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Quest Means Business
Nepal's Capital Under Two-Week Lockdown Amid Case Surge; Thailand Has Imposed New Restrictions Amid Case Surge; U.S. And U.K. Travel Groups Call To Open Transatlantic Corridor; Europe Pledges More Aid To India As COVID Cases And Deaths Surge; Verizon Offloads Yahoo And AOL In $5 Billion Deal; Greg Abel To Succeed Warren Buffett At Berkshire Hathaway. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired May 03, 2021 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: We start our new week together and we are an hour from the closing bell. The Dow is on course for its best way
in two weeks, 300 and 34,100. Look at that, solid, solid green. It is economic based, it is corporate based, it is vaccination based, all sorts
of reasons; we will talk about it over the program.
The markets are bullish and the main events of the day. Europe is promising more aid for India. The head of UNICEF is with me tonight about the global
effort to assist.
Verizon gets rid of Yahoo and get out of the media business. Why and where?
And the very foundations of English football are being challenged. That's the Premier League's view after an ugly day of protest.
We are live in New York, good to have you, it is Monday. We start a new week together. It is the 3rd of May. I'm Richard Quest, and I mean
Good evening. Europe is promising to stand by India tonight as the E.U. has vowed to expedite medical supplies to the country that now has the world's
third highest COVID death toll. The European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen promised more aid when she spoke to the Indian Prime
Minister, Narendra Modi. She called it global solidarity in action.
And the Commission President says oxygen cylinders, ventilators, and medication are on the way. That's on top of these shipments that arrived on
Many countries are already contribute, sending everything from oxygen generators to anti-viral drugs from across Europe. And even as this aid
arrives, the pressure is on Modi growing. His party lost in three out of five local state elections held last month and a former Indian MP says the
government takes ultimate responsibility in terms of the virus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MILIND DEORA, FORMER INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS MP: I certainly do believe that the onus and the primary responsibility falls on the government of
India for failing to see the early warning signs, for derailing, if you will, our country's vaccine rollout.
I also think every state government in a sense perhaps ignored the early warnings signs. And as a result of that, collective complacency set in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: India finds itself in the midst of this health catastrophe despite its unique role as a vaccine power house. In a moment, I will be speaking
to the Executive Director of UNICEF which is working on India's vaccine strategy right now, Henrietta Fore will be with me in a moment.
First, Ivan Watson with some background on what went wrong when second wave hit India.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It was billed as the world's biggest vaccination drive. A COVID-19 vaccine program
launched in mid-January, celebrated by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
NARENDRA MODI, INDIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): We are minutes away from India initiating the world's biggest vaccination drive.
WATSON (voice over): But three and a half months later, India is in the grips of a deadly second wave of COVID infections. Its healthcare system
Meanwhile, the vaccination drive has been a disappointment. India lags far behind other countries per percentage of its population inoculated.
DR. PARUL SHARMA, EYE SURGEON: We vaccinated only two percent of our population right now. We lost two crucial months where we could have ramped
up our vaccines.
WATSON (voice over): India is the world's largest vaccine maker. As it launched the first phase of its vaccination program domestically --
MODI: India is humbled that vaccines built in India are going around the world.
WATSON (voice over): The government also embarked on vaccine diplomacy overseas. Since January, the Vaccine Maitri Program or vaccine friendship
shipped more than 66 million doses to foreign countries.
But at home, experts say, fewer eligible Indians signed up for shots in part because by February the COVID threat appeared to be receding.
SHAHID JAMEEL, VIROLOGIST: Unfortunately, that also created a dilemma in the minds of some people that we are done with this outbreak, so what's the
point of getting a vaccine.
WATSON (voice over): By March, daily infection rates were growing. Meanwhile, vaccine supply was becoming a problem. On April 16th, the CEO of
the Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine manufacturing company addressed this tweet to the U.S. President asking him to lift an
embargo on vaccine component exports.
Soon after, India began asking for more foreign help.
HARSH VARDHAN SHRINGLA, INDIAN FOREIGN SECRETARY: Obviously, if we can source vaccines, we will do it. Whether it is from the United States,
whether it is from Russia, whether it is from other countries.
