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Quest Means Business

The 5G Debacle; Wall Street Continues Losses, Major Averages Down; Boris Johnson Faces Calls To Resign Over Hypocrisy; U.N. Agency Sees "Slow And Uncertain" Job Growth In 2022; Rome's Villa Aurora To Be Reauctioned. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired January 19, 2022 - 15:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR: It is a choppy day with an hour to go of trading. Look at the markets and the big board and you'll see exactly

what I mean. If we've been speaking an hour or two ago, well, I would have been saying the markets have turned up. Now, they're turned turtle, and the

losses are slightly accelerating.

I guess the next hour would be telling exactly which way obviously with where it is going to go, where the forces are. Those are the markets, and

the main events of the day we will be talking about.

The Emirates President, Sir Tim Clark has a direct message for U.S. regulators, "Sort out the 5G mess now."


SIR TIM CLARK, PRESIDENT, EMIRATES: This needs state intervention at the highest level to just say this is not going to happen because we are

threatening the lives of people on these airplanes and in the cities that they're flying to. End of story.


QUEST: The British are going back to the office as omicron is in retreat. The Prime Minister announced plans to lift COVID restrictions.

And an Italian villa built for royalty. You just need to find a few hundred million to pay for it.

Live from Dubai as we continue here, it is Wednesday, January the 19th. I'm Richard Quest, and in Dubai, I most certainly mean business.

Good evening. "Delinquent and irresponsible," those are the words used by the Emirates President, Sir Tim Clark, to describe the U.S. rollout of 5G

service because of its possible harm to aviation.

In an exclusive interview, Sir Tim told me it is one of the biggest failures in aviation that he has seen in his career. Emirates has already

canceled flights to the United States to various destinations, because of safety fears with some of the aircraft they use. It led Sir Tim to give me

some very strong comments.


CLARK: I guess I need to be as candid as I normally am and I would say this is one of the most delinquent, heartily irresponsible issue, subjects

-- call it what you like -- I've seen in my aviation career, because it involves organs of government, manufacturers, science, et cetera et cetera.

And, you know, the notion that for instance the United States government should sell its franchise for all the frequencies for a large amount of

money, somebody should have told them at the time that the risks and the dangers they placed in certain frequency uses around fields -- airfields,

metropolitan fields -- that should have been done at a time.

The fact that the one -- the incumbents took the decision to double the power of the antenna, which is not the case in Europe or other places, and

the upright nature of the antenna, somebody should have told them a long time ago, that it would compromise safety of operation of aircraft in

metropolitan areas with catastrophic consequences if this was allowed to continue.

I think that message got through at a very, very late stage. The honest thing to have done when you're dealing with the safety of hundreds of

thousands of people, not only in aircraft, but in the metropolitan cities that they approach and land is to suspend or disable if you like, the very

systems that are likely to cause that problem until such time as there is an elegant solution, which could be, you reduce the power. You don't have

so many antenna around fields, et cetera.

But to let it get to this stage, where we have 32,000 people in our system over the next three days who have been completely inconvenienced as a

result of flight cancellations.

QUEST: Why did you take this decision? I mean, I know other airlines did as well. What was it that so concerned you, and when -- because this has

been moving forward for some days.

CLARK: We got wind of something going on because we got mixed messages both from the manufacturer, from the U.S. government, and other players.

And so we really drilled. We insisted that we knew exactly what was going on and it had to be fairly binary because obviously, you cannot compromise

safety of operation in any circumstances.


We are aware that everybody is trying to get 5G rolled out, after all it is the super cool future of whatever it may be -- communication and

information flow.

We were not aware that the power of the antennas in the United States have been doubled compared to what is going on elsewhere. We were not aware that

the antenna themselves had been put into a vertical position rather than a slight slanting position, which then taken together compromise not only the

radio altimeter systems, but the flight control systems of the fly by wire aircraft.

