHATTERLEY: There's no finance textbook that taught me how to interpret these kind of trading signals, quite frankly, Christine Romans.
You know, I spoke to Tom Steyer yesterday, billionaire and obviously, Democratic presidential candidate in 2020 and he said, all of this,
Bitcoin, the meme stock rallies, it is all a rebellion against institutions, against younger generation saying institutions have let them
down. Congress has let them down.
Whatever it is, they don't believe in the institutions in the United States anymore, and I look at what we saw from some of the big, big American CEOs
yesterday saying get the stimulus bill done and it reminds me once again as we look at the job numbers and these -- more people -- thousands more
people asking for benefit support, Congress can't let them down.
ROMANS: You know, and I look at the number that you showed at the beginning of your show, 730,000 first time unemployment filings. You add in
the pandemic unemployment filing, it's more like 1.2, sure that's better than what it was, but it's maybe held back by weather in Texas and audits
in other states.
I mean, there could be reasons why it fell a little bit, and just for a minute here, you know, in Economics and Statistics, you talk about the
level and the direction, the rate of change.
You know, the level here is so big I think it almost makes the small changeover week, you know, just irrelevant. I mean, 730,000 people --
workers filing for the first time for unemployment benefits.
Nineteen million who are receiving some sort of wage replacement from the government; checks from the government for 19 million people. To me that is
just mind-boggling every week.
And I know that maybe some in Congress look at it as a number salad, you know, it's just more of the same of this number salad. It is not. This is a
Record highs in the Dow, a housing market that's still hot although we'll see what happens with rising interest rates on the housing market. You had
the split screen in America where people with the job and with money have had a fantastic year except for the worries about COVID and health.
You have the other part of America that is working a job that maybe is affected by COVID or they have lost a job. They're worried about their
health, their bills, their kids going to school, I mean, it is a real, real one America against another America kind of picture that I see here and
that is what -- that's what Congress needs to be laser focused here on.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. Reality checks all around, I think, in that conversation. Christine, great to have you with us.
ROMANS: Nice to see you.
CHATTERLEY: All right, more on the GameStop rally later in the show when we speak to the cofounder of Thinknum, a company that's helping large and
smaller investors monitor social media to find out where the Reddit crowd is headed next. We will have to see what the algorithm thinks of the ice
cream cone and we'll leave that there for now.
All right, progress is being made in the vaccine race. The Johnson & Johnson jab could be available in the United States as early as next week.
Meanwhile, Moderna has produced an updated vaccine to combat the South African variant with clinical studies about to begin.
CNN medical analyst, Dr. Jonathan Reiner joins us now. Dr. Reiner, great to have you on the show.
The Johnson & Johnson news is great, but I want to set that aside. Phenomenal work being done by these vaccine creators on adjusting their
serums to try and tackle some of these worrying variants.
DR. JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Yes. If you think about it, the whole vaccine production has been done at just unprecedented break-neck
This new sort of booster shot adjusted for the variant created by Moderna was created in 30 days. So from design to addressing the new variant
structure to delivery to the N.I.H. to begin clinical trials in 30 days. Design, manufacture, delivery. Amazing.
And I think we have, you know this new technology is very, very adaptable. This is what we're going to see going forward. I think we'll see yearly
booster shots, which like yearly flu shots are custom tailored to the coronavirus variants that are prevalent.
And this is -- this is the way we will adapt.
CHATTERLEY: So we have a benchmark level of immunity that's provided by the initial vaccines that they have created and then, exactly to your
point, they look at what variant they think is going to be most prevalent in any given year and they give people the booster for that year.
REINER: Yes. And I think people should feel very reassured by that. There is data that now suggests that if you have been vaccinated for the original
--what we call wild type of virus, and you -- or you actually had that virus that even if you acquire one of these new maybe more aggressive
variants, you're probably protected from severe illness or death on the basis of your baseline immunity.
And we know that for some of these variants, particularly the U.K. B.1.1.7 variant, the RNA vaccines are still quite good and very, very effective at
preventing infection or illness.
