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First Move with Julia Chatterley
The SolarWinds Hackers Strike again, Microsoft Says it is Ongoing; U.S. Officials may have more Information about How the Pandemic Began; Social Media Chatter Gives AMC Shares a Blockbuster Boost. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired May 28, 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.
Hacking hit. The SolarWinds hackers strike again, Microsoft says it is ongoing.
COVID conception. U.S. officials may have more information about how the pandemic began.
Reddit replay. Social media chatter gives AMC shares a blockbuster boost and --
[VIDEO CLIP PLAYS]
CHATTERLEY: Defying gravity. The firm that lets you fly like "Iron Man." We will speak to the test pilot and founder.
It's Friday. Let's make a move.
Welcome once again to FIRST MOVE this Friday. Fantastic to be with you on a show that proves old can be the new, new. Let me explain.
The "Friends" reunion shows that 90s sitcoms are back. On Wall Street, meme stocks like AMC are roaring back, but the big question for investors is, is
entrenched inflation back? Well, I can tell you the data, in the last 24 hours is all about rising prices and purchases, U.S. personal spending
rising by an expected half a percent in April and you can certainly expect more spending sizzle if President Joe Biden gets his way.
The government set to unwrap a $6 trillion spending plan for the next fiscal year. You heard me right, $6 trillion, so we can cue the "Friends"
theme tune, "I'll be there for you" on a scale not seen since the Second World War.
All very aspirational, especially for now. But it does come as the Federal Reserve's favorite inflation gauge sees its biggest jump in well over a
decade. The core PC inflation rate rising to 3.1 percent year-over-year, that is well and truly above the Fed's target.
So ultimately, where does that leave us today? While I can tell you the U.S. majors are headed for a higher end to the week, lifted by anything
that benefits from Federal spending plans.
European stocks, also near records; and Asia wrapping up a mostly green week. The Nikkei rising two percent as you can see.
Okay, let's get to the drivers. Microsoft says Russian hackers have struck again, this time, it's a cyberattack on an e-mail system used by the
government's USAID agency. It's thought that perpetrators are the same group that carried out the SolarWinds attack last year and that leads us
straight to Russia.
Matthew Chance is in Moscow for us. Matthew, great to have you with us. It's less cyberattack and more cyber espionage based on what I read. Just
talk us through the details please that Microsoft, not the U.S. government gave us.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is something that the company, Microsoft, have put out on a blog within the past, you
know, several hours saying they've identified this cyberattack on the USAID organization and a bunch of other organizations that are linked with it or
that it deals with, because there seems to have been a sort of spear phishing sort of exercise, e-mails being sent to that e-mail marketing
software, which has been dispersed to hundreds of companies around the United States, mainly, but also in other countries around the world as
Microsoft says it seems to have been an ongoing attempt to gain information from organizations that are linked with foreign policy, and this time, in
this occasion, linked with your human rights and providing assistance to opposition forces and things like that. That seems to have been the focus
according to Microsoft of what this latest cyberattack was all about.
They said it's carried out by the same people that carried out the SolarWinds attack which was a slightly different attack designed at getting
information from U.S. government organizations, but of course the White House has been categorical in pointing the finger of blame at Russia's
Foreign Intelligence Service, the SVR, one of the successor organizations to the KGB when it comes to identifying who is responsible for the
SolarWinds hack, and they've gone so far as to impose economic sanctions against Russia, expelled diplomats, target sanctions against individuals
they believe were involved, and also reserving the right to escalate those sanctions if the behavior of the hacking persists.
And I think one of the most worrying -- one of the most outstanding issues when it comes to this latest hack identified by Microsoft is that it's
taking place now. The hack seems to have been going on as recently as this week, so within the last couple of days, which is extraordinary given, you
know, the strength of the sanctions that were imposed by the United States for hacking just last month.
CHANCE: And of course, the fact that both President Biden and President Putin here in Russia are currently preparing for a much anticipated Summit
with each other, a face-to-face meeting with each other in Geneva, in Switzerland in just a few weeks from now.
So this is going to add extra pressure, extra tension to what was already going to be a very, very awkward conversation between the two leaders,
CHATTERLEY: I mean, this is blatant, Matthew, let's be clear, if you give us a sense of the timeline, you just did it. We've got three weeks until
President Biden is expected to meet President Putin in Geneva, it's a month after the U.S. administration enacted those sanctions that that you
mentioned, and actually, President Biden said he had gone out of his way to be proportionate in response to the SolarWinds attack because he didn't
want to escalate things. This feels like blatant escalation from the Russian side if indeed, that's what's doing this. And who's doing this?
