Return to Transcripts main page

Quest Means Business

U.K. And Germany Make Plans For COVID Booster Shots; Equinox Mandates Vaccines For Gym Members Starting In New York; Jack Dorsey's Square Looks To Buy Afterpay For $29 Billion; Africa's Most Populous City Faces Growing Flood Risks; Thousands Of Migrants Stranded In Coastal Colombian Town; U.K. Welcomes Fully Vaccinated U.S. E.U. Travelers. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired August 02, 2021 - 15:00:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Start of a new week. An hour to go before the end of trade and hopes of a record-breaking

session have fallen by the wayside.

Look and see how the Dow traded. It was a good start to the day, and for most of the afternoon, and we will explain why in this program, we have

bounced around the zero, which is exactly where we are at the moment.

There you go. We are at just zero, give or take. I couldn't believe it. Now, the markets as you see them, and the main event of the day are these.

Germany now joins the queue for COVID boost shots. Demand for vaccine doses is about to soar. We look at the implications.

Equinox is banning unvaccinated customers from its gyms after New York's Governor tells private companies to act.

It's really simple, you buy now, you pay later, BNPL. Jack Dorsey makes his biggest bet yet on Australia's Afterpay.

Live from New York, start of a new week, it is August. How did that happen? The 2nd of August, I'm Richard Quest and I mean business.

Good evening. Tonight, the COVID situation seems to be getting worse with the delta variant and so is vaccine inequality. So, we're following two

major developments that are likely to deepen the two-speed pandemic recovery that we're seeing around the world. The first, wealthy western

nations are now turning to booster shots whilst the developing world is struggling to get any vaccines at all.

And at the same time, the two most in demand drug makers are preparing to raise their prices of their vaccines. The first area of this, starting in

September, Germany will offer a third vaccine shot to the elderly and to those with underlying conditions. In the U.K., 32 million people could be

eligible for another dose to protect against the variants in the winter.

Jacqueline Howard is in Atlanta. First Israel, then the U.K., now Germany. I see a pattern here. It's going to become the norm that those

immunosuppressed or those with health difficulties or the elderly will be getting third doses.

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: That's right. It does seem like it is becoming the norm, and the rollout of these third doses we can imagine

will parallel what the rollout of the initial doses looked like where older adults and those who are immunocompromised will be prioritized to receive

doses first. And the timing of this shouldn't come as a surprise.

The U.K., for instance, was the first western nation to authorize vaccines back in early December, and now, along with Israel and Germany we're seeing

the U.K. is among those nations that are offering a third dose.

So, Richard, the rollout of this comes as no surprise. The timing is what kind of might seem as a surprise to some as it hasn't been a year yet since

those first doses were administered.

QUEST: And do we know the booster shots, are they exactly the same composition? Because I know that the various drug makers have said they are

working on boosters or they are working on vaccine that does account for the variants.

HOWARD: That's right. Drug makers such as Pfizer, BioNTech, and others are working on a booster that will specifically target the delta variant,

but for now, these third doses from what has been said will be similar to what was given as the first and second dose. And Pfizer, for instance, has

data on this.

Pfizer says a third dose of its vaccine can boost antibody levels that should protect still against delta 11-fold more than that second dose did.

So, there's still a benefit to receiving a third dose, even though it's not that specifically, you know, new formula tailored to the delta variant.

QUEST: Jacqueline, thank you. That set up nicely for our discussion. Thank you.

The "Financial Times" says -- because this is the other side of that equation -- Pfizer and Moderna are to raise the prices of their COVID

prices within the E.U. and one imagines, that will eventually elsewhere. Moderna's goes up $3.00 to $25.00 a dose. Pfizer up almost $5.00 to $23.00

a dose. Pfizer was always the more expensive or at least, the more difficult to negotiate with.


QUEST: What this means, of course, is the economics, the law -- the 101 law of supply and demand. As demand goes up, so does the price. There are

the fear of the variants so more people want the vaccine.