So on that basis, we took that decision late last night to suspend all our services until we had clarity.

If they suspend the rollout and the question of interference of our aircraft systems on approach landing is removed, and we go back to status

quo, in other words, that the 5G antenna around the Metropolitan fields in the United States are disabled, then we will probably restore our

frequencies to the nine cities in the U.S. that we've had to suspend.

QUEST: AT&T and Verizon have basically said, yes, we are delaying, but we're not getting rid of. So what will it take? What assurances will it

take to you before once this thing comes back up again that you will fly to those places?

CLARK: Something has to be done to disable this particular system. So long as it compromises safety of operation, we will never allow our aircraft

into the United States or anywhere else come to that, where we have a compromise on radio altimeter calls or flight controls.

So in the critical stages of flight, low level, on approach and land, so until that is absolutely resolved, the notion that they would say we are

only suspending it, we've got to put it back, it kicks the can down the street two weeks.

I would say no, this needs state intervention at the highest level to say this is not going to happen because we are threatening the lives of people

on these airplanes and in the cities that they are flying to. End of story.

The right and honest thing to do is sort it out. Do not allow a conflict of Big Business with all the other bits and pieces going on. Fact of the

matter is, you are endangering operations of flight. And that is why the likes of us have canceled because we are not prepared to take the risks of

flying into a state, which has allowed this to happen in the first place.


QUEST: Sir Tim Clark, forthright blunt views from him.

Well, Emirates isn't the only carrier to change its flying plans. Concern about possible 5G interference led India to suspend some services. Japan

Airlines, along with ANA, British Airways, and Lufthansa all say they canceled some flights or in other cases they swapped out aircraft to deal

with the issue.

Lufthansa for example won't be using its 747-8 to certain cities and will instead swap in the 747-400 for instance Chicago, LA, and San Francisco.

Meanwhile, in the United States, the F.A.A., the main regulator, says it has now cleared 62 percent of the U.S. fleet, if you will, those commercial

airliners flying in America to fly safely around 5G. Some may still be affected, especially regional jets or regional aircraft where they are

believed up to 50 percent of regional planes have still not been given the safety go ahead.

The regional group Airlines for America, A4A says there is no single solution to this problem as Nick Calio, the Group President told Julia.


NICK CALIO, PRESIDENT, AIRLINES FOR AMERICA: Both the manufacturers and the airlines got together and the telecommunications companies finally

started talking, highly complex technical issues here that need to be worked out, almost on a tower by tower basis.

So we are at a good place right now. The problem is not solved. And we've got a lot of work to do. And everybody keeps -- needs to keep doing this

work with a real sense of urgency to get it done so that planes can keep flying and we can deploy 5G at the same time.


QUEST: Pete Muntean is with us, our aviation correspondent, listening to both Nick Calio and of course, Sir Tim Clark.

I can't say I've heard a CEO like Sir Tim, of Sir Tim's stature, being quite so frothy and angry about this. What do you make of it?

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: It's pretty scathing there, Richard. You know, the Emirates coming down on the fact that the U.S.

hasn't figured this out, so much finger pointing here between who was supposed to do this. Was it on the F.C.C. to figure this out? Was it on the

F.A.A. to figure this out?

The telecom industry says the F.A.A. had a two-year long runway to come up with a solution for 5G.


The issue here, as you mentioned, the radar altimeters, that's what's at the center of all of this. That sends a radio beam from the airplane to the

ground that gets bounced back, it may provide an erroneous reading of the exact height of an airplane above the ground at those critical final

moments before landing, and that is what pilots say they are most concerned about -- interference from these 5G towers, which is on the very similar

frequency of the radio spectrum.

QUEST: But what will be interesting, you just heard me talk about the F.A.A. saying it has cleared 62 percent of the fleet, or different types of

planes made by both Boeing and Airbus and it includes the 777, which apparently now is on the Okay List.