But we will need to be vigilant and continue to increase our genomic surveillance to find these variants and if necessary, create vaccines to
CHATTERLEY: And just very quickly on that point, because there might be people out there saying, well, I have had the AstraZeneca shot or I've not
had one of the messenger RNA vaccines which is of course Moderna and Pfizer. What's the likelihood of being able to take a booster shot that's
from a Moderna or a Pfizer so the mRNA base from even if you've had an initial vaccine from one that isn't the same?
REINER: Yes, we'll learn about that in clinical studies. There are basically going to be several ways to do this with a dedicated booster
shot, with giving another shot of whatever vaccine you already received or maybe even with what we call a multivalent vaccine which is basically
targeted at multiple virus variants.
So there will be a lot of innovation and new vaccines a year from now than there are right now.
CHATTERLEY: Just incredible science. It's fascinating, isn't it? Thirty days to create this adjusted serum as well. It's just phenomenal.
I have never been so excited to read updates from the "New England Journal of Medicine" as well but obviously the Israelis have been so quick about
getting vaccines out that we're starting to get a sense of just how potent these vaccines are now in the real world.
And great news from that peer reviewed study, not only about the potency or the efficacy of vaccines, but also potentially on one of the critical
issues which is prevention of transmission. Dr. Reiner, what do you think on this?
REINER: Yes. So, you know, Israel has vaccinated an enormous proportion of their country, more than half of the Israeli population has been
vaccinated, and now that gives us a giant real-world laboratory to understand in the real world how well the vaccines works.
So, in "The New England Journal" now, we see a study from Israel and they have a very, very well-developed electronic medical record database, a
study of over 600,000 Israelis vaccinated. What we see is very reassuring.
The data out of Israel shows that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine -- and this is an environment that has a lot of the U.K. B.1.1.7. variant was 94
percent effective at preventing illness and 92 percent effective at preventing severe illness which exactly parallels the results from the much
smaller 40,000 patient clinical trial.
So, we know in the real world, with the more aggressive variants that this vaccine is super effective. Very, very reassuring.
And we are also seeing that these vaccines do also in large measure prevent transmission of the virus. So we're not just preventing illness, we're also
preventing acquisition and transmission and this is what we're going to need to actually put this fire out more completely and get back to our
CHATTERLEY: Absolutely. That's the news that we are really waiting for. Dr. Reiner, great to have you on the show. Thank you so much for joining us
REINER: Thank you.
CHATTERLEY: All right. Australia has passed the law that led to the feud with Facebook, the social media network and Google will now pay for news
that appears on the platforms. Facebook's initial opposition to the law led it to block news on its site.
Brian Stelter joins me now. And the scramble now continues to try and reestablish those news, but with caveats, Brian.
You and I said this is not just about Australia. The E.U. is normally first on the front foot as far as regulation is concerned. The United States also
watching this very closely at least from what you're hearing it seems.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes, in Australia, we will see news publishers restored by this weekend. Facebook says, those links
are coming back online and it admits, it went too far by removing police and fire and rescue and health information as well in the midst of the
standoff with the Australian government.
But now that's in the past. The Australian bill has passed the Parliament and it has become law and other countries and parts of the globe are going
We know in Canada, in France, in Germany and in the United States, there's real interest in following up on this.
Facebook says it wants to work with publishers. Now, that's code for we want to strike financial deals with you, but on our terms. We do not want
to be forced into it by government regulation.
So Facebook said overnight that it is in talks with publishers in France and Germany. They say they are going to spend a billion dollars in the next
three years just like Google on relationships with publishers, but that billion dollar number, Julia, is really just a starting point in the
We are going to see similar proposals in other countries ahead of the news media alliance here in the United States, a trade group of newspapers told
me it is now time to bring this fight to the U.S. He and many other publisher representatives want to see Facebook and Google pony up with more
money and I think what we have now seen is the first inning of this game.
CHATTERLEY: You could look at this though and say we have now gone from the situation where news is prolific on social media platforms like
Facebook and I use them as an example, but it's obviously broader than that where it is fake news, news of all kinds and it is creating a problem where
the sources of those news in many cases have gone out of business or struggle to survive.
CHATTERLEY: Now, we are in a situation where Facebook gets to choose the news based on the relationships, the financial relationships that it
strikes with these news providers. I can see problems with this, too -- Brian.
