Return to Transcripts main page
First Move with Julia Chatterley
U.S. Jobs Growth Disappoints in December; Kazakhstan's President Orders Security Forces to Open Fire without Warning Amid Protests; Hong Kong Officials, Lawmakers Quarantined over Banquet; Djokovic Thanks Fans Amid Australia Vaccine Row; 4,000 Plus Flights Canceled Friday Amid Storm, Omicron Wave; Bitcoin Sinks as Kazakh Turmoil Hits Crypto Mining; Goldman Sachs Predicts Bitcoin could Hit $100K; Driverless Truck Tests on U.S. Roads; Companies Turn to Trains for China-Europe Freight; BMW Makes a Car which Changes Color. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired January 07, 2022 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Live from New York, I'm Alison Kosik in for Julia Chatterley. This is "FIRST MOVE." And here's your need to know.
Omicron uncertainty. The U.S. shows disappointing jobs growth as the COVID impact remains unclear.
Kazakhstan's lethal order. The president tells security forces they can kill without warning amid protests.
And tennis turmoil. Novak Djokovic thanked fans amid vaccine visa controversy.
It's Friday. Let's make a move.
A warm welcome to "FIRST MOVE." Great to have you with us on another jobs Friday in the United States.
Just released numbers show the U.S. economy adding a much weaker than expected 199,000 jobs last month. The second-straight month of
disappointing gains. Economists were expecting a rise of about 400,000.
That said, we've got a sizable drop-in unemployment rate now down below 4 percent. U.S. wage growth, that came in above expectations as well. And
that could reinforce perceptions at the Fed that the labor market continues to heal.
Early reaction in global markets looks like this. U.S. futures are weakening with tech - with tech looking to be set for another challenging
session. Tech is coming off its third straight day of losses on fears that the Fed will aggressively cut economic support to help tame inflation.
The Nasdaq has fallen more than 3.5 percent just this week.
Europe is mostly lower. New numbers today showing euro zone consumer inflation at record highs. But core inflation was not far from ECB targets.
Asia finished mixed. The Hang Seng, a big winner here, rising almost 2 percent. Tech rose and property shares bounced amid expectations for more
Chinese government support.
All right. Let's get right to the drivers and a closer look at today's jobs report.
Tom Porcelli joins me now. He is the chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets.
Great to have you with us this morning.
TOM PORCELLI, CHIEF U.S. ECONOMIST, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS: Yeah. Thanks for having me. Happy New Year.
KOSIK: Happy New Year.
So, considering what the expectations were, twice as many jobs added in December. I want to hear about your - your reaction to this report.
PORCELLI: Yeah. You know, one thing we were flagging and have been flagging really for the better part of the last year. So, this report has really
plagued by adjustment problems. That's been true for the better part of the last year. And so, what I would submit to you is that I don't know if we
really must be paying all that much attention to this number and in specifically the change in jobs.
Here's what we know. What we know is that ADP, the sort of the companion report for jobs in the United States came out early in this week and
pertained 800,000 jobs. Initial jobless claims are now back to the pre- pandemic level. Nearly every single measure of consumer confidence for the labor backdrop is back to the pre-pandemic level or better.
I mean, you know, I don't know. The fact that we you know sort of, you know, wait with bated breath for this report every - you know every -- the
first Friday of every month. I think right now, particularly given that these are on adjustment problems is -- is probably a fitness guided. Every
other measure looks like a tight labor market. And that's where we are.
KOSIK: OK. So, you say we shouldn't pay much credence to this report. But here's the thing, Omicron really didn't take hold in December as much as
it's taking hold in January. You know, my next question is you know, should we be more concerned about January's report now that December's report
missed expectations by - by you know, by a big number as well?
PORCELLI: Yeah. So, it's a great question. And so, what I would say, just look back at when Delta really came into the forefront. You know, I'm
looking at the data right now, this was back in what, July and August? You know on average over those two months, we did 500,000 jobs.
You know I think that there is - there is almost a question that you know you'll probably going to see some sectors get, you know, feel some effect
from that leisure, hospitality, is obviously one of those sectors that could feel that the impact from that.
But on balance, you know the sort of the job gain elements of the backdrop was not nearly as impacted as some people might think. And so, I think
that's really useful context around what may or may not happen with Omicron.
Again, what we know is that the labor backdrop is - is tight, quick rates are rising. I mean people are feeling very confident about going from one
job to another. I -- I feel pretty confident that over the course of the year, you're going to have another good labor market.