Will the airlines take that as being good enough? Never made the foreign airlines, will the U.S. domestic carriers simply say just because the

F.A.A. says it's okay doesn't mean to say that we think it is.

MUNTEAN: I just read a statement from Faye Malarkey. She is the head of the Regional Airline Association, which is responsible for that group of

airlines that flies those critical commuter routes between larger hubs and smaller cities.

She says zero percent of the regional airline fleet has been approved by the F.A.A. for these low visibility landings in the area of 5G towers. That

poses a huge problem here, Richard. If they cannot do this, then that really can grind things to a halt.

She says lately, last day or so, the weather has been fairly good across the United States, but it is when the weather gets bad that that poses an


We'll see if that takes place.

QUEST: But again, I mean, the regional fleet is crucial.


QUEST: Once the F.A.A. clears a particular type of aircraft, do you think that is going to be sufficient for the airlines? The F.A.A. having already

dropped this all over the place, are airlines like United and American going to say, well, the F.A.A. says it is okay, but we're still not


MUNTEAN: The F.A.A. says safety is paramount. The airlines says this is their number one safety concern and they want to be extra sure here. So

they're being very conservative.

What I would suspect is that the airlines will only do this, only bring their airplanes back online when the threat of 5G signals interfering with

these radial altimeters after they themselves are sure, beyond the F.A.A.'s okay.

QUEST: Exactly.

MUNTEAN: So we will see as this takes place the latest statements from United and Delta, there could still be delays and cancellations, even the

F.A.A. says that.

QUEST: Pete Muntean, you will watch closely. You'll come back and tell us when there is more to report. I am very grateful to you.

So to Paul La Monica now as Wall Street is struggling to avoid a losing streak. Paul is with us and the Dow has been up and down frankly, it is

down again now and the Dow has seemed to be -- those losses, Paul, seem to be extended, we're back at 106.

The triple stack is also lower. We know it is earnings related and interest rates and inflation. Banks offering one bright spot -- what in your view is

now going on?

PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Yes, I think, Richard that as you point out, the earnings for companies that were expected to really benefit

from rising rates, namely the banks haven't been as strong and the outlooks haven't been as robust as many in Wall Street had hoped for, and that's why

you saw the likes of Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase and Citi, they all tumbled after their results.

We are getting a bit of a reprieve today with Bank of America and Morgan Stanley, but regional banks, U.S. Bancorp, State Street, they are falling

today. And again, that's all about margin pressures as rates go up and there are concerns about maybe loan demand slowing.

QUEST: Interesting, we talked last night on this program, of course about Microsoft and Activision. We saw the other side of that coin today. The

share price of Sony was down some 12 percent in Tokyo and took with it, of course, the Nikkei, which ended down three percent. Sony is a major

component there.

I mean, is Sony in that much danger because of it?

LA MONICA: It is a legitimate concern, Richard. Sony shares fell sharply in the U.S. yesterday and were down again today here as well. And I think

the big concern is that Microsoft has this vibrant library of titles or its Game Pass subscription service.

You now have all these Activision Blizzard games that are very popular, potentially coming into the fold as well and it begs the question, can Sony

compete with Microsoft more aggressively in the console wars if you're not going to be able to potentially play as many games on a PlayStation, as you

are on Xbox, so I think that is a big worry right now, and it's one of the reasons why Sony stock has fallen so sharply.

Maybe it's a little bit overdone, Sony is obviously a conglomerate that is not just a gaming company. But, of course, Microsoft isn't just a gaming

company item.

QUEST: A very good point. That's why we are -- we have you -- Guru La Monica with that. Thank you, sir.

In half an hour's time, or give or take, about 45 minutes from now, the President of the United States will hold his second full scale, more

singing or dancing press conference at the White House.

As news comes, we will be there to bring it to you, so in about half an hour from now, we will start reviewing and looking ahead at what's going to

happen at that news conference. President Biden speaking 45 minutes from now, you'll see it when it happens.

