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Quest Means Business

Twitter Staff Set To Discuss Elon Musk's Takeover Bid; IMF To Lower Global Growth Forecasts; NYT Reports E.U. Starts Drafting Plan To Ban Russian Oil; Ukraine Claims Strike On Russian Black Sea Flagship; Over 100,000 Ukrainians Seek Refuge In U.S.; Top 35 U.S. CEOs Provide Aid For Refugees; WTO Slashes Global Trade Outlook For 2022; Major Averages Set To Close Lower. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired April 14, 2022 - 15:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: There is an hour to go on trading and bank earnings, which are very much all over the place have sent mixed

signals, and so the markets are looking for direction, whether it's on economic grounds or Ukraine or earnings, I think the fact you're not seeing

much movement or volatility is because basically trading around zero gives the best indication of the way the day is going.

There was one big talking point in the markets today, and it gives the markets, "My best and final offer." Elon Musk makes a $41 billion hostile

bid for Twitter.

A deluge of top policymakers a warning of the economic fallout from Ukraine. Martin Wolf will discuss this evening.

And the CEO of Manpower on his efforts to find jobs for Ukrainian refugees.

A busy hour ahead. Live in New York on Thursday, it is April the 14th. I'm Richard Quest. I mean business.

Good evening, the Board of Twitter is set to meet in a couple of hours to hold a discussion on Elon Musk's takeover bid. He is offering more than $40

billion to buy the company. He has offered $54.00 a share $54.20, if you like.

As you can see the price, it is actually down -- down nearly two percent at 44. So it's a long way off. His offer is an 18 percent premium on

Wednesday's closing price.

Now the shares are lower. They've been up all around the place over the course of the session. Remember, they did rise very sharply when Musk took

his 10 percent stake in the company. Musk says that wasn't enough. The 10 percent doesn't allow him to do what he needs to do.

He needs to take the company private to unlock its potential as a platform for free speech.

Elon Musk Elon elaborated a few hours ago. It was a TED Conference in Canada.


ELON MUSK, CEO, TESLA: Well, I think it's very important for there to be an inclusive arena for free speech, where all -- so yes.

Twitter has become kind of the de facto town square. So, it's just really important that people have the -- both the reality and the perception that

they are able to speak freely within the bounds of the law.


QUEST: Elon Musk speaking this afternoon. He has called his bed, his best and final offer in the S.E.C. filing, which could have ramifications in the


Now he says, this is from the SEC filing, "It's a high price and your shareholders will love it," he tells the Board and he warns, "If the deal

doesn't work, I would need to consider my position as a shareholder. This is not a threat, it is simply not a good investment without the changes

that need to be made."

Brian Stelter is with me. Brian. Well, I mean, he bought nine percent. He tried to then get on the Board or he was invited onto the Board. He

obviously didn't like what he heard when he tried to do it friendly. What was that?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Right. There were several days, apparent discussions behind the scenes and he came away dissatisfied

by management, not having confidence in the current Twitter management. So, he believes he can do it himself.

And on stage at the TED Conference today, he sounded like a man making plans to take over Twitter. He acted as if this is very real. He said this

is about the quote, "future of civilization" not about making money. He said he has a backup plan, if this initial offer doesn't work.

However, investors don't seem to be buying it. I think there's a lot of folks who aren't sure whether to take him very seriously today, Richard.

As you said, the stock actually now down from where it opened today. Investors don't seem to be buying up shares in anticipation of Musk paying

$54.20 a share, and already we've heard from one larger investor saying this undervalues the company.

So over to the Board of Directors, we will see what they say, but the CEO will hold a meeting in two hours with employees. That'll be our next sign

of what's going to happen here.


QUEST: Okay, when he says he wants change, it couldn't become what he wanted. He wants this First Amendment freedom of speech. Brian, what do you

understand him to mean by that? I mean, anybody can put anything they like on Twitter?

STELTER: Yes, and it may stay online, it probably will stay online. But there are some rules of the road, and Twitter has been under tremendous

pressure from its users, as well as investors and shareholders and regulators and governments try to clean up some of the sewer that Twitter

sometimes is.

But here are Musk's ideas, right? He has been all over the place saying, "We should convert the headquarters into homeless shelter. We should add an

edit button, wouldn't that be nice?" But he's had some wild ideas as well as some realistic ideas.