CHANCE: Well, yes, it does feel like that and you know that was something that we put to the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov earlier on today. And
he sort of stepped back into the position which Russia always steps back into, which is categorical denial. They're saying they haven't heard about
this hack, the details of it. They don't know how Microsoft arrived at the conclusions that Microsoft arrived at that it was a Russian-backed
organization, the same people that did SolarWinds. That is what their statement said.
And Dmitry Peskov, who is the spokesperson for the Kremlin, spokesperson for Vladimir Putin here, said that he doesn't think it's going to
substantially change the meeting between President Biden and President Putin. And he is probably right about that, in the sense that, you know,
there's already a list as long as your arm when it comes to issues that the two leaders need to discuss whether it's, you know, historical hacking,
whether it's the military buildup in Ukraine, the recent crisis in in Belarus, with the forcing down of that airline and arrest of a prominent
dissident on board.
Whether it's the poisoning and the imprisonment of opposition figures like Alexei Navalny here in this country, this is yet another issue, which
neither side really wanted or needed. That is going to be, I expect, very close to the top of the agenda between these two Presidents when they sit
down face to face with each other on June 16th, I think is the date that they've set.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, just add it to the list. A really long, long list. Matthew Chance, thank you for that.
"The New York Times" is reporting that U.S. Intelligence agencies are in possession of still un-reviewed data that could help point to the origins
of COVID-19. It says the President ordered a fresh 90-day review of all information on coronavirus after learning of the new evidence.
David Culver joins us now. David, great to have you with us. What more do we know about this un-reviewed data?
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Julia. Good to be with you as well. Well, it seems like this will play into the next 90 days of added
Intel that President Biden has requested from the Intelligence Community. And according to "The New York Times," it is going to require some added
computer analysis so as to figure out what exactly information-wise, they have not learned yet either through their own investigations or from the
Chinese directly and that is something that's of course been in question since day one of this outbreak is: what does China know that the rest of
the world does not? Have they've been as transparent?
And the argument has been no, especially when you listen to some of the reports from the Intel Community in particular.
Now, what the New York Times is reporting is quite interesting. They don't go into a lot of detail as to what this yet to be explored evidence, if you
will, may contain, but they suggest it's possible it could be Chinese communications. It could be some of the movements of the lab workers
referring specifically to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a place that one theory suggests, perhaps the virus originated there and then leaked. Of
course, the Chinese have refuted that repeatedly.
And then some of the data could include the movement and spread of the virus itself. All of this is yet to be determined, and the Chinese have
been working quite hard at trying to counter this narrative. In fact, they've been doing that since the outbreak and they have suggested that
maybe not even did it originate in Wuhan, but it came in from outside, maybe even the U.S.
They floated unfounded theories that it leaked from Fort Dietrich in Maryland. They suggested that perhaps, it is coming in to China on frozen
All of these different origin theories that have been surfacing, perhaps as an effort, Julia, to really deflect blame and culpability. You may ask
well, why would they do that? Of course, the focus for China in going forward is trying to retain its image. They also are heavily involved in
some developing countries through investments and they've been acting in what we've described as vaccine diplomacy, exporting many of the vaccines
that are significantly needed here in China and instead putting them out to these developing countries in which they're heavily invested as a way to
show goodwill, according to China, but critics have suggested it's to counter the image that may have been tarnished from the initial mishandling
and cover up of this outbreak.
CULVER: Things that we have covered extensively when we were, of course, reporting from Wuhan initially, including the silencing of whistleblowers.
Going forward, the question remains: in the next 90 days, are we really going to see substantive information come out of this new request of the
U.S. Intelligence Community that is going to bring any sort of conclusive agreement to what the origin of COVID-19 is?
CHATTERLEY: And it is a great point.
CULVER: Too soon to be really sure of this, and we just don't know.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, and you raise a great point that the help in the aftermath of the virus spreading looks different if there is greater
culpability at the onset of it, which is one of the big questions here that's being asked, of course.
David, what about building a broader consensus for an investigation? I mean, clearly, this un-reviewed data is part of what precipitated this
origin investigation in the United States. But there are other nations that have been asking questions, and they've felt a backlash for it. Australia
is one of the first countries that comes to mind.
CULVER: Australia has really felt it from an economic point as well, you can certainly suggests that since they asked for an inquiry into the
origins of COVID-19, suggesting an investigation that would lead them right back here into China, well, over the past year, plus, they have started to
see the repercussions of that.
And you're right, it's not just Australia, it's not just the U.S., it is the U.K., it is several European nations, likewise, wanting to know what
the truth is in all of this, and if they could have an international approach to fully investigating this.
The issue I think going forward right now is it seems the international approach, which has been for the U.S. rejoining the W.H.O. after the Trump
administration remove them from that is that the W.H.O. in of itself, which would be that international body is facing a lot of scrutiny. In fact, I
just got off the phone with one of the W.H.O. field members who was in Wuhan in January and she was candid about the fact that all of this
politicizing of the origin is leading to less and less credibility for anything they decide to conclude about the findings there.