After the break, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is easing England's COVID restrictions. That's not easing the pressure on him to

resign over Downing Street parties during lockdown -- party-gate, in a moment.


QUEST: The calls for the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign are growing louder every day. Today, the extraordinary scene, a member of

his own Conservative Party, Christian Wakeford defected to the opposition Labour Party in dramatic fashion.

You saw it there, you may have missed it. What he did was he crossed the floor. The Tory MP -- there you go, you'll see it again. Off he goes. And

he crosses the floor thereby leaving his own party and joining the opposition.

You can see those on the left are looking highly unhappy about the whole thing. It's a very rare event.

And a senior MP, David Davis brought up the name of Neville Chamberlain when urging Boris Johnson to go.


DAVID DAVIS, MEMBER OF BRITISH PARLIAMENT: I spent weeks and months defending the Prime Minister against often angry constituents. I reminded

them of his success in delivering Brexit and the vaccine and many other things.

But I expect my leaders to shoulder the responsibility for their actions they take.


Yesterday he did the opposite of that, so I'll remind him of a quotation altogether too familiar to him of Leo Amery to Neville Chamberlain, "You

sat there too long for all the good you have done. In the name of God, go."


QUEST: Now, that was of course, concerning much good matters, but these are the incidents that they're talking about. Things like this sort of

parties taking place over multiple alcohol filled parties at Downing Street.

The Prime Minister is refusing to resign. Instead, he has tweeted -- he has tweeted, "We got the big things right." He has also announced ending Plan

B, the pandemic restrictions for England next week, saying people will no longer be asked to work from home, masks will no longer be required in

school and the mandate to wear masks in public will be removed, along with mandatory COVID Passes.

Salma Abdelaziz is about to be released free to go where she wishes, maskless once these restrictions are there. She is at Number 10 Downing

Street at the moment. Let's break this into two.

Let's do the restrictions first, and then the politics second. Once these restrictions get lifted, and the self-isolation rules change, perhaps in

March, then essentially Britain or England can say it's over.

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Yes, that's the theory, Richard, but I think you remember Freedom Day last year. I think you remember the day when

the pubs open and the pints flew? I mean, yes, in theory, it means it is over for in terms of restrictions, for now.

But I know you wanted me to separate the politics and the COVID. It is kind of hard to do because you can't miss this moment right now. Prime Minister

Boris Johnson pushing forward something that's quite popular. Let's set the rules free, at a time when we are still dealing with a rather high case of

omicron variant, and doctors and nurses across this country still worried and concerned.

But yes, potentially, this could be the beginning of the end for the U.K. and Prime Minister Boris Johnson, of course, touting that as a success,

touting that as a victory.

I know you just read his latest tweet, he's saying, "We got the big things right." To that, he is pointing to the vaccination program and he is

pointing to the booster program. And to the government's credit, indeed, the booster program was able to get an invitation out to every single

person in this country before New Year.

So there is that layer of protection that gives the government the right to say, let's lift these restrictions -- Richard.

QUEST: So what happens to the political side? Is he going to go?

ABDELAZIZ: That's the key question today. Prime Minister Boris Johnson of course, back in Parliament, and today his audience was his own party. He is

trying to convince them he is still the man in charge, he is still the man for the job, he is still that popular Prime Minister that's going to win

back votes.

And his strategy was simple, Richard, it was denial and deflection. Kicked the can down the road, evade all questions, point to the investigation.

Take a look at how the day unfolded.


ABDELAZIZ (voice over): He has apologized to the public, to Parliament, even to The Queen. But amid jeers Prime Minister Boris Johnson tried, sorry


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I recognize the enormous sacrifice that people have made. I apologize for misjudgments that may have been made

in Number 10 by me and anybody else.

ABDELAZIZ (voice over): Johnson now stands accused of misleading Parliament, his government, of violating COVID rules.