He has seemingly treated this as a game or a sport or just a way to pass the time, and then swinging in today in a very serious way, hiring Morgan

Stanley, sending a letter to the S.E.C. He does seem to be in this for real, but he is talking about free speech, the way that a high schooler

does, this kind of very basic concept that, well, let's just create a public square, let anybody do anything. That gets really complicated

thinking about local laws, what the users actually want, what happens about harassment and crime on the platform?

He doesn't seem to be considering any of that. So honestly, Richard, I think, if he does take over Twitter, and he takes it private, if he runs

Twitter, he's going to have a lot of education. He's going to learn a lot about the realities of content moderation. And frankly, I don't think he

wants that education.

QUEST: Absolutely. Free speech is fun until you actually have to do it, and then you work out the limitations of it.

All right, thank you, sir. I appreciate it.

Twitter needs to be transformed, says, Musk. Well, I spoke to Elon Musk. It was some time ago in 2014. So, it is a few years ago, but it was

instructive because in our discussion, he was focused squarely on expanding Tesla overseas. Even then, you could see the appetite for risk and

detachment from market opinion.


MUSK: Market cap makes no sense, because, you know, market cap is like 10 times what our revenue was last year. So clearly, the market cap is driven

by future expectations, and as soon as anything happens to either enhance or diminish the faith in our future of those future expectations, the stock

price takes a massive movement one way or the other, because it's just so leveraged based on where people think we will end up.

QUEST: When I look at those ventures with which you are involved.

MUSK: Right.

QUEST: They all signify a strong element of risk and reward.

MUSK: It's not really the size of it or anything, it's just that I think there are some important things we need to be addressing, the problems the

world faces, and when there doesn't seem to be much happening in that arena then I have actually tried to be helpful.

So with Tesla, it is about trying to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport; with Solar City, it is sustainable production of energy, because

you need both sides of the coin, obviously; with SpaceX, the goal is to accelerate rocket technology improvements to allow ultimately, to hopefully

to allow humanity to become a multi-planet species and establish a base on Mars.

QUEST: And at the same time, all of them have to have an element of commercial reality about them?

MUSK: Well, yes. It's not really a profit optimization, except that if we run out of money, then we're dead.


QUEST: So that's an excellent view of how Elon Musk regards his various investments, and you went through them there.

So now, that was back in 2014. With the benefit of hindsight and a bit of research, let's look at Musk's track record on those. So he co-founded

PayPal in the 2000s. It pioneered online payments in the internet, we can say that was a big success.

He moved to Tesla, early investor, Chief Exec and it's worth over a trillion dollars and at the forefront of the EV revolution no question,

massive success.

Next, SpaceX. He is the founder, CEO, and Chief Engineer. Currently, the rocket he is carrying private citizens to the ISS, the first to do so.

Whilst others are doing tourism, he is the only one actually involved if you will, big time in commercial space activities.

Solar City, well a bit iffy. The rooftop solar panel business went broke, it embroiled him in lawsuits, but het get marks for trying.

And then The Boring Company which is about building tunnels, Hyperloops, infrastructure, great idea, it is too early to call that one a complete set

success or failure.


QUEST: Scott Galloway is with us, marketing professor at NYU, also host of "No Mercy, No Malice" on Business Technology, one of my colleagues at CNN+.

All right, Scott, when you woke up this morning, and you heard about the $54.00 a share, bid for Twitter by Musk, what did you think?

SCOTT GALLOWAY, PROFESSOR OF MARKETING, NYU STERN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS: I thought this wasn't an offer to buy more shares, it was a signal that Mr.

Musk was going to sell shares. If you look at his letter, it said that this was his best and final offer.

Deals don't get done at their initial offer, and he also threatened to leave or to start selling. So it sounds to me like he is essentially trying

to create cloud cover for beginning to sell shares.

And if you look at the market, Richard, the interesting thing was this supposedly was an offer to take the company out at a 20 percent premium to

where the market closed or where the stock closed yesterday, and on the open, the stock was flat.

So the market doesn't believe he is sincere.

QUEST: All right, but what does he want to do with it?

Brian Stelter was just talking about this idea of the First Amendment. It is sort of one of those, as you're aware, the First Amendment is great in

theory until you have to put it into practice, as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter have all discovered. What vision do you understand this to be?

GALLOWAY: Well, that's the correct question and I am not sure -- so first off, this has nothing to do with the First Amendment. The First Amendment

is that the government shall pass no law that inhibits free speech. Twitter can do whatever it wants, just as CNN, that would be like me saying to you,

Richard that you need to bring on vaccine deniers and election misinformation trolls whenever they want to come on your network.

