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Quest Means Business
Economy Dominates US Elections; Crypto Exchange Binance To Purchase Rival, FTX; Locally Produced Power Is Vital Source Of England's Energy; Investors Buoyed By Potential Republican Wins; Japan Reopens, China Sticks To Zero COVID Policy; Tourism In Azerbaijan. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired November 08, 2022 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Uneasy and uncertain: That's where the markets are looking. choppy is perhaps another word. We're still in the
green, but you can see the vacillation -- that's a good word for you for an election day -- vacillating markets. Well, they are the markets and the
The economy: It's on the ballot in the United States and we are only hours away from the first exit polls in pivotal Midterm Elections.
Call it a Shakespearean drama in the world of crypto. Binance is lining up an emergency bailout of its rival, FTX.
If we want to take practical steps on climate change, then drop trade barriers. The Director-General of the World Trade Organization is with me
on this program tonight.
We are live in New York. It is Tuesday. It's November the 8th. I'm Richard Quest, I mean business.
Tonight economic anxiety is dominating the polls, as voting is now underway in the US Midterm Elections. High inflation and a potential recession, they
are by far the biggest concerns on voters' minds about who found it increasingly difficult to pay for and to make ends meet.
The country's economic direction over the next two years will be firmly determined by the election races over the next two years -- the races are
tonight, of course, but the results will be -- the effects will be felt over the next few years.
Rosa Flores is in a key battleground State of Las Vegas in Nevada. It is windy there, I hope you can hear me. But the State is important, and the
votes have been pouring in.
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm sorry, I didn't get to hear the question that you asked, Richard. But absolutely, yes, the State of Nevada
is one of the key States here in the United States because it could determine the balance of power of the Senate in the United States.
Now I am in Las Vegas, Nevada. It's in Clark County. I want to show you around because you'll see that there's a long line right now here outside
of this polling place.
So this is a Community Center in Las Vegas. Just to tell you a little bit about this community. Clark County is 71 percent of all 1.8 million voters
in the State of Nevada, a very, very important State. Again, it could determine the balance of the US Senate.
From talking to some of the voters here, some of the issues that are most impacted by, they say is the economy -- how much they pay for gas at the
pump, how much they pay for food. Also, the border -- border issues, immigration issues.
Even though this is not a Border State, it does not border Mexico, people here are still concerned about the border. One woman I talked to said that
it was because of potentially individuals immigrants taking jobs from people in this community, her family members. They also spoke about crime.
Those are some of the issues that they're worried about.
And again, Richard, Nevada, we're going to be here, we're going to be watching it. We're going to be watching what is happening here in the State
of Nevada. We've reached out to the Secretary of State, and they are not reporting any sort of voting issues here in the State, but we will continue
monitoring and let you know what happens.
QUEST: Rosa, hopefully you can hear me, and if not, answer the question you want to answer anyway. But hopefully you can hear me. What's the mood?
What are voters actually feeling? Are they going to the polls with something of just dread and misery? Or is there a feeling of excitement of
what might come up today?
FLORES: You know, they are very energized, very energized here in the State of Nevada. Some of the individuals that I talked to, Richard, said
that they know and they feel the responsibility of their vote because the power and the balance of the US Senate could come down to this State. It
could come down to the votes of the people that you see behind me. That's why they're very energized.
I mean, just to share some of the issues that have been very important in this state that are also creating news is election denialism.
There are multiple individuals who are on the ballot who deny that the 2020 election was won by Joe Biden.
I spoke to one woman today who says that she believed that President Donald Trump won even though President Biden won this State. It was by a thin
margin, of 2.4 percent, but he still won the State. And so those are some of the conversations happening, some of the things that people are
interested in as they come here to the polls,
QUEST: Rosa, good to see you. Thank you for joining us from Las Vegas.
The Democrats are in trouble. In a recent poll, most voters said that they had more faith in Republicans to run the economy. That can't be good news,
of course, for Joe Biden, because if the Republicans win tonight in the House, which Rosa was talking about as well, then Kevin McCarthy will
become the Speaker of the House. Kevin McCarthy becomes the Speaker.
And he told CNN, he would cut government spending to fight inflation. He said they would lower gas prices by making the US energy independent. These
are policies people talk about before they get elected. Of course, once you're in power, it can often be a different matter.