There are concerns with rival products. AstraZeneca and J&J, rare blood clots, lower efficacy. Therefore, the mRNA ones, Pfizer and Moderna, demand

goes up. Price goes up.

The new prospect of booster shots. You had just heard us talking about it. Countries will need more product than expected. So, if the demand goes up,

supply goes up. It's a straight forward as that. However, we are talking public health here and we are talking about a vaccine in scarce supply.

Jeffrey Sachs is the Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, the Chair of "The Lancet" COVID-19

Commission. Let's split this into two first, Professor, if we may.

This issue of booster shots will create more demand in developed world for existing supplies. Now even though supplies are going to be coming on

stream in the developing world, do you fear that has a knock-on effect?


vaccine coverage to the developing countries. It's really unbelievable that the vaccine-producing countries, the United States, U.K., European Union,

China, India, and Russia have not sat around the table and presented a transparent plan for how billions of people that have no access are going

to get access.

In Africa, the proportion of population that is fully vaccinated, under two percent.

QUEST: Right.

SACHS: It's unbelievable.

QUEST: And it --

SACHS: So now the boosters are coming, and as you have been saying, this will exacerbate the inequalities. But most stunningly, there is no planning

taking place to rectify this situation. No systematic approach to increase the supplies. No decisions on allocation.

The rich countries decide we'll do more boosters. We'll use them as we see fit without any sense of responsibility whatsoever to the rest of the

world, and without any apparent awareness that the reason we get variants, whether it's delta or gamma or others that are going to come is that there

are vast unvaccinated populations, and this virus is mutating.

QUEST: The question of raising the price. Now, some manufacturers, Moderna and the like, they have taken R&D money from either the government

in the U.S. or in the E.U., therefore, they were bound by certain rules. But those rules seem to be coming off now with the boosters.

Do you think -- is it right or fair, do you think, that they are basically say, well, we are a for-profit organization and, therefore, we should be

entitled to charge more for this vaccine.

SACHS: It's absurd, of course. Government paid for these vaccines. What has happened is that these companies have created billionaires. It is

estimated roughly a dozen people have become billionaires during this period for money that was paid for by the National Institutes of Health on

intellectual property that is co-owned by the National Institutes of Health.

It is shambolic, I would say, that the U.S. and other governments just hand over tens of billions of dollars to companies that were the recipients of

public funds for this -- developing this vaccine. None of it makes sense actually or it makes sense in a very perverse way.

QUEST: But Jeffrey, at what point do you think that the Moderna's and J&J's and particularly Pfizer's of this world are entitled to say, we are a

private, for-profit company. We've done our bit. We've produced the billions of vaccines that we said we would for those countries that wanted

them and we have given to COVAX and we've done all of that, now, we're going to make some more money for our shareholders.

SACHS: Well, they are entitled to say that, of course, and governments are entitled to say we paid for it. We are co-owners of the property rights

and you're going to do no such thing.

So the companies, of course, are going to say this. Moderna was worth -- on the market, $19 billion on January 1, 2020. It's now $140 billion.

Well, that is money that was invested by the National Institutes of Health. That is research from University of Pennsylvania. Those are patents that

are co-owned by the U.S. government. So they can say whatever they want, but where are our governments that are defending the common interest?

They're nowhere to be seen.


QUEST: Would you be in favor of -- and this will obviously not just be in the U.S. because we're talking here about price rises, I am guessing for

the very reasons you've just said. Pfizer and Moderna haven't announced price rises in the U.S. for that reason. But if you take the E.U., which

paid for it in different ways by guaranteeing certain production levels in any way, would you say that they should legislate? Would you say that they

should do something even though it would smack of interfering in the free market?

SACHS: There is no free market here. This is public funding for intellectual property. There are patents. This is not a marketplace. This

is a designated monopoly based on public funding to develop intellectual property.