KOSIK: Talk us through how the unemployment rate dropped from 4.2 percent to 3.9 percent, when we're only seeing 199,000 jobs added to the economy in
PORCELLI: Yes. So, this is a -- that's my daughter shouting at me. I'm sorry, sweetie.
KOSIK: Ahh. Please say hello. It's OK.
PORCELLI: It's a snow day. So, they're very excited.
KOSIK: Understand, yes. Understood.
PORCELLI: So, on the unemployment rate, the -- what's interesting about that is they're sort of - the report is broken up into two different
One is the establishment survey, which is you know the 199,000 job gains that we're talking about.
The other is the household survey. And the household surveys, you know, basically, BLS. The government agency that compiles this data. They
basically call people and ask them. Are you employed?
That number - that number of employees, which is separate employment measure. That number of employment rose by 650,000, just as we have
comparison, last month, it grows by a million, right? I mean, so think about these last two months compared to the you know sort of private NFT
number that we all pay attention to.
And so, that is what enabled the unemployment rate to really fall, is that we have people that are saying they're employed. Now I think this is a
really important, maybe slightly nuance idea but work just being out here really quick.
The one thing I would say is people that say they're employed in the household survey -- you know they could be working for themselves. You know
they could be consultants, et cetera. So, you know it's an important idea to bear in mind whereas the establishment number, again the plus 199,000
that we were talking about, those are people that we're working for companies. So, it's a great question. A very nuanced idea. But that's where
the unemployment rate fell.
KOSIK: Yeah. And now as it get too nuanced here, I mean it really shows how difficult it is for -- for this data just to be collected right now, when
it's changed - when there are so many factors involved, right?
PORCELLI: Yeah, I know. I - I think that's a completely fair point. Look, I think that the good thing is, here in the U.S., we have so much data that
we can look at. You know, there are countless employment metrics and labor market reports that you know will help us build a mosaic of what exactly is
going on from a labor market perspective. And that's what I was starting to say at the top. It's -- I think if you look at all of this data, in
combination, they really drive home that the labor market is in really fine shape on that.
KOSIK: OK. Ending on a positive note. Go ahead, go play in the snow with your daughter.
Build a snowman today.
PORCELLI: Yeah. Thank you.
KOSIK: Thanks for your today.
PORCELLI: Thanks. My pleasure.
KOSIK: Tom Porcelli, the chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets.
OK. Now to the latest on Kazakhstan's violent protests. The country's president ordering security forces to shoot without warning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KASSYM-JOMART TOKAYEV, KAZAKHSTAN'S PRESIDENT (through translator): I gave the order to law enforcement agencies and the army to open fire, to kill
without warning. Abroad, there are appeals for parties to negotiate for a peaceful solution of problems. What nonsense. What kind of negotiations can
there be with criminals, with murderers? We have to deal with armed and trained bandits, both local and foreign. Namely with bandits and
terrorists. Therefore, they need to be destroyed and this will be done shortly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOSIK: Nic Robertson is live for us in Moscow.
So, Nic, Russian troops have now arrived in Kazakhstan. I'm curious if you're able to even get a clear picture of what's really going on there.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It's very hard to get a clear picture. The details that we are getting have so far come from very
occasional phone calls we can get through and the government - and what the government is saying.
On the figures the government are putting out at the moment don't really seem to add up. You heard the president there saying he had issued a no
warning shoot-to-kill policy.
We spoke with one person in Almaty just a short time ago who said overnight last night, there was a continuous sound of gunfire ringing through the
city all night. He said right now, the center of the city is now controlled by the military. They've got three big checkpoints in the center of the
city that you can't get near the checkpoints because the soldiers shoot in the air. This person said that he had seen bodies on the ground. It seemed
four bodies lying on the ground while they had been out on the streets in the morning.
But the figures the government is giving at the moment, 18 police officers or 18 law enforcement officers killed. 748 injured. But the government is
saying, despite this shoot-to-kill without warning policy, 26 protesters who they described as criminals, armed, terrorists, without side training,
they haven't given evidence to support that. 26 have been killed but only 18 injured.
Now those figures don't really seem to add up, in a scenario where 748 law enforcement officers are injured, 26 protesters are killed but only 18
protesters would be injured. That really doesn't seem to - seem to add up. But the picture that is getting out of the city is - is very chaotic.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): On Almaty streets, in a hard-to-verify social media post, an ugly overnight crackdown. People scream and scurry for cover.
Panic, as well as bullets, in the air.