Tomas Philipson is the Acting Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers at the White House under former President Trump. He is now Professor at
University of Chicago.
Good to see you, sir. Thank you for taking the time to join us.
If the Republicans take the House, what is their first economic priority? Now bearing in mind, of course, the way spending bills have to go, but at
the same time, you truly would have gridlock government.
TOMAS PHILIPSON, FORMER ACTING CHAIR OF THE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS AT THE WHITE HOUSE UNDER FORMER PRESIDENT: Yes, on that got gridlock, I'm
not too sure, but for those readers who don't follow you as politics on a daily basis, the way it works is both Houses, the House and Senate has to
approve taxes, spending bills after it goes to the President that can veto things if it's not a supermajority.
So what will happen is that almost for certain the House will go Republican, it would be a miracle if it didn't, and so there will be a
freeze on spending and taxes that couldn't be increased now under a Republican House. The question is, you know, what happens? What else
happens with the Republican House?
There is also going to be a lot of oversight of economic activity now coming from the House Oversight Committee, in particular to energy and
healthcare provisions that were just passed with the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, which was mainly an energy and healthcare bill.
Now, if the Senate goes Republican, which is much more uncertain, obviously, then you're looking at economic appointments being affected,
because the Senate has to approve the President's appointments to the Treasury, the Fed, the SEC et cetera.
QUEST: In your view, if we end up with this gridlock government, are we essentially at a standstill. In emergencies, and in desperation, the two
sides will come together to cobble some sort of compromise, but if you're talking about the day-to-day running of the economy, essentially, nothing
much gets done.
PHILIPSON: Yes, we haven't seen a lot of bipartisan cooperation, and there is going to be, you know, some kind of signaling, too. There are
going to be things sent to the President's desk that he will then be forced to veto or, you know, lay down. And that's going to be interesting to see.
I think the first thing that is going there is the reform on the tax collection agency IRS in the US, which has been beefed up in the Inflation
Reduction Act with 86,000 more people collecting taxes. Republicans are very strongly against that.
I think they're going to send a standalone bill to the President to veto it and see how much guts you have to veto that, if it actually -- if the
Senate and House both go Republican.
QUEST: Then you've got, of course, just taxation itself. I mean, at the end of the day, the US economy, okay, it's big. It's big and the pillars
are standing strong, but it is shaky. The current environment is shaky.
I mean, nobody wants to play chicken with the debt ceiling in the full faith and credit, but I can see scenarios of just torturous negotiations,
and nothing getting done, basically until the presidential election in 2024.
PHILIPSON: Now, that's correct. When we have a divided government, it turns out the markets actually like divided governments because less gets
done. It depends on your view on whether the government is doing good or bad things essentially, right?
But there will be a slowdown in activity, obviously from the first two years which has seen the massive spending and tax increases that would
never happen in a divided government.
So look forward to, you know, either as sort of a fight over, you know, shutting down the government if Republicans don't get what they want, or a
lot of reduction in spending compared to the last two years.
QUEST: Final thought, Tomas, as my late grandmother used to say, "That's no way to run a railroad." And you know what I mean. I mean, is this the
best that the world's supposedly oldest democracy can offer us up?
PHILIPSON: Well, I mean, there has been a lot of complaints on the White House from, obviously from Republicans, but even the voters, the voters are
currently blaming the White House, from what rightly or wrongly, it is not -- I think we overprescribe how much the White House influence the economy,
but it does influence it, obviously, in its policies that it pushes, influences it.
But the voters have clearly come down on that this bad economy is the fault of the White House. So the White House is definitely not running on
economic policy and Republicans is only running on economic policy because of that.
QUEST: It's good to see you, sir. We will talk more. In fact, we'll probably talk once we know the results of the election later in the week or
next week. Thank you, sir. I'm grateful.
Now to a corporate story worthy of a Shakespearean drama. It's got all the ingredients -- a bitter rivalry that came to head in a spectacular fashion
and there was somebody knifed, as Binance announced their plan to rescue FTX.
It follows a run of one of the world's largest crypto exchanges. In a statement on Twitter, of course, Binance said: "This afternoon FTX asked
for us to help. There is a significant liquidity crunch." It's a stunning downfall for FTX.