STELTER: I think that's right. You're hitting on this issue that Facebook is making deals with big major media companies. This was a bill in
Australia led in large part by Rupert Murdoch and his company called the News Corporation, and there is a lot of concern about Facebook saying that
we're going to pay X, Y, and Z, we're not going to pay A, B or C.
Now, what happens to the startup that once it believes it needs help to compete in the marketplace, but doesn't get a deal with Facebook or Google?
This is a strange new world we are heading into where some of these publishers are going to get tens of millions of dollars from technology
companies and others may very well get zero.
CHATTERLEY: Brian, I'd love to see what the traffic was like on the Facebook platform during that blackout period in Australia and whether news
was really that insignificant. What was it they said? Less than four percent of what people look at on their feeds.
STELTER: That's what they always claim. They always claim people don't really spend so much time looking at news on Facebook, but unfortunately,
we don't know for sure how users reacted to that ban.
CHATTERLEY: That data is gold. Facebook, if you're watching, please release it. I'll be waiting. We could be waiting a while.
Brian, thank you. Brian Stelter, great to have you on.
All right, still to come on FIRST MOVE, China's Huawei hopes for a fresh start under President Biden after being black listed by President Trump of
course. I am joined by the company's U.S. representative next.
And state of the union with the Federal minimum wage hike a major problem for President Biden's COVID Relief Bill, we're joined by the head America's
biggest union for his take.
Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. The Biden administration's relationship with China is slowly starting to take shape and one company
with much at stake is Huawei.
The company denies its technology can be used by China to spy on other nations. If you remember back in 2018, the CFO of the company and the
company itself was accused by the U.S. of bank fraud and evasion of sanctions against Iran.
After that, the U.S. restricted American suppliers like Google, Qualcomm and Intel from supplying the company. So where do we go from here?
The company which denies wrongdoing is proposing a new zero trust approach to help reset for their relations.
Andy Purdy is Chief Security Officer for Huawei Technologies, U.S.A. Andy, always great to have you on the show.
Let's start with the administration first. Have you had any form of outreach from the administration? Clearly, they have been busy, but have
you heard anything?
ANDY PURDY, CHIEF SECURITY OFFICER, HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES, U.S.A.: No, we haven't yet. And we haven't reached out yet. The senior officials in the
various departments haven't been named yet. Obviously, the administration has bigger fish to fry with the pandemic and the economy and so forth.
And in fact, they are leading a major effort to improve America's cyber defenses so that's all for the good.
CHATTERLEY: As you point out, Commerce Department needs a new head, the Justice Department needs a new head and they are obviously going to play
very much into future relations. Does personality matter? Presidential personality, Andy. President Biden, very different person from former
PURDY: Well, I'm not sure whether the personality matters quite as much, but I think what the Biden administration has said they want to emphasize
is more of a multilateral approach whereas the Trump administration had more of America is number one, and you have to do what we say.
Also, I think the Biden administration is going take a different approach. The Trump administration took a whole lot of issues including issues
relating to Huawei and they bundled them together and then used those to try to negotiate geopolitical issues with China.
We are hoping the Biden administration, we expect they will, will separate issues out one by one and try to look at each issue in terms of what's in
the best interest of the United States. And so in terms of what matters to us, hopefully, we can get our Financial Officer released and hopefully,
American companies can sell to Huawei.
They depend on Huawei for about $12 billion a year in procurement, which affects at least 40,000 American jobs. So we hope, for the benefit of the
American workers and the American semiconductor industry that those conversations can be held.
CHATTERLEY: You are basically saying you have become a pawn in the broader trade negotiations and actually, what you'd just like to be is negotiating
directly with the U.S. government and not have conversations about Huawei sort of tied into broader discussions about whatever the relationship
between the United States and china politically looks like going forward.
PURDY: Well, that's exactly right. And we don't want the U.S. government trying to talk Huawei issues through the China government.
We would like to talk with the U.S. government directly which has been the traditional pattern for U.S. issues like this.
CHATTERLEY: It's complicated. You mentioned we have the CFO you'd like to see released. We have the fact that you can't sell into the United States
right now, also as I mentioned in the introduction, U.S. companies can't provide you with supplies because you're on the entity list and actually,
just the process of getting you removed from that entity list is complicated.
