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Quest Means Business
Yellen Warns McCarthy Of Potential US Default By June; China's Exports Down 10 Percent In December From A Year Ago; Moscow Claims Capture Of Soledar, Kyiv Says Fighting Continues; Biden Welcomes Japanese P.M. Kishida At White House; Trump Org Fined $1.6 Million After Conviction For 17 Felonies; Lisa Marie Presley To Be Laid To Rest At Graceland. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired January 13, 2023 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: There is an ad to go of trading, and as you can see, it's a really -- I was going to say, interesting market and
it's an interesting market because there's nothing really happening. We're literally bouncing around the zero mark, which means people are watching,
waiting, and seeing.
The markets as they have been trading. The triple stack, again, whether it's the narrow, the broad, or the tech, all in a small range overall.
Those are the markets as they are trading and the main events of the day as they are happening in the business world.
Wall Street banks tell investors now is the time to prepare for the worst case scenario.
The CEO of TGI Fridays, why it is hard to find waiters, Uber and Lyft have much to do with it.
And rising energy prices makes life difficult without the backbone of French life, le boulangeries. My French will come in I promise at some
We are live in New York. No, we're not. We're live in London. There we go. It's Friday. It's January the 13th. I'm blaming the date.
I'm Richard Quest and I mean business. Where is the bell?
Good evening, I found the bell. So at least something is back to normal.
Tonight the top firms on Wall Street have posted their fourth quarter earnings, Q4, the tone is the same. Batten down the hatches. JPMorgan says
it is preparing for a mild recession. Wells Fargo, Citigroup building up reserves. BoA is pointing to a slowing economic environment.
The CEO of Blackrock, Larry Fink told shareholders his firm was focused on long-term opportunities. "The Financial Times" says he was more blunt in a
company memo and called the current market unlike anything we've seen in decades.
Paul La Monica is with me. This is exactly the point isn't it, Paul? Because there is no trade -- I mean, the M&A activity is quiet, the trading
activity is quiet. So they build some boosted resources and infrastructure. Now, they've got to do the reverse.
PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Yes, there are definite concerns, Richard, about what will happen to these financial services giants, if
there is in fact, a recession later this year, which as you pointed out, Jamie Dimon and other banking executives seem to be preparing for that.
The good news, though, is that even with the big evaporation in investment banking fees over the past year, because you've seen a slowdown in M&A and
IPO activity, and even though the housing market has taken a big slide in the US last year, many of these banks are still in pretty healthy shape,
because other parts of their consumer businesses are doing well.
But how long can that last? Auto loans and credit cards, they might start to, you know, have some issues as well as interest rates continue to creep
higher and we have these recession alarm bells sounding louder.
QUEST: And that's why we saw last week, because it's a double edged sword for the banks with the credit cards. On the one hand, there will be a
greater use of credit cards because of recession, difficult times, but then also on the left hand and on the right hand, defaults and people in payment
problems also goes up quite sharply.
LA MONICA: Yes, definitely. I think that is going to be the story for the rest of 2023, probably, Richard. Right now, the delinquencies and defaults
for major banks are still pretty low by historical standards. But as consumers start to feel more strapped, will those numbers creep higher
later this year? If so, that's obviously a major problem for the big banks.
QUEST: Paul, stay with me. Let's talk about another aspect of the market today. One top executive is taking a massive pay cut in a difficult year.
Apple's Chief Exec, Tim Cook's agreed to be paid $50 million less. It's a 40 percent pay cut.
It's not only there, Goldman Sachs is expected to cut annual bonuses by around 40 percent. So, why for instance, is Tim taking his pay cut?
LA MONICA: There have been some shareholder calls for Tim Cook to make less money or less, you know, in terms of stock rewards because it has been
a challenging year. In defense of Apple, it's not as if Apple had a lousy year in 2022 while others in the tech sector were thriving.
In fact, Richard, Apple shares despite their big plunge of more than 25 percent, that wasn't as bad as the NASDAQ and many of the other so-called
FAANG stocks. But that being said, Tim Cook can't get up there and tell shareholders, well, you know what, because I was less bad, you should
reward me with more money. He is smart enough to realize that would not play well with the Apple investor, shareholder base.
QUEST: Grateful, Paul. Have a good weekend, sir. I appreciate it.