Of course, it was originally valued at $32 billion, and it is after a public clash between the CEOs of the two companies and that spurred a
selloff in the crypto markets.
Paul L. Monica -- Guru La Monica is with me.
Paul, so this is interesting, fascinating, actually, because I'm not sure whether Binance actually sort of dug the dagger in when it tweeted that it
was selling or reducing its stakes in the crypto held by, and therefore created what arguably was a liquidity run on FTX.
PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Exactly.
This does appear to have all the hallmarks of a classic old school run on the banks of yesteryear, and I do think, Richard, that obviously FTX found
itself in a position now, Sam Bankman-Fried, he has been the banker for a lot of the crypto industry this year, which many startups have been
struggling, potentially going out of business, and FTX was viewed as one of the healthier firms with that $32 billion private valuation, possible IPO
plans for 2023. So he has bailed out a couple of firms, but now, he has to go running to one of their biggest rivals in Binance, because there was a
run on the FTX in-house currency and that created these liquidity concerns.
And it just really shows, Richard, how rapidly things can unravel in crypto. This is not yet the present of money in the way that many crypto
evangelists like to say, it's the future of money. It's going to be how we all transact in the future. Give me the old fashioned dollar, euro, or a
yen over Bitcoin or Ether any day of the week.
QUEST: Yeah, you missed out the pound, or maybe that was for good reason and quite deliberate.
So, at the end of the day, though, now, what is to prevent Binance itself? It's bigger, it is better known. The CEO is very much more sort of. He has
-- he is very much a more a policy person. He has been on this program numerous times, but what's the stop a run on Binance itself?
LA MONICA: That is a fantastic question, Richard and I think that that is what all crypto investors have to be thinking about and potentially worried
about, because the good news, if you will, is that FTX was rescued by Binance in the way that say Bear Stearns was bailed out by JPMorgan Chase
But what happens if Binance becomes Lehman Brothers? Is there anyone left to take them over? Would a larger financial services firm that had been
wary of crypto finally decide it is time to wade in because they could get a company like Binance for possibly pennies on the dollar or pennies on the
Bitcoin, if you will?
QUEST: Right. We're looking at Bitcoin's price there. Do you think that's the reason why it's down 11 percent today?
LA MONICA: Oh, yes, totally the reason why Bitcoin is plunging today. Ethereum is plunging. You're seeing crypto related stocks --
QUEST: But why?
LA MONICA: Coinbase and Robinhood.
QUEST: But why, Paul?
LA MONICA: Robinhood remember had a big investment from Bankman-Fried. He was kind of viewed as maybe the savior because of all the problems that
Robinhood was having.
So now all of a sudden, if you're a benefactor, he is not necessarily going to the poor house, but he is not as financially flush as he used to be. It
makes sense why Robinhood and Coinbase would be struggling. If the whole ecosystem is falling apart, there aren't really many places to hide.
QUEST: And finally, of course, we must not forget the big difference between this and fiat money. I mean, most developed economies have some
form of deposit -- deposit insurance, deposit protection -- which pays out for ordinary investors up to in some cases, $100,000.00, fifty, sixty
eighty thousand pounds or whatever it is.
There is no such thing here. If you've lost -- if the thing goes belly up, you can't get your money out. It's good night, Irene.
LA MONICA: Yes. Yes. Buyer beware. You lose if you made a bad bet. This is not -- there is no equivalent of the FDIC for crypto.
QUEST: Not yet.
LA MONICA: Not yet, it is a great point. Maybe there should be.
QUEST: No, not yet. We'll talk about it in a moment. We'll talk about trade in a moment, which of course is the opposite in many senses of what
Global trade can be a force for good in the climate fight. It is the message from the World Trade Organization.
Ngozi Iweala will be with me. The Director-General is with me after the break.
QUEST: Day Two of the global climate talks in Egypt and it has seen nine countries including the US and the UK join an Alliance to accelerate the
deployment of offshore wind energy. Its first goal is to install 35 gigawatts of wind power each year until 2030. The UK has also agreed to
cooperate on nuclear energy with France. Energy security is a focus for world leaders.
And England has been pushing for renewable power long before Russia's war in Ukraine, which sent fuel prices soaring.
CNN's Clare Sebastian has been looking at the driving force of the change.
