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Quest Means Business
At Least Six Killed in Beirut Protests against Blast Probe Judge; U.S. to Donate 17 Million Doses of J&J Vaccine to African Union; Virus Impact Sparks Huge Reset for Global Economy; Prince William Pans Billionaire Space Race; Call to Earth: Senegal; "Downton Abbey's" Highclere Castle Welcomes Back Visitors; Dow Up as Earnings Season Starts Strong. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired October 14, 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 BUSINESS ANCHOR: An hour to go before the closing bell and up like a rocket, the market opened and it never looked back. Now up
over 500 points, one and a half percent, best performance for some weeks. I don't think we're going to hit 35,000, but it's certainly a strong day.
The main events that people have been talking about: Lebanon's crisis has turned bloody in Beirut. Six are dead. It's the worst violence seen in
Here in Washington, Finance Ministers say the risks are on the downside for the global economy.
Also tonight --
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QUEST: It's exactly the same as it is on the telly.
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QUEST: A period drama comes to life. My personal tour around the real Downton Abbey.
Live from Washington. It is Thursday, it is the 14th of October. I'm Richard Quest, I am in D.C., and I mean business.
Good evening. Tonight, at least six people are dead and dozens of people injured as armed clashes broke out in Beirut as the fallout from last
year's port blast and years of government corruption and economic mismanagement, that's now once again finally poured onto the streets.
Posts like this one on social media show a masked gunman firing machine guns and grenades from behind garbage dumps and street barriers.
Apparently, they are affiliated with the protesters who are demanding a judge leading the probe of the port blast be removed.
The protests have been organized by Hezbollah, and a Shia political party called the Amal Movement. The Judge is Tarek Bitar, this week issued an
arrest warrant against the former Finance Minister and top Amal official.
Jomana Karadsheh joins me now, what sparked all this? I mean, these -- I know things have been simmering for some time. But why now? Why today?
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, Richard on the surface, what actually triggered this is, you've got this judge who is leading this
investigation. This is the second judge to be appointed to head the investigation into last year's deadly port blast in Beirut that killed more
than 200 people. The first one was replaced, and you've had this judge who took over in February.
And you know, he is quite popular. He is seen as a man with real professionalism and integrity. And he has really been determined to go
after some of the really high-ranking people in the country issuing subpoenas and issuing warrants to question them with their connection to
the port blast and what they knew about that storage of the ammonium nitrate in the port.
And what we've seen, you know, the latest was on Tuesday, he issued an arrest warrant for the former Finance Minister, a member of the powerful
political party and also militia, Amal, that is linked, you know, close ally to Hezbollah, and he has come under so much criticism from Hezbollah
and Amal, both saying that he is bias. They've accused him of leading a politicized investigation as they've called it.
And you know, we've heard these accusations, Richard, over the past few months from the families of the victims, from watchdog group saying that
there are all sorts of attempts by political forces in the country to derail and obstruct this investigation.
So you know, following the issues -- when he issued that arrest warrant on Tuesday, we heard the calls yesterday from Hezbollah and Amal for their
supporters to go out onto the streets in this show of force to call for him to step down -- Richard.
QUEST: All right, Jomanah, let's parse this down, please, if we may. Is this as Hezbollah trying to protect its interests against what seemed to be
a large number of people who are calling for root and branch change?
KARADSHEH: Well, look, I mean, it's very difficult to tell if this is actually what happened today. I mean, if you look at it, on the surface,
this is Hezbollah trying to show who is in power.
This is a group that has been accused of being a state within a state. You have a very weak government and security apparatus in the country and when
you have this judge, you know who they've accused of being politicized. They've told their supporters that this is some sort of a foreign
conspiracy to try and weaken and undermine Hezbollah. This is what you're seeing, that they are going out on the street with a very strong message
that they will not allow this judge and this investigation to go ahead and to undermine Hezbollah.
QUEST: Thank you, joining us from Istanbul. A financial and economic crisis in Lebanon, we've talked about it on this program frequently, and it
is one of the worst in the modern world.
The World Bank has said, it could be one of the top three most severe economic crisis since the mid-19th Century. It is obviously in the top 10.
Lebanon's GDP has fallen between 40 percent between 2018 and 2020. The economy was shrinking before COVID, and that made everything a great deal
worse. The unemployment rate shot up from 28 percent to nearly 40 percent last November. But it's questionable whether anybody believes these numbers
where the true number is much higher.