WATSON (voice over): But that hasn't fix the supply problem. On April 30th, this man says he lined up with his family at 4:00 a.m. for vaccine shots at
this location in Mumbai. They left hours later, unvaccinated.
UDAY BHAN YADAV, MUMBAI RESIDENT HOPING TO GET VACCINATED (through translator): At 9:00 a.m., when the vaccinations were meant to begin, the
authorities told us they had orders from above to shut down all vaccinations.
WATSON (voice over): On May 1st, India was supposed to expand vaccine eligibility to anyone over 18, but at least seven states and territories
postponed the launch citing a shortage of supplies.
WATSON (on camera): You have the world's biggest vaccine manufacturer that's now facing a shortage in the midst of a pandemic.
WATSON: Which is quite a contradiction, isn't it?
JAMEEL: Yes, it is. I really feel that it is poor planning and poor execution that has led to this.
WATSON (voice over): With thousands was Indians dying of COVID each day, Russia has now shipped at least 150,000 doses of its Sputnik vaccine to
help India immunize its vulnerable population.
Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.
QUEST: Now, UNICEF is helping with India's national vaccination strategy. It works alongside with the United Nations there. The UNICEF Executive
Director, Henrietta Fore joins me from Santa Barbara. It is good to have you ma'am, as always.
There is a grotesqueness, isn't there, about this situation? The world's largest vaccine manufacturer has a shortage of vaccines and has the world's
worst epidemic a part of it now.
HENRIETTA FORE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, UNICEF: Yes, Richard. It is really a puzzle for all of us and it is heartbreaking to watch what India is going
through, the toll on families, on the country, but it is also raising alarm bells for other countries in the region and around the world.
We need India, and we need it as a healthy vaccine manufacturing country in our world.
QUEST: I don't doubt that this will sort itself out in the fullness of time and the numbers will come down, but it will come at the cost of death.
So what is the strategy as far as UNICEF is concerned? What is the strategy for getting aid and getting the help and the vaccination there?
FORE: Where we have got a couple of things we have to do. We -- there is a mutant that is in India now and that mutation of the virus is now infecting
different age groups. We even have infants that are now infected. So number one is to try to stop the interpersonal virus infection rate.
And then we have overwhelmed hospitals. As you have just shown in your clip, these healthcare centers are really struggling and it is everything.
It's for personal protective equipment. It's for oxygen concentrators.
So at UNICEF, we have sent in supplies. They are not enough. We are calling on the world to help us, but we need to send supplies to India.
And then, because India is such an enormous vaccine manufacturing component of the world's supply chain, we need to get India back into the business of
making vaccines for the world. So lifting import and export restrictions from countries all around the world, the ability to manufacture in other
locations and maybe the licensing of some of those technologies, all of that will be very important.
But India has done something else, Richard that you know about. It is Swachh Bharat. It is a program in which they brought water and hygiene,
sanitation into rural India, and that is helping them.
So if countries can remember to keep their populations safe, populations get tired of wearing masks and not gathering for festivals and other
activities, but if we can encourage populations to keep themselves safe and use basic hygiene, it makes a big difference.
QUEST: I mean, I agree we don't want to say, we told you so and a plague on our house because you brought this on yourselves, but there is an element
in the case of India of -- as that report from Ivan Watson said, complacency after the first wave, exporting vaccines for arguably
diplomatic purposes, which should have been kept at home, allowing festivals to take place.
I mean, in the rest of the world, we saw a version of that in the U.S. to less effect, with Christmas and Thanksgiving. It begs the question,
Henrietta, did they learn nothing from what they saw elsewhere?
FORE: Well, it is very difficult. Your populations have minds of their own and segments of populations. I mean, you know in your own family and
friends, Richard, we all get tired of lockdowns and as a result, we let down our guards. And when we do so, we become a liability to our family,
our friend, our community.
So we have got to keep our guards up. We have to practice some simple things, like just hand washing will help everywhere this the world,
QUEST: So, let's talk on the question of children and vaccinations and the fact that it is starting to become clear that children of certain ages,
younger children can be vaccinated. But there is still going to be reticence and hesitance until there is more research done on it. What is
UNICEF saying about the vaccination of those under, say, 16, and under 12?