"They're dead. They're dead," a man says. A motionless body just out of safe reach, stretched out on the freezing ground.
In the same city, the country's biggest, protesters fought pitched battles with uniformed forces, casualties accumulating on both sides.
Law enforcement appearing to gain the upper hand, with arrests and killings. Police claim they took deadly action overnight, describing an as-
yet unverified, shadowy, shoot first, ask questions later crackdown.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Last night, extremist forces attempted to storm the administrative buildings and police department in
the city of Almaty. Dozens of attackers were eliminated, and their identities are still being verified.
ROBERTSON: The mayor's burnt-out office in Almaty, apparent testimony to the ferocity of the battles fought.
Without offering proof, the Kazakh president claiming protesters are foreign-backed terrorists, an often-used trope to deflect blame that the
Russian government is also repeating. A characterization rejected by protesters.
We're neither thugs nor terrorists, this woman says. The only thing flourishing here is corruption.
We want the truth, this protestor says. The government is rich, but all of these people here have loans to pay. We have our pain, and we want to share
But truth and facts here are in short supply. The Internet, down for a second day. Residents reporting a scary quiet. Braving government warnings
to stay indoors, to go out in search for open shops to buy essentials.
Russian state media reporting heavily on allegedly rampant looting by some protesters, as well as highlighting violence against Kazakh law
As part of a regional security agreement, Russian paratroopers began deploying to guard state and military facilities, the fourth consecutive
day of protest.
Gunfire and explosions still rocking Almaty.
ROBERTSON (on camera): Now while the center of the city may be a little bit quieter, there is a shortage of cash at the moment and there is rationing
in some shops. People being given limited amount of food because that's all that's available. That Russian supply of troops is going into the country,
a very, very big airlift underway, 70 military transport aircraft involved in moving those many, many hundreds of troops into Kazakhstan.
KOSIK: Yeah. This seems to be a fastmoving story.
Nic Robertson, I know you will stay on top of it. Thanks so much.
In Hong Kong, several top government officials and 19 lawmakers are being held in quarantine after it emerged, they attended a banquet with someone
who was COVID positive. More than 150 people were at the event.
Ivan Watson joins us now.
So, from what I understand, Ivan, when the event was held, it was not illegal at the time. But is it safe to say that the perception isn't good?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Not only is it not good. You have got the senior government officials who are making public
apologies, because they know how bad this looks as they are being sent into government quarantine.
Look, Hong Kong has had one of the strictest quarantine regimes since the start of the pandemic. And it has largely succeeded in keeping COVID out.
There had not been a local transmission of the virus for almost three months until mid-December until some air crew were accused of breaking
their home isolation and going to restaurants, nightclubs and bars and started local transmission.
On New Year's Eve, the Hong Kong government issued a dire warning saying a fifth wave of infections could be upon the city, urging everybody to work
together to stop the virus, that it was critical.
And then Monday night, you had a whole bunch of top government officials, pro-government lawmakers at a birthday party at a Spanish tapas bar in town
about 150 people in attendance. And since that party, two of the attendees have tested positive.
The chief executive of the city has said she's deeply disappointed. Among the people now who are being sent into government quarantine. And I think
we have some pictures of this kind of notorious government facility. It used to be a holiday camp. It's called Penny's Bay. And that's where you
get sent for weeks at a time if you are believed to have been exposed to somebody who is COVID positive.
CNN employees who have had to stay there have shared their own images of the conditions there, among the people that are going are the Home Affairs
secretary, the head of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, who just issued a public apology for -- and regretting the incident, and 19
other lawmakers as well. There is a government investigation into this party.
And the local media has posted images of we can't quite confirm but of what appear to be party goers singing with microphones with their masks off. So
- so, this is not a good look for the Hong Kong government. Certainly, this long into the pandemic. Alison.
KOSIK: And I understand we have new information on the problems facing people who have tested positive in Hong Kong?
WATSON: Yeah. I mean, once you get caught into the quarantine system or if you test positive here in Hong Kong, there is no appeals process, really.
You really stuck in the health system, which has largely worked. But we've heard nightmare stories.
And just before your show when to the air, I got a government press release from the health authority saying that on January 7th, they took a four-
year-old girl who was at that Penny's Bay quarantine facility. She had a running nose. They transferred her in an ambulance apparently unaccompanied
by a family member to a pediatric ward where quote, "the girl was arranged to stay on a child cot with a cot side rail up and provided with a call
bell to call for assistance from the staff."