The country has been weakened by fractious governments, and stable political coalitions.
Mona Fawaz is a Professor at the American University of Beirut. There you see, I spoke to Mona before -- I spoke to you, of course, in 2020, when I
was in Beirut. Things were bad then. Have a listen to your optimism, and we'll talk after.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MONA FAWAZ, PROFESSOR, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT: I mean, we want a country that's functional, a place where we can live.
QUEST: What is it -- you want to get rid of the existing government and replace it with what?
FAWAZ: Replace it with people who are competent, who have some independence from the existing political elite that has run the country for
the last 30 to 40 years, and has really not managed to put forward any kind of national development policy.
Look at what's happened, the country is bankrupt. The banks are not allowing people to get their money. The debt is massive.
QUEST: But you would agree that in the short term, you're going to have to continue with pretty much the same bunch, because they're the ones who know
how to run things.
FAWAZ: Look, there is no abracadabra where you just change everything and it gets transformed, but what we aspire to is putting in place a process of
change, and I really believe that this process has happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Well, Mona, I mean, it's awful when people play your own words back to you. But that process of change with which you were so optimistic, far
from happening. Things have gone backwards.
FAWAZ: Things have gone backwards, definitely. And I think what we're seeing today is those people who have run the country, those warlords,
really who at the end of the Lebanese Civil War, traded their military fatigues with business suits and ran the country in what has recently been
called a deliberate depression by the World Bank, that they are going to fight with every power they have, so that they prevent a process of
accountability from being put in place.
You will remember that the end of the Lebanese Civil War in 1990, it did not lead to any tribunal, no accountability. And these are people who have
become accustomed to the fact that there is no accountability and what are telling us today as Lebanese civilians, that they will fight, so that no
accountability ever happens.
QUEST: What's worrying, of course, is that everybody knows this and whether it is Hezbollah or whether it's the other side of what -- everybody
knows the appalling situation, and I wonder if last year's explosion wasn't able to bring people together and at least create some fiction of unity,
what will it take?
FAWAZ: I mean, I think we really have to be really careful about that narrative of the Lebanese being so divided, or that what happened today in
Beirut is chaos, and that it has no logic.
Today, we watched a stage show by people who had staged the Civil War, exactly in the same spots where the Civil War had started, reminding us of
those moments where you rush to school to get your kid, scared in school hallways, et cetera to tell us, look, we're ready to go back there if you
think you can bring accountability.
And so this is today what we're seeing as a threat to a population that I think is actually fairly aligned on the idea that we want accountability.
QUEST: No, but you -- but hang on a second, the population and the other people may be aligned on that, but as long as these other thugs and brutals
are opposite them, then you don't get any further.
FAWAZ: I mean, look, I don't claim like I have a solution. It's not a hopeful moment right now in Lebanon. But those guys you're seeing on the
streets, those thugs. They are managed by decision makers who managed the Lebanese Civil War. These are people who know how to plot infestation.
QUEST: So, Mona, we are a business show. Tell me, if you were a Western government, a G7, or an E.U. government, French particularly, and you had
the question, shall I give more money to Lebanon? Or shall I really turn the squeeze on? You know, it might be painful for the people, but in the
long run, it will be better. What would you do?
FAWAZ: No. No, starving people is exactly what then makes them become -- thugs who are very cheap to hire and that's what we're seeing today. When
people get as hungry as we are seeing today, when we have for the first time really, even during the Civil War, homeless people sleeping on the
street, kids and elderly people -- we've never seen this in the country.
People have become today very cheap to buy, very cheap to just hire for carrying a weapon and fighting. So, I completely do not believe in starving
This doesn't mean handing over money to the current Lebanese government or to any one of the political parties, but this country has institutions that
are functional, a society that has a very high social capital.
I work at the American University of Beirut. There is so much knowledge and so much human capital and desire in order to change things. We should not
be let down.
QUEST: We'll talk more, Mona. I appreciate your time. Thank you.
The United States is to donate 17 million doses of J&J's vaccine to the African Union. A senior administration official says that's what President
Biden is going to tell Kenya's president Uhuru Kenyatta today.