FORE: We think that all of these tests are a very, very good sign. We have got to get children back into school, and as a result, we need to have
vaccinations. Children are not the main sources of -- they are not the vectors of the virus, but they can catch it and they have the capacity
therefore to be those who are harmed by having the virus in the society.
So if we can open the schools, if we can keep the children safe, one way of doing that would be good vaccines. And as you know, Richard, we know how a
number of vaccine manufacturers that are doing tests for children, some 16 and above, some for 12 and above, some for six and above, some even
beginning now on infants.
So that's good news for the world, and it will allow children and their lives, of going back to school to be normal again.
QUEST: Good to see you Henrietta. As always, I'm grateful. Thank you for taking time to join us.
FORE: My pleasure.
QUEST: As we continue QUEST MEANS BUSINESS tonight, Verizon's purple patch is over. It is getting rid of Yahoo and the rest of its media businesses.
Also Warren Buffett has named the man who will someday fill his very large shoes at Berkshire Hathaway. All that in a moment.
QUEST: Not even five years since Verizon bought Yahoo and co, and now, it is now selling it to Apollo Global Management which is a private equity
firm. Apollo is paying $5 billion, bringing Verizon nearly $9 billion as they get AOL as part of the deal as well.
Verizon shares have been up the whole session, strongly so. Otherwise, they have just given back some of the gains.
Yahoo is a case of -- classic case of what might have been as far as Silicon Valley is concerned. In 2008, Microsoft tried to buy it for $45
billion. Yahoo said no. Eight years later, it was sold to Verizon for barely a tenth of that. After that, it was years after Marissa Mayer trying
to turn the company around.
Now, it is being sold for $5 billion and that is with AOL and a few other things being thrown in for good measure.
Brian Stelter is here. This is a tremendous failure -- there is no other word for it -- failure of strategy by the previous management at Verizon
that thought they were going to try and cobble together something.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Right, six years ago, Verizon thought it could grow a big media enterprise, bringing Yahoo and AOL and
other brands on board. The company spent more than $9 billion on these acquisitions.
Now, it is all being unwound and they are taking a huge loss. Partly, this is a testament to the power of Google and Facebook. The digital ad duopoly.
Verizon, a long time ago, thought it could complete with this duopoly and gain a lot of scale in order to sell digital ads. That dream was never
achieved, and now they are essentially surrendering and saying, it is impossible.
So, partly this is about the scale of Google and Facebook, but it is also partly about the strength of these companies. Verizon is a wireless
company. That is what it is focusing on now, new management says, we are building the networks for the future.
And the idea of synergy between content and those pipes, well, this is another case of synergy perhaps failing.
QUEST: All right, but let's look close to home. I mean, Hans Vestberg, the CEO of Verizon said to me a few months ago -- he basically said, look, I am
never going to own a content company. We are not in the business of content. Let other people make content and we will do what we do best,
which is market it and distribute it.
However, that's not the strategy of AT&T, our parent company, is it?
STELTER: No, it is not. AT&T continues to look for synergies between let's say, HBO Max for example, the streaming service. Again, it is to gain
subscribers, and the wireless business, making it easier for wireless customers to sign up for streaming, et cetera, et cetera.
And a lot of the work is behind the scenes. It is not glamorous. It is not sexy, but it is the kind of work that makes customers' experiences better.
Verizon did some of that with AOL and Yahoo, but it is very different to have "Game of Thrones" or HBO shows versus "Huffington Post" blog posts.
You know, I think there is a big difference between entertainment and news. AT&T betting bigger on entertainment.
What Verizon was doing was trying to package up a lot of blogs, a lot of websites, and frankly, that is a really, really difficult thing to do in an
ever expanding internet, you can never own enough content to make it work.
QUEST: Okay, so let's look at AOL, I mean, AOL successfully managed to blow itself up with the horrendous deal AOL-TimeWarner. Now it has blown itself
out of Verizon.
Does AOL have a future? And if so, what is that future?
STELTER: There is actually a small base of customers that still do pay for dial up internet, and AOL does make money from those customers. That's
partly why they are selling for $5 billion and now, $5 billion, Apollo Management believes, it can bring in private equity investment and actually
grow AOL as well as Yahoo.