Media companies are private company, so this is not a First Amendment issue. And the correct question is, what would he do here around the

business model more than a political statement to unlock value? And there has literally been absolutely no explanation around how he wants the

business model to change.

So I think a lot of people are looking at this thing and saying, okay, how is he going to raise money? What is he planning to do if he actually gets

it? But so far, there is no answer to how he would unlock value.

QUEST: Now, in the interest of full transparency, I do actually own some Twitter stock. I bought it a few years, bought it way down. It is showing a

marginal profit at the moment. Like others, yourself included, I guess we'd all wish we'd sold at $74.00.

But how far does that price at $74.00 reflect the value? Where do you see the fair value in Twitter stock at the moment?

GALLOWAY: You know, I don't know. My colleague, Aswath Damodaran who is the Dean of Valuation nine years ago, wrote on his blog when it went public

that this is a company with tremendous usage, a fantastic product that hasn't figured out a way to monetize its users, and nine years later,

Richard, the song remains the same.

This isn't about speech or moderation. This is about Twitter moving from a failed business model. They have been a 10-year experiment on how not to

compete with Facebook and Google, so I would argue they need to change business model and move to subscription and go the exact opposite way than

Mr. Musk is suggesting and start cleaning up the platform. I think, this is about more editorial content.

Moderation or lack of moderation isn't holding Twitter back. Its moderation is what's good about Twitter. If they want a cesspool, just got a 4Chan

that gets 20 million people a month, Twitter gets a couple hundred million a day.

So a lot of this just feels like political blather that is not grounded in any sort of what I call real serious business judgment.

QUEST: Is Elon Musk -- I mean, having given him his due for his business acumen and his entrepreneurial spirit and the great successes that he has

created. But in this case of Twitter, is he a bloody nuisance?

GALLOWAY: Well, you summed it up. There are few people in history that have added more shareholder value to the things they're focused on.

Launching cargo into space for less money, electrifying the EV market, 70 percent of EVs sold in the U.S. will be Tesla. They'll sell more cars than

BMW or Daimler this year. He has added probably more shareholder value than any individual maybe with the exception of Tim Cook.

With respect to his side hustles, however, whether it's Dogecoin, Bitcoin, Etsy, Shiba Inu, and now Twitter, he brings more volatility than value and

that is, he is a kid that gets excited, opens a present and then when he gets bored with it, starts throwing it against the wall.

It's the same thing over and over. I'm interested, I'll talk it up, I lose my interest and the thing goes down. Wash, rinse, and repeat. More

volatility of the value there.

QUEST: I was interested -- of course, you actually did have some ideas for Twitter yourself, didn't you, a few years ago? You had -- you put them

forward, and they didn't fly.

GALLOWAY: No. Look, I think Twitter needs to command the space it occupies. I think people including Elon Musk -- Tesla has the best brand in

automotive right now. They spend zero on marketing.


GALLOWAY: General Motors spends $2 billion.

I think if you charged Elon Musk a million dollars a month, he would start insulting and attacking the Board members complaint, and then begin paying

those fees. I think anyone above a certain follower account gets tremendous surplus value from the reach that Twitter offers, including corporations

and celebrities.

And if you just charge him for a fraction of that surplus value, you execute the most accretive move in business history and move to a

subscription model. You clean up the bots, you make it a safer place for kids, you clean up the misinformation, and I think you have one of the

great subscription media companies in the world.

QUEST: And we will watch to see. Scott, good to have you as a colleague, CNN+, even better tonight to have you on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Thank you,


GALLOWAY: Thank you, Richard.

QUEST: Tonight, Russia's war on Ukraine is altering the global order. That's very highfalutin. Martin Wolf believes, it do many other top

financial experts.

Martin is with me after the break about who is going to come out after the dust settles.


QUEST: The head of the I.M.F. says it will lower its global growth outlook this year and next because of the war in Ukraine.

The Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva said the war is a massive setback for the global economy that has already been turned upside down by


She was speaking ahead of next week's I.M.F. and World Bank's meetings where incidentally, we'll be reporting from and the MG warned against

fragmenting the economy into geopolitical blocs, which she said would worsen supply chain problems and hurt countries who can least afford it.