Apparently, a 4-year-old girl given a button in case she needed help, while left alone in the pediatric ward. That girl, the press release goes on to
say, walked on her own out of the isolation cubicle at 8:00 p.m. last night and was instructed by a nurse to go back in quickly.
The nurse didn't have a face shield on, neither did another medical staff member. Those two are now being sent into the government quarantine. And
the girl who has subsequently tested positive for COVID is being sent to another hospital. No mention of any accompanying relative or parent or
anybody like that. And that's a 4-year-old girl being moved around the quarantine treatment facilities -- and the COVID treatment facilities in
the city. Just one of the stories that - that we're hearing in Hong Kong.
Back to you, Alison.
KOSIK: OK. That's certainly disturbing. Hopefully, we'll keep track of that 4-year-old girl and see how you know things progress there.
Ivan Watson, thanks so much for your reporting.
These are the stories making headlines around the world.
Tennis star Novak Djokovic has thanked fans for their support as he faces a visa dispute in Australia. The Serbian player is thought to be staying at a
hotel used to detain migrants after authorities denied him entry for failing to meet vaccination requirements. His supporters have slammed the
government's action and Djokovic is trying to overturn the decision.
Here's how fellow player Rafael Nadal reacted.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAFAEL NADAL, TENNIS PLAYER: He makes his decisions. And everybody is free to take their own decisions, but then there are some consequences. In some
way, I feel sorry for him. But at the same time, he know -- he knew the conditions since a lot of months ago.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOSIK: Our Paula Hancocks joins us now with more.
So, Paula, Djokovic's parents are now saying he's being held captive, but the Australians say he can leave any time he wants?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Alison. We're really hearing some very emotive language coming from the family and also the
supporters of Novak Djokovic. We are hearing from his father, his mother as well saying that he is being held captive. That he is a prisoner. His
father going further saying that it is a persecution of Serbia as well saying that Novak is Serbia, Serbia is Novak. Saying it is politically
But what we've heard from the Home Affairs minister is that Novak Djokovic can actually leave any time he wants. She said, he is free to leave at any
time that he chooses to do so. He is not being held captive. In fact, the border police will actually facilitate that. Meaning that they will help to
deport him, pointing out that anybody coming into Australia does need to have the correct documentation, otherwise, this is what will happen.
And we are seeing this really go to the highest levels. You are hearing from the Australian prime minister. You are hearing from the Serbian
president. You are hearing emotive language from the families and the supporters. And then it is very polarizing. You are also hearing criticism
from someone on the ground in Australia, especially Melbourne, which has been through some very lengthy lockdowns and pointing out that others are
suffering from more. Also hearing from those who are supporting other people in detention in that same facility that Djokovic is in, some of
which asylum seekers, refugees have been there for years.
Now also, an interesting development. We are hearing from the Australia border force about two other players that we heard about. They say that one
has had their visa canceled. We are hearing from the Czech foreign ministry that that is actually Renata Voracova. She's a Wimbledon doubles
semifinalist. She is in detention just like Djokovic at this point.
We understand from the foreign ministry, they say that she is probably going to leave voluntarily as her visa has been canceled. That she is not
going to fight it because of issues with not being able to train at all. And there is also another individual that has already left Australia at
So, it just shows that this is not just Novak Djokovic. There are other people within the Australia Open as well that have fallen filed of entry
requirements coming into Australia. In fact, the newspaper in Australia, the aid said that Voracova did enter with a medical exemption, has she had
been infected with COVID-19 in the past 6 months.
And CNN cannot independently verify that. But that certainly is something that's - that is being speculated about Novak Djokovic as well. He has not
clarified what his medical exemption was for. He has not clarified if he is in fact vaccinated. But to have a medical exemption, it would suggest that
clearly, he is not.
So, this is what people are looking at now. Were these players given the instruction that they could come to Australia with this medical exemption
of having a previous COVID infection and then things change when they got on the ground. Alison?
KOSIK: It could be a major miscommunication. But I'm sure they'll sort it out at some point.
Paula Hancocks. Thanks so much.
Still to come on "FIRST MOVE."
Travel turnaround. The CEO of Booking.com says demand is strong despite COVID and cancellation challenges.
And trade by train, soaring shipping rates given old land route between China and Europe, a new lease of life.
KOSIK: COVID and bad weather continue to disrupt a key travel period. Airlines around the world have canceled more than 4,000 flights today. The
total number of canceled flights in the United States now tops 27,000 since Christmas Eve. But my next guest says that despite the challenges, travel
demand remains strong.