So, there is no free market here at all. What there is, is an amazing lack of responsibility of our governments. I would start with the U.S.

government, by the way, which funded this core research and did not either did think ahead in a way that is completely inappropriate or failed to

think ahead that if you give the monopoly rights over to two companies based on this knowledge that you have paid for, well, of course they're

going to rise in value by tens or hundreds of billions of dollars, but at the cost of society.

QUEST: Jeffrey, Professor Sachs, thank you. Good to see you, sir, as always.

SACHS: Great to be with you.

QUEST: Equinox says it will no longer allow unvaccinated people inside its sports clubs. Gym members and staff will now need to show proof of

vaccination as a condition of entrance. The policy takes effect next month in New York, where it was announced by the state's governor urging

businesses to adopt vaccine-only policies.

The Governor, Andrew Cuomo said those rules are in everyone's best interest.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Private businesses, bars, restaurants. Go to a vaccine-only admission. I believe it's in your best interest business.

You know, if I go to a bar and I want to have a drink and I want to talk to the person next to me, I want to know that that person is vaccinated.

If I go to a restaurant and I'm sitting at a table and the table right next to me, I want to know that they're vaccinated. I believe it's in your

business interest to run a vaccine-only establishment.


QUEST: Jason Carroll is with me in New York. The Governor there is talking about something similar, of course, to what has been done in Italy

and in France with varying degrees of success. The Mayor in New York today -- well, it was a bit of a mishmash, wasn't it? It is not a requirement or

the Mayor in New York -- well, it's a requirement -- I don't know what it is when it comes to the mask. Am I -- do I have to wear a mask or not in

New York?

JASON CARROLL, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, let me give you the short answer. It depends. That's first. And second, it is highly

recommended. And third, you're correct. You know, oftentimes New York City's Mayor and the Governor of New York don't sort of see eye to eye when

it comes to policy rollout. And so, oftentimes that's why there's a little bit of confusion.

When it comes to what the Governor is saying, you heard him there, Richard. He is urging businesses to have a -- to make sure that whoever is using

whatever type of business establishment it might be, a restaurant like the one behind me, it could be a grocery store, it could be a gym, for example,

to have a vaccine admission-only policy.

And in fact, after he made that announcement a little earlier this morning, shortly thereafter, Equinox, a major sort of gym chain here in the United

States. I believe there's an Equinox in London there, too. Equinox and SoulCycle said going forward, we are only going to allow those people,

those members who are vaccinated inside our establishment.

But I asked the owner here of Cafeteria, which is a very popular restaurant here in New York City, given what the Governor has said, given what the

Mayor has said, are you going to change your policy? I want you to listen to what the co-owners had to say just a short while ago.


MONICA NOVO, OWNER, "CAFETERIA" RESTAURANT: I think it's a great approach. Ultimately, you know, as we've all been saying, New York is a resilient

city. I mean, I think it's important that everybody take part and do, you know, whatever is needed to try to eradicate as much as we can this virus.

If it's just a short little step back in wearing a mask for a little bit longer indoors or any part where there is a high level amount of people, we

should do it. I think it's important. We should try to do as much as we can to try to save our city and save our businesses.



CARROLL: So, Richard, the question is will other businesses follow suit and start requiring their patrons to be vaccinated? The Governor brought up

a good point. He brought up Radio City Music Hall, which has now been requiring anyone who goes to Radio City to be vaccinated before they can

attend one of the shows. And apparently, the shows have been sold out and very, very busy. So, we'll see what happens going forward.

QUEST: Jason, can't -- okay. Do you get the feeling, Jason, that there is a move towards this? The average bar, the average restaurant, I mean --

and the other problem of that, of course is that if you look at France, they have designed a digital app that shows you have been vaccinated.

Now, in New York, we have the Excelsior app which some have and some don't, and it's all a bit of a hodgepodge.

CARROLL: Right. And you know what, I think it's a great question. I think it depends upon in some cases, the size of the business. If you have got

larger restaurants, businesses like Cafeteria or an Equinox perhaps that are more corporate, it might be a little more easier to adopt some of these

policies or some of these recommendations.