KRISTALINA GEORGIEVA, MANAGING DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND: Inflation has become a clear and present danger for many countries around

the world. This is a massive setback for the global recovery.

In economic terms, growth is down and inflation is up. In human terms, people's incomes are down and hardship is up.


QUEST: Taking all of the economic undertones, what's clear, Russia's war is irreversibly reshaping the economic world order. It is a message that we're

now hearing again and again.


QUEST: For instance, the U.S. Treasury Secretary speaking said: "The future of our international order, both a peaceful security and economic

prosperity is at stake.

The E.C.B.'s Christine Lagarde: "This war of aggression constitutes a tectonic shift in European history." And Michael Schuman, a Senior Fellow

at The Atlantic Council, said: "The world is splitting into two spheres, one centered on Washington, D.C., the other on Beijing."

Martin Wolf, the Chief Economics commentator, for "The Financial Times," he has written already that the war is transforming the world map, and

dangerously reversing globalization.

Martin is with me now from London.

This idea, Martin, that a mold is broken. A new world order, if you like, is being shaped. It is being formed, how do you see it?

MARTIN WOLF, CHIEF ECONOMICS COMMENTATOR, "THE FINANCIAL TIMES": Well, I think the descriptions you've given and the quotations you've repeated are

correct. But broadly defined, I think there are several ways of thinking about this.

The first is that the war is the third huge shock in the last 15 years. We had a huge financial crisis, it took us years to recover in the West,

particularly in Europe, then we had the COVID shock, which generated the world's -- the most synchronized recession across the world in 2020, that

as far as we didn't know, there's ever been. Pretty well, every country fell into a recession at some point in 2020.

We were recovering, but the recovery was really very messy in many dimensions, and then we get hit by this, so that's one way of thinking

about it.

But the other way of thinking about it is that we have had a burgeoning dislocation in the global political order. It really started with very

clearly, a growing tension between the U.S. and China that we already have very clearly, from 2016 on and then we have China aligning with Russia to

attack a country for no cause that we can't understand, we have no idea where it will end. So, these are colossal shocks.

QUEST: But can we put them -- well, can we put the China back together again, in a sense? I mean, is it -- is what we know and have lived by for

the last 50 years, 70 years, is it irreversibly broken?

WOLF: Well, I would say for the last 40 years since the end of the Soviet Union, I think it is conceivable that we could imagine compartmentalizing

things. So we would agree that we have friction with China, but we can still manage to cooperate on things we have to, like the world economy,

like climate. It is conceivable, but it is very difficult to do.

And war creates tensions and annoyance and irritation, and rage, perfectly understandable, all of these things, which make it very difficult to calm


The motions are such that they sweep everything away and we have seen this with major wars in the past.

QUEST: And this -- on the economic front, of course, this is the most difficult, I mean, essentially, you've either got stagflation or shallow

recession that's going to hit most of the major economies mid to late next year, because they have to beat inflation.

WOLF: Yes, I think even before this happened, I expected there to be a sharp slowdown and quite probably recessions, because inflation was much

more serious than Central Banks admitted. I had been writing this at least since the beginning of last year, and then we got this additional shock.

So I think a recession with -- is very likely with -- in significant economies, plus, then a period of stagflation, very low growth, as

economies recover, but it takes a long time for inflation to disappear once it's really entrenched.

QUEST: And that's something that an entire generation of people that have got no recollection of the 70s and the inflation of the 70s and 80s, just -

- you know, this idea that the Fed can raise rates or the E.C.B. or the BOE can raise rates and squeeze inflation out. Most of -- there are many people

around now who do not -- have not experienced that process taking place.

WOLF: I would have thought almost everybody active in business has no memory of this whatsoever, and they don't realize how disruptive it can be.

It is different this time in a number of different dimensions, things we don't know, they're not the same as the 70s, which I remember well, but it

is going to be disruptive because it always is.


QUEST: Martin Wolf, I'm very grateful. We haven't spoken for a long time, and hopefully, you'll be in Washington, maybe you'd be in Washington and

we'll catch up again at the I.M.F. and World Bank, but it's good to see you, sir.

WOLF: It is a great pleasure. Good to hear from you.

QUEST: As we continue tonight, the E.U. is reportedly drafting a plan to ban Russian oil imports according to "The Times"- "New York Times," the

draft says it will phase out Russian oil over several months. Germany and Austria are opposing an immediate cut off. E.U. officials told "The New

York Times" they won't present the plan until after the presidential elections in France, and that's of course on April 24th.