LA MONICA: You, too.
QUEST: Adding to the uncertainty that is in the markets at the moment, the US is likely to hit its debt limits on Thursday, or at least in the
next week or three.
The Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned, extraordinary measures will be needed to avoid default. She's calling on Congress to act to raise the
debt ceiling. However, and this is the biggie and now we start to see why last week was so important. Republican lawmakers, some of them are
This is likely to be the first major battle, never mind between the parties, but between Kevin McCarthy and his own side, those Never Kevins
who will hold him hostage on debt ceiling.
Rana is with me.
So the cold question, and this is a really tricky one, because I know what your answer would be.
RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: Okay. I love that.
QUEST: All right, here we go. Here we go.
The likelihood of the US defaulting in any shape or form is just about zero. So, why are we getting excited by it?
FOROOHAR: You know, it's actually a legitimate question. By the way, can we just say Never Kevins a few more times. Never Kevins -- never -- I mean,
just thought whole phrase, I just want to say it three times backwards. Hate them, love the phrase.
I think the reason we're talking about it is that the dysfunction in this Republican Party really is different. You know, we talked about this time
being different, not different. We've always had partisan politics.
In the last 20 years, we've had increasing divisiveness between parties, but now, you've got the Republicans fighting themselves and that adds an
entirely different level of chaos to an already chaotic political situation in Washington, and I think that that's why Yellen is getting out in front
of it with this letter to McCarthy.
QUEST: Right. In terms of the debt, there are a thousand and ones things -- I mean, they will eventually run out of money, but there are a thousand
and one things that the Treasury does and is very savvy at doing, moving -- I mean, quite literally robbing Peter to pay Paul, you know, where's the
money now? Oh, there is it is. No, it is not. Oh, I have moved it here. Just to actually get through, don't they?
FOROOHAR: Well, for sure. I mean, but you know, as I was digging into the details of this letter, I was thinking, boy, if I was a Postal worker, if I
was a Federal employee that didn't see my pension, you know, put on hold for at least the foreseeable future, I'd be really angry.
And you know, Yellen is not a political person, but I did think that that was a very savvy letter to say, you know, okay, Never Kevins, okay,
Republicans, you're going to play, you know, some kind of a game with the pensions of Federal employees. I think that that's not going to play well,
QUEST: You're referring to the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund, which --
QUEST: Where, of course, you know, and sort of everybody does get paid back eventually. I guess, as my late grandmother would say, this is no way
to run a railroad.
FOROOHAR: I love your late grandmother, where is she? Well, I guess she's late. But, you know, we need more people like this in office. I mean,
honestly, Richard, though, it is a serious question. And I'll be curious and I am a bit worried, actually, to see how this plays in the markets
because we've been here before.
I mean, you and I have had this conversation at previous pivot points around debt ceilings, right. And we all worry, "Oh, God, the markets are
going to react somehow," and then they don't and then we -- you know, people like me write the story of, well, politics don't matter as much as
But I honestly think in the last few years post pandemic, post Ukraine, in the post neoliberal world was the big theme of mine that things have
changed. I think politics do better more.
QUEST: Right. The letter says as well, and this is I think, insignificant -- it is significant. "It is unlikely that cash in extraordinary measures
will be exhausted before early June." Now, this is almost like a red rag to the bull, isn't it? Because this is basically saying there's a crisis, but
it is not going to happen until June. And knowing the way Congress works.
Now is she just sort of getting ahead of it or what do you think?
FOROOHAR: I think so. I completely think so. I mean, and you know, when I saw that date noted, I thought, oh, my gosh, is she saying to the markets,
this could go on a long time? But don't worry, the Treasury can wait it out.
That in and of itself, if you think about it, that's an extraordinary statement. I mean, these are very unusual times, even by the standard of
several years of unusual time.
QUEST: Which is -- unusual times, indeed. Good to see you. Have a lovely weekend. I'm grateful. Thank you.
FOROOHAR: You, too.
QUEST: Another sign of trouble ahead, China's exports shrank almost 10 percent year-on-year in December. It is a three-month trend.
Marc Stewart is in Hong Kong to tell us how this all happened.
MARC STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There are two big headlines concerning China's economy. First, let's talk about exports, the items that China
ships to other nations. The end of the year revealed some challenges.