President Kenyatta has arrived at the White House a short time ago, the first African leader to visit since President Biden took office. Kenya
holds the presidency of the U.N. Security Council this month and the White House is currently mulling sanctions relating to the Tigray conflict in
Phil Mattingly is with us from the White House. The interest in -- obviously in Kenya in Africa is going to be intense in this meeting, and to
the extent that the administration -- any administration makes platitudes about how important Africa is. It really comes down to what policies
they're prepared to follow.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think that that's the biggest thing -- deliverables, I think is kind of the buzzword
that everybody uses in any bilateral meeting.
You've seen one of them. You just talked about it, the 17 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine being sent to the African Union. President
Kenyatta has been very upfront with his view that there's been kind of a nationalization of vaccines, lining up with a lot of international
criticism about how the wealthiest countries have hoarded it to some degree.
But I think when you talk to U.S. officials about what they want out of this meeting, what they're hoping they can get from President Kenyatta, it
is largely based on regional stability. And it's not just what's happening in Northern Ethiopia, it is also with Al-Shabaab in Somalia as well. The
two countries have been longtime partners in counterterrorism efforts.
I think, White House officials believe that President Kenyatta is viewed as kind of an elder statesman, a critical voice and someone who can play a key
role in de-escalation in Ethiopia to a degree, at least, and I think when you consider the fact that they are mulling sanctions right now, I think
the hope is that maybe they don't have to go down that road if President Kenyatta can play that role in the weeks going forward.
I think the other issue here, too, and there is no shortage of them on the agenda is the economic side of things. President Kenyatta has been very
clear about there was progress made on a free trade agreement with the last administration. He has felt like that progress has been stunted with this
administration. I'm told that the U.S. officials will make clear that their Trade Ministers will continue conversations going forward.
But one thing to keep an eye on that I found interesting is the kind of G7 effort to counter China's Belt and Road Initiative, the B3W as it's called,
that's something that I'm told the President is going to focus a lot on and whether or not there will be any commitments related to that, or how that
will kind of be rolled out after this is going to be a really interesting element.
QUEST: So that's a very -- that's a fascinating aspect of it because the administration's number one foreign policy is vis-a-vis China. Whatever --
the President says it constantly, China is the -- is what it's all about, and Belt and Road, I guess the real issue comes from the U.S. standpoint,
how much money and resources are they prepared to put into wooing those countries like Africa and Latin America, of course.
MATTINGLY: Right. And I think if there was one takeaway from the G7, back in June, and I don't think this has changed in the month since, is that in
terms of overall funding mechanisms, it's dwarfed by what Belt and Road represents. And obviously, it's just rolling out at this point in time, I
think that's why it's interesting right now to see if there are any commitments that are made.
MATTINGLY: You make a great point here and I think this is what I was hearing from administration officials as it relates to this B3W initiative,
specifically with Kenya is the reality of Kenya's debts due to projects from the Belt and Road Initiative and what the U.S. can do to counter
those. And I think when -- there have been a lot of questions over the course of the first nine months in office, what is this White House's kind
of approach to Africa? What is its approach to critical allies there? And obviously, how does it counter China in Africa?
I think that latter issue is the one administration officials have been most focused on. It is how do you try and counter China in that continent,
in that region with specific countries, and I think economically is the best way they think they have openings there and Kenya is perhaps the first
country where they feel like they can try and capitalize on that to some degree, and I don't mean that they feel like they have leverage, but that
they have opportunity if there is probably less politically correct way to say it -- Richard.
QUEST: Oh, I don't know. I think that's a very good way of putting it. Leverage his opportunity and vice versa. I'm grateful, Phil Mattingly.
You're at the White House for us tonight. Thank you.
Staying in Washington, Finance Ministers are warning, there are urgent problems to be solved. I'll speak to the economic historian, Adam Tooze
about how COVID has scrambled the global economy.
Also, speaking of history, Highclere Castle, it looked resplendent in the sunshine, a tour of the real life Downton Abbey from the real life Lady
Grantham or in her case, Lady Carnarvon.
After the break.
QUEST: The Dow is having its best day since July. Now, there are a thousand and one reasons for instance, the set of solid bank earnings,
which improved the mood. Citi, BoA, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo -- they all did much better than expected.
Tech stocks are having a roaring time. All the major indices are up more than one percent. Tech is up by one and a half percent.
Moderna shares are up four percent as the F.D.A. has just voted unanimously to recommend Moderna boosters.
Meanwhile, Finance Ministers at the I.M.F. meetings here in Washington say the risks to the recovery are tilted to the downside.