But when it comes to some of the smaller businesses in New York City, and as you know, New York City is made up of a lot of small businesses, sort of

like making it up on the fly, and if you've just got a recommendation, but it's not a mandate, and things -- and budgets are tight. With a lot of the

smaller businesses you get the feeling that they are just going to wait and wait until someone actually says, yes, there's a mandate. You must do it.

If you're recommending it. Okay, I'm listening to your recommendation but not necessarily going to enact it in my small business.

QUEST: A good point, which, of course, is what happened in Europe. They enacted it. It became the rule and the law. Thank you, Jason Carroll

outside Cafeteria.

YouTube has suspended Sky News Australia from posting new content for a week. The video platform says, the ban is related to COVID-19

misinformation. This is an extraordinary development for a major organization. We'll talk about it after the break. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.



QUEST: Wall Street's hopes for a fast action on a $1 trillion infrastructure plan that appear to have been dashed today.

If you look at the market, the Dow came off its session's high after the Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned against what he called an artificial

timetable. Senate Democratic leaders wanted a vote this week.

The S&P and the NASDAQ are all well off their highs. The Dow is negative. The other two are just barely, barely there.

Matt Egan is here. Now, the plan, the 2,000-and-something-page plan came out and everyone is pouring over it. They want to start voting and yet,

Mitch McConnell, who had originally said let's proceed with it, is now putting the brakes on.

MATT EGAN, CNN BUSINESS SENIOR WRITER: Yes, that's right, Richard. I think hopes that this would be quick and easy have been dashed, but not really

much is quick and easy in Washington these days. And it probably didn't help market sentiment.

I mean, it looked like the market was going to be off to a really hot start in August. The Dow was up more than 250 points this morning. It actually

set a new record high, but that rally has clearly fizzled with the Dow turning negative in recent trading.

And you know, business leaders, they have been urging Congress to enact this bipartisan infrastructure bill. It would provide a lot of funding for

roads and bridges, transit, broadband. But I don't think that the market is going to be living and dying on these infrastructure headlines. Not like

the market was living and dying in 2017 on the tax cut headlines.

If this gets done, I don't think the market is going to go straight up. If it doesn't, the market is probably not going to tank.

I think the greater focus is what comes next from Washington, particularly that $3.5 trillion American Families Plan. Investors want to know how much

of that gets through Congress and whether or not there is going to be tax hikes to pay for it. If there are tax hikes, how much higher are taxes

going to go? And Richard, the other focus, of course, is on the economy, and this morning, we learned that manufacturing activity in the United

States in July decelerated for the second month in a row.

It's still growing, but not as fast, and one strategist told me just before, he said the ISM Manufacturing Report, it really just raises those

concerns about peak economic growth.

QUEST: Matt Egan, thank you.

Square is the payment company that started by Twitter and founded -- and the founder Jack Dorsey wants to buy one of Australia's leading tech

companies, a buy now, pay later app. It's called Afterpay. $29 billion, the acquisition will be larger than the Salesforce purchase of Slack which was

$27.7 billion and remember, Facebook bought Instagram for a billion back in 2012.

Afterpay lets you make online purchases big or small and pay them off in four bimonthly interest-free payments. Late fees for missing payments are

capped to 25 percent. Australia's S.E.C. - Securities Commission found 20 percent of buy now, pay later users industrywide were missing payments and

half under 30 said they have cut back on essential items to make payments.

Lisa Ellis is a partner of the research firm, Moffettnathanson. I read your notes on this. Whenever you hear this buy now, pay later, it sounds really

good essentially. It is interest-free credit for a short period of time that could help you do cash management, and I don't think you believe that

for one second.

LISA ELLIS, PARTNER, MOFFETTNATHANSON: You know, you're right. It is -- I think of the buy now, pay later offering for the consumer of a little bit

of a hook, a little gimmicky. It helps move through some cash management, you know, maybe right before you get your paycheck. But really what it does

is it brings the consumer into the Afterpay app where then they are presented with, you know, merchant promotions, sales, a lot of marketing

activity and what the merchant, the retailer is really paying for is that aspect of it.