And part of that has to do, Julia, with the heavy Chinese influence. In fact, some of those team members have links to the Wuhan Institute of
Virology in funding and research that dates back before the COVID-19 outbreak.
So it is heavily politicized. It is facing a lot of scrutiny. So even this international approach now is seeming to falter. And I think that's why
President Biden is facing this mounting pressure to then turn to an insular U.S. Intelligence only approach here and figure out from an American
perspective if they can determine the cost of this.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, 89 days and counting. David Culver, thank you so much for that.
Okay, let's move on, lights, camera, AMC action. Now, to a blockbuster brand that's been caught in a cliffhanger of its own. We're waiting to see
how AMC shares price shares open after it surged 36 percent on Thursday, Clare Sebastian joins me now.
Clare and the movies called the return of the Reddit Retail Army or Short Seller Shocker 2, I shouldn't laugh, but there's my vague attempt. Explain
what's going on, please.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Julia, really interesting. It does look sort of like sort of another chapter in that
retail investor Reddit fueled surge that we saw first of all, in January.
AMC is up to 120 percent this week, as you say 36 percent alone on Thursday, down a little bit in premarket today, perhaps some of the sort of
risky trading coming off after that inflation number. Who knows, honestly?
GameStop is also up this week around 44 percent and there are some other stocks that are coming along for the ride like Tesla and Beyond Meat and
struggling retailer, Express. Why is the big question? No traditional trigger here, but we are seeing a lot of chatter on that very influential
Reddit group, Wall Street Bets talking about sending AMC to the moon, a lot of talk of YOLO, something I feel very old saying out loud.
But there's also you know, an interesting phenomenon going on when you look at crypto because it does seem somewhat suggesting that some of the same
money that's been flowing into crypto the last few months is in play here. It is interesting to look at the charts.
If you look at AMC and the rally back in January, as that rally faded at the end of January, that's really when we saw the sort of Bitcoin rally
over the last few months take off in earnest. That was when Dogecoin also started to be worth more than just a sort of fraction of a penny and now
that we see the Bitcoin rally cool a little bit, this is when we're seeing the meme stocks take off again.
But of course, the reason why we see such big moves as well is because of this short squeeze. As you noted, according to financial analytics firm
OTEX, the short sellers lost $1.9 billion yesterday, $1.3 billion of that was from AMC alone. So that is something that is amplifying the moves here.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. But you make a great point about perhaps money coming out of crypto and going into some of these other stocks, which I like. But what
about the fundamentals? I mean, this is a massive movie cinema chain, AMC, we are seeing reopening. That's going to be more money.
I was just looking at some of the fundamentals. Revenues are expected to double this year and next year, but they're still going to lose money, it
is expected for the next couple of years. Clare, is there a fundamental reason for this kind of rally in this stock?
SEBASTIAN: It is definitely more of a fundamental reason now than there was in January, Julia, given the sort of pace of the reopening that we're
seeing. Dr. Fauci, for example, says that Americans could be back in movie theaters without masks by the late fall or early winter.
AMC as you say, they still expect revenues to double. They don't expect profits to come back quite as quickly. But one interesting point that the
CEO made on their recent earnings call was that they have increased market share over the pandemic, he says by around 25 percent in the U.S., as other
chains have gone bankrupt, and they say because of their expert marketing around this reopening.
So certainly, there does seem to be more fundamentals behind it, but enough to justify 120 percent in four days. That is obviously a question.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, I was about to say you're appeasing me there. I thought you're just going to say absolutely not. No. But thank you. Trying to
justify my question there. Let's hit the theme tune to this movie is "Everybody hurts," quite frankly.
Clare Sebastian, thank you so much for that.
Okay, let me bring you up to speed now with some of the other stories making headlines around the world. Japan is extending its state of
emergency through June 20th because of the COVID-19 crisis that applies in nine prefectures, including Tokyo.
The extension comes as the Tokyo Olympic Games organizers are under heavy pressure to cancel the event due to open on July 23rd.
CNN's Selina Wang joins us live from Tokyo. Selena, unfortunately, COVID virus spread going in the wrong direction and these measures prove that.
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly, Julia. The state of emergency was supposed to end at the end of this month, but now further extended as Japan
is struggling to contain this fourth wave of COVID-19 cases, further putting pressure on these Olympic organizers.
And just to put things into perspective, when the IOC announced the postponement of the Olympics in March of last year, there were less than a
thousand active COVID-19 cases in Japan. Now, about 14 months later, you have some 70,000 active cases and more contagious COVID-19 variants
Now the IOC has said that they can still move ahead with these games, even if Japan is still in a state of emergency. But the medical community here
says that would be both irresponsible and dangerous.