In the joint communique, they say coronavirus has increased uncertainty and brought up new urgent challenges. The playbook has completely changed for
the likes of Ministers and Central Bankers. We are in a new era for the global economy and like the Gregorian calendar, we can break it up into two
very distinct categories.
QUEST: So think about what is happening at the moment. You've got BC and AD -- Before Coronavirus After the Disease. Before -- BC, economists were
worrying about global trade wars with China and the United States. Now, it is disruption and supply chain disruption that has them concerned. BC, the
fear was stagnation, sluggish growth. Now, perhaps as a result of monetary and other stimulus, it's inflation, arguably stagflation if things don't
BC, it's about full employment. Today, the ILO is talking about scarring, resignations, job shortages, strikes. Adam Tooze is the Professor of
History at Columbia University, his new book is "Shutdown: How COVID Shook the World's Economy" and Adam is with me now.
BC and AD, and I wonder, sir, when you look at these two, this moment in time, is it a question of what has changed systemically versus just
cyclically that we have to adapt to?
ADAM TOOZE, PROFESSOR OF HISTORY, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: I think the really terrifying thing, Richard, is that we don't know and it's incredibly
difficult to disentangle this, BC and After Corona. And I think that the terrifying possibility is, in fact, it all might get mixed up with each
other. That's where I think this idea of stagflation comes in, which is the new meme, right?
So, it's the old worry about stagnation with the new worry about inflation. I think we're going to have supply chains and trade conflict between the
United States and China. So, I think it's the merging of those two sets of concerns that really has everyone confused, and I think it is what is
behind this rather pessimistic view by the Finance Ministers.
QUEST: If we look, though, there are lots of things that are happening that either could have been foreseen. It's incompetence that they were, for
instance. The U.K. didn't have much by way of spare capacity for energy. So, the just in time has failed them. But then you've got things like the
shift to online shopping and retailing, which has been much faster and accelerated because of what we're seeing.
And this fascinating statistic that more people are changing their jobs than ever before, 40 percent. Now, that is an extraordinary number that I
saw. How do we make sense of it? Since we have to put our shoes and our socks on every morning, how do we make sense of it, Adam?
TOOZE: I do think that it is this overlay of different effects, the sort of tipping point effects, where we are seeing, say, the malls, the cinemas
that were on the edge anyway, tumble over. Then I think we are seeing acceleration of existing trends like the growth of digital online working.
And then there's a whole area where people I think it really engaged in a process of discovery where we just didn't know that we could do this
before. The previous times I've been on your show, I'd come into the studio, we've sat down, it's been in a building, it's been all physical.
And here we are now, we know if we can do it like this.
I don't know as an academic, whether I'm ever going to go back to the old conference circuit or flying around the world to sit with academics and
talk about academic things, because we know we can do it with Zoom.
So it's these three things -- acceleration, tipping, and just the discovery of new opportunities.
QUEST: And yet, we seek certainty. It is, we need to know, because this is so different to anything we've experienced before. Can you find a
historical parallel for this level of root and branch change?
TOOZE: I'm not sure that we can, and what's even more bewildering about the situation and it goes back to some of the pieces you just had on
earlier today, is it not even as though we're doing the things that would actually most rapidly restore certainty? The key to this, we all get it,
right, is vaccination. Only half the world's population is vaccinated and it is not top of stack.
The I.M.F. have tried to push it up to the top of the policy agenda this week, and all power to them, because that's the way in which we could get
the certainty, right? Restoring certainty is the key priority here.
QUEST: Adam, how do you switch it off? I'm curious, a man who everybody looks to for an element of direction and certainty, how do you switch off
mentally? What do you do? Read a book, go fishing, do the garden?
TOOZE: I walk the dog and I like sports. The return of -- the return of the American football season has been a relief and walking the dog
throughout the entire crisis. I think for many people in New York anyway, was a great relief, this chance to just go outside with the pets.
Mercifully, the dogs couldn't get corona, right? With cats, it was more of a concern as we've seen in the zoo, but having them was a real touchstone.
QUEST: And the idea of this mental health crisis. Again, it's -- you know, I wouldn't normally be talking to you about a mental health crisis, except
it will spill over into the economic arena, because this time, it's on a scale we've never seen before.
TOOZE: Yes, remember Jamie Dimon and that quip he had about needing, you know, to cope with the post 2008 regulatory environment. You needed a
lawyer and a shrink. I mean, I think he is a bit of a prophet in that respect.