But it is a hard, hard slog. The internet is so profoundly different than it was 20 years ago in the iconic days of AOL and Yahoo, and what we are
seeing is this attempt to always bring new life into old brands when what we see lately on the internet is it is creating brand new brands, the birth
of something new that's gets all the energy, attention and investment, right?
QUEST: Thank you. Brilliantly put. As always, lovely to have you. Brian Stelter, chief media correspondent.
The chief executive of Intel says the global computer chip shortage could last another couple of years.
Pat Gelsinger told "60 Minutes" that demand was surging for chips across the world. Now, look, you will see this ETF which tracks semiconductors up
10 percent so far this year although, as you can see, it has been a bumpy ride.
And that's because semiconductors are in everything from cars to smart phones and it is all being impacted by the shortage.
Bracken Darrell is the Chief Executive of Logitech, which makes webcams, keyboards and all kinds of smart accessories, had excellent numbers in
their latest release. We will come to that in just one second. We will get into the reasons on that on Logitech.
But just before we do, this smart phone -- sorry, this semiconductor shortage, this chip shortage, are you expecting it to last longer? And is
it now a problem across the industry?
BRACKEN DARRELL, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, LOGITECH: You know, I think it depends on where you are in the industry. There is actually a chip set shortage in
many parts of the industry. But I think in some cases, it will go away fairly quickly; in other cases, I think it will go on for a year or two.
QUEST: If we look at your results, I am not surprised that the -- you essentially built another company. You had the revenues increase of another
original company. But I am not surprised since we are all working from home.
It begs the question as my grandmother used to say, so what have you done for me lately? What happens next?
I mean, it is not difficult -- well, it is difficult to grow when everybody is working from home, but now, we are at home. We have got the mice. We
have got the keyboards. We have got the cameras. We have got the gadgets. What do you do next?
DARRELL: You know what the cool thing is, Richard, the thing that grew us before the pandemic is exactly what has grown us during the pandemic and
will grow us after the pandemic.
It is the rise of e-sports, it is video calling everywhere. It is working from many places and it is people like you and me and other people
streaming ourselves rather than only watching CNN and so there are those four categories, those four cyclical growth trends. They are going to
continue after the pandemic.
QUEST: But that implies that we are going to replace a lot of our equipment. Now, all right, I am knocking on 60. So I am not going -- I have
got all the web cams I need. I have got keyboards which I like to thump until they do break occasionally because I am an old typewriter keyboard
But how are you going to sell me something new and different?
DARRELL: Well, it is so exciting for us because first of all, we have never been more relevant, you know, connection people to their offices or their
family members or someone in the hospital or a teacher.
You know, basically, what people did in the early stages of the pandemic is they scrambled. They scrambled to get whatever was available on the desk.
They scrambled to get ready for what they thought was coming.
And a lot of things weren't available or if they were, they just brought something home from the office.
Now, most people are going to need things both at the office and at home. They are going to want to upgrade to really, the ideal set up. I bet, there
is not a person -- I bet there are about five percent of the people watching this that don't feel like they have the perfect setup at home yet.
So they are going to upgrade.
QUEST: That's absolutely right. Thank you, sir. Thank you. I am not sure what perfect is, but it is good to talk to you and thank you.
And thank you for the products which again, it basically got a lot of us through some very difficult days last year. Sir, I appreciate your time
The Dow Jones Industrials posting tepid gains -- tepid -- to start the week. It is up a third -- three quarters of a percent. It looks a nice and
impressive number and it is a lot of green on the screen.
But if you look at the numbers, the biggest gainers were Dow Chemicals, Walgreens and techs lost ground with Salesforce, Intel, Microsoft on the
NASDAQ is lower as well.
We are now getting an idea of who will succeed Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway. Now, to be clear, the job is not open. The Oracle of Omaha is 90
and has made no indication he plans to step down any time soon.
But when he does decide the time is right, or if God forbid his health fails, it will be Greg Abel, here we are, the current head of Berkshire
Hathaway's non-insurance business. Abel and Ajit Jain have been considered, the two men most likely to take the reins.
Both are Vice Chair along with the 97-year-old Charlie Munger.