DANIELLE LANE, VATTENFALL UK COUNTY MANAGER: You don't want them so high that they become dominating on the landscape.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): At 82 meters high, these are considered baby turbines in the wind industry, and yet these babies
pack a punch, 11 of them spiking out of active farmland in Central English generate enough electricity per year to power 16 and a half thousand homes,
locally grown power now a vital source of energy security in a world where fossil fuels have become a weapon of war.
LANE: We really see a really big increase in interest from governments in renewables, and it really puts a lot of pressure on companies like
ourselves to deliver. So, we're trying to accelerate projects that we've got, and we're trying to build things safely, but more quickly.
SEBASTIAN (on camera): This wind farm has been here for 10 years, but the plan now is to expand it into solar. They already have permission to build
a solar farm on the same site. That they say is because the future of renewables is putting multiple different types in the same location to make
the most of the available land and produce electricity, whatever the weather.
SEBASTIAN (voice over): Russia's war in Ukraine cut off major gas supply routes and sent global energy prices soaring. Some countries like Germany
increased their use of coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel of all, and ramped up spending on infrastructure to import liquefied natural gas.
SIMONE TAGLIAPIETRA, BRUEGEL: In this short term, governments that need to secure their energy systems are using all the possible options. I think
that in ten, twenty years' time, looking back at this moment, we will realize that these ultimately was a great accelerator.
Everybody in Europe appreciate and understands that renewables also have geopolitical benefits.
SEBASTIAN (voice over): It's not just energy security driving the change, it is economics. Solar Energy UK says more solar panels were installed on
British homes in the first half of this year than the whole of last year as people rushed to avoid surging fuel bills.
Good Energy UK, a 100 percent renewable electricity provider says this trend extends to businesses.
NIGEL POCKLINGTON, GOOD ENERGY: We've just worked with a business park in Gloucestershire who we have completely covered their rooftops with solar
power, and they're selling about a third of it back to the grid.
Solar installations can be relatively cheap, and we think the payback on that is now getting down below five years and gives households and
businesses a reasonable degree of energy independence.
LANE: So, the swift area of the blade is what counts --
SEBASTIAN (voice over): The week we visited this farm, UK wind generation hits a new record, providing 54 percent of the country's electricity in a
single day, fueling hopes of a turning point.
Clare Sebastian CNN in Leicestershire, England.
QUEST: We can have all the wind and all the solar that you like, but crucial to climate change is how to make deep cuts in emissions without
slowing the development of poor countries or reducing the living standards in the wealthier.
The World Trade Organization says reducing tariffs and other barriers on low-carbon technologies is the key, and the Director-General is with me.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala joins me now from COP27.
It is good to see you. Nice to see you always, ma'am. Thank you for taking the time to join us.
Look, you talk about attack trade barriers to low-carbon transition, but what does that mean in reality?
NGOZI OKONJO-IWEALA, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION: Well, Richard, first let me say that we feel that trade and trade policies are
the missing ingredient in the national action plans that countries are putting forward to help them fight climate change, and that is why we've
done this report saying that you must put trade and trade policies, you cannot fight climate change without.
And what we're talking about when we talk about barriers, you will be surprised to find that there are many countries where tariffs on fossil
fuel related goods are lower than those for renewables.
So we are saying we need to reverse. You need to look at your trade policies to make sure you're favoring those goods that are environmentally
friendly. We seek the trade as a tool for mitigation and adaptation, and that is why we're saying it has to be taken into account.
QUEST: Why are you any more optimistic that you could get improvements on trade and agreements, bilateral or multilateral agreements on trade, when
they can't get agreement on climate change?
OKONJO-IWEALA: Well, let me put it this way. I think there is a recognition now that we have to put all the forces we have at work to
cooperate -- countries need to cooperate to be able to fight climate change. COP 27, initially when I arrived, I wasn't that optimistic, but
listening to leaders here, there is real realization that we've got to get implementation, we have to use all tools available.
And the talk that I hear now about putting forward some more climate finance for poor countries, they are talking about loss and damage, gives
hope that trade also will be taken into account as an instrument with which to fight climate change.