They deliver attractive affluent consumers with higher ticket sizes, higher conversion rates. It's more of a market -- it is much a marketing services

type of offering as it is a lending offering.

QUEST: So, the skeptics like me or the cynics like me even who think this is all about making money off interest for people who fall behind

payments, this is the digital equivalent of the paycheck loan company. You are saying I'm wrong.

ELLIS: That's right. At least, and certainly, in the case of Afterpay, there are plenty of other players in the space that may have a different

business model aligned more with what you're describing, but in Afterpay's case, they only -- they derive about 85 percent of their revenue just from

those merchant -- from the merchants like the retailer is paying the fees.

They are paying because Afterpay is bringing the consumer and demonstrably drives larger ticket sizes. You buy more stuff. You buy more expensive

stuff because you're in the Afterpay platform. And actually only about 15 percent or 20 percent of their revenue is from the fees aspect of it, from

late fees, et cetera. And that's -- yes, so it's a small part of their business.


QUEST: Right, but $29 billion is an eye-watering amount of money. Now Jack Dorsey, obviously, knows something that most of -- I mean, he is

considerably wealthier and he has run many successful businesses. Look at Twitter, which started and collapsed on its share price. Now up in the 70s,

and Square which is ubiquitous. What does he know that I don't?

ELLIS: Well, in this case what Jack Dorsey knows is that two-sided networks where you've got a compelling merchant value proposition and a

compelling consumer value proposition where both sides benefit is the absolute Holy Grail in payments. It's what makes Visa, Mastercard, and

PayPal so valuable because they've got these huge, deep competitive moats because they have these two-sided ecosystems.

And Afterpay has one of those. It's small, but it is very compelling. The merchants and the consumers are very loyal and what Square has is pieces of

each side. They've got a bunch of sellers, the small businesses that use the Square point of sale systems and they have got a bunch of consumers

that are on their cash app. It's their U.S. kind of digital wallet.

But the two sides to date are not connected to each other. And what they are buying with Afterpay is the ability to connect their two ecosystems

which makes them, you know, catapults them, really, it's a game changer for them. It catapults them to a whole another level within payments.

QUEST: But the growth of Fintech -- and I don't mean at the wholesale level, I mean at the retail level, is a revolution. And I use the example.

You've got Cash App, but also Venmo, which has become a verb in the United States.

You know, people go out for dinner, they split the bill and they Venmo each other. I think I've paid by Venmo. I pay this by Venmo. These are players

that five, ten years ago they didn't exist.

ELLIS: That's right. P2P payments what you just described that me splitting the bill with you, has turned out to be a killer use case in

Fintech because it has a viral aspect of it where it builds these networks because people join with their friends. And so, the P2P systems like you

said Venmo, which is now owned by PayPal. PayPal is the granddaddy of these. Square now with Cash App, they have been able to come out of nowhere

like you said in the last -- just in three or four years by creating this kind of network effects amongst family and friends through that kind of

person to person payments.

QUEST: It's fascinating. We'll need you more to help us understand this as these developments go by. Thank you so much. Excellent to have you with

us today. Thank you.

ELLIS: Thank you.

QUEST: YouTube has suspended Sky News Australia from posting content on its site for over a week over allegations of misinformation.

From Sydney, our correspondent, Angus Watson has the details.


ANGUS WATSON, CNN PRODUCER: YouTube temporarily suspending main stream television network Sky News Australia from uploading on its YouTube channel

accusing the Rupert Murdoch-owned outfit of spreading misinformation regarding COVID-19.

Now, Sky News Australia rejects that it's done that. It said that it has not spread misinformation regarding COVID-19 and went as far as on Monday

in an editorial saying that YouTube has attacked its freedom of thought.

But Sky News Australia is known for its right-wing editorials, criticizing public health experts here in Australia and politicians who have been in

favor of lockdowns. Now through YouTube's strike system, this is one strike against Sky News Australia. Three strikes and the channel could be banned

permanently from uploading on YouTube.