Matt Egan is with me. Well, I mean, here is the point, so Abel came out through the backdoor basically that if somebody had to step up tomorrow, it
would be Abel. Is that the closest we are going to get to a crowning of a successor, or is that just the statement of reality that somebody has to
MATT EGAN, CNN BUSINESS SENIOR WRITER: Yes, Richard, this was not necessarily a coronation. You would think that for an announcement of this
magnitude, it would have been more of a formal announcement.
And what may have happened here is that Berkshire Hathaway's hand may have been forced by some comments that Charlie Munger made over weekend during
Berkshire's annual shareholder meeting.
Munger was asked about Berkshire's culture and he said, he wasn't worried about it. He said, quote: "Greg will keep the culture." That, to many close
Berkshire Hathaway watchers meant that some news was coming about a successor, and sure enough today, Warren Buffett confirmed to CNBC that it
is Greg Abel.
So, I don't know whether or not we are going to hear a more formal announcement, but it is sort of funny because this has been the biggest
question that has hovered over Berkshire Hathaway for decades now and we finally have an answer.
And I think that the question is whether or not shareholders are going to be happy with this, because Berkshire Hathaway has actually underperformed
the stock market for the last five years.
The stock is up about 90 percent. The S&P 500 has doubled. The NASDAQ is up nearly 200 percent over that time, so eventually it is going toll fall to
Greg Abel to try to really boost those returns.
QUEST: Okay. Why Abel versus Jain? Why one versus the other, do you think? The two were put as co-vice with a view -- I mean, I suppose when you get
to that age, it is hardly a sort of a beauty contest.
EGAN: That's right. You know, this is actually all about age. At least that's what Warren Buffett has suggested. You know, he said they are both
great guys, but the difference here is that Greg Abel is 59 and Ajit Jain is 69.
And so that means to Warren Buffett that Greg Abel is going to actually have a longer runway here.
And just to tell you a little more about him, I mean, he joined Berkshire Hathaway, he was previously in the energy industry. He is a Canadian, he is
a hockey fan. Warren Buffett has had a lot of high raise for Greg Abel. He has previously said that he is a first-class human being. He called him
this guy who is never going to do a dumb thing.
QUEST: But Matt, is it responsible to have left it so late? One is 97. The other is in his early 90s. I mean, isn't it prudent and the responsible
thing to let the market know that who is the person who will take over if God forbid something happens, which it will, eventually, of course.
EGAN: Absolutely. I think that's kinds of 101 in risk management is that you do want to set out the successors. And you know, what is interesting is
that one of the reasons why Berkshire hasn't performed as well as maybe as it could have is because there had been these succession questions hovering
over the stock.
The fact that Berkshire waited so long to finally announce a successor has actually created some sort of a discount in the stock. Another reason why
it hasn't performed that well is because it has got a ton of cash just sitting there on its balance sheet, cash of up to $145 billion.
Berkshire Hathaway just hasn't felt the need to pull the trigger on a major acquisition, so that is another over hang here.
QUEST: Good to see you. Matt Egan, I appreciate it. Thank you.
EGAN: Thank you.
QUEST: QUEST MEANS BUSINESS tonight. Travel groups says it is time for the U.S. and Europe to open up as more eager travelers are fully vaccinated.
The industry is pushing Joe Biden and Boris Johnson for a transatlantic bubble, in a moment.
QUEST: Nepal is the latest country to ban all commercial flights from India, Brazil and South Africa. That will start at midnight on Wednesday.
And commercial domestic flights will be suspended on Monday. Nepal, many of India's neighbors is feeling the impact of the crisis next door. CNN's
Kristie Lu Stout from Hong Kong.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka pray for divine help to stop a deadly wave of the coronavirus that is
sweeping across India.
KOLLUPITIYE MAHINDA SANGHARAKKHITHA THERA, CHIEF PRELATE, KELANIYA BUDDHIST TEMPLE: Buddhists monks and Buddhist people in this country want to share
the -- our sympathy with the people of India.
STOUT: India is grappling with the world's worst COVID-19 outbreak with record numbers of infections and deaths. And the crisis has spilled across
the border into Nepal where the capital is now under a two-week lockdown. Officials say the rate of infections there has increased beyond the control
of the health systems in several districts, most of which are near the border of India. Before the restrictions went in effect people crowded bus
stations to get out of the city.