That is our world, and that is the nature of these kind of uncertainties. We have to become our own virologists, our own epidemiologists. We have to
be second guessing Dr. Fauci or not deciding whether to, whether we shouldn't. It goes really deep.
And I completely am with you that I -- the position of analysts right now in the markets who have to make big money plays, it's an astonishingly
uncertain world, both at the level of natural environment, but also the big historic shifts, the relations between the West and China, people arguing
with each other, right?
You know, Blackwater and BlackRock at odds with Soros over the whole China play. It's not a conversation that I ever anticipated us having out loud in
the way it's happening right now.
QUEST: Adam, it's good to have you, sir. I'm grateful you've given us time tonight. It is much appreciated. Thank you.
QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. It looks like the chance of seeing Prince William in zero gravity is just about zero. He is blasting the billionaires stampeding
into space. His Royal Highness thinks their time and their money should be better used elsewhere here on Earth.
After the break.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: I'm Richard Quest. More QUEST MEANS BUSINESS as we continue.
Prince William says billionaires need to come back from space and help fix planet Earth.
And Highclere Castle has seen two world wars and more and now a pandemic. I visit the home of "Downton Abbey." All of that ahead after I've updated you
with the news. This is CNN and here, on this network, the news always comes first.
QUEST (voice-over): Vaccine advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have voted to recommend a booster shot of the Moderna
vaccine. (INAUDIBLE) approval (INAUDIBLE) half a dose of its vaccine. The vote for emergency use authorization was unanimous.
The FDA will now decide whether to accept the committee's recommendations.
The Lebanese army says nine people have been arrested after a deadly raging gun battle. It went on for hours in a Beirut neighborhood. It started when
Hezbollah and its allies led a protest against the judge who is investigating last year's port explosion.
Snipers on rooftops shot at protesters and masked gunmen also opened fire. The Red Cross says at least a dozen people were killed and dozens were
Norwegian authorities say that a bow and arrow attack that killed five people appears to be an act of terror. The suspect is a Danish citizen who
had converted to Islam and was previously known to the police over concerns that he had become radicalized. He's due to appear in court on Friday.
At least 46 people have died and dozens are hurt after a fire ripped through a 13-story building in Taiwan. Authorities say they don't know why
the residential and commercial building caught fire overnight. They say the fire was particularly deadly because so many people were at home at the
QUEST: The hoopla over the new space private race might be, in a word, astronomical. Now Prince William says, count me out. The Duke of Cambridge
told the BBC that the billionaires who are fixated on space tourism should look down instead of up and focus their fortunes on saving planet Earth.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRINCE WILLIAM, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE: We are seeing a rise in climate anxiety. People -- young people now are growing up where their futures are
basically threatened the whole time.
It is very unnerving and it is very, you know, anxiety making. We need some of the world's greatest brains and minds fixed onto repair this planet, not
trying to find the next place to go and live.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: His comments come after the most recent adventure into the heavens. On Wednesday Jeff Bezos sent William Shatner and three others into space
and has defended his space endeavors by saying the Earth will benefit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF BEZOS, FOUNDER, BLUE ORIGIN: We have to do both. And what our job at Blue Origin is to do and what the space tourism mission is about is having
a mission, where we can practice so much that we get really good at operational space travel, more like a commercial airliner and less like
what you think of as traditional space travel.
If we can do that, then we'll be building a road to space for the next generations to do amazing things there. And those amazing things will solve
problems here on Earth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: With me now the author Michio Kaku, who has been listening and thinking about these issues greatly.
Sir, I know it's not one or the other; you need to do both. I understand that.
But are you -- do you have sympathy with Prince William's view that, at the moment, we'd be better off working out how to save ourselves rather than
MICHIO KAKU, AUTHOR: Well, I sympathize with that point of view. But you have to look at things historically. Mass transportation goes in three
stages. In stage one, the railroads and the airplanes were used for cargo, heavy machinery, troops, war materials. That's stage one.
Stage two is when rich people, the jet set, start to use the railroads and the airplanes to please their whims.
Stage three is when Mom and Dad can hop on an airplane or get on a train and go anywhere they want.
We're now entering stage two of the space program, where we have billionaires -- yes, they have big egos but it's part of a much larger
picture. You see, it's not one or the other. It's not your left hand versus your right hand. No, you have to have a left hand and a right hand. And
think of what we do in outer space.