Vladimir Putin says energy sanctions will only hurt the West more than Russia and Russia has plenty of other customers for its oil and gas.

CNN's Clare Sebastian in London with that story.


CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Putin's message clearly designed for domestic, as well as international audience was the Russia

doesn't need the West to buy its energy, but the West can't get by without Russia.

He said that attempts by Western countries to replace Russian energy imports will impact the entire global economy and reduce the

competitiveness of those countries.

As for Russia, he laid out several objectives to strengthen the energy sector, among them to prepare for a future where the West may no longer be

such an important market.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We need to diversify our exports. We need to assume that in the foreseeable future,

deliveries of energy in the western direction will be reduced.

So we need to strengthen the tendency of the last few years, step by step, re-orientate our exports to the fast growing markets of the South and East.

SEBASTIAN: Well, there are signs this has already started happening. Analysts say India's purchases of Russian oil have increased by a lot since

the start of the war in Ukraine. But since O.E.C.D. Europe currently buys about 60 percent of Russian oil exports, re-orientating those exports won't

be easy, and it is not yet clear how quickly Russia will have to do this.

Discussions among E.U. Ministers on a potential sixth package of sanctions started this week, one that could include some kind of restriction or

embargo on Russian oil, but as yet the E.U. is still divided on this issue. And there's the more immediate issue of Russia's demand countries pay for

gas in rubles.

The Netherlands joining several other European countries today in saying it would not be doing this, warning its energy companies that this would

violate E.U. sanctions on Russia.

President Putin making it clear Russia hasn't changed its stance and it still intends to gradually move away from dollars and euros for its energy


Clare Sebastian, CNN, London.


QUEST: As we continue tonight, Ukraine says its missiles hit a vaunted Russian warship, but the Kremlin says it was just an accident on board.

Either way, the mighty Moskva has serious damage.




QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest, more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS as we continue this evening.

The chief executive of Manpower will be with us on teaming up with some of America's powerful chief executives, finding work for Ukrainian refugees.

And Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the head of the WTO, has told us rising prices create global food crisis. We'll have that story for you.

But only after I cover the news headlines because, this is CNN and, here, the facts and the news always come first.


QUEST (voice-over): Turkey says it's still trying to set up a meeting between the presidents of Russia and Ukraine. The Turkish foreign minister

said they are cautiously optimistic about negotiations between the two countries although he says allegations of Russian war crimes have

negatively affected the process.

The last member of the ISIS cell known as the "Beatles" has been convicted on eight U.S. federal charges. A jury in Virginia found El Shafee Elsheikh

guilty of conspiracy and (INAUDIBLE) resulting in the deaths of four Americans, he's now facing life behind bars.

The U.K. reached a deal with Rwanda to send some asylum seekers to the African nation. The British prime minister Boris Johnson claims the move

would stop people smugglers. However, the U.K.-based Refugee Council says deal would not deter migrants and called it "cruel and nasty."


QUEST: A potentially huge blow to Russia's war effort in southern Ukraine. The flagship of the Black Sea fleet was significantly damaged today after a

fire and explosion on board.

Ukraine says it's hit the ship with missiles. Russia evacuated the ship and said it's investigating what happened, without acknowledging any attack.

U.S. Defense officials say it's not clear exactly what happened or indeed if the warship is operating under its own power right now. Matt Rivers live

in Lviv.

So we don't know what happened but we can say how significant it is.

Can you?

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: 100 percent, Richard, no matter the cause of this, whether it was some sort of accidental fire,

which is a possibility here, or whether it is, as the Ukrainians say it is -- and they actually successfully attacked this ship with a pair of cruise

missiles -- the end result is that one of the most important ships in Russia's navy is now out of commission.


RIVERS (voice-over): The guided missile cruiser, Moskva, is one of the Russian navy's most important warships, named after Russia's capital city,

the Moskva is the flagship vessel of the Black Sea fleet, one of three Slava-class missile cruisers in service.

At 186 meters, the Moskva is nearly twice as long as London's Big Ben tower is tall. It can carry a crew of up to 529 and reach speeds of nearly 60

kilometers an hour. The Moskva is armed with antiship and antiaircraft missiles, torpedoes, guns and missile defenses.

The ship was commissioned into the Soviet navy in 1983 and renamed the Moskva in 1995. It's been extensively overhauled twice. The Moskva played a

crucial role in Russia's intervention in Syria's civil war, providing support to Russian warplanes.