PAVITRA PARIYAR, PASSENGER (through translator): There is fear of coronavirus. We may die of coronavirus if we stay here. So we are going
back to our villages.
STOUT: In Sri Lanka, more than 100 areas across the country are under lockdown because of a jump of infections in April. Schools are closed and
employers are being asked to limit the number of people reporting to work. The Philippines is extending its lockdown in many cities until mid-May.
Last week the country's surpassed one million confirmed cases stretching hospital resources, especially in the country's capital with the outbreak
is at its worst.
DR. ROSE MARIE ROSETE-LIQUETE, HOSPITAL DOCTOR: Beds, we don't have enough beds. They're all full already.
STOUT: Thailand is converting a check-in Terminal in its main airport into a vaccination center.
PHASIN SRISAYAM, THE AIRWAY STAFF (through translator): The airport has a lot of space, and the team has managed good social distancing.
STOUT: Bangkok recently closed public parks, gyms and daycare centers until May the 9th and introduced fines of up to $640 for not wearing a mask in
Pakistan is cutting 80 percent of incoming international flights in the next few weeks to try to curb the number of cases there. The military also
stepping in to patrol the streets and cities like Lahore to enforce mask wearing and to make sure shops closed at 6:00 p.m.
Countries across the region taking measures to contain the spread of the virus. But it may not be enough for some places. Singapore announced it is
tightening its entry restrictions, closing its borders to visitors from Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Kristie Lu stout, CNN, Hong
(END VIDEO TAPE)
QUEST: Traveling the United States hit a pandemic record at the weekend. The tourism industry is on both sides of the Atlantic are calling for a
reopening of transatlantic travel. More than two dozen organizations wrote to Joe Biden and Boris Johnson asking them to bring up a travel corridor
when they meet at the G7 next month. According to the letter safely out reopening borders between the U.S. and U.K. is essential for both country's
economic recovery from COVID-19.
And the E.U. and similar vein has now published its proposals to welcome back U.S. visitors this summer. CNN's Pete Muntean is our aviation
PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Richard more Americans are traveling all the time via by land or by air. The TSA screened 1.62 million
people at airports across the country on Sunday. That is the new record of the pandemic. That number almost 10 times higher than where we were a year
And now industry groups are saying that there needs to be more travel between the United States and the United Kingdom that those routes to be
opened up in a bigger way. So, dozens of industry groups have now written a letter to President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson to say there
needs to be a transatlantic travel corridor.
The groups say that both leaders of both countries can make this announcement at the G7 Summit next month and they say that the leaders can
do this because of the fact that vaccines are readily available. So as testing, they say this can be done in a safe way.
MUNTEAN: The CEO of American Airlines Doug Parker says that airline is heavily engaged in trying to reopen these rounds in a bigger way. Richard?
QUEST: The English Premier League says the foundations of English football itself are being challenged after Manchester United fans stormed the pitch
at Old Trafford on Sunday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: This protest against the team's owners started outside the stadium and forced the match against Liverpool to be postponed. As for the Premier
League, for the violence was unjustified. However, we recognize the strength of feeling and the rights of fans to know what's happening.
"We are committed to maintaining close dialogue with supporters and their representatives as we work with the FA and government to identify solutions
but ask that all protests are peaceful."
Alex Thomas is in London. Shaking to the foundations of the game. But if hyperbole or accurate.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: Think how embarrassing it is. The Premier League arguably the best version of its product that goes to more
than 100 countries -- 180 countries across the world. This was a prime match between the two biggest clubs in English football, an absolute
marquee game. Manchester United against Liverpool and it never happened. All those broadcasters tuning in, all the adverts space sold.
And millions of T.V. viewers left disappointed all because around 1200 fans managed to get in around the stadium and around the Manchester team hotel
and stop this game happening. United have got less empathetic gear for the Premier League bosses than they would have done after this failed Super
League attempt a couple of weeks back. And indeed earlier today, the Premier League announced new measures to try and combat that (INAUDIBLE)
QUEST: Right. They're going to try and tie everybody and make it to a much more
difficult with many more penalties if you start behaving like that. But this idea that the fans can get the Glazers out. It's simply fanciful.