KAKU: The space economy is trillions upon trillions of dollars, GPS, the internet, this conversation is being carried up on the internet.
QUEST: I can't help thinking, though, the -- it's ironic that it's the rich men who are doing this. And I mean, it all seems to be predicated for
sort of giving other rich people an experience.
Yet next week in Glasgow, we'll be talking about existential issues of the Earth, warming to the point of extinction.
Does it not seem sour in some way?
KAKU: No, because we have to do both. Elon Musk, on one hand, is pioneering space tourism with SpaceX with trips perhaps to the moon. On the
other hand, Elon Musk is the founder of Tesla Motors, which revolutionized our whole understanding of the electric car, global warming and a carbon-
You can do both with the left hand and the right hand as long as the left hand does not fight against the right hand.
And space tourism is only the tiniest fraction of this much larger entity, the space economy, which is huge.
But of course, the media likes to focus in on William Shatner, who boldly goes where no Hollywood actor has gone before. And I get that. I get that.
Media has to sell newspapers. But the big picture is the left hand and the right hand complement each other.
QUEST: So on that big picture, give me your small corner of that big picture?
If I give you a ticket, will you go?
KAKU: The answer is no. I would leave it to other people to become brave astronauts because the misfire rate of booster rockets is less than 1
percent. So 1 percent of the time you may not come back. So I prefer to let other people win all the accolades and win all the prizes. I'll stay at
QUEST: I'm with you. I think I'm with you at the moment. When somebody like you said that, I listen carefully. Good to see you, sir. I'm grateful.
KAKU: Thank you.
QUEST: An ancient grain given new life. A Senegalese inventor has reinvented the market for a sustainable, drought resistant crop.
QUEST: So to call to Earth. I'll tell you about a drought resistant, fast- growing crop that helps fight food insecurity and it could also help the environment. Let's meet the Rolex Awards laureate, who invented a new way
to process a tiny West African grain. It has huge potential as a sustainable food source.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Amid the arid farmland of Senegal, a crop with an ancient history and the potential to offer a more
sustainable future. Fonio has been a nutritious West African staple for thousands of years. But recent decades have seen this tiny grain slipping
away from the mainstream.
SANOUSSI DIAKITE, ENGINEER AND INVENTOR (through translator): Fonio is rooted in the culture of West Africa, so everyone knows about it. But
recently it suffered a decline in production due to the difficulty of processing it.
VANIER (voice-over): Harvesting funio by hand takes many steps, from threshing to loosen the seeds, to arduous pounding to remove the husks, a
job traditionally done by women. So for previous generations, funio came at a back-breaking price, one that Sanoussi Diakite witnessed firsthand.
DIAKITE (through translator): I was born into a family that grows funio. I wanted to find a solution to manual processing after seeing my mother
remove husks from the grain. It is hard work.
VANIER (voice-over): It was almost 30 years ago that Diakite, an engineer and an inventor, dreamt up a machine that could replace this painstaking
process, which he continues to build in his workshop today. It can shell five kilograms of funio in less than 10 minutes, a process which would take
hours by hand.
By making funio more viable as a food source, Diakite's technology helps the environment as well as the people.
DIAKITE (through translator): It can grow on rocky soils. So funio is not demanding. It's brought to maturity with very little rain. So from an
agronomic point of view, it has a lot of potential and it does not need fertilizer. By developing it, we're encouraging the presentation of
biodiversity. All of this makes funio important to the environment.
VANIER (voice-over): The fast-growing crop can be harvested multiple times a year at low cost, helping fight food insecurity. And with the U.N. saying
temperatures in the Sahel are projected to increase 1.5 times higher than the global average, it's a region in need of climate change-resistant
MAME CODOU GUEYE, RESEARCHER, THE CENTRE FOR IMPROVEMENT OF ADAPTATION TO DROUGHT (through translator): The biggest problem here is the problem of
drought (ph). And so we need to find plants that adapt to drought. And funio really is a model plant for that.
VANIER (voice-over): Not only is it good for the environment, it's gluten free and full of fiber, giving it multiple health benefits.
GUEYE (through translator): It contains amino acids that are very important for the food of women and children. It is very digestible and
very good for the elderly. Also it has a low glycemic index, which makes the food recommended for people with diabetes.