You have to prove remedial action as far as any concerns over the sanctions is concerned, but also that you're no longer a national security threat.
Something that you guys have denied all along.
Can you provide anything new to this administration to say, look, you got it wrong?
PURDY: Let me say this. Our ability to sell in the United States is not a major factor. We realize that Huawei will have to be changed for us to
sell. Regarding the entity list, the ability of the American companies to sell to us, the Commerce Secretary would have to make a finding that we did
not pose a threat to the U.S. Communications sector.
What the U.S. is doing to make America safer in cyberspace and to address real cyber supply chain risk, such as the major SolarWinds breach, America
is going to be much better prepared to know how to have risk mitigation, how to have transparency and they have to recognize that nation states have
the ability to hack into everybody's stuff even without permission.
So as America moves forward with that, we hope that we can have conversations about some of the things the U.S. learns about risk
mitigation and transparency and so we can have talks about how we can use those kinds of techniques so we might have a chance, but at least so that
American companies can sell to us because we don't see that as a national security issue. They're not selling us the technology.
So we hope for the sake of the 40,000 or more American jobs, they will allow American companies to sell to us before too long.
CHATTERLEY: I mean, the Biden White House has already described Huawei as an untrusted vendor. So they're saying, look, they have zero trust in you
Talk to me about the idea that -- and you have written an op-ed on this -- that's you're okay with that. You're okay with this idea of everybody
looking at everybody else and saying, look, I have zero trust in you and we have to verify.
Because I think it's a great idea, but critics will say it's not just about you as a company. This requires the Chinese government to also step up and
say, look, we will information share, too and we will meet you at least halfway.
I'm not sure the skeptics buy that.
PURDY: So it's a couple things that is like moving pieces. So Anne Neuberger of the National Security Council who is leading the effort in
response to SolarWinds to help make America safer to work with the private sector, help have greater supply chain risk. The Biden administration
working multilaterally with our allies can work together because it is not just about the equipment suppliers and the supply chain as SolarWinds
It's also about the telecom and mobile operators, so working together to have standards, in the form of products, programs independent testing the
products, greater visibility by governments into what the various companies are doing and what we see in Germany and the European Union, those kinds of
models I think are going to help provide some models that hopefully the United States can learn something from.
CHATTERLEY: Andy, are you prepared for this to take years? Is Huawei prepared for this to take years and can you survive years in the interim if
the relationship between the United States and Huawei doesn't change from this moment?
PURDY: Well, we are really taking very much of a long haul approach to this. As I said, we don't have immediate concerns about our ability to sell
in the United States.
The bigger issues about what they call decoupling if the U.S. insists that American companies, you know, the hundreds of semiconductor companies that
want to sell us to us and others, if the companies that want to buy are forced for the long term to have to go to China or go to other places to
get those technologies, those jobs for America will be lost forever.
So I think in the shorter term, decisions are going to have to be made not because it affects Huawei. Decisions are going to have to be made about
American jobs and the American industry which President Biden just signed an Executive Order trying to promote the semiconductor industry because of
the shortage, which is a great thing and he's trying to promote the competitiveness of the American industry and that's a great thing also.
But we must not cut off our hand to spite our face and hurt American jobs when trying to hurt China through hurting Huawei. That would be a big
CHATTERLEY: Yes, and there will be a lot of people saying, a hundred-day review of this doesn't work quick enough and certainly, the industry is
Andy, on a personal level, there will be people looking at this and I'm sure they have thought about it when we've chatted in the past as well, and
said, why don't you just come and work for an American company because your life could be a lot easier if you weren't caught in the middle of a bigger
battle right now and working for a company like Huawei. What's your answer to that?
PURDY: The answer is, I have been very fortunate that I have the ability to work within the U.S. and I have been to 26 countries for Huawei, a
number of meetings with governments around the world. Many governments that don't want U.S. and know that I talk to them.
I believe I'm promoting a safer cyberspace. When I promote the kind of things that Anne Neuberger is doing out of the National Security Council,
and objective standards, independent conformance, zero trust type concepts, I think those are going to promote a safer cyberspace.