THOMAS: It is and the Manchester United supporters trust when as far as releasing an open letter to the owners saying, you know, we wrote to you
last Friday, you don't seem to respond. So, here's another try. We want changes to the board more independent directors that can oversee what
you're doing. A share scheme for fans with voting rights. We want answers by Friday, and the letter actually says this is the only way to move on. We
suggest you take it.
Which sounds rather threatening to me. But when you consider the disruption they managed to do with just 1200 fans on Sunday. Maybe the Glazers should
start listening. Of course, we don't know what they think because they never give us any interviews. Not just us anybody.
QUEST: Right. Right. They never give interviews and of course the last -- all they said is last time after the Super League is we're sorry, and we
should have gotten a little bit better. I do wonder though, how much the Glazers put a business hat on.
How much will the Glazers just simply say oh, for goodness sake, these are the usual troublemakers. The fact is that OK, so we lost one match. We will
have other matches. The Man U is still a cash cow.
THOMAS: It's only a guess but I think they would sell if someone came along with a big enough after Forbes value the profit just over $4 billion. It's
reported the Glazers will be looking at something over $5 billion. We know the club is still leveraged to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars,
well over $600 million. That is fixed the club not to the Glazers, but that certainly is the issue.
And they've had a lot less success in the eight years since Alex Ferguson left in 2013 than the first eight years of their ownership. And I think
it's beginning to tell the pressure.
QUEST: OK. So that lack of success, is it because -- and they spent a lot of money on players, but is that lack of success because Ferguson went and
basically those who replaced him weren't that good or were not as good or it has something to do with the Glazers? Can we pin the lack of success on
THOMAS: A bit of both, I think the other issue is Ed Woodward is the Executive Vice Chairman or CEO who has already announced he's going to
resign by the end of the year, probably earlier than that if you listen to rumors in the wind. He was great in the commercial posts. I remember
speaking to him where he said, every time I'd add an extra salesperson, they pay for themselves because the brand is so good. You can sell it
globally, no problem at all.
He's not been so good as the head man in charge of the football matters as well.
QUEST: Alex, always excellent to have your interpretation are grateful. You've given us time. Thank you. And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for the
moment. We'll have a dash to the closing bell at the top of the hour. The market is up at the moment. You're aware of that. Before all of that
though, I'll be back after this break with World of Wonder, Maldives.
QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. And now we have that dash to the closing bell, which is only 2-1/2 minutes away. And the Dow is enjoying the best
day in two weeks. It's crossed 34,000. Again, although I'm saying that but it's only holding on bets. You see how we're up half a percent. We were up
point-eight a little while ago but we've given back some of those gains as we go to the close.
My gut is it'll still hold 34,000 for the next two minutes. We will find and see. The NASDAQ is lagging behind on the triple stack with the tech
stocks are struggling. Intel's chief executive towards 60 Minutes the chip shortage could last years and Logitech CEO told me a moment or two ago the
chip shortage could at least last a year or two. Intel talking of chip makers is one of the few low losers on the Dow 30.
The cyclicals are leading the way. You don't often see that. You got a good gain by Dow averaging the energy stocks IBM, Home Depot, Verizon is in
there somewhere on the back of the deal with -- get rid of Yahoo and AOL. COVID pictures continue to improve in the United States. Number of cases
and deaths now one-fifth of the January peak. India's COVID-19 death toll has climbed to its highest, third highest in the world behind the U.S. and
And the E.U. is promising more aid including oxygen medication. The Commission President says it was a global solidarity in action after she
spoke to the Prime Minister of India. Various E.U. countries are already contributing aid sending everything from oxygen generators to antiviral
drugs. In the past hour, the head of UNICEF helping India with its national vaccination strategy told me the country needs where it needs it to help
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HENRIETTA FORE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, UNICEF: There is a mutant that is in India now. And that mutation of the virus is now infecting different age
groups. We even have infants that are now infected. So, number one is to try to stop the interpersonal virus infection rate. And then we have
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: That is the dash to the bell. I'm Richard Quest. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable. On Wall Street trading is
over. The closing bell is ringing.
QUEST: The gain of -- not the best of the day but not far off. "THE LEAD" Jake Tapper starts now.