According to government data exports plunged by nearly 10 percent in December compared to the same month the previous year. To give you some
context, it's the worst drop since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in February 2020.
So what's behind the contraction, some analysts from Capital Economics are pointing to weakening global demand and disruptions due to labor shortages
that occurred because of illness as things started to reopen.
And then another significant headline, China's trade with Russia hits a record high. This is according to a spokesman from China's trade authority,
accounting for three percent of China's total trade. It comes at a time when China and Russia have strengthened a closer economic relationship
after Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Beijing early last year.
Back to you.
QUEST: In Ukraine, Moscow is claiming its first victory in months. Kyiv says that not so fast, the fight isn't over yet.
QUEST: CNN is receiving conflicting reports on the latest flashpoint in Russia's war on Ukraine. Russia is claiming victory over the Ukrainian town
of Soledar, after days, it has been the center of relentless attacks by Russian forces.
Kyiv says the battle for Soledar isn't over yet. Multiple Ukrainian Army units insist fierce fighting is ongoing.
The strategic importance of this place is under debate, a win for Russia would most likely be symbolic. Having said that, much needed for morale
after months on the battlefield and setbacks.
Scott McLean is with me in Kyiv. I guess, the reality, there is always going to be a fog of war in these situations, but do we know what's
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the fog of war is a very real thing, Richard. It is extremely difficult to get reliable information as to
what precisely is happening on the ground at any given moment without being there with the troops on the frontlines.
But we are getting snippets of what is happening and we are getting bits and pieces here and there. So what we know so far is that the Russians
claim -- the Russian Military Defense says that as of last night, they are in control of this town of Soledar.
This comes after the Wagner mercenary group, which is doing much of the fighting there claimed a few days ago to have claimed Soledar, to claims
control of Soledar.
The Ukrainians though continue to insist that look, this is not over. The fighting is still ongoing. The General -- the Ukrainian General Staff
posted a video not long ago showing that a soldier this afternoon, said that fierce fighting was ongoing and he showed what appeared to be a video
feed from a laptop of the town showing that they still have eyes on it.
We have also gotten word from the 46th Brigade, this is the unit of the military that is doing the bulking of the fighting for the Ukrainians. And
they said that the Russians are essentially trying to push what troops remain in the city into the center essentially trying to surround them, but
there are pockets of resistance all over town, it appears.
I also spoke with a soldier earlier today. This is a Special Forces soldier who is in the area of the strategic town of Bakhmut and Soledar just
yesterday in what he described was very fierce fighting in the streets, maybe ten, twenty, thirty meters away from the other side with small arms,
with grenades, in addition to all of the shelling and airstrikes that are taking place, as well.
And what he said is, regardless of what happens with Soledar, the plan for the Ukrainians was never to hold that city, to attempt to hold that town
forever, because frankly, they don't believe that it has all that much strategic value first.
First off, it's been almost razed to the ground. Second off, it doesn't have the kind of natural defenses that some other more strategic towns do.
And so they believe that the Russians, at some point may be able to have it. Their goal, their task was to try to kill as many Russian and Wagner
mercenaries as they possibly could. And he says that, by that standard, they have done a very good job.
But as you mentioned off the top, Richard, the Russians really seem to need any kind of a win on the battlefield. They've changed up their military
command structure. They have been having this internal squabble with the Wagner private military group. And really, in the last six months, they
have not had very many key victories on the battlefield.
If they were to take Soledar, this would be one, but it doesn't get much easier from there because the Ukrainians say that regardless, the town of
Bakhmut, which would be their next logical place to try to attack, it does have a lot of the natural defenses, plus added military defenses as well.
And so the Ukrainians say that town is still very much a fortress -- Richard
QUEST: Scott, thank you.
UK's Royal Mail has fallen victim to being an attack of ransomware, which has caused the Postal Service to suspend all overseas deliveries.
The British media reporting a ransomware group stole the Postal Service's data, announced it was pay up to get its files back. LockBit is the name of
the Russian-linked group thought to be behind the attack. It's unclear what kind of data they took. It was enough though, to cause severe disruption.
LockBit is threatening to publish the stolen information if a ransom payment isn't made.
Theresa Payton is Chief Executive of Fortalice Solutions which specializes in this cybersecurity business.