Now, we need to go beyond that and hopefully, the Biden administration will do this. The international norms of cyber conduct, we need to build those
and we need to get governments to sign those norms. We need to get companies to sign those norms and hold folks accountable if they don't
follow the international rules of the road.
So I feel good about -- although it may seem counterintuitive but I feel like I'm helping to promote a safer cyberspace even though I work for
CHATTERLEY: You said it, my friend, not me. I have to say, you just reiterated what we hear from the FireEye CEO, and actually, I couldn't
agree more. We all need to work together on this and have some standards.
Andy, great to chat with you. We'll keep in touch.
PURDY: Thank you.
CHATTERLEY: Andy Purdy, Chief Security Officer for Huawei Technologies, U.S.A. Thank you, sir.
CHATTERLEY: The market opens, next.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. U.S. stock markets are open and as expected, we are seeing fresh weakness for tech stocks. It is a
continuation of the intensive volatility we have seen in this interest rate sensitive sector in the past week as bond yields move higher across the
globe, so nervousness moves with it.
Take a look at what we are seeing for U.S. bond yields right now. We've got yields remaining near one-year highs for both the 10-year and the 30-year
And from rates to Reddit, GameStop is still going strong after a tasty tweet from company's CEO. More on that in just a few minutes.
Economically sensitive sectors like cruise lines, banks, energy and airlines, all gaining, too. Deutsche Bank is raising the entire airline
sector to a buy. It sees a travel boom ahead once vaccination rates truly takes off. Good news, of course, it would be for worker in that sector in
Now, the U.S. House of Representatives is poised to a pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion relief bill Friday, but a provision calling for the
Federal minimum wage to rise gradually to $15.00 remains a stumbling block.
There is still a debate about whether it can be included in the bill passed using the budget reconciliation process and it faces fierce opposition from
Republicans and even some Senate Democrats.
Joining us now is Richard Trumka, he is President of the AFL-CIO, federation of labor unions. His organization represents 12.5 million
Richard, great to have you with us on the show. Talk to me about your views on the minimum wage. Should this be included in this bill?
RICHARD TRUMKA, PRESIDENT, AFL-CIO: Well, first of all, thank you for having me on, Julia. Look, the minimum wage in the United States right now
is $7.25. It hasn't been increased since 2009. That's 12 years ago.
If it had been indexed for inflation, the minimum wage in this country right now would be $24.00 an hour. Workers have been patient for long
enough. It's time that it was included.
That raise would affect 27 million workers in the United States, it would help. It would help the economy. It will take people out of poverty and it
would give workers some sense of security -- economic security.
So it's way past time that it be done and it is time for the Congress to pass it, and I don't care how they do it, but it has to get done now.
CHATTERLEY: The Congressional Budget Office did an analysis though and said it could cost 1.5 million jobs. Richard, do you think they've got the
analysis wrong? Clearly, for some small businesses, this would be a struggle. I don't think we should deny that. Is that a price worth paying?
What's your view on that?
TRUMKA: Well, first of all, we think they are absolutely wrong that the assumptions that they used were at the far end of the extreme.
Look, we have done a number of minimum wage increases and every time that we do a minimum wage increase, somebody says this could cost a job here or
there and it's never been that way at all. It's always increased.
This is going to increase payrolls so that workers can buy things, create demand and it will create more jobs. That's been what's happened with every
one of the increases in the minimum wage and this one will be no different.
CHATTERLEY: Would increased union power help? Richard, I remember President Biden on the campaign trail saying -- I've got the quote, "Best
friend labors ever had in the White House."
I know you were in a meeting where he said, look, unions are going to have more power. I've got a chart going back to the 1980s where around 20
percent of workers were unionized. Fast forward to today, and it is around 10 percent.
And actually, I haven't got the breakdown there, but for African-Americans, for the minorities in this country, it was far higher back then and it's
come down significantly, too. Would higher greater union power protect workers better in this country?
TRUMKA: Well, first of all, there's absolutely no doubt about that, Julia. And in this country right now, unions have the highest approval rating that
we have had in the last 50 years.
M.I.T. did a study and workers said that 60 million workers said they'd join a union today if they were given the opportunity.