JOHNSON: We must contain her impatience, Mr. Speaker and wait for the inquiry next week.

ABDELAZIZ (voice over): But Johnson was on the defensive. He looked agitated, glanced at his watch, ducked questions -- allegations that

Downing Street held Garden Parties, Christmas parties, a bring your own booze party and a few more all during lockdowns have dogged the Prime

Minister for weeks.

Johnson accused not just of lying, but of lying badly, taking his countrymen for fools.

KEIR STARMER, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY LEADER: Every week, the Prime Minister offers absurd and frankly unbelievable defenses to the Downing Street

parties, and each week it unravels.

Doesn't the country deserve so much better than this out of touch, out of control, out of ideas, and soon to be out of office Prime Minister.

ABDELAZIZ (voice over): More distressingly for Johnson, some conservative lawmakers, members of his own party fed up with the hypocrisy.

DAVIS: I expect my leaders to shoulder the responsibility for the actions they take. Yesterday, he did the opposite of that.

In the name of God, go.

ABDELAZIZ (voice over): And even a mutiny in the ranks. One Tory MP defecting to the other side.

Johnson now fighting on two fronts, if found to have misled Parliament intentionally, custom requires him to resign and 15 percent of the

Conservative Party's MP submit letters of discontent, it would trigger a no confidence vote.

Outside the House of Commons, one of a handful of rebels, Tory MP Sir Roger Gale tells us he wants Johnson out.


SIR ROGER GALE, MEMBER OF BRITISH PARLIAMENT: He has been very economical with the truth, and in my personal view, it is my personal view is that he

has misled Parliament, and that is a serious offence.

ABDELAZIZ (voice over): Gale is one of several Westminster lawmakers that say they've received hundreds of correspondences from angry voters. The

discontent fueling a growing rebellion.

For now, Johnson limps on, ignoring public outrage.


ABDELAZIZ (on camera): It's really hard to capture the mood in this country, Richard. Over the last few weeks, I think it's gone from

heartbreak to anger to just turning to that very famous dark British humor we all love and that's because you are talking about a big reaction here.

Two-thirds of adults in this country according to the latest polling want the Prime Minister to resign, but his fate lies in the hands of his own

party. Again, if 54 -- that's the critical mass -- if 54 Conservative MPs, members of his own party turned against him, that is when he could lose his

seat and he is simply not out of the woods yet -- Richard.

QUEST: Salma at Number 10 this evening, thank you.

The ratings agency Fitch says reinsurance industry is set for a strong year as economies recover and pandemic losses subside.

Africa is one area that's been singled out for growth. "Connecting Africa" spoke to one of the continent's biggest reinsurance firms.


LAWRENCE NAZARE, GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, CONTINENTAL REINSURANCE: Reinsurance in a nutshell, is really insurance for insurance companies. It

is really the second level of insurance after the insurance company ensures its direct client, the reinsurer takes whatever risk the insurance company

cannot cover under its own balance sheet. That's really what reinsurance is about.

We all have our capacity to do things dependent upon our financial resources.

QUESTION: What is your vision for your company?

NAZARE: The key thing that we have always talked about in this business is building a sustainable business model, sustainable for the long term, not

only for our shareholders, but for our people, our clients, and also I think building a business that's not only premised or anchored on the

profit motive, but on purpose.

We would like to build a great enterprise that's premised on both profit and purpose. You need the profit for you to be able to still enjoy the

benefit of shareholders capital, but you also need the purpose for you to be able to execute successfully.

QUESTION: What are the challenges and opportunities that come with running a Pan-African business?

NAZARE: I think African regulation has been quite fragmented and you know, from one country, one region to another, you've got to navigate fairly

complex different regulatory frameworks that has proved to be quite difficult.

Africa, continental free trade area is an absolute imperative. I think for our business, it is very exciting because of the promises that you're

seeing. One of which primarily is the promise of a level playing field, a harmonized regulatory framework. No barriers to trade, free movement, free

movement of labor, absolutely important.