Pay or not to pay, that is the malware ransomware question. Where do you stand?
THERESA PAYTON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, FORTALICE SOLUTIONS: It's always my goal to help organizations not have to pay because you have no idea where this
money is going to go and even if you do pay, the dirty little secret is, you don't always get the right key or get the keys that you need and the
data isn't automatically restored.
So you don't always get what you pay for and you don't want to negotiate with criminals.
QUEST: And yet, and yet, and yet, if you don't, you could be in a worse position particularly if you haven't done your homework and got the
necessary backups and et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
PAYTON: Yes, this is a very challenging situation, and I don't judge, anybody who gets stuck in this position where they have to pay. It's a very
tough decision to make. But there's a couple of things that the Post Office could be thinking about now.
So for example, that data that was stolen, what is encrypted? Did they strip away the more sensitive information? So maybe the data, if it's
encrypted, it could be rendered useless unless the criminals actually have the right de-encryption key.
So there are some questions they have to ask themselves about what data was taken? How sensitive is it? And if they dump it, maybe we ask the world to
forgive us, because we don't want to pay?
QUEST: Is there a difference between the situation you've just postulated, which is, we've got your data, and we're going to release it,
versus we've got your company by the short and curlies and you can't operate until we give you the key? In the first, you know, you're going to
be embarrassed and the second, you're paralyzed.
PAYTON: Yes, I mean, both are very challenging. I mean, as of right now, from what I understand, mail has been unable to come and go, not just
domestically, but also internationally in the greater UK since Wednesday.
So we're talking 48 hours for people who are waiting for medicine to arrive via the mail and other important packages that is life changing, right? It
can be life-threatening.
And so there is a slight difference. In the end, you're still paying criminals who -- there is no guarantee they won't come back, and then the
last thing is, is you know, how do we get the Post Office back up and running as quickly as possible?
QUEST: Now I have a sort of a victim side of this, in a sense of just before -- our viewers will know because I tweeted about it and we talked
about it. Late last year, my e-mail server provider, Rackspace, they were hit by a ransomware and it caused huge amounts.
Now, I don't know, because I haven't been in touch them, whether they paid the ransom or not, I don't know how difficult it was to get things up and
running. They are still only getting certain things up and running. Are we giving enough importance at the senior suite to ransomware?
PAYTON: You know, it sort of fell off the list of things we talked about. You know, we talked about it a lot, especially in the weeks and months
following Colonial Pipeline and some of the other major events, then the ransomware syndicates went quiet for a little while.
This is one of the larger, more sensational targets they've gone after. By the way LockBit is denying that they did this, but what is interesting is,
the ransom notes that have been produced, go to URLs that are, you know, website links that are previously associated with LockBit. So it'll be
interesting to figure out who is really behind this.
But we really do need to have a conversation in the executive suite about this. For starters, just assume you will be a victim of a ransomware event,
you need the right response playbook. Ask yourself, will all of our data be encrypted? So if they steal the data from us, well, we have encrypted it at
a level high enough that if they take the data, they won't actually be able to use it.
It is like giving somebody you know, a box, a nested box that's locked up so tight, they'll never be able to get into it. So there's a lot of
different strategies that can be deployed. But first, everyone has to assume one day, you could be a victim of a ransomware syndicate.
You have to have a plan and think to yourself, what are our manual processes that we're going to have to enact? How long will we be
inoperative? And what will we do? Will we pay the ransom or not pay the ransom, and where will the money come from?
So those are all things that need to be discussed? And hopefully other organizations will look at this incident and not think, well, it stinks to
be them, it didn't happen to me. It could happen to you. Take some lessons from as this.
QUEST: This is excellent guidance. Do we have any numbers on how many ransomwares are paid and how many are not?
PAYTON: It is an inelegant math problem at best, Richard, because many victims pay and don't talk about it. And so we only know about the dollars
that have been disclosed to law enforcement authorities around the world, but estimates, it runs in the trillions not billions, but trillions at this
point had been paid out over this last several years to different types of ransomware syndicates, in addition to the lost productivity, lost
operations, lost time and the cost to recover.
QUEST: Theresa, I'm very grateful. Thank you. We'll talk more. I'm grateful to you. Thank you.