Angus Watson, CNN, Sydney.


QUEST: Coming up in a moment, regular air travel hasn't felt this emotional as in decades. It was -- it just brings you to tears. The scenes

at Heathrow. People reunited as the U.K. eases COVID rules. The absolute raw joy and happiness that we see.



QUEST: Africa's most populous city has been dealing with one of its worst rainy seasons in recent memory. In mid-July, flooding almost paralyzed

activity in Lagos in Nigeria. Look at the video, shows cars and buildings partly submerged as commuters pass through knee-deep water. CNN's Larry

Madowo with the story,

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Even in the best of times, Lagos is a very difficult city to live in. But now they have just had in mid-July, some of

the worst flooding in recent years. And that is saying something because this is a city that floods every year between March and November. Now

Nigeria's hydrological agency is predicting some catastrophic flooding in September, which will be the peak of the rainy season.

At the heart of this problem is climate change because of rising seas and this all comes down to human activity. According to one study led by the

Institute for Development Studies, it is because of Lagos' inadequate and poorly planned drainage systems and unplanned urban growth. Why is this

happening only in Lagos and not in New York City, or even here in Lamu in Kenya on the Indian Ocean Coast?

It is because this is a city that's got 24 million people. I have spent a lot of time reporting in this city. And it's a vibrant city with great

spirits. But it's also difficult to navigate, and it's overcrowded. And that's all leading to this current crisis. The warning that Lagos may be

unlivable by 2100 is serious because not only is it Africa's most populous city, it's also got an economy larger than some African countries.

Where will all these people go? And to take that warning into perspective. It also means that Victoria Island, which has this affluent neighborhood

with some of the most expensive property will cease to exist. That's what it really means. And it's a major problem that Nigeria cannot handle alone.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he is open to working with international partners to tackle climate change, including the Biden

administration but it is truly a dire warning.


MADOWO: Even though it's a global problem where many other low lying cities around the world could be submerged by 2100. In this city, in Lagos in the

heart of West Africa, this could be really tragic.

QUEST: A coastal Colombian town is also facing a humanitarian crisis as thousands of migrants from a number of countries are stranded, have enjoyed

the long journey to the United States. CNN's Stefano Pozzebon reports.


STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's barely dawn when a group of migrants start lining up for a seat on the boats that travel from

the coastal Colombian town of Necocli towards Panama, these pristine Caribbean beaches, usually packed with tourists from around the world. Have

recently become a passageway for thousands of migrants from all over South America and even Africa looking for better opportunities thousands of miles

away in the United States.

People from Haiti, Venezuela, Brazil, and even as far as Ghana, across the Gulf of Uraba, and then set on a treacherous and violent journey through a

37-mile stretch of jungle between Colombia and Panama, joining the thousands of other migrants heading to Mexico and then to the United

States, and ignoring the Biden administration's don't come message to migrants. Here we met a Edem Egbanzo, a chef from Togo who migrated to

Chile to work as a gardener.

And then -- and then the pandemic happened.

EDEM EGBANZO, MIGRANT FROM TOGO: When the pandemic happen, it's like -- it's like our dead, he was -- I don't know, he was suffering

POZZEBON: Edem vent says this is his third journey seeking a better future. In 2018, he left his parents behind in his native Togo, to move to Ghana to

work in the kitchens. Then in 2018, he left Ghana and flew to the other side of the world to Chile. Now at 30 his hopes are set on another country.

POZZEBON: Where in the United States you want to go?

EGBANZO: Georgia, because I have some family in Georgia. And I hope that because the problem is the fact that if you went to the border of the USA,

the authority is going to ask you some question. And you have to -- they have to know if you have somebody in USA or no.

POZZBEON: But the road to the United States is perilous. Minutes before recording this interview, Edem and his friend Victor Tingeys (ph)

discovered that they had been robbed.

They had spent the night in a boat on the beach and found their belongings scattered and search food. They have their passports and money with them.