QUESTION: What is your hope for businesses in Africa?

NAZARE: I think the script for Africa's future success story must be written by great African businesses and our markets are small individually.

Those great African businesses must be allowed to spread their wings, take advantages of opportunities across the continent.


QUEST: As we continue tonight together, there were now bidders for a one of a kind villa that have been decorated by the painter Caravaggio. Now,

that villa is heading back to the auction block. This time the price has gone down, a hefty discount. Let's look after the break.




QUEST: A new report warns the global jobs recovery is set to stumble during the year. The U.N.'s International Labour Organization, the ILO,

says employment worldwide will fall 52 million jobs short of prepandemic levels, a sharp downgrade from previous estimates last summer, more than

200 million are set to be unemployed worldwide this year.

The ILO is warning the job losses will continue for as long as the pandemic itself remains uncontrolled. It's Guy Ryder, who's met with me now from


Good to see you and wishing you well, of course, but the reality of these numbers is they are going to fall disproportionately on the developing

world. Yes, there will be some in the wealthy countries but they're not going to bear the brunt.

GUY RYDER, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION: Yes, that's one of the key messages of the report. In addition to the fact that

we're still operating labor markets well below the employment levels of prepandemic times, we're looking at really a two-speed recovery right now,

as you indicated.

It is the richer countries, for two reasons in fact, which are doing better. One is their rollout of vaccinations, which is sort of a

precondition for getting economies moving again and the second is simply the fiscal firepower that they can bring to the job, stimulating economic

activity and promoting enterprises.

And this is a very worrying situation within the aggregates.

QUEST: Right.

So what do you want?

I mean, there's an argument in the U.S., where unemployment, there's still many millions unemployed. But then unemployment rate is down, the

unemployment rate in the U.K. is down. In the developed world it is down.

So what policies are you now seeking?

RYDER: Well, I think going back to the two points I made right now, clearly, health policies, economic employment policy right now. So we

simply do have to do better on getting vaccines rolled out around the world. It matters to the world of work.

And I think we've also got a financial set of issues to deal with. We've heard the World Bank this week, warning about imminent debt crisis or the

prospect of that in the developing world.

We really need to make sure that does not happen, that further accidents do not occur. You know, in the U.S., I think it's very interesting, as you

say, unemployment levels are near to prepandemic levels.


But they're still way down on participation levels. And this is typical; you know, 1.5 percentage points below the levels prepandemic in terms of

people actually active in the labor market. So we all have to reactivate people, get them back to connections.

QUEST: But there's other things going on, Guy, for example, the number resignations in the developed world, countries, resignations for the jobs,

quality of life issues, the bidding war taking place now for workers in key industries.

RYDER: This whole mixture of dynamics going on here, I think, Richard, I'm a little skeptical, if I might say, so about the thesis of the Great

Resignation representing, if you like, you know, in the process of COVID, people have sat back and said, well, we want to do something else; we want

to live differently. There's some of that going on.

But you know, labor markets are not such in most of the world, that people have the luxury to give up what's available to them now and go on to

something better. We're seeing the churn that comes from the interruption of economic activity because of the restrictions imposed by, during the

COVID period.

Let's see if that is a permanent structural change, where things are going to simply flip back to where they were, just a temporary blip, as it were.

I don't think we've reached a new sort of settlement, a new normal, if we want to use that phrase yet. It will take a while and we'll have to

untangle all these different things going on.

QUEST: I'm just reminded that normally we would have, of course, been together up a mountain in Davos at this time of the year but not this year

and, well, maybe next year. Well, you're still up a mountain, so to speak, still in Geneva. So you can pop in to Davos if you get -- Guy Ryder joining

us, thank you, sir.