The Moskva is also symbolic for the Ukrainians. It was one of the ships involved in the Snake Island incident at the start of the invasion.


RIVERS (voice-over): A Ukrainian soldier was heard over the radio, saying, "Russian warship, go eff yourself."

In the wake of that now famous exchange, Ukraine's government is issuing a new postage stamp to honor those soldiers.

Ukraine says it hit the Moskva with two Neptune antiship missiles while Russia's defense ministry claims there was a fire that detonated ammunition

on board and has now been extinguished. The Pentagon says the cause is unclear.


ADM. JOHN KIRBY (RET.), PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: We're not quite exactly sure what happened here. We do assess that there was an explosion, at least

one explosion on this cruiser, a fairly major one at that, that has caused extensive damage to the ship.

We assess that the ship is able to make its own way and it is doing that, it's heading more toward now we think the east. We think it's going to be

putting in at probably Sebastopol for repairs.


RIVERS (voice-over): If the Moskva has been badly damaged, it would be the second large Russian naval vessel to be lost in the war with Ukraine. A

missile strike destroyed a Russian landing ship at the port of Berdyansk late last month.

If the Moskva was struck by cruise missiles, there will be questions raised about its antimissile defenses. In any event, it won't be quickly replaced

as the flapship of the Black Sea fleet.

Analysts say the incident strikes at the heart of the Russian navy as well as Russia's national pride.


RIVERS: And Richard, a U.S. Defense official says that, at the time of this explosion, the Moskva was about 70-75 miles off the southern coast of

Ukraine. Internationally, that same Defense official telling reporters that, after this explosion happened, other navy ships from Russia's navy in

that area moved further south in an apparent move to get clear of any other missiles that could be coming.

Clearly, the Ukrainians, if it was in fact a missile attack -- and that's an if at this point -- but if it was, the Ukrainians showing off a

capability to attack offshore these ships and that will have an impact on Russia's strategy and their tactics moving forward.

QUEST: The $800 million worth of armaments the U.S. put forward yesterday, we now heard lots of discussions about where people are going to be trained

on helicopters and different missile systems.

The British similarly, is it just now a question of can these armaments get to Ukraine quickly enough?

And can they, the soldiers, be trained in using them?

RIVERS: Yes, so what we're hearing about the soldiers getting trained is that the U.S. doesn't think that will take more than just a few days to

train up the Ukrainian soldiers on how to use these different weapons systems.

And these are different types of weapons that we've seen the U.S. provide in the past. You're talking helicopters, different pieces of artillery.

But your question is correct, Richard, is how fast can they get all of this equipment to where it is needed?

Because we're talking about a new offensive in the eastern part of the country that we know Russia is mounting up for right now. We heard from a

U.S. Defense official that the first forces, some of the first Russian forces that left northern Ukraine after the failed attempt to take Kyiv,

have now already made their way into the Donbas region.

Relatively small troops acting in a support capacity for an offensive that we know will begin relatively soon. So really it is a matter of time, how

fast can these Ukrainian soldiers get equipped with the equipment they say they need, ahead of what is sure to be a brutal offensive, carried out once

again by Russian troops.

QUEST: Matt Rivers in Lviv this evening, thank you, sir.

The private sector is stepping up to help Ukrainian refugees. The chief executive of Manpower has his company's policy to help find them new jobs -

- after the break.





QUEST: Corporate America is coming together to help support refugees from Ukraine and Afghanistan. The CEO Council is giving $75 million

to help them resettle and find new jobs.

The council includes prominent leaders like Apple's Tim Cook, Amazon's Andy Jassy, Starbucks' Howard Schultz and Manpower's Jonas Prising, who joins me


What is the idea here, to find jobs?

Certainly there's a need of jobs.

But where will these jobs be and what sort of jobs are we talking about?

JONAS PRISING, CEO, MANPOWER: Well, Richard, we're talking about all kinds of jobs. And, you know, fortunately, for us, we are at a labor market at

its strongest in 40 years.

So the intent of, this coalition of companies, the White House and the administration and NGOs, is to ensure the integration of these

Afghan refugees into U.S. society and helping them in all kinds of ways, getting to a new city, settling down with accommodations and, of course,

finding jobs.

And that's where many of the companies in the coalition, including ourselves, are really enabling the opportunities that we know exist in the

U.S. and providing them to the Afghan refugees.