You have a group of 6,000 doctors in Tokyo calling for these Games to be canceled. They say that this could push the already overstretched medical
system here in Japan past its brink.
Across the country, the system is under strain with hospitals in Osaka warning of a system collapse with beds and ventilators running out. In
addition to that, there have been warnings from doctors unions that even more dangerous strains could be created from the Olympic Games.
And on top of all this, Julia, we've been talking about the very slow vaccine rollout here in Japan with just about two percent of the population
fully vaccinated. The program held back by bureaucracy, a slow vaccine approval program, and now with the lack of medical staff to administer
CHATTERLEY: Yes, what was it, the Rakuten CEO told you, a suicide mission, a super spread suicide mission.
Selina Wang in Tokyo, thank you as always.
Okay, still to come on FIRST MOVE, the $175 billion cost of closed borders. The travel industry chief urges Biden to let international tourists back
And get swept off your feet -- literally. The British inventor whose business is soaring to new heights. Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. The Wall Street bulls hoping for a fantastic Friday on this last trading day of the week and of the month,
too. Futures as you can see are higher across the board. Salesforce is a force of nature for the Dow, the Cloud software firms set to rally more
than five percent after raising full year guidance.
Good news to you, the Royal Caribbean sailing to a more than two percent gain yesterday. The U.S. greenlighting the company's first U.S. cruise
since the pandemic next month.
This Memorial Day weekend also marks the unofficial start of the U.S. summer season and Americans are gearing up for post vaccine voyages. More
than 37 million people are expected to hit the highways and rush to the airports over the next few days, a 60 percent jump from a year ago.
But the domestic rebound is not enough says the U.S. travel industry. It wants a restart of international travel. In a letter to President Biden, 23
global travel leaders say the U.S. must reopen its borders this summer. They say that without foreign tourists, the sector will miss out on $175
billion of income this year.
And joining us now is Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. Roger, fantastic to have you on the show. That's a lot of
revenue loss. It is also again putting jobs in peril, too.
ROGER DOW, PRESIDENT AND CEO, U.S. TRAVEL ASSOCIATION: Yes, Julia, you hit the facts exactly right. While summer domestic travel is picking up
greatly, our big challenge is bring back international and business travel, which is 41 percent of all travel and it is billions of dollars. It is $1.1
trillion to the U.S. economy, so we've got to get that back.
CHATTERLEY: What is the most obvious nation to reestablish a connection with? I mean, if I look around the world, the U.K. based on the accelerated
vaccine rollout, the proportion of people that they've managed to get vaccinated. That looks like an obvious one.
DOW: The obvious one is the U.K. We're talking with the administration to try and get UK -U.K. corridor opened. We believe, once that happens, the
others will follow. While we have a health crisis going on, we also have an economic crisis. And I think as other countries see the revenue coming in
safely traveling to the U.S., they will follow.
CHATTERLEY: I think the counter to that would be variant fears. The variant first identified in India, we now know that's in the U.K. There
were reports this morning of a pickup in cases, Roger, it's an ongoing battle of fighting the virus, watching the caseload and trying to open up
borders, but remain flexible.
Do you have sympathy for the administration sort of dragging their feet a little over this or a lot over this?
DOW: Well, I understand the question and we all want to be safe. But with the number of people vaccinated and all the reports that the vaccines are
working against the variants very well, I think it's time to start opening things. You have to adjust and move. You can't just sit and hide in the
corner. You must begin moving safely and smartly and adjust as you go as we've been doing with other parts of the economy.
CHATTERLEY: Do you think also that when we look around the rest of the world, the United States has to set the standard because of the progress
that it's made in terms of vaccines.
DOW: There's definitely the opportunity for the U.S. to lead and set the standards for the rest of the world to follow.
One of the biggest problems we have is the inconsistency around the world of what standards you need for every single country. And in fact, in the
U.S. for meetings and events, every single state, so we've got to get consistency and the U.S. should lead in that.
CHATTERLEY: What about some kind of global framework? I mean, we've got the G-7 coming up. Surely that's a huge opportunity as well to get global
leaders around the table and say, hey, how can we work on this together because, the stall, as you pointed out vast inconsistencies. Some countries
are recognizing vaccines, some are concerned about proving that you've had a vaccine. The difficulties here are vast and without global coordination,
they're going to continue to be.
DOW: The G-7 Summit brings a great opportunity. We've been speaking with the Biden administration, it's a great opportunity for our President to
step forward and lead and say, let's work together. Let's get the consistency. Let's open up our economy.
Let's be safe, but let's get the world moving in and put people back to work.
CHATTERLEY: And what is the administration saying to you? You sound very confident about the conversations, but what are you hearing in return? How
quickly might this happen?
DOW: We're looking for -- we think July makes a lot of sense to get all the facts together, go to the G-7. Announce in July and start slowly
opening and watch as we go, adjust, but unless we pick a date specific, we'll never get there.