Joining us now is Glenn Fogel, CEO and president of Booking Holdings.
Great to have you on the show today.
GLENN FOGEL, CEO AND PRESIDENT, BOOKING HOLDINGS: Oh, thanks for having me.
KOSIK: And what a week it's been for travel. And I'm curious what you're seeing on your site. Are you seeing travelers actually cancel, you know not
just flights, but you know accommodations like hotels and attractions as well?
FOGEL: Well, of course. Any time that there is an increase in infections when people start getting concerned about getting sick, they will certainly
double think, should they really travel or not. That's obviously impacting travel right now.
And then, of course, all the headlines about a bit of trouble getting planes in the air in the United States has also impacted some people
thinking, should I travel now or not?
It's a little bit unfortunate because the actual percentage of planes that are being canceled is rather low. It's a single-digit number. But it makes
for very big headlines that can cause concern to people.
KOSIK: Tens of thousands of people unable to fly where they need to go and seeing long lines. What do you think should be the message to travelers
FOGEL: Well, I think the message is as we always say, look, if you have to travel, of course, you're going to go. If it's something you may be able to
put off, then maybe you want to do it. But it's all up to the individual. How important is this trip? How important is to get somewhere and how much
are you willing to suffer a potential delay or even a cancellation and a rebooking? It really is up to the individual.
KOSIK: You know things had looked so bright before Omicron really took hold. Where do you think that we're going to be a year from now? Is this
kind of the new normal? Is where you know there is always a new variant that throws a wrench in the travel business, I mean, should we be prepared
FOGEL: Well, I think over the last two years, we have begun to realize that this is not a something is going to go away. I think the more we read about
the experts talking about it, we recognize that this is something I'm going to have to live with. And we have to adjust our living to having this type
of variants come up. There will be infections go up. And then people have to make adjustments.
I do hope, though, a year from now, though, we don't have this very high number of infections there was that disrupt so much of society. And we end
up, look, we live with the flu every year in the winter. We have a flu vaccine that we go and get. And some people get sick. And hopefully, we'll
be in that sort of a situation and it will be one go off weekend. Because this is very disruptive to what we are trying to accomplish.
KOSIK: Vaccinations are a big part of this discussion. I am curious how you feel about requiring passengers on planes to be vaccinated you know to fly
domestically. This is something that Dr. Anthony Fauci said that U.S. government should consider.
FOGEL: Yeah. He did - he did mention that. And I think it is worth looking at. If somebody wants to come to the United States, they have to be
vaccinated. If I get on a plane from New York to Los Angeles, I don't have to be vaccinated.
Now, there's a lot of people debating whether or not being on a plane, is that dangerous or not compared to a restaurant. But using it as an
incentive to get people to get vaccinated, that's an interesting thing. I say even before you go there, just creating different lines at TSA at the
airports where if you are vaccinated, it's much faster to get through. And if you are not vaccinated, it's going to take a little longer, that alone
can cause some incentives from people to get vaccinated. Anything we can do to get people to get vaccinated, I'm in favor of that.
KOSIK: I want to talk about prices for a moment. Because we were expecting prices could jump in January, especially for airfares. What are you seeing,
not just airfares but hotel as well?
FOGEL: Well, look, there will always going to be supply and demand drives the price of an airline ticket or a hotel reservation right now. So, if you
end up in a situation where people all of a sudden are not traveling, you will have a slight decrease in the price. However, the problem now of
course is airlines not being able to get planes in the air.
The availability in January could be a lot less that could impact some of the prices going back up. You may have noticed, for example, Alaska
Airlines already cutting back its scheduled number of flights for January because they just can't get the pilots up in the air.
So, it's always a function. Long term, though - long term though, I feel you will end up when equilibrium will get back to something a little bit
KOSIK: How flexible do you think the travel industry will continue to be with change fees and other fees as people need to change their plans with
you know with the pandemic in effect?
FOGEL: Yes. Flexibility is so important. People need to recognize that something can come up, and you're going to have to cancel. So, you may not
think that you really want to buy that non-refundable one. At our company at Booking.com, we're trying to make this as flexible as possible with many
of our products available that are flexible that you can cancel, or you can change, and it not cost you a lot more money.
KOSIK: All right. Glenn Fogel, CEO and president of Booking Holdings. Great conversation. Thanks very much.
FOGEL: Thanks for having me.
KOSIK: And stay with us. The market open is next.
KOSIK: Welcome back to "FIRST MOVE." I'm Alison Kosik.