It's January, and on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, it could only be one thing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: This is WEF Davos. There should be snow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: That was last year's World Economic Forum in the unusually late springtime meeting and there wasn't any snow, it was pushed because of the
This year, the snow is back, we are. We will be in Davos next week. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS returns to the slopes.
World leaders, chief executives, the biggest names in business guaranteed all on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS at the usual time.
In just a moment, Thank God, it's Friday. It's the end of the week. It's finally here.
So if you're going to talk to anybody about Fridays, TGI Fridays, is probably the best.
QUEST: Hello, I am Richard Quest, a lot more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS as we continue.
Soaring food prices have been tough to swallow for restaurants. The Chief Executive of TGI Fridays is with us tonight.
And le baguette, well, this is a rather large version of it, but you get the idea, but it may be under threat as French bakers are struggling to pay
We'll get to the baguettes and the food after the news headlines, because this is CNN and on this network, the news always comes first.
President Biden has welcomed the Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to the White House. The two countries are ramping up security cooperation with
historic military reforms largely aimed at Beijing which is developing its own space program and hypersonic weapons.
New York judge has fined the Trump Organization 1-1/2 million dollars for running a decade-long tax fraud scheme. It was the maximum penalty. 1.6
million allowed by law over the prosecutor on the case admitted it would have minimal impact on the former president's multibillion dollar empire.
Lisa Marie Presley will be laid to rest at Graceland. Her father, Elvis Presley, his former home, Presley, she died after an apparent cardiac
arrest. A family spokesman said she'll be buried next to her beloved son Ben, who passed away in 2020.
Lithuania's gas pipeline companies has a fire-caused, an explosion and is now being put out. The blast effective one of the lines connecting Latvia
and Lithuania. It all happened around 5:00 local time. The operator CEO said it didn't cause any injuries or any damage to buildings.
Now the markets and as I said at the beginning, they've been bit all over the place, in a sense, a very small, very sharp start lower comes back up
and we just literally tootle around zero throughout the whole of the markets. Bank shares, that is moving things most. J.P. Morgan is leading
the way on the bank shares, topping profits, expectations in the fourth quarter. The triple stack could get -- oh, and I see, he's got a bit of a
You've got tech which is just off a smidgen. Wider market down a smidgen. And this is barely holding on. Probably Morgan's doing the best work there.
So, that's why the market is not actually really moving much forward on that. I'd be surprised if that holds before we're finished today. The
NASDAQ getting dragged down, of course by Tesla.
And so, thank goodness, the final hour of the trading week. And that means it's finally Friday. A time for hungry investors to hear from the chief
executive of TGI Fridays, Ray Blanchette. He tells us that the gig economy is the biggest competitor for labor. And when you have to look at what he's
doing at his restaurant chain is learning a competitive edge.
RAY BLANCHETTE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, TGI FRIDAYS: Well, we've had to get very creative. We've done some things to protect our general managers,
offering things like free holidays. Meaning, you know, they already get paid vacation time but then we're adding on that they will reimburse them
for the time that they go away on holiday, things like that. We always saw that the recovery -- COVID recovery was going to be gated by team member
And so, we got very aggressive in sending our general managers to find staff that they need. And fortunately, I will tell you, we are about 97
percent of where we need to be.
QUEST: And the fascinating part is, just about every interview I do with somebody, they all say, well, we have not enough staff. And I always keep
thinking, well, where are all the stuff? If they're not with them, and they're not with you and they're not over there, where are they? But
they're clearly with you, Ray.
BLANCHETTE: Well, partly, you know, we are competing now against the gig economy. You know, I think you go jump in an Uber in Boston or any one of
the college towns and you're likely going to be driven around by a college student. And those used to be our team members. Right? I mean, that's a
great college job. If you need some beer money for college, you come, you know, you attend bar, you wait tables, and that's how you did it.
Now we are finding that we have to compete against this gig economy, which is a -- which is dynamic.
QUEST: I have in front of me, your best seller, which is the ribs and fries with a bit of slaw. And -- I mean, I'm going to cut the interview short so
I can wolf them down. But before I do, this is your best seller. How difficult is this to keep these at the --at a -- at a reasonable price when
all the components are going up in price with inflation?