QUEST: Do you agree with former Secretary of State Kerry and others who say that the answer is in the economics, obviously, the trade and things
like I mean, the trading emission schemes that there are in the world. They are very complicated, and a quick straw poll in our office showed we all
had a vague idea what they are, but none of us could really say with any certainty exactly how they worked, except somebody bought somebody else's
carbon credits, and somebody got a benefit, and eventually, it all seemed to work somehow.
OKONJO-IWEALA: Well, you know, let me say yes, that I believe that carbon pricing, you know, and emissions trading, they are all part of the toolbox
you need in order to decarbonize the way we live, to decarbonize production.
And so, if you pollute somewhere, or you have released carbon emissions in the activity you're doing, you can go somewhere else and buy emissions
reductions from someone else who is not polluting, you know, so you can trade. And that's what they're talking about. I'm trying to talk in very
simple terms so you don't say I'm speaking a lot of jargon.
But essentially, you can -- if you're doing something that is bad for the environment, perhaps someone else is doing something that is good. And you
can trade between you, that's what is being talked about. In addition, I think that putting a price on carbon is also something else we need to talk
So at the WTO, we are developing a framework for carbon global pricing of carbon emissions so that you can have a price put on them and then reduce
If you can't provide something, you know, then it's very difficult to get a solution, to get people to stop using it, and that's the kind of framework
I'm trying to talk about in very simple terms.
QUEST: But of course, the problem with pricing -- well, I am grateful, but the problem with carbon pricing is nobody can agree what the price is.
And yes, the market, you can have a setup of the market looking at it, but the view is today that it still needs to be -- the real price of carbon
should be much higher.
OKONJO-IWEALA: But look, Richard, right now in the world, we have 70 fragmented carbon pricing and taxing systems and it is very difficult for
business to go from one jurisdiction to the other and have to face a different price.
So working with other institutions like the IMF and the OECD, if we can put together a global framework, which is what we're trying to do, that has one
price for those who are low income and low polluters, another higher price for high income and high polluters, and somewhere along that range, you're
solving a problem.
And those who don't want to price carbon, but want to use regulation, we can do an equivalency so that that can also be made into a price. So, I
think it's a very doable proposition and it is not that complicated.
QUEST:` You said there were 75 different schemes or more than 70 different schemes. That's pretty complicated.
OKONJO-IWEALA: Seventy, yes.
QUEST: Seventy. Good, Lord.
Well, we thank you for joining us tonight from Sharm El-Sheikh. We'll talk more about it as this thing progresses. Very grateful for you, Director-
General joining us tonight.
And you wonder about why it's so complicated. Seventy different schemes. No, do not fret. I'm not about to list them all or teach any of them at the
The challenges that we're facing globally, and those specific to the United States. Voting is underway in Midterms and the economic and the political
still to be discussed.
QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Votes are being cast. It seems Wall Street is already preparing to celebrate the
outcome of the midterm elections, as it has been for most of the day.
CNN speaks to laid-off employees in Twitter's only office in Africa. We will get to that but only after the news. This is CNN and here the news
QUEST (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE) police say they are investigating a lone suspect in last week's shooting of Imran Khan. The former prime minister
was shot in the leg during an anti government rally. Nine others were struck by bullets and one has died from his injuries.
Khan suggested there may have been two gunmen and called the police case farcical.
The U.S. says its communicating channels with Moscow remain open. Although, officials say there will not be any negotiations about the war in Ukraine
without Kyiv's participation following reports that U.S. officials are trying to create a signal that it is still open to talks with Moscow.
U.S. lottery officials say one winning ticket was sold for a $2 billion jackpot. The new Powerball ticket was sold in southern California. Results
were delayed because of a technical problem.
QUEST: In a few hours, the polls will start closing in the United States. People are casting their ballots in the critical midterm elections.
Millions of ballots already been cast and sent in. The voters have been streaming to stations, the voting has been brisk across the country.
Wall Street seems to be celebrating, the Dow's been up hundreds of points, encouraged by the prospect of a political deadlock, look at that trough we
had earlier on. It is fascinating for no obvious reason. We have looked into it, there's no real reason why the markets are suddenly down sharply
and then came back up again.
At the end of the day, it is all about government and spending, taxes and regulations. Matt Egan is here.
There was a hiccup in the middle of the day but the market is pricing in a divided government.