VANIER (voice-over): Diakite says there are now 250 of his machines in 10 African countries, helping to reinvigorate the market for this ancient
DIAKITE (through translator): For generations to come, we hope there's life on Earth that will conserve the planet and will protect against
climate change. So it's important that, from now on, we start sustainable production of food. To develop a machine that becomes a catalyst for the
entire funio industry, we can't not be proud of that.
QUEST: Wonderful. We'll continue to showcase inspirational environmental stories as we continue, of course, at CNN. Let me know what you're doing,
answering the call with #CallToEarth.
QUEST: To its owners, it's Highclere Castle. To you and me, it's the home of "Downton Abbey." Now regular "Downton" viewers and regular QUEST MEANS
BUSINESS viewers will know we had the current custodian, Lady Carnarvon, on this program last year.
She told me about the difficulties of running the home while visitors were banned. I promised I would pay her a visit the next time I was in the U.K.
I'm a man of me word as well as a huge "Downton" obsessive.
QUEST (voice-over): How else are you going to arrive at Highclere Castle?
QUEST (voice-over): Highclere Castle has stood for more than 300 years. Yet the world knows this magnificent place better as "Downton Abbey," home
to Lord and Lady Grantham.
It's exactly the same as it is on the telly?
FIONA AITKEN, LADY CARNARVON, OWNER OF HIGHCLERE CASTLE (voice-over): Yes.
QUEST (voice-over): The real Granthams, if you will, are actually the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon.
AITKEN (voice-over): So that's my husband in the queen's arms here because she is his godmother.
QUEST (voice-over): Yes.
Highclere has been the family seat since the 17th century, through two world wars and now COVID. In the early pandemic, we spoke to Lady Carnarvon
from Highclere, when she was one of our voices of the crisis.
AITKEN (voice-over): Like many other businesses, these are incredibly tough times. And we all have fallen over a cliff.
QUEST (voice-over): What did you promise me?
AITKEN (voice-over): I promised you afternoon tea.
QUEST (voice-over): And as good as your word -- ooh.
Tea at "Downton." I must remember not to call the butler Carson. To be honest, he is used to it.
(VIDEO CLIP, "DOWNTON ABBEY")
QUEST: When we spoke last year, you were in the process of working out ways to get the thing moving again.
How bad did it get?
AITKEN: I think it got -- well, it got to zero income, which for any business is definitely really bad, because obviously the bills continue to
come and the costs continue to be there. So like other businesses, working out what we could do, the art of the possible.
QUEST: Did you ever get worried?
GEORGE HERBERT, LORD CARNARVON, OWNER OF HIGHCLERE CASTLE: It was very, very difficult. People were on furlough and coming and going away again.
AITKEN: I think we were all frightened for our health, for those we love.
AITKEN: Frightened for our business, frightened for what we had built up and frightened for the future.
QUEST (voice-over): Keeping Highclere in good shape is a constant struggle.
AITKEN (voice-over): It's an extraordinary building. And I don't know that we would have the craftsmen today to make it.
QUEST (voice-over): The eighth Earl of Carnarvon inherited the castle from his father 20 years ago.
Did you think, good Lord, I mean, it's very beautiful but -- look at this.
AITKEN (voice-over): We did used to wake up in the middle of the night and I would go and get a cup of tea, thinking, what do we do?
QUEST (voice-over): The landed gentry in England are used to this tug of war between keeping the heritage and managing to pay the bills.
(VIDEO CLIP, "DOWNTON ABBEY")
QUEST (voice-over): Lady Mary would be proud of the way the real countess views the business.
AITKEN: There is no secret pot of gold. What we do here every month, and firstly pays the salaries because that is going to pay the mortgages.
HERBERT: Yes, because it's beautiful and romantic to look at but it's only there because someone is continually paying --
AITKEN: Working and bringing some money in. I've always remembered that sales is vanity, profits insanity (ph). And I don't want to be a busy fool.
QUEST (voice-over): The Carnarvons run their home like a business. And that means working all hours to make the castle and its grounds profitable
to keep the heritage.
AITKEN: The farm and estate are about 4,000-5,000 acres. And within that, we have got about 2,000 acres growing crops for us all to eat. We farm
everything in hand. I am a farmer's wife.
AITKEN: And I have gone (INAUDIBLE) harvest. I've even driven it.
AITKEN: Very badly.