Look, this President, President Biden had said that he is going -- the policy of the United States is going to be to encourage collective
bargaining. We've never had a President say that before or do that before.
Only through collective bargaining can we begin to attack the massive inequality that exists in this economy and in this country right now and
that growing inequality threatens not only democracy itself, but the system itself.
Collective bargaining can give workers the power they need to negotiate with their employers and get a bigger share of the wealth that they
produce, thus, decreasing inequality as we did in this country in the couple of decades after World War II and having a more solid economy that
grows from the base up, rather than just at the top.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, there has to be a balance here somewhere. Perhaps the most pivotal at least for the last several decades is a battle going on in
Alabama between Amazon and workers at one of their warehouses there that are going to vote on whether or not to unionize.
Would you like President Biden to come out and be quite blunt on this and say to Amazon, guys, don't put pressure on these people not to do it and to
the workers, say, look, if you think this will help you, you guys go for it.
Because there's two aspects to this and you know, there is some press in the United States that is saying, President Biden perhaps is shying away
from making a strong enough comment about what this could mean because it would set one heck of a precedent.
TRUMKA: Well, first of all, there's been no question that President Biden is the most pro union President that I have seen in my lifetime, Julia.
There is no question about that.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, but he can be more so.
TRUMKA: Well, I guess -- I guess --
CHATTERLEY: It's not going very far being pro-union if you look at those charts.
TRUMKA: All of us including you could be forced -- you could be more so as well, but he is the move pro union President we have seen and here is what
he is doing.
He has done more in the first five weeks of his administration to help workers than we have seen over the last several decades and he is making
sure that it truly is the policy of the United States to encourage collective bargaining. And he has told Amazon that's the policy of the
United States. Everybody ought to have a right to join a union and you shouldn't be trying to prevent them by doing the things that they're doing.
Look what Amazon is doing. They're lying. They're threatening. They're holding workers in sessions where they bombard them with anti-union stuff,
and that's the law of the land in the United States.
And President Biden has said, he is going to change that law. Our labor laws, Julia, are over a hundred years old in this country. They're
antiquated and they don't work and instead of being used to help workers increase their wages and benefits, they're actually used as a tool to
decrease wages and benefits.
He is going to reverse that and help us pass the Pro Act so that every worker, every worker, including all of those workers at Amazon, Uber and
everywhere else have the right to join a union and get a fair shake for the wages, for the work that they do every day.
CHATTERLEY: Wow. Well, he certainly has the strong support in you, Richard, and Amazon has an open invite to come and defend themselves from
your accusations there.
Stay in touch. We'll see how it goes and we'll check back in a few months and see what progress.
Richard Trumka, the President of AFL-CIO. Sir, thank you for joining us on the show.
TRUMKA: Thanks, Julia. Thanks.
CHATTERLEY: All right, thank you.
Breaking news on former President Trump's former tax returns. The Manhattan District Attorney has obtained tax records belonging to former President
Trump according to sources familiar with the matter.
They are said to include millions of pages of documents. Prosecutors fought for 17 months to obtain the records sought in a grand jury subpoena. The
grand jury has been looking into allegations of hush money payments.
All right, after the break, an offer inspired by Amazon. The data provider, Thinknum is now using its muscle to help startup hedge funds.
Stay with us. That's next.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. Level the playing field, that's the new mission of web scraping data provider, Thinknum. The company that
quickly builds a tool to provide its hedge fund and investment banking clients the most mentioned stocks on Reddit is now offering a program
called Thinknum Spark for smaller investors.
It is designed for new funds with less than $50 million in assets.
Joining us now, Justin Zhen, cofounder of Thinknum Alternative Data. Justin, great to have you on the show once again. Our regular viewers will
We are going to talk about what happened, what sparked the development of Spark in a moment. But just for my audience, very quickly, just explain
what you do at Thinknum.
JUSTIN ZHEN, COFOUNDER, THINKNUM ALTERNATIVE DATA: Sure thing. Thank you for having me back, Julia. At Thinknum, we provide what's called
alternative data from the web. So most investors, they traditionally use like market data, stock prices to make buy-sell decisions.
Over the past five to ten years, business activity has gone online, right? Companies are hiring people online. They sell products online. They list
out where their locations are online.