CHATTERLEY: The Foreign Minister of Singapore said to me on the show yesterday that it is endemic. We're not going to get rid of this virus, we
just have to learn how to live with it.
Roger, is that what you're also saying to this administration? And do you think they get that, too?
DOW: It's a medical fact that we still have Ebola, we still have leprosy, we still have SARS. They are all in the world, but we're living with them.
We understand them, we control them -- and this is the same. We cannot go to zero tolerance and say, without one -- if there's just one case, we
can't reopen. That's ridiculous.
We have that be a risk-based society, and we've done that with every other disease and we can do that now. We can do it smartly.
CHATTERLEY: We can manage this.
DOW: Yes, we can.
CHATTERLEY: Roger, great to chat with you. Thank you, as always, and we hope we progress.
DOW: We should --
CHATTERLEY: And July is the month, we hope. Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association there. Thank you.
The market opens next. Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. U.S. stocks are up and running on the last trading day of the week and the month. Wall Street is closed on
Monday for Memorial Day, of course, too. The bulls hoping for a strong end of May, before we jump into June. Investors looking past a stronger pretty
much expected read on inflation.
The Fed's preferred measure of inflation rising more than three percent year-over-year last month. It's a big jump from past months, of course. The
Fed still insisting that it is all transitory and those numbers will come back down.
As we've mentioned, it has been another week of meme stock mania too, with shares of AMC cinemas soaring once again and inflicting fresh pain on
investors betting against the rise of that stock AMC leaving its Reddit stock colleague GameStop in the dust the past few months. AMC is currently
up more than 1,100 percent so far this year.
That's why I was asking the question about the fundamentals, of course.
In the meantime, a pretty good debut for the Hong Kong's second largest IPO of the year. Shares of JD Logistics, the delivery arm of Chinese e-commerce
company, jd.com soaring some 18 percent in early trading before paring gains and closing up 3.3 percent.
Now $6 trillion, that's the spending total we expect the White House to propose in its budget for 2022. A senior official says President Biden will
call for the most sustained spending in more than half a century. It has already outlined two big proposals, the American Jobs Plan and the American
Families Plan as part of his economic strategy, and Jeff Zeleny joins us now and has all the details on this.
I mean, this is such a huge amount of money, Jeff, that it's okay while interest rates remain low and your debt service costs are low, but we're
talking about the middle of the decade, debt in excess of $30 trillion. How on earth is this going to be paid for, Jeff? What can you tell us?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN U.S. CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Julia, it certainly is extraordinary that top line number, $6 trillion for fiscal
year 2022, and not really a surprise at all. When you add up all the trillion dollar plans that the President Biden has proposed, it reaches
that. The American Jobs Plan, as you said, which is infrastructure, plus so much more; the American Families Plan, which really reshapes, you know, so
much about the U.S. economy, from childcare, to education, to job growth and others, but it is the question of how to pay for all of this.
So that is at the heart of the current dispute right now. What are corporate taxes going to be raised to? They certainly will be raised no
question. If it's going to be up to 28 percent amount he proposed or somewhere in the middle, maybe around 25 percent is more likely, but also
in the out years, the deficit also projected to arise, you know, $1.5 trillion, $1.8 trillion.
And we're hearing a lot of complaints now from Republicans. There was virtual silence for the last four years during the Trump administration
about the rising deficits there as well. So that will be obviously worked out. But this is President Biden's -- his call for expanded government.
This is what he was elected on in some respects, so we will see if they can sell this plan.
He is really aiming to lift more people into the middle class, but certainly eye popping numbers, but we should remember, the White House
simply proposes the budgets. It's up to Congress to appropriate the money and approve all of this. So, this is certainly just an opening gambit.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. And this is where slim majorities really matter. Jeff Zeleny, thank you so much for that.
Now, this comes as a top economist is urging the Biden administration to go easy on stimulus measures or risk major inflation. Larry Summers, the
former U.S. Treasury Secretary says he thinks Mr. Biden is overdoing it with his current policy. It comes as businesses are already being hit by
rising prices because of the pandemic. But what about the people? Clare Sebastian has more.
JEFF FRIEDMAN, CEO, NATIONAL ELEVATOR CAB AND DOOR: This is the wall of an elevator cab, the exterior structural wall.
SEBASTIAN (voice over): For a business that specializes in, well, things that go up, 2021 has come as a shock.
FRIEDMAN: This is made of carbon steel. Carbon steel which months ago cost us around 45 to 50 cents a pound and today, it is costing us around a
dollar a pound.
SEBASTIAN (on camera): So that's more than double.
FRIEDMAN: More than doubled, yes.
SEBASTIAN (voice over): The sharp increase in the price of steel, their main raw material has come with sharp decreases in supply as the steel
mills that shut down during COVID have struggled to ramp back up quick enough.