BLANCHETTE: Yes. Well, obviously for us when we -- when we -- when we're in an inflationary environment, we don't pass all of that through to our
customers. We have to eat some of that because we know that these tend to be temporary situations and we don't want to cause a long-term brand
problem out of a short-term issue, but I will tell you recently, the cost - - the input costs, those ribs are starting to go back down.
So, the good news is we are starting to see our food basket inflation ease a bit.
QUEST: The menu changes obviously to account for new tastes the traditional stay the same in a sense but TGI Fridays -- I mean, it's been around a good
few years now.
How -- what's your next big thing?
BLANCHETTE: You know, we're doing a lot of work right now around some larger format. What we're noticing is, I think, especially post pandemic,
there's a real pent-up demand for socialization. And so, people are coming together in larger groups. And so, we're trying to accommodate that with
some large format appetizers. We're having a lot of fun innovating in that space.
QUEST: In the sense of what? 2020 colleagues and friends get together and they have a different menu requirement.
BLANCHETTE: Right. You know, they're looking to graze because it's not just an eating occasion, right? It's a -- it's an experience, it's a social
occasion. And so, you know, we're finding ways to connect with them, even in our drink's innovation, as well as our food innovation.
QUEST: What about this non-alcoholic business, non-alcoholic cocktails, we were just talking about it in the office and everybody says this is a
massive new area where the price is on the margins can be as encouraging as the alcoholic stuff.
BLANCHETTE: Completely agree. We are -- we're excited about that. What we're finding is really a couple of things, you know, with Uber and people
being able to easily access transportation, there is still demand for alcoholic drinks. But you're seeing this newer generation really pay
attention to what they're putting into their bodies. So, a lot of work around fresh juices and combining flavors sort of, you know, almost like
you did with cocktails to create unique drinks for the nonalcoholic occasion which is increasing.
QUEST: Finally thought, the beauty of food like this is -- and I'm showing the ribs again, is that it might not be the healthiest but it's going to be
the -- it's going to -- it's going to make you feel good on a Friday night. Hence the TGI Friday. How do you balance avocado smash with a really good
plate of beer of ribs?
BLANCHETTE: Yes. I mean, we certainly accommodate those that want to eat sort of better for you. But the reality is when you decide to go out to
eat, especially like you mentioned on a Friday or Saturday night, those occasions tend to be a little more indulgent. So even though we do quite a
bit of innovation around better for you items. The guest generally moves more towards those (INAUDIBLE) burgers, steaks, ribs, big appetizers, you
know that kind of stuff.
QUEST: TGI Fridays. In a moment, the rising costs that's put France's boulangerie in a pinch. Melissa Bell has been to the bakers.
QUEST: I bit it, a baguette, with a flour, water, salt and yeast. It's all it takes to make a baguette like this, although this is a sourdough, I get
which begs the question, if it's a sourdough, is it a real baguette? I know you know what I mean. Look, along with the savoir faire of knowledge and
the pricing of it. The French bakers who provide the skill are now in trouble. The cost of food and energy is soaring. So, discovering the
baguette and the cost and the economics, Melissa Bell in Paris.
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It is before dawn that France comes to life. In 33,000 boulangerie across the country, the baguette
continuing to rise despite the soaring costs of flour and butter. Julien Pedussel now starts his day in partial darkness trying to save money. His
electricity bill tripled in November. December's was simply too high to pay.
JULIEN PEDUSSEL, MANAGER, LE FOURNIL DE RIEUX (through translator): Can you imagine you lose everything just because there's an energy supplier who's
decided to multiply your bill by 10? It's outrageous. It's totally outrageous. It's theft, literally theft.
BELL: In January, Pedussel did something he never thought he'd have to. Taking to the street to draw attention to the plight of bakers across the
The French government has ordered modest measures to help bakers deal with a spike in energy costs. But many say it's nowhere near enough.
DOMINIQUE ANRACT, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL CONFEDERATION OF FRENCH BAKERIES AND PATISSERIES (through translator): We are talking about really small
businesses. 80 percent have fewer than 10 employees. They're solid businesses that have never complained, but they are being hit hard.
BELL: A cruel irony that the crisis has struck even as UNESCO is given the baguettes culture, special stasis.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): In these few centimeters of craftsmanship, passed from hand to hand, lies exactly the spirit of French
know how. That is something inevitable. It seems to be just something material. But it's not.