U.S. stocks are up and running this Friday. The first week of trading for the new year. It's winding down. And we have a mix open, up. Actually, all
red arrows after the release of today's December jobs report.
The economy adding a weaker than expected 199,000 jobs last month, but the unemployment rate fell sharply.
Wage gains came in above expectations. The numbers appear strong enough to allow the Fed to begin raising rates as soon as March. And perhaps begin
unwinding its pandemic era balance sheet.
Shares of GameStop meantime are rallying on reports that the video game retailer is setting up an NFT marketplace.
GameStop shares soared last year as a part of the wave of meme-stock madness. But shares have since slumped down more than 24 percent last month
alone. We'll have more on GameStop and crypto in just a moment.
But first, a closer look at jobs. Let's bring in Christine Romans. She joins us.
You know Christine, I looked at this number and I thought, you know what, we were supposed to see accelerated job growth. We just didn't see that.
Talk about it with me what you saw.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: So, I see a lot of churn - churn in the American labor market. And I think these numbers are
reflecting that. As you know, there are two surveys that the government puts together every month for this one non-farm payrolls report. And in
those two surveys, they tell two different parts of the labor market.
The survey of companies showed 199,000 net new jobs added back into the economy. The survey of households showed huge job creation. That's why the
unemployment rate fell so sharply to 3.9 percent. So, when the government is surveying people at home, they're saying, yeah, I'm working. And when
they survey companies, companies are telling them how many jobs are adding and it's not as many as you like to see in a robust job market. And that's
because the entire fabric of the workplace has really changed, hast it, over the past two years.
You have 1.2 million fewer women in the labor market with the end of last year than at the beginning of the pandemic, and that's partly because of
all of these education challenges, right? It's because of COVID. It's because women are also finding new business ventures or finding them on
their own. They're not going and working in the office like they used to. So, you have got a lot of different dynamics happening here.
You have older workers who are retiring, maybe permanently, maybe some just temporarily. But they are buoyed really by record high staff market values
and 401k balances and a housing market that's been really strong. If you have been in your home for 10, 15, 20 years, you've got home equity that is
So, there are a lot of different things happening here. And there is also this take this job and shove it kind of aspect to the American labor market
right now. And you've seen it. All these quitters they're calling them in the labor market. People are quitting. They're quitting for better jobs and
better opportunities. They're using the money -- stimulus money from the past couple of years. And they're redefining what their role is going to be
in the workplace. And so, all of this is happening at the same time which makes it pretty confusing to read some of these numbers sometimes.
KOSIK: Yeah. It indicates that a lot of people are just self-employed, like with consulting jobs, let's say from home.
ROMANS: That's right.
KOSIK: You know, President Biden is expected to speak I think in about an hour from now. What are we expecting to hear from him?
ROMANS: You know I think the president will focus on the 3.9 percent unemployment rate. And it would make sense to point out the work that still
needs to be done. We are still 3.5 million jobs short since the -- since the pandemic began. I expect you'll hear him talk about Build Back Better
and some of his initiatives that he wants to make sure we are investing in the American workforce. That's what he is pretty consistently done here
You know I think another thing here that's important point out is what number is the Fed watching? Is the Fed watching 199,000 net new jobs
created or is the Fed watching the 3.9 percent unemployment rate? I think that falling jobless rate gives the Fed room to be raising interest rates
early on this year, you know by March or whatever. So, that's what we are watching for kind of in the marketplace, really what are the expectations
from the Fed here.
I will also point out. And this is really important. You know we have been saying missed expectations. We've been saying that for like the past
Well, the expectations have been totally, totally off and pretty wild and the government, itself, has been raising, revising higher numbers later on,
which they did here in this December report. They revised higher October/November to the tune of 141,000 new jobs. In normal times, that
would be a big, big job gain revision. These aren't normal times. So, that's important to remember, too. We'll likely see this number revised and
maybe revised substantially.
KOSIK: Maybe not have expectations. Maybe we should just push those aside for at least the next six months and maybe things will --
ROMANS: You know, Alison, in context, 6.4 million jobs added back last year. Wow!
ROMANS: That is a lot. 537,000 average monthly job gains in the year. I never thought I'd say a number like that. So, just shows you, we had a
terrible collapse. And this is the build back. And it's volatile and unpredictable and sometimes hard to characterize.
KOSIK: We are clawing our way out of it.
KOSIK: Christine Romans, thanks for walking us through everything.
ROMANS: Have a good weekend.