And that's what the coalition is all about. And the coalition for Afghans is now also going to be leveraged to help integrate and assimilate the

Ukrainian refugees, so that --


PRISING: -- that is coming in.

QUEST: So these are people that have been accepted into the United States. So their refugee status has already been established, in a sense. And now

they need to rebuild their lives.

And the number one priority there, I suppose, is an income?

PRISING: That's right. So they are getting supported already as refugees. And actually, the Biden administration has sort of created an exception so

that they can be rapidly integrated and have the opportunity to work in the U.S.

And that is otherwise a process that can take years. And this is vital for their ability to integrate into society quickly.

We know that, from our experience here, we know that from our experience in the Netherlands and in Germany, with Syrian refugees. So we know this is

extremely important and, equally, we know it's important for the Ukrainian refugees across Europe as well as here in the United States.

QUEST: Are these permanent jobs that you're looking at getting them or is this sort of -- I mean, is this stopgap measures for -- while, obviously,

people determine whether they can go back to their own countries?

PRISING: I think it's two different issues. I think, from an Afghan perspective, most of these jobs, ultimately, are going to be permanent


For the Ukrainian refugees, it's a different story because most Ukrainian refugees that I've had the opportunity to interact with and that we know

are primarily going through Europe and, in particular, Poland, their intent is go back to Ukraine once the crisis ends and the war ends.

So they are definitely more looking for temporary jobs. But we do know that, all the time, this may change. So we also need to be able to give

them the skills so that they can resettle on a more permanent basis and integrate into those societies where they live.

QUEST: Jonas, I would be remiss if I didn't take the opportunity, since I have you on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS tonight and, as you're expecting, let's

talk about the employment situation.

Look, last year, there was this great labor shortage in the U.S.


QUEST: There simply wasn't the skills and the workers necessary.

Has that eased up?

PRISING: That has not really eased up, Richard. The labor market in the U.S. is very strong. It's had its fastest growing labor market in over 40

years. And you can see that come through, through very strong nominal wage inflation as well here in the U.S.

But the same is true across Europe as well and in many other parts of the world. And this is still a labor market that is experiencing the effects of

the pandemic, where labor supply was constrained due to health care issues, lockdown issues and is still trying to come back.

But most labor markets today are stronger today than they were before the pandemic.

QUEST: OK. On this inflation, you talk about the nominal inflationary effect. But we are aware, of course, that the relationship between nominal

wage increases and the rate of inflation, people ask for more money. If the prices are going up, they need more money.

Do you see that cycle being broken or is it tightening and hardening?

PRISING: Well, the evolution of wages was actually quite a good story up until late mid-'21, because you saw some very strong real wage increases,

both in Europe and the United States and elsewhere.

And that dynamic has changed recently, as the supply side shocks, mostly due to the pandemic, still, are, you know, rippling through the economies

and are driving inflation rates higher. So at this point, most developed markets have real wage decline because the inflation rate is so high and

not keeping pace with wage inflation.

QUEST: Until, of course, wages go up.

But if you sum it up, are we in an employers' market or an employees' market, you know, a job-seeker's market or an employer's?

Who has the whip (ph) hand here?

PRISING: We are definitely and firmly still in an employee's market. This is a very strong labor market. Employers looking for workers in the U.S.

and in Europe. And with many open jobs, it is a very strong labor market across the board.

QUEST: Jonas, thank you, sir, and congratulations on this excellent, excellent, practical scheme to help people. I mean what people need is a

job and an income. That's what they need, particularly after what they've been through in Ukraine. A job and income and a way forward. Thank you,

sir, glad to have you on the program.


It is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS tonight, the WTO is urging countries not to hoard food as prices rise around the world.





QUEST: A U.N. task force is warning that Russia's war in Ukraine could devastate developing economies by driving up prices for energy and food.

The head of the World Trade Organization told Becky Anderson, other nations must not exacerbate the problem.


NGOZI OKONJO-IWEALA, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION: from the point of view of the WTO, first of all, we're seeing members should avoid

putting export restrictions or prohibitions so we have the free flow of trade in the world because, when there is a tendency to hold back food, you

know, during a crisis, policymakers tend to hold back. And that will exacerbate the rising food prices.