Tonight, no bidders for a villa in central Rome, with a ceiling mural painted by the Italian artist Caravaggio. The starting price was a cool

$547 million. It didn't sell in the initial auction and you might be able to get it now for 20 percent less in April, CNN's Ben Wedeman, think of him

as your real estate man, taking us on a tour.



And here's Gwendoline Talbot, the Earl of Shrewsbury's daughter, who married Marcantonio Borghese. And they had a child named Alathea (ph)

Borghese, who became my husband's great-great-grandmother.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Texan born Rita Carpenter, better known in these parts as Her Serene Highness

Princess Rita Boncompagni Ludovisi, shows me around Rome 16th century, Villa Aurora, her home for almost 20 years but not for much longer.

The villa valued at around $535 million has been at the center of a bitter legal dispute between carpenter who was the third and final wife of her

late husband, Prince Nicolo Boncompagni Ludovisi and his sons by a previous marriage.

An Italian judge ordered the house to be put up for auction with a starting price of just over $400 million. In real estate, it's all about location,

location, location but in this case, it's also about the villas interior jam packed with priceless artwork in almost every room.

LUDOVISI: It is the only ceiling painting ever done by Caravaggio that's done in 1597 when he was 23.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): The villa is just a few minutes' walk from Via Veneto, Rome's most exclusive shopping district. It's brimming with art but

it needs about $10 million worth of renovations starting with the heating.

WEDEMAN (on camera): What's it like to live in this house?

It's cold, it's very cold.

LUDOVISI: I'm freezing right now. We didn't think about the pipes burst. All the other things you have to think about no don't normally have to

think about in a modern house in America. I mean, there are things that go wrong here all the time. And so trees that fall down and hit a car on the

street or whatever it might be.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): Villa Aurora is out of the price range of all but the billionaire class carpenter who spent years documenting the villas

history looks to a heavenly buyer.

LUDOVISI: I hope that an angel buys it and that they understand the depth of history here.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): By law, the Italian government can match the winning bid and take possession of the villa, a stretch perhaps in a country where

the state is in a perennial financial crisis.


For art historian Elizabeth Lev, that would be the ideal solution.

ELIZABETH LEV, ART HISTORIAN: Well as an adopted Italian there's nothing I would love more than to see it in the hands of the Italian state, so that

we could continue to enjoy our tremendous works from one room to another.

You are looking at masterpieces, exciting moments in the history of art and then absolutely absolute unique exemplars in the history of art.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): As it turned out, there were no takers in the auction which closed Tuesday, Villa Aurora goes back on the block in April,

prepare your bids -- Ben Wedeman, CNN, Rome.


QUEST: Right, so you've gone to bid for Villa Aurora. Let's see how you have done today in the market, you're going to need about 300 million to

400 million. Well, if you are long, you're not doing very well. If you shorted out over the afternoon, maybe better.

We're heading toward the low point of the day, looking at that map, that chart, I should say, fourth consecutive loss, it's miserable, this

particular market, the way it is falling.

But that's the nature of the beast, we're up over half a percent and there's some 20 minutes still left to trade. There's the Dow, S&P and the


And I'll have a "Profitable Moment" for you. And don't forget, of course, we have then the president's news conference coming up at the top of the





QUEST: Tonight's "Profitable Moment": so Tim Clark told us the 5G nonsense going on in the United States is one of the most delinquent,

utterly irresponsible issue subjects that he's seen in his aviation career.

The reality is, for whatever reason, the United States tonight and the aviation industry is almost the laughing stock -- although it would be

funny if it wasn't so serious -- that after several years, more than two years, the FCC, the FAA, the airline industry, the big telcos, including

AT&T, parent company of the network that I'm working for, and Verizon have got themselves into this unbelievable mess.

And as for places like here in Dubai, which, you know, has a fairly well- run telecommunications industry, that seems to put a call through, and other parts of the world, too, they look at the United States and take this

as an example and say, what has gone wrong?

And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight, I'm Richard Quest in Dubai. Whatever you're up to the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable. "THE LEAD