BELL (on camera): It isn't just that the baguette is the staple of the French diet. But that the bakery is also such an important part of the
social fabric of life here in France. You'll find one on most Parisians Street corners. But in the countryside in villages, they're often the only
BELL (voice over): But that ubiquity is also what makes it difficult for bakers to pass on their costs.
CHARLES YE, OWNER, UNION BAKERY: We prefer to not do that. And most of the bakery are not doing that. Just because it's so crucial. It's like -- It's
like the price of the coffee, like gas, like a rice by two or three, it would be like revolution.
BELL: Which leaves French bakers sandwiched between the soaring costs of baking and the bread that is so much more than a symbol, but rather the way
of French life.
QUEST: Melissa Bell in Paris. Melissa, I do love a baguette. I think we can debate whether this is a real baguette, since it's sourdough. But besides
that, I always thought the price of the baguette was somehow regulated because the shops always have that chart at the front telling you just
about everything you ever wished to know about the pricing structure of bakery goods.
BELL: That's right in true French style. And until about 20 years ago, it was a fixed price. Now it really is a question of baker's simply not
feeling that they can move beyond the euro, euro 20 euro 30 that it costs to buy a baguette. They say they'd be priced out. People would simply go
elsewhere. And so, they're really feeling the pinch. These artisans really just some of those feeling the weight of those soaring energy costs all
over Europe, Richard.
QUEST: Oh, you're a baguette person in the morning. I have to say, I try to avoid them because it really is a classic case of once started, you'll
finish the last. I've tried to buy half of baguette and that's just not really satisfying.
BELL: No, half a baguette is like no baguette at all. One of the hopes for these bakers, Richard is that the forthcoming reforms of the European
energy market might help. The trouble is that for now electricity indexed on gas, those prices so high, that they're simply not able to make it ends
BELL: Their real fear is that there will be many bakeries that will not be able to see through the winter months until the summer when these things
have been sorted out. And Europeans have found a way of bringing down the costs that are not simply ways of helping protect the businesses. So,
nearly 300 billion have been spent by European countries so far trying to protect individual businesses.
But really tackling that issue of how to get cheaper electricity to people in order that the economies can keep going, Richard.
QUEST: Finally, we heard -- we saw Macron in your report now. It's already in trouble over pensions. If it starts to get dodgy with a baguette, does
he get the baguette blame?
BELL: I think that's quite right. And you're right. It goes to the heart of what he's facing. Disgruntlement that will be over the cost of things. We
see it now over inflation, the rising costs, and you're quite right. We look ahead next Thursday, Richard to the beginning of what are likely to be
substantial protests over his attempted reform of the country's pension system. And all that disgruntlement, it is feared could coalesce around
Those days of yellow vest protests here in Paris. Undoubtedly not a thing of the past, Richard.
QUEST: You would never get a sourdough baguette at the Bell breakfast table. Only the -- only the traditional, the real thing.
BELL: Certainly not.
QUEST: No. Certainly not. Standards and all of that. Have a lovely weekend. Thank you.
I'm just looking at the time, it's already 45 minutes into the program. And it only feels like I've just begun. It might feel like an eternity for you.
But for me, well, why did the time go? Tempus fugit. A one UCLA professor says she has cracked the code. Cassie Holmes on how we actually can make
more of the time we have. Not just waste it, talking about baguettes and the like.
QUEST: On QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, we're always talking about the value of a dollar, a pound a yen or a euro. What are the value of an hour? I mean, an
hour of time. So, you're 24 hours a day. This is an average of how we spending our time. Look, something rather like this. And the bulk of it is
actually sleep about 30 percent of the time and work and as a 33 percent which doesn't leave a lot of time left.
You've got three hours or so for meals and hours for chores and doing things like that. And you've probably spent up to an hour or two on your or
phone or other digital device.
It's a bit depressing when looked at it like this but that should be -- should be a clarion call to change and do something to get it better. Which
is why we have Cassie Holmes, a UCLA professor who thinks there is a better way to make people happier. And that means we must get more precious with
how we spend our time. That's really the problem with all of this. It is the new book that's just come out, Happier Hour (INAUDIBLE)
Joining me now is the author of Happier Hour: How to Beat Distraction, Expand Your Time and Focus on What Matters Most. It's Cassie Holmes. Look,
I get -- I get what you're saying, Cassie. I get the idea. And I sort of know -- I appreciate the significance. Now tell me how to do it.