QUEST: The food producers, the soaring prices of fertilizer and natural gas needed to make it, are making businesses just about unsustainable, CNN's

David McKenzie with this report.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The early starts and the intense work at the Phillips-Sakekela (ph) bakery in Lagos used to be worth

it, used to be profitable.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Entirely this year, precisely around the time of the bombing of Ukraine, it has affected the supply of wheat, which has affected

our primary item of our production, which is the white wheat loaf. Our flour has been very expensive. The prices are changing constantly.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Now they can only afford to produce half of what they did. And each tin gets less dough.

This war is horrifying for Ukraine's people. It could be devastating for global food security. Russia and Ukraine are agricultural export


On the field of battle, farmers will struggle to plant crops. With export ports blockaded by Russian warships, it has pushed the prices even higher.

So the 10 hours Maria Maridoke (ph) spends selling bread won't be enough to feed her two children. She says customers don't have the cash anymore and

often refuse to pay the going rate.

And even on the fertile slopes of Mount Kenya, they are hurting.

Caroline Kimarua had to slash her workforce. The cost of fertilizer for her tea and coffee plantations has doubled in recent months.

CAROLINE KIMARUA, FARMER: You have no money to buy the fertilizer, at that high cost.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): And Russia is one of the world's biggest fertilizer producers. Sanctions and trade disruptions likely to push prices even


MCKENZIE: Could this be any worse time?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The war is starting at one of the worst times. We were already thinking we are in a recovery mode. On top of that, there are

already inflation pressures that were across the world. Africans are spending a lot on fuel and spending a lot on food. The need in this current

moment, this is a tough time for the continent.

MCKENZIE: The impact of this conflict is coming on top of already soaring global grain prices. And if you look at this map over here, of course,

countries across the world could feel the pain. But economists point to specific African countries, like Senegal, which imports more than 50

percent of its wheat from Ukraine and Russia, and Somalia, which imports more than 90 percent.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): And in Somalia, already suffering from generational drought, hundreds of thousands of children, like this 7-month old, are

hollowed out by hunger and sickness.

If the rains fail again, the war in Europe could push this crisis into a catastrophe, even into famine. Aid agencies depend heavily on grain from

Ukraine -- David McKenzie, CNN, London.


QUEST: And to the last few moments of trade on Wall Street, allow me to show you where we are.

Well, I think what you're looking at there is just uncertainty, and off 80 odd points but we've been up and down all session. And that tells me we're

looking for direction. The market on the big stocks is looking for direction as to whether it's on inflation, whether it's on interest rates,

whether it's -- wherever it is, at the moment.


QUEST: But the uncertainty is taking its toll on growth stocks. And that is why you see the Nasdaq off more than 2 percent. And if you look at the Dow

30, you will really see, potentially, where that imbalance comes, because you got some very strong stocks, like Caterpillar and Dow at the top end of


But the heavyweights like Boeing, they are lower; Apple is sharply lower, the banks have had difficult days of late because of their earnings. Put it

all together and you end up with this great uncertainty with earnings and economics.

So that's where the markets are looking. I will take a "Profitable Moment," well, I'll give a "Profitable Moment" and hopefully you'll take it --


QUEST: -- after the break.




QUEST: Tonight's "Profitable Moment": when I heard that Elon Musk was offering to buy Twitter, I mean, I immediately thought of this --


VICTOR KAYEM, REMINGTON RAZORS: I was delighted and impressed, so impressed I bought the company.

QUEST (voice-over): Remember that?


Victor Kayem on Remington Razors.

"I was so impressed, I bought the company."

Well, it was not quite that with Elon Musk, he bought part of the company and then didn't like what he found, so he thought the only way to change

everything would be to buy the company.

So what does he want to do with Twitter?

And what does Twitter need to have done to it?

What is the purpose of Twitter?

Well, if it's edgy and different, it's TikTok. If it's Snap, who knows what Snap is all about these days?

Insta is very large and big and it leaves Twitter doing what?

Oh, it's where celebrities will put messages and notes when somebody dies. It's where politicians will put out statements after news has happened,

such-and-such writing on Twitter.

But how often do you actually use Twitter?

And when Elon Musk says he wants this great town hall, this square, this First Amendment bonanza, what does it really mean?

I don't know. And maybe that's why we're seeing the uncertainty in the share price, he's off at 54, it's down at 44, the market does not believe

this is going anywhere.

So to paraphrase Victor Kayem, I was so impressed I made an offer for the company but nothing happened.

And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight.


QUEST: I'm Richard Quest in New York. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable. The market's going meh. It's a bit all over

the place.