FRIEDMAN: This is stainless steel here, these are going to be the decorative skins for a door panel. There are real supply shortages in this.
We're being told, material that we might wait a week for to be two to three months.
SEBASTIAN (voice over): For the first time in four years, CEO Jeff Friedman is having to raise prices on new work. His business like many
others caught in the middle of a post-COVID supply-demand crunch.
DAVID WILCOX, SENIOR FELLOW, PETERSEN INSTITUTE: There are some supply constraints that are choking certain aspects of the economy. There are
areas where demand is surging for the first time in 15 months.
SEBASTIAN (voice over) In April, consumer prices rose 4.2 percent compared to a year ago. The biggest jump since 2008. One major contributor, a 21
percent rise in the price of used cars and trucks as global microchip shortages impacted supply of new cars, and that along with stimulus checks,
urban flight and a fear of public transport drove demand for older vehicles.
SEBASTIAN (on camera): This Toyota Prius for example, just sold for around $6,000.00; a year ago, the dealer tells us, the price would've been more
like $5,000.00. He says, he is having to increase prices by at least 20 percent across the board.
JEROME POWELL, U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: This one-time increases in prices are likely to have only transitory effects on inflation.
SEBASTIAN (voice over): The Federal Reserve says this won't last and they won't raise rates until more people get back into work. Economists say
it'll take more than just price rises to shift that view.
WILCOX: I think the warning signs are does higher inflation get reflected in inflation expectations? I need to raise my prices if I'm a business firm
because my competitors are doing that, because my workers are demanding wage increases.
SEBASTIAN (voice over): At National Elevator Cab and Door in Brooklyn, while wages have gone up as the company works through a backlog of pre-
COVID contracts, its future demand that keeps the CEO awake at night.
FRIEDMAN: How many elevators will people need? How fast will buildings want to replace what they have? So that is an existential question for us.
The price of material is painful, we'll survive, but if people don't come back to buildings, we've got a problem.
SEBASTIAN (voice over): And that the internal wiring of the post-COVID economy is still not clear. Something which will ultimately determine the
prices we pay.
Clare Sebastian, CNN, New York.
CHATTERLEY: Okay, coming up after the break, prepare to be blown away. The British inventor whose flying suit gives you a bird's eye view on the
world. He is in action, get the ball rolling, next.
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CHATTERLEY: Just wow. This could be the future of flying, whether it's for the military, emergency services, or hey, just you and me. The pilot is the
inventor, and Richard Browning is a very brave man in all senses of the word.
He is a former BP oil trader who turned to tech, and a passion for flying is clearly in his genes. One of his grandfathers was the CEO of a
helicopter company, the other was a wartime pilot; and his father, an astronautical engineer.
Richard, who is the founder and chief test pilot of Gravity Industries joins us now; and I'm sure you're sick of the Tony Stark comparisons. But
hey, this gets pretty close. Was that you in the videos that we were just showing?
RICHARD BROWNING, FOUNDER AND CHIEF TEST PILOT, GRAVITY INDUSTRIES: Yes, it was. Yes, I kind of slightly jovially describe myself as the founder of
Gravity, but also the chief test pilot, because I usually find myself doing the more unusual flow.
CHATTERLEY: How does that feel?
BROWNING: Yes, I mean, we launched the company back in 2017. I must have done thousands of flights together with my team. And every single time,
that moment, you've just point that thrust downwards and just leave the, you know, the ground and feel the weight come off your feet, it is -- it is
really special every time. It is not a million miles away from that dream that we sometimes have of, you know, floating and flying around. It's that
CHATTERLEY: Yes, I've decided, forget space. This is all about being a human rocket on Earth. Just explain how the jet suit works, please.
BROWNING: Yes, it's quite simple. So you've got a pair of engines, either side of each arm. The net result of which feels like the thrust is coming
up your arm. You've also then got another engine on your back, which is sort of lifting you in the equipment a little bit.
The way to think of it is a bit like a sort of three legged camera tripod. Those thrust vectors feel like you're really just leaning on a worktop or a
sort of kitchen -- yes, a kitchen worktop kind of thing. So you're just leaning. And all the fine control is as intuitive as a bicycle. We just
happened to train the three of the latest pilots only last week, and within three days, they're all flying free of the training tethers.
So it is a bizarrely intuitive process to feel that balance and control.
CHATTERLEY: Wow. So it is about core stability and using your own body to direct how you move this thing. And you just said you train three people in
BROWNING: Yes, so I actually I mean, that Royal Marines film, as you see, I mean, that went kind of all over the place when we shared that. But
that's really the culmination of over a dozen different military exercises around the world, which we've run along, you know, in parallel with
training many, many members of the public and also doing lots of events.