KOSIK: You too.
Bitcoin has plunged to its lowest level since September as political turmoil grips Kazakhstan. The nation has one of the biggest crypto mining
industries in the world. In August, they accounted for more than 18 percent of the computing power used to mine bitcoin. That's second only to the
Paul La Monica joins us now.
Great to see you, Paul, to break some of this down for us because we are seeing Kazakhstan's deadly -- deadly uprising affect crypto. And is this
the reason we are seeing crypto assets tumble?
PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: I think it is definitely one of the reasons.
It may not be the only one, Alison. But make no mistake, Kazakhstan has become an increasingly important part of the bitcoin chain, if you will, in
the world right now, especially since China has cracked down on a lot of bitcoin mining activities.
So, I think a lot of the bitcoin mining that might have been done in China has maybe moved to Kazakhstan and obviously the United States is still the
world's largest market with regards to bitcoin and other crypto mining.
So, I think we can't underestimate the fact that bitcoin is an incredibly volatile asset and that there are also concerns about whether or not
inflation will hurt bitcoin in the same way that you know potentially could be bad news for gold.
KOSIK: And talk about timing. Goldman Sachs comes out and says, bitcoin is going to reach 100,000, you know, hard to believe. I mean, we're looking at
bitcoin off its, you think about its record highs with near $69,000 in November. You know, what is Goldman Sachs' rational for putting this out
LA MONICA: Yeah. It's interesting to me. Obviously, it's a bit of a contrarian you know sort of view at this time. But keep in mind also,
Alison, this is a long-term prediction. They're saying 100,000 potentially over five years as bitcoin becomes more like digital gold, a store of
value. You may have more investors that decide that they want to own something like bitcoin instead of gold or currencies or other classic store
value investments. If that happens, you have increased that option of bitcoin driving the price. But I don't think Goldman has any allusions that
this is going to happen overnight. It's a long-term prediction.
KOSIK: Yeah. As we watch bitcoin falling another three and a third percent.
Paul La Monica, thanks so much.
And coming up on "FIRST MOVE."
Christmas came early for the truck maker too simple, testing a fully autonomous vehicle without any human intervention. We'll tell you what
happens after the break.
KOSIK: Welcome back. I want you to look at this vehicle here. It's driving but there's no driver. There's no one behind the wheel.
In a - when a world first this self-driving truck is heading into automotive history. Cameras mounted on the vehicle, captured the 130-
kilometer overnight drive in Arizona last month on public roads, successfully navigating its way through traffic.
While there was a police escort. The company said there was no human involvement whatsoever and no one in the cab.
Cheng Lu is the president and CEO of TuSimple. And he joins us now.
Great to have you with us. I want to hear right away what kind of looks did you get? Tell us about the drive. How did it go?
CHENG LU, CEO AND PRESIDENT, TUSIMPLE: Good morning and thank you for having me.
Well, the drive was a success. Before we get into the drive, the reason why TuSimple is this, it's because as consumers we live in an on-demand
economy. We want our goods and services delivered the same day. And this trend is not slowing. And trucking is what moves 80 percent of all the
goods in the United States and many parts of the world.
In the U.S. alone, there is over 2.3 million class 8 heavy duty trucks. In the same times also one of the weakest links of the supply chain given the
increase driver shortage, labor turnover and safety environmental costs. And of course, the pandemic has made this issue front and center. But this
is also not a trend that's slowing down.
So TuSimple, we are developing the world's first -- first-to-market scaled fully economist trucking solution. The autonomous trucks will play an
important part of the industry to make it more resilient and efficient. So last month, we did achieve, as you said, really significant milestone for
the company. It was industry first 80 miles, I think 820 kilometers, without any driver on board. While there were safety precautions, but even
the police vehicle unmarked was following half a mile behind. So, this is really industry first no diver on board, no remote control of the vehicle
and true commercial operations of a fully autonomous truck.
KOSIK: Where is TuSimple with the technology at this point, where we see these driverless trucks literally on the roads?
LU: We are seeing the trucks on the roads. But we are still in development modes. We'll not - these trucks, we are expanding the number of routes over
the coming years. They're fully autonomous. We'll expand the skill and number of autonomous trucks on the road. But today we are primarily in
KOSIK: OK. OK. And I understand you have a partnership with Nvidia. How crucial was this chip deal with Nvidia? And is the chip shortage impacting
your company at all as you signed your name on this deal?