So we build technology that collects and organizes all of these online data trails and that provides our Reddit actionable insights about which company
is doing well.
CHATTERLEY: And so actionable that in light of the GameStop, AMC rallies, you quickly put together a program that would scrape and have a look at
mentions of these stocks across the internet, places like Reddit and give people just a bit of heads up on perhaps what might be rallying next.
You came on our show and talked about it, and I believe you were then bombarded with requests. You and I also had a debate about how much the
product costs and whether you were providing this to bigger hedge funds or whether just the little retail guys would have access to the product. Talk
to me about what happened after our interview.
ZHEN: Yes, sure. So after I came on the show, we got well over a thousand inquiries into the data and there were quite a number of inquiries from
people that were just starting their own funds.
And then, you know, we did a lot of calls with companies, aspiring investors and, you know, we realized that price was becoming a deterrent
into whether or not they could use the product.
So we were inspired to launch Thinknum Spark which we're announcing and it's going to allow people that are just starting investment funds with
less than $50 million AUM to be able to get discounts to alternative data and they also have the ability to use it now and pay later.
So we're able to grow with our clients and we were inspired by Amazon and what AWS offers to startups. They helped us a lot out in early years and
starting our company, so this is our own version of that.
CHATTERLEY: That's interesting. So AWS gave you effectively a discount rate for being a startup and you, I guess, you have remained a client of
theirs as a result, because they bought your loyalty.
Justin, this is great, because we did -- we did debate whether the big players out there, they already have this big data advantage. They can
afford it. And for the smaller players, and you clearly found that after we discussed it, they were like, I'd love to have an advantage and I simply
can't get a leg up here.
It's personal for you, too, because you know as someone who has built a business and started out, it's tough.
ZHEN: Yes. You know, I come from a very humble background personally. I washed dishes and waited tables for 10 years, and you know, in high school
-- Princeton University gave me a shot. They gave me a full ride scholarship.
And obviously, when we were starting Thinknum, AWS did the same thing. So we definitely understand what it's like to try to start something
especially investing, which is so serious, right?
You need to do the research, do due diligence, and you know, we're just trying to do our best to level that playing field.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. Justin, and I appreciate how swiftly you reacted once again to try and provide a source and a tool that actually everyone or at
least, smaller funds can get access to.
Justin, out of interest, can I put your system to work, please, and ask you in light of the rally we have seen in GameStop again in the last 24 to 48
hours. Have we seen a pickup in mentions on social media in the run up to this? Because we have had a quiet period and now it's going gang busters
again. What does your data tell us?
ZHEN: Yes, sure. So, if you look at the data, you will see that over the past week really, the number of occurrences for GameStop has increased to
well over 40 percent, and obviously yesterday, kind of given the huge run up, you see that increase of about 400 percent.
So, you know, that's why it's important -- it's more important than ever for investors to track what is going on with, you know, not just Reddit,
but alternative data in general. It's here to stay.
CHATTERLEY: Okay, so I think, we were showing the share price there, but basically, what you just said is, there was a 40 percent rise in mentions
in data collection in the run up to this most recent rally?
ZHEN: There was a 40 percent increase in the amount that GameStop was talked on --
ZHEN: So it was actually quiet for -- you know, it was quiet for a couple of weeks. The stock was relatively flat, but recently, which you know, they
coincide with some other factors as well. You did see that chatter really pick up in the past couple of days.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, there you go. That's the chart I was looking for. Good work, team. And we're just seeing that now, a pickup in occurrences and of
course, that pick up once again in stock price just on a daily basis for these moves.
Justin, great to have you back and good to hear more about you and what you're doing as well, and yes, great to have you on the show. Thank you for
that and for the data.
ZHEN: Thank you.
CHATTERLEY: How exciting. Justin Zhen, cofounder of Thinknum Alternative Data, thank you.
All right, after the break, goodbye CBS, Slack says hello Paramount+. "Star Trek" and sports, the latest salvo in the streaming wars.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. Paramount+ is a new streaming service set to launch next week in the United States and in Latin America.