But some of their food was stolen. Edem and Victor are waiting for the next boat ride and like many others had no other choice than spending the night

on the beach. Some were able to stay in hotels, a safer choice, but a more expensive one.

Waiting here cost a lot when you cannot work and don't know when you will leave says Georgina Declan (ph), a Haitian mother who lived in Brazil for

six years before the pandemic and is now traveling with her two children. In these remote small town transports are limited. There is just one boat

company crossing the Gulf from Necocli to the port of Capurgana and they are completely sold out. Other boat companies are hours away.

EDWARD VILLARREAL, CARIBE SAS FERRY COMPANY: It's hard. We tried to transport, like, 800, 900 people per day, you know, but it's hard.

POZZEBON: The fare costs $20.00 U.S. and the company says it has a backlog of more than 8,000 migrants who have already paid their trip and are

waiting for their turn. Some fear it might take up to 10 days to leave. Colombian Defense Minister Diego Molano visited Necocli last weekend,

pledging the navy will provide a temporary pier to allow more boats to take migrants to the other side of the gulf.

(on camera): But the government's effort might be a little, and might be too late, as more migrants continue to arrive here in Necocli on a daily

basis, putting a heavy load on this small community.

(voice-over): The few who have made it on the boat feel relief, but for all of them, this is just one part of the journey.

AGBANZO: I think we're going on a journey to Costa Rica. Costa Rica to Nicaragua. And -- the other country.

POZZEBON: Hope is just a feeble flame at the end of the road. Stefano Pozzebon, CNN, Necocli.


QUEST: Now just look at the markets quickly to show you exactly where we stand on this (INAUDIBLE) we are down. Down 55, where we had been up and

now we're down without none of the triple stack shows the same thing. I'll see you at the top of the hour with the closing numbers and our dash for

the bell. I want to leave you for the moment. Look at -- just stop what you're doing. And look at these pictures. This is real, raw emotion.


QUEST: People haven't seen each other during pandemic and coming together now that London and the U.K. is open to U.S. and the E.U. vaccinated. Those

tears in the eyes.


And I look forward to making that same journey myself on one of the (INAUDIBLE) ones but those (INAUDIBLE) making that journey themselves. Top

of the hour, closing, you know, the dash to the closing bell. And I've got next for you, you can't get rid of me. It's World of Wonder.



QUEST: I'm Richard Quest. Together we have a dash to the closing bell and it is two minutes away. It's all Republican, the new U.S. Senate dampened

down for a quick vote on the bipartisan infrastructure. Now going through in Washington, the Dow have been up more than 250 points. It had a new

intraday high. Well, those gains have all gone, steam out the pipe and it's actually turned negative.

The S&P is down as well. The NASDAQ just holding on to gains. Jack Dorsey's looking to buy Paylater app developed in Australia, it's Afterpay. It's

worth $29 billion. I asked Lisa Ellis, the partner at Moffettnathanson what Dorsey is trying to build at that intersection of finance and tech.

LISA ELLIS, PARTNER, MOFFETTNATHANSON: Two sided networks where you've got a compelling merchant value proposition and a compelling consumer value

proposition where both sides benefit is the absolute holy grail in payments. It's what makes Visa, MasterCard, PayPal so valuable because

they've got these huge, deep competitive moats because they've got these two sided ecosystems.

And Afterpay has one of those. It's small, but it's very compelling. The merchants and the consumers are very loyal.


QUEST: And speaking of visa on the Dow 30. It's the visa down the most today. You see off two percent, the Dow and United Healthcare leading the

day with more red than green, a number of stocks are teetering on the edge, less than one percent or so, up or down. And that tells the story of the

day. Just a fraction of green but the losses are not that great either. That is a dash to the bell for today.

I'm Richard Quest. The closing bell is about to ring on Wall Street. And as always, whatever you're up to in the outside, I hope it's profitable. The

closing bell now ringing as well. Oh, look at that. A big four right (INAUDIBLE) my point off over 100.