LU: Great question. To really enable the solution, we work with many great partners. And Nvidia is one of them. They are an investor and a great
partner for last five years. If you think about what it means to make an autonomous truck. We basically have a lot of sensors, cameras, lights,
radars, that take input data from the world. So, we see the world around us. And we have to have a very smart software.
Our virtual driver that is using the most cutting-edge artificial intelligence machine learning technology. Understand what's happening and
give very specific, safe, reliable commands to the vehicle. And to power that software, we had to have very powerful compute units. And that's where
our partnership with Nvidia means. So, there is something that's not in the market today. As leaders in this space, we do feel like we have to develop
it. We'll play a role in developing ourselves with partners like Nvidia. The driver -- sorry.
KOSIK: Oh, I do want to get a question in about your preorders -- preorders. I am curious how many preorders you have and if you are able to
generate a profit. I know with so much research and development going on, is it a situation you know where you are burning through cash?
LU: In terms of pre-orders, as of today, we have close to 7,000 orders of our vehicles and these are from really the largest shippers and carriers in
the U.S. In terms of our operations, we are a technology startup. We are using more capital than we are generating from revenue, that is correct.
But at the same time, we were the first and autonomous driving company to be public listed last year on the Nasdaq. And so, we're fortunate to have
great shareholders and a strong investor base and significant capital to allow us to really bring this solution on the roads over the next several
KOSIK: All right.
Cheng Lu, president and CEO of TuSimple. Great to talk with you today on the show.
LU: Thank you for having me.
KOSIK: And coming up.
The pandemic has caused major disruptions to global shipping. We'll see how that is creating new opportunities on land. That's next.
KOSIK: Welcome back to "FIRST MOVE."
As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on global shipping, the use of trains for long haul cargo between China and Europe is suddenly looking
From Paris, Cyril Vanier has the details.
XAVIER WANDERPEPEN, DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT, EUROPE-CHINA TRAINS, SNCF: This train arrived last night to Paris and will be unloaded today.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At this freight station outside the French capital, the end of a journey across two continents.
(on camera): So, this train carried consumer goods all the way from China to France, headbands, electric bikes, sweatshirts, shoes, you name it, but
also items that are used in industry. Components and spare parts like steering wheels, like valves, tubes, and then all of them are going to be
trucked to their final destination.
(voice-over): Rail only accounts for about 5 percent of goods transported between China and Europe. That number though, set the tick up as an old
trading route is brought back to economic relevance.
Beijing has been promoting even subsidizing it part of its Belt and Road Initiative aimed at increasing trade ties and China's economic clout, more
than 6,000 miles from the city of Xi'an through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany and further into Europe. An odyssey usually
completed in less than a month.
WANDERPEPEN: The trainee says this advantage to be able to have circulation within three or four weeks between Europe and China. So, time is more quick
and time is money, of course.
VANIER: The value of time not lost on businesses, especially those that ship expensive cargo. Luxury French furniture brand Ligne Roset sells its
iconic sofas around the world with 20 percent of exports going to China, usually by boat.
(on camera): So, this container full of furniture is about to leave for Qingdao on China's east coast. It should get there in about 50 days. Now a
similar container left yesterday by train and that should get there in 35 days.
(voice-over): These last few months the maritime route has been a nightmare says the group's transport director. Shipping has become two or three times
more expensive and a lot slower.
Europe, China by sea is now taking up to 70 days compared to 40 previously. The pandemic has thrown the global supply chain into disarray.
An increase in demand and a shortage of labor to work the ports and drive the trucks has led to scenes like these, a bottleneck of cargo.
And so, the good old fashioned freight train is making a comeback.
Near Paris, the director of development here expects the number of trains plying the Europe-China routes to double by the end of the decade. The only
spanner in the works, even trains build is more reliable or not completely immune to the pandemic. This one arrived two weeks late after multiple
German operators came down with COVID.
WANDERPEPEN: We leave with pandemic like everybody, as we said in French Salovey.
VANIER (voice-over): Cyril Vanier, CNN, Paris.
KOSIK: Finally, on "FIRST MOVE."
If you're into minds about the color of your next new car, BMW says it's possible to have both and know this is not a video trick. This concept car
displayed at the Consumer Electronics Show has been a huge hit on social media. The SUV is covered in a special wrap containing e-ink like in kindle
but on a bigger scale. There are no plans as of yet to put this into production, though.
Oh, bummer. But good idea.
That's it for the show. I'm Alison Kosik. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @alisonkosik.
Thanks for joining us. "Connect the World" with Becky Anderson is next. I'll see you soon.