MATT EGAN, CNN BUSINESS SENIOR WRITER: Hey, Richard, only on Wall Street would something as annoying as gridlock be celebrated. But investors are
not worried about traffic jams in New York, it is about political divisions in Washington that would prevent one political party from doing too much,
from enacting tax cuts or maybe raising taxes or government spending. Things that can mess things up.
That is why investors seem to be happy about this idea of gridlock. We have seen markets rally in the last few days, actually trading near session
highs as we speak. This will be three days in a row, up for the Dow, on track to close at its highest since August.
Richard, I do wonder whether or not some of the focus on the midterm election is a little overdone because, arguably, there is an even bigger
market moving event coming on Thursday.
Some of the traders in the New York Stock Exchange, they have been saying that the inflation report that is due on Thursday is really going to
actually be a bigger deal for markets because that is going to go a long way in terms of deciding what the Fed does next and how big a risk we face
in terms of recession.
QUEST: What should we look for on that number?
We can talk more about it as we get closer.
What would be a number that would scare the horses?
EGAN: I think, with inflation year over year, if it goes back up and re- accelerates well above 8 percent, I think that would be a big concern because it would suggest that this inflation problem is actually getting
The consensus is calling for a cooling off. I think the problem is that the improvement on the inflation front has been really, really gradual. It has
not been enough to satisfy the Federal Reserve, which means that we should expect it to continue to raise interest rates next month.
QUEST: So let me put an argument forward. Bearing in mind what Jay Powell said about not knowing the full effect of the monetary lag and all the
Wouldn't we only really be now seeing the effect over the last three months of those four three-quarter percent rate hikes?
Would it only be now that we would be getting the evidence?
EGAN: I think that is right. Monetary policy works with a lag. We don't know how big that lag is, it varies. There is some debate over how many
months it takes for each of those rate hikes to actually impact the real economy.
That lag is really important, it's almost like if you or I took pain medicine for a headache and we looked at a watch and after 15 minutes, our
head still hurt. It does not mean the medicine is not working, you just don't feel it yet.
The concern remains that the Fed is going to be impatient with the very slow improvement on the inflation front. So they keep hiking interest rates
that end up overdoing it but they don't realize they've overdone it until it's too late.
QUEST: I'm a firm believer when taking medicine for a headache, if one is good, two must be better and three will really do the trick. So hit on the
head to be competitive.
EGAN: I hope Jay Powell doesn't share that mindset.
QUEST: You never know. Good to see you, Matt Egan.
Now on the election course throughout the night and the day, our special coverage starts in just 22 minutes from now. We will go, it will go until
it is over. So whenever you want to join us, hopefully you will be there as we bring you the latest developments in the crucial midterms.
It starts in 20 minutes from now, here on CNN.
Layoffs at Twitter go global following Elon Musk's takeover. Staff in Africa are out of a job days after their offices were overtaken. We will be
QUEST: Twitter has reported that daily user growth hit a record last week. Elon Musk is claiming the same thing. He said Twitter usage is at an all-
time high, lol.
His former employees in Ghana don't have much to laugh about. They were laid off four days after Twitter opened its only office in Africa. CNN
Larry Madowo has spoken to some of them.
Two aspects here. Firstly, just the sheer incompetence of opening an office and then closing it within four days.
But also, bearing in mind, international growth of things like Twitter, why would you close your Africa office?
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It could be a change of strategy. Twitter's former CEO Jack Dorsey was a big fan and advocate of the African
office. In fact in 2020, he initially said that he was considering spending 3 to 6 months in Africa.
But the employees that work in the Twitter Ghana office feel insulted, discriminated against, disrespected in the way this is being handled. They
received a termination notice on Friday morning, just four days after the physical location opened.
They have been working remotely for about a year; many of them had moved from other countries to be in Ghana for this dream job. This is the notice
they received, it didn't address them by name, it just said see attached.
The letter says, I want to read part of this for you, "The company is reorganizing its operations as a result of a need to reduce costs. It is
with regret that we are writing to inform you that your employment is terminating as a result of this exercise.
"Your last day of employment will be on 4 December. You'll be placed on garden leave until your termination date."
Here is the inconsistency here which is grating on these employees. This tweet from Elon Musk, he says, everyone exited was offered three months of
severance, which is 50 percent more than is legally required.