QUEST (voice-over): As the pandemic bit hard, the Carnarvons were able to draw on the huge popularity of "Downton." With no revenues coming in but
all ingenuity, they created events, such as online cocktail parties. And they sold Highclere-branded products. And underlying it all, this is the
AITKEN (voice-over): So it's lavender all the way around.
QUEST (voice-over): Oh, I love that.
AITKEN (voice-over): Now we collect it and put it in our chit (ph) because we're nothing if we're not practical.
QUEST (voice-over): Look at all the bees.
AITKEN (voice-over): It's amazing, isn't it?
QUEST (voice-over): Look at all the bees.
AITKEN (voice-over): Making your honey.
QUEST (voice-over): Forgive me, I'm a huge "Downton" fan and I can't resist looking everywhere.
AITKEN: I think you're going to recognize this room.
QUEST: Lord Grantham's desk.
(VIDEO CLIP, "DOWNTON ABBEY")
QUEST (voice-over): Do you find it a bit surreal that your home is a fictitious place?
AITKEN (voice-over): It is surreal. How wonderful. Magnificent, isn't it?
This is Lord and Lady Grantham's bedroom. Brian used to leap out of the cupboard there, in which there are actually dressing gowns.
QUEST (voice-over): This is the staircase.
Has the morning post arrived?
Highclere is coming back to life. The doors are open and the earl and countess are once again welcoming visitors. There's always a classic finger
sandwich or a delicious scone on hand. Mrs. Patmore would definitely approve.
(VIDEO CLIP, "DOWNTON ABBEY")
QUEST: I want to know what did you learn about yourselves during the pandemic?
HERBERT: Being calmer than I thought I probably could have done about it.
QUEST: That surprised you?
HERBERT: Yes. Surprised my wife too, probably.
AITKEN: Well, I was looking for that still small voice of calm. It's just step by step. And you can do it. You can do it. We can all do it.
QUEST (voice-over): Highclere is not "Downton" but "Downton" has helped Highclere survive.
AITKEN: It has put it on a different course.
HERBERT: It's a glorious window on the world that. It allows Highclere to be an icon of heritage and actually help other heritage properties in this
area in Great Britain, which has so much to show for foreign tourists.
AITKEN (voice-over): I always think it's the most extraordinary home and I feel very privileged to be walking where people have walked for 1,200
QUEST (voice-over): Does it still have the capacity to move you?
AITKEN (voice-over): Oh, God, yes. And it's still the most extraordinary feeling of a world apart of a special arcadia (ph).
QUEST (voice-over): Even after all these years?
AITKEN (voice-over): Every time.
QUEST (voice-over): To walk through these rooms, to hear the history, to meet the Carnarvons, It's like, well, "Downton" -- Richard Quest, CNN,
Highclere Castle or "Downton Abbey" or Highclere Castle.
QUEST: Shameless and loved every moment of it.
QUEST: The last few minutes of trade on Wall Street. We must drag ourselves back from "Downton." We're now up 530-odd points. We put on a bit
more weight, even further since when we began, 34,909, a strong start to the earnings season.
A big drop in new jobless claims sparked today's rally. Look at the Walgreens-Boots Alliance and United Health Care both beat third quarter
estimates. So we have a solid earnings-led rally.
Walgreens up over 7 percent after the CEO told investors they would expand into health care delivery, hundreds of clinics.
Merck and Boeing are in the red. Moderna shares are up after the FDA voted unanimously to recommend Moderna vaccine boosters. The market's strong day
on the Dow and all the markets. I'll have a "Profitable Moment" after the break.
QUEST: Tonight's "Profitable Moment:" what a treat it was to be at "Downton Abbey." Not only because it's one of my favorite television
series, that I can binge watch again and again, but because I was able to see one of those we've talked to over the voice of the crisis and how their
world was getting better.
But "Downton," that wonderful old house of 300 years, like we also heard on tonight's program, wherever we look, people are trying to work out what is
the cyclical change versus what has changed permanently in our way in life and the way we do business.
The reality is, it's very hard for us to gauge that because though we can all see the acceleration of digitization, the acceleration of trends
working from home, all the various tools we're doing, we can't really understand now -- because we're in the middle of the swirling storm, if you
will -- we can't understand what will really follow all that and what will last and what will simply slide away.
It's one of the great challenges we face, which is why, when things get tough, have a cucumber sandwich and a cup of tea at "Downton." That will
put things right.
And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight. I'm Richard Quest in Washington, D.C. Whenever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's
profitable. The closing bell is ringing.