We got up to 115 events in 34 countries just before COVID came along. But the military activity is really interesting to see where we can take it and
that exercises you see really kind of pushed the boundaries. But even since then, we've actually gone and trained three Special Forces folks, I can't
say from which country they're from, but they went from nothing through to actually learning to fly safely free of the tether, and in ridiculous
weather conditions, all within three days -- by the fourth day.
CHATTERLEY: Wow. I mean, how heavy is it, by the way?
BROWNING: So it's about 30 kilos, which is about 50 pounds, something like that. I mean, it's like a sort of enthusiastic hiking backpack. But it's
pretty comfortable. And obviously, when you're flying, it weighs less than nothing. So it's very comfortable when you're flying.
CHATTERLEY: And what does it cost?
BROWNING: Yes, so we did sell a couple over the last few years when we had our arms twisted, but it's not really been our main business because it
does require some training or quite a bit of training to be competent with it. So it would be a bit like handing out helicopters to people, you know,
that's not going to end well.
So when we have sold them, we've kept the equipment on our site. But as we keep maturing the technology, certainly military and search and rescue are,
you know, buying and leasing them. And eventually, potentially members of the public could take them home. Again, we have to just make sure we do
that very carefully. So no one does anything silly with them.
CHATTERLEY: Wow. But that's interesting. So you are already leasing them out as you said to -- I mean, I can see we're talking about military
applications for this, too. But I think the one -- and when I saw these videos originally, I was thinking things like paramedics, search and
rescue, like the flexibility that this gives you to get into hard to reach places is phenomenal.
BROWNING: Yes, I mean, you can see not only that training video I mentioned and the footage you just shown there, but also paramedic training
exercise that we put on our own Gravity Industries YouTube, where you can see -- we kind of surprised ourselves because we turned up on how to play
with what we could do, and we got from the vehicle to the mock casualty within 90 seconds out the side of, you know, fairly steep mountain, whereas
it took 20 minutes to walk there.
BROWNING: And actually, the helicopter there then came in later, as part of the exercise took a while to find the casualty obviously took a while to
fly in. And actually, we seem to have an interesting role to play there.
CHATTERLEY: So, talk about when we go from what you're doing today, and some of the leasing that you're doing to actually, perhaps governments for
their military saying, okay, we're ready, we think this technology is ready. And we can use it. Because, I mean, you've got a Guinness World
Record for traveling, I believe, at 85 miles per hour. As you pointed out, just handing these things out could be incredible both for the person
that's piloting it, but also for other people. So how long do you think it's going to take to get this technology and make it sort of more
BROWNING: So I mean, firstly, a bit like a motorbike. You can drive that very slowly and sensibly around a parking lot, or you can go crazy into a
wall at a large speed. I mean, it's kind of in your hands.
And in the same way, this equipment in five years of us using it with the team with, you know, thousands of flights, hundreds of events, you know, no
one has ever hurt themselves with it, because we've been sensible with it. But it is down to the user, hence, yes, what I said.
But for military and search and rescue, there will be specialist users and it is kind of easier to professionally train them to use the equipment
properly. Again, a bit like buying a helicopter, you can't just buy one and have a go, you have to go through a process.
When it comes to the public, you know, I didn't really set out to imagine that we were going to revolutionize human transport quite yet, but you
never know. The first motorcars started out as noisy, smelly and crazy compared to a horse. And if I tell you that we're going to launch the
electric version in the coming months, I mean, it's going to be a challenge because it's -- you know, it is batteries and they are heavy. But that's
just a sign that, you know, the future steps are coming. So, never say never.
CHATTERLEY: Wow. Wait, so tell me about the electric version then. How heavy is that?
BROWNING: That's all subjective, a bit of a kind of reveal in a few months. But I mean, the energy density are batteries.
CHATTERLEY: You're breaking news.
BROWNING: I was teasing you with it. Yes, the energy density of batteries, you know, most people know this Tesla's -- you know, obviously, that weighs
a lot, and you have to keep recharging it. As battery technology gets better and better, then, you know, our electric system will follow that
For the time being, I think we can fly it off the tether, but for the time being, for instance, it's going to be an amazing training system where
you've got the low voltage power running down the training tether. And then, you know, a quieter, actually lighter means you can learn to fly --
you know, graduate onto the jet suit.
So, in some ways, I feel like I've accidentally opened the door on to a whole world of things that people didn't really think was possible. And so,
you know, we've only been doing this four years, and yet we've done you know, well, we've only revealed it publicly for four years, and we've done
so much already. So who knows what the future holds, really?
CHATTERLEY: How are you affording this? Or are you are you making money? Do you have investors? How does that work?
Are you on the lookout for investors? This is an important question to ask for a company that's not been around too long.