But these employees in Africa are saying they didn't get that. They were not offered next steps or any severance at all. So they are in limbo.
QUEST: The unfairness of the way it is being handled, I'm guessing there's nothing they can do about it?
MADOWO: They are consulting with employment lawyers in Ghana. They point out that Elon Musk is an African, he was born in South Africa, in Pretoria,
about 30 miles from here. They thought he would treat them with a little bit more respect.
They're just asking for the right thing to be done. Same with what is happening to other employees who are leaving the company in Europe and
North America. They don't feel so.
They think it is extra stinging that this happened to the African team who have been a small, close-knit team, less than 20 people. They think this is
a drop in the ocean for the world's richest man. It just doesn't make sense for them.
QUEST: Larry, thank you, in Johannesburg tonight.
In a moment, cultural icons like Squid Game and K-pop brought international attention to South Korea. (INAUDIBLE) tourists (INAUDIBLE).
QUEST: The world's biggest iPhone factory is now offering bonuses for employees to return to work. The COVID outbreak that led some to flee on
foot. The disruption of the plant, which is owned by Apple supplier, Foxconn, threatens to further disrupt production as Apple's preparing for
the holiday season. Selina Wang reports from Beijing.
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Apple supplier Foxconn has started recruiting workers for its Zhengzhou factory. This facility in central
China is Apple's largest iPhone assembly factory and it desperately needs more workers.
After a COVID outbreak at Zhengzhou in mid-October, there has been chaos at the factory. Viral videos have shown masses of workers walking miles across
highways, to flee the factory's COVID restrictions.
Workers had complained about subpar living conditions and the poor quality of food. This has put huge strain on Apple right before the key holiday
Apple says that its latest products will be temporarily impacted and delayed because of these COVID-19 outbreaks and the factories operating at
significantly reduced capacity. Foxconn said it is giving a one-time bonus equivalent to $US 69 for workers who have left and choose to return.
It is offering new workers a wave equivalent to US$4 per hour.
The factory is operating in a closed loop system, which means that workers have to live and work onsite. Apple is just the latest victim of China's
harsh zero COVID policy. The country is stuck in this endless cycle of lockdowns, quarantines, and mass testing. It is taking a huge toll on the
economy and on people's lives.
The policy is isolating China from the rest of the world and making it a much less attractive place for global business -- Selina Wang, CNN,
QUEST: The head of Japan's national tourism organization says, the country is ready for tourists from all over the world as the country has now
dropped its last remaining COVID restrictions last month.
Still, China's ongoing restrictions on movement continue to be a drag on visitor numbers. He told me at the World Travel Market he is hoping that
that changes soon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIN JINUSHI, JAPAN NATIONAL TOURISM ORGANIZATION: At this moment, are we trying to get all of the travelers from all over the world to come to Japan
So not specifically of tight (ph) but, yes, we are welcoming all tourists from all over the world. So we're also waiting for China reopening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Another country, of course, in Asia that's reopened, South Korea, is hoping its cultural exports will renew and attract tourists. For instance,
(INAUDIBLE) groups have gained fans worldwide and movies like "The Parasite" have won international acclaim.
The executive director of the country's national tourism organization told me at WTM, they're building on this Korean wave.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANGYONG ZHU, KOREAN NATIONAL TOURISM ORGANIZATION: Our basic positioning is to make Korea the face of origin of (INAUDIBLE), the Korean wave, the K-
pop, including BTS --
ZHU: -- and Blackpink.
QUEST: So you really are seeing a difference because of things like Squid Game and K-pop?
And you think this is something that you can use to attract tourists?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody's now learning about those groups (ph) and dancing groups and then, furthermore, we have Korean movies, including
(INAUDIBLE) or (INAUDIBLE) Squid Game. All the movies are very splendid. But we are trying to make it (INAUDIBLE).
QUEST: Next year, I'm coming to Korea.
ZHU: Welcome you to Korea.
QUEST: Where must I go?
ZHU: Firstly, I would like to recommend you to visit the local cities first here (ph). Let me tell you our second strategy to push Korean
tourism. We are proposing on local, major tourism attractions. Actually, more than 77 percent of Korean visitors are going to Seoul (INAUDIBLE)
only. But we want to split all the customers to the local areas.
QUEST: What's the third leg of the tourism strategy?