Frank Pallotta joins us now with all of the details. Frank, another one. I can't take it anymore. But tell us what's going to be available on
FRANK PALLOTTA, CNN MEDIA WRITER: This was like my eighth streaming three- hour event.
CHATTERLEY: I know.
PALLOTTA: I swear to God, if I have to do one more, I'm going to become -- the next streaming service is going to be Frank Plus. I'm serving it at
Anyway, Paramount+. It is actually as much as I joke around, I really like its product. I think it's really interesting. Paramount, for those who
don't know is obviously the company from ViacomCBS. This is their streaming offering and they said that they have a mountain -- mountain -- because
Paramount is a mountain of entertainment.
And this service will have everything from Paramount Films so think "Mission Impossible," "Indiana Jones," "Forrest Gump," "The Godfather"
things of that nature to a bunch of shows from CBS and CBS Studios. You're going to have a revival of "Frazier."
You're going to have shows based on old movies like "Love Story." And you're also going to have kids content. Nickelodeon, a new "Rugrats" show.
So you're going to have all of this stuff for about $5.99 without ads and $9.99 with ads, and they are hoping that this can bring people in and help
them get to about 75 million subscribers by 2024, so that they can compete with the Disney+ and Netflixes of the world.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. I was going to say, actually, based on that prediction, 75 million subscribers. I mean, Disney+ just blew away all expectations in
terms of how quickly they added.
Talk to me specifically about the movies though, because obviously HBO Max threw down the gauntlet saying, look, we're going to allow movies to go
into cinemas. We're also going to be able to have you stream them at home at the same time if you want too.
Bit of a difference in how Paramount is handling this. Perhaps a bit of a gamble, too.
PALLOTTA: The Paramount CEO last night came on as well as the other CEOs of CBS and Showtime and all of these other guys. And he said, we are big
believers in the theatrical release, however, he did mention that big movies like the next "Mission Impossible" film and "A Quiet Place: Part 2"
which is a horror film are going to hit Paramount+ 45 days after their release.
That is much shorter than the traditional 75 to 90 day theatrical at window we are used to. But it is much more than the number zero which is what HBO
Max is saying.
But remember, HBO Max said 2021's film slate. They did not see the permanent change, so they might go back next year, they might not. We are
yet to be seen.
But what Paramount is kind of saying and what ViacomCBS is saying is that this battle between streaming and traditional ways of getting your
entertainment, the battle is a false choice. That's what Shari Redstone the chairwoman of ViacomCBS said last night and that they want to be both and
they want Paramount+ to be both.
CHATTERLEY: I mean, it's less of a choice in a pandemic world because a lot of people aren't going to the cinema. A lot of people are afraid.
So to your point, you can make these decisions now, but the question is, what holds or what readjusts? I mean, even on a 30 to 45-day period, post
pandemic, I guess all bets are off for all of these guys.
CHATTERLEY: The question is, how do you choose? Or do you just add another one because it's only another $5.00 or however many dollars it is? These
things all add up.
PALLOTTA: Yes. That's the problem. $5.00 here, $7.00 there, $15.00 there. That adds up and before you know it, you're kind of paying as much as you
were paying for cable.
PALLOTTA: So you're kind of -- yes, you're kind of in this situation where like audiences have to figure out what really works for them.
You know, for me personally, I really like the content in HBO Max and Disney+. Those are musts for me.
Netflix, I have like love-hate relationship with sometimes and it's kind of like the mafia. Every time I'm out, it pulls me back in with "Bridgerton"
or "Queen's Gambit" and a lot of people are starting to go -- a lot of services, I should say, are going AVOD which is ad supported. And things
like Peacock where you can get it for free, but getting less content for a lesser price.
So this is the big question that every single Hollywood company is going to ask themselves. How can we offer it? How much can we offer it for? And how
big of an audience can we get?
CHATTERLEY: I have got to say goodbye, Frank. The price of Frank Plus?
PALLOTTA: $5.99 with gas.
CHATTERLEY: You should have said priceless, my friend. I was giving it to you there, Frank Pallotta.
PALLOTTA: Well, I'm being realistic. I have got rent to pay for.
CHATTERLEY: I have to go. Thank you, Frank.
All right, that's it for the show. Stay safe.
"Connect the World" with Becky Anderson is next.