BROWNING: So look, I'm really proud of this because and whilst isn't quite such the glamorous side of the story, which is subject of a book, which we
just launched as well, "Taking on Gravity," I should just keep needing to remember to mention that. I'm really quite passionate about this, that yes,
I had a corporate job for 16 years. I was involved in startups. And I saw quite quickly that it's very easy to just burn through venture capitalist
money with an idea and then realize that the rest of the world doesn't really care and you built something that doesn't have a purpose.
So right from day one, after Adam and Tim Draper, the famous VCs in Silicon Valley did put some money in, they signed it on $100.00 bill on my back on
the first demo I ever did before TED 2017.
CHATTERLEY: How creative.
BROWNING: Since then, we have generated -- that is a whole story in its own right -- since then, all those events, training members of the public,
doing lots of TV, media, film work and doing the literary stuff, we have actually generated, you know, a profit every year since we've been around.
And I'm really proud about that, because it's not just a sort of one hit YouTube, you know, interesting novelty. This is actually a profitable
business that's growing by the day really.
CHATTERLEY: Awesome. Richard, thank you for coming on and making time for us. You've got fascinating things going on. Come back and talk to us,
please when the alleged electric version is ready to be shown.
Richard Browning, founder and chief test pilot for Gravity Industry.
BROWNING: Absolutely. Thank you very much.
CHATTERLEY: Sir, thank you. We'll speak soon.
You're watching FIRST MOVE. More to come.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. From Beeple to biting one's finger, Charlie, NFTs are arguably the hottest thing in artistry and
content creation. Yet an artist in Dubai has been on trend long before digital artwork was ever this fashionable creating voice note art that's
been a huge hit with consumers.
Kim Kelaita has more as part of our Think Big series.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So I'm going to press this here and then look into the thing right here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You tell me when you're ready?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Okay, ready, let's go. Dubai.
KIM KELAITA, CNN REPORTER/PRODUCER: Oh, it's so cool.
AMRITA SETHI, NFT ARTIST: I'm going to then freeze that up.
KELAITA (voice over): Forget a picture is worth a thousand words, for Amrita Sethi, a word is worth a thousand pictures. She uses a technique she
calls voice note art.
SETHI: It's me capturing a sound or word. So I say the word "Dubai." And then each of the lines of the sound wave I draw to match the meaning of
KELAITA (voice over): Amrita left a career in finance two years ago to pursue her passion as an artist.
Her big idea is to digitize her voice note artwork and sell them as NFTs on the blockchain. She says she is the first globally to do so.
KELAITA (on camera): And so a banker but an artist who was an artist by hobby, I'm sure and in this kind of married both of your world.
SETHI: Yes. I would even add a third aspect to that. It is, you know -- it is finance, it is art, and it is technology as well.
KELAITA: Did you think you were going to make any money?
SETHI: If I am honest with you, no, I did.
KELAITA (voice over): Aptly called "What the NFT," Amrita's latest piece is her first venture into 3D animation.
KELAITA (on camera): That was up on the blockchain.
KELAITA: And did that sell?
SETHI: Yes, it did.
KELAITA: It did? How much?
SETHI: Oh, my God. It's -- it was a record breaking amount for me. It sold for $102,000.00. And I just said, yes, "What the NFT."
KELAITA: What the NFT? Amazing for you.
KELAITA (voice over): NFTs in blockchain technology give Amrita the ability to take her art to a whole other dimension.
KELAITA (on camera): It's so cool. In your opinion, is this how we're going to be looking at art in the future?
SETHI: With NFTs, what's going to be happening is you're going to go into a much more immersive experience. It will no longer be a 2D-3D experience.
We're going to be encompassed in such beautiful creativity that is just going to blow all of our minds.
KELAITA (voice over): With the recent explosion of NFTs, artists like Amrita feel they finally have the means to fully express themselves.
SETHI: It was -- I feel like it's almost like NFTs were made for me.
KELAITA (voice over): Back on her computer, Amrita is already working on her next piece.
KELAITA (on camera): Let me do one more.
Kim Kelaita, CNN, Dubai.
CHATTERLEY: And finally, to men who've long been credited for thinking big and one who has been very focused on giving back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think, he is way ahead of where I was at 23. I was still trying to figure it out.
MARCUS RASHFORD, ENGLISH PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALLER: For me being in sports, I just knew that my life could change very, very quickly and --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHATTERLEY: Former President Barack Obama praised the England footballing star, Marcus Rashford who is just 23 for his work in tackling childhood
poverty and hunger.
The two spoke over a video call which Rashford described as "surreal" quote.
Last year, Rashford successfully lobbied the British government to give school children free meals during the holidays.
The pair also spoke about the importance of reading and their experiences of being raised by single mothers.
Amazing work there.
Okay, that's it for the show. Stay safe. Have a great weekend.
"Connect the World" with Becky Anderson is next.