ZHU: The other one is developing high value markets.
You want the wealthy tourists?
ZHU: Yes, including rich tourists. Actually, we target (INAUDIBLE) from Europe, U.S. and Middle East.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now as we continue to look at these countries who are exhibiting at the WTM in London, Azerbaijan may not be at the top of your travel list yet
its bustling capital and the landscapes are fascinating.
The South Caucasian country a travel hot spot. Florian Sengstschmid is the CEO of Azerbaijan's tourism board. He told me the country's uniqueness is a
large part of its appeal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FLORIAN SENGSTSCHMID, CEO, AZERBAIJAN TOURISM BOARD: Messages, experiences of (INAUDIBLE) the uniqueness of Azerbaijan. We believe that relatively
small country, about 10 million people. You cross north-south in about 5.5 hours driving from the subtropical south on the lemon trees, sea
You cross the moonlight landscape, (INAUDIBLE) volcanoes 2 centimeters in Baku (ph) and go up to 4,000 meter high mountains and, in these climate
zones, there's a lot of cultural, ethnical, multicultural, tangible, intangible.
QUEST: Who is your market?
Because obviously, there's a lot of Caucus travel that would -- not quite domestic travel but it's regional travel.
But you want more than that, don't you?
SENGSTSCHMID: We have neighbors, Russian (INAUDIBLE). We have Kazakhstan, we have, in the south, we have Iran. For now, it's mainly Middle East
visiting in the region and South Asia, India, Pakistan. But obviously European market is very important for us as well.
QUEST: Is that the growth area?
SENGSTSCHMID: It is the growth area. We see especially U.K. a lot of the growth markets combining culture, nature and discovering these unique
QUEST: How do you ensure sustainability is actually practiced, not just preached?
SENGSTSCHMID: Exactly, is we've been starting, when we developed like really since 2018, focusing on locals and then putting locals in the
foreground of our activities. So developing with locals back with the bustling places is a beautiful capital, in terms of combining all the new.
But it's sustainable development happens in the region. It's like getting people in the regions on board, rural accommodation units.
QUEST: But doesn't the fight for money, doesn't just, you know, let's build it, let's get the tourists in?
SENGSTSCHMID: No, that's not the way to go, no. It's like, in the -- it's like one aspect is obviously the economy and bringing the people in. But
looking at figures pre-pandemic, Azerbaijan has 3.2 million international visitors, so it's not.
We're not talking about mass tourism of the country of a good size. It's like, 3.2 million is still a number which you can easily digest in, like,
small communities, in rural areas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: The last few minutes of trading on Wall Street. Remember, we've been talking earlier, we are now at 386 -- it's held its gains
substantially from the last few hours. The Dow is now up, as you can, see 1.14. The triple stack shows similar gains.
Americans are heading to the polls. Results suggesting Republicans will regain a House majority. Investors like divided government; it makes it
harder to pass new spending or to raise taxes. As the Dow 30 shows, you don't often see this Amgen at the front, you don't often see Disney at the
But a solid performance across the board on all the major stocks.
Boeing have had an active salute storm over the last few weeks, another 2.4 percent. That is where the markets are looking at the moment. We will have
a "Profitable Moment" after the break.
QUEST: In tonight's "Profitable Moment," I flew back from London earlier today and, as the plane made its way over the North Atlantic, I looked out
of the window.
What was I thinking about?
What was it?
What was on my mind?
What if I won the lottery?
What if I was the one person who was lucky enough to get the $2 billion or at least $980 million, if I took it as a lump sum. Rich beyond the dreams
What would I buy first?
How would I structure my finances?
Who would get what?
Oh, don't pretend you have not done similar. Don't pretend you haven't sat and thought about, what if I won the lottery?
Viv Nicholson, famously said, I would spend, spend, spend.
Well, I would put a bit aside and I would give away a lot and I would do this, that and the other.
Well, I didn't win the lottery, as I discovered once I came down to Earth with a thump, both metaphorically and literally. And I'm very happy for the
person in California who did. I just wish it would've been me.
Is that wrong, to wish that sort of thought?
Or maybe that's just human nature. I didn't win the lottery, which means I will be back with you tomorrow because that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for
tonight. I would be with you anyway, even if I had won. I'm Richard Quest. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's as profitable.