CASSIE HOLMES, AUTHOR, HAPPY HOUR: I mean, I appreciate that you appreciate the significance. It's -- it is an important one because so many of us feel
like we don't have enough time to do all that we want to do. And there's this feeling called time poverty, which is exactly that, that we so feel
that we don't have enough hours in the day, to do what we want to what we have to do and what we set out to do.
And this is a really serious problem because it's so prevalent, we conducted a national poll in the U.S. that found that nearly half of people
feel time poor. And it's not just us in the States, folks around the globe report suffering from this hectic pace of life with too little time. And as
you said, our time is precious and coming out of the last several years with the pandemic. So many of us are struggling in recognizing, oh my gosh,
these hours in our day that we want them to feel meaningful.
And so, it is this question of how do we invest so that we look back on our weeks and feel that our lives are as satisfying and fulfilling? Not feeling
the stress and unhappiness of feeling time poor?
HOLMES: So, there are several ways. The first is to identify for you what are those worthwhile ways of spending. And through that I suggest time
tracking. Researchers look -- do time tracking. Look at how people are spending their time and how they feel. And they find that on average,
people are happiest when they're socially connecting whether intimately or just spending time with family and friends.
Unfortunately, on average, people are least happy when they're commuting at work and doing housework, which as you noted, makes up a (INAUDIBLE)
QUEST: OK. All right. But then how -- let's take this device. I'm holding up my phone. Is this an evil for time? Is this a time killer? Is it a nasty
in the sense even if I'm texting somebody, then I'm not necessarily communicating? Where do you put digital devices in the time consortium?
HOLMES: Yes. And this is with the time tracking. It picks up as being not a positive usage of time. I mean, our phones are so helpful. It allows us to
get things done to connect with folks. But what it also does is it distracts us, it pulls us out of the moment. And research shows that we are
distracted almost half the time, 47 percent of the time, we're not focused on what we're doing. And our phones are a culprit.
Even the mere presence of the phone. When you see the phone sitting there, it reminds you of all the things that you should and could be doing. And
so, what I would suggest is that when you are spending time on these activities that are sources of joy, like those social connections, spending
time with your family, spending time with friends, having a good communication with a colleague, is put the phone away out of sight is
closer to out of mind.
Also, when you're looking to do that deep strategic work, getting into a flow state is absolutely impossible when you're being distracted by
incoming pings on your e-mail and incoming messages on your phone. So also, during that really important time of working, you want to carve out those
times as no phone zones as well.
QUEST: So, I get it. The trick now is of course to turn these ideas into learned behaviors. Because as Mark Twain famously said, although somebody
will tell me it wasn't him. You know, I can stop smoking. It's -- many times it's staying stopped. That's hard. So, I can read your book and get
the ideas of what to do. It's three months down the road, continuing to do them. That is to me the hardest part.
HOLMES: Yes. Well, so there is that first step of designing, scheduling your schedule or designing your schedule, your week so that it is
purposeful, that it's intentional. I mean, honestly, half of the -- half of the way there towards happiness is simply being intentional. And with that
intentionality, you are likely to minimize the amount of time you spend wasting on your phone, for instance, and increase the amount of time that
you're spending on these activities that really matter.
That social connection, that work exercise is something that is so important to deal because it's a direct mood booster, it helps offset
anxiety and depression. Yet, it's something that we -- when we feel busy, we don't make the time for. But by exercising, it increases a sense of
self-esteem and self-efficacy. And with that, it lessens your sense of limitation with the resources you have, namely your time.
So, it's -- it is now thinking about three months on, as you said, once you experienced the benefits of it, then you see that it is easier to do these
behaviors. Another thing that you can do to just remind you, is to recognize how little time is left for those things that really do matter to
you. How --
QUEST: Oh. Oh. Our little time is left. All right. You all, we're out of time. I apologize. But I know what you mean. We'll talk again mid-year, if
we may, ma'am, to see if -- to see if I've actually improved. I won't have done. Oh, no, no, that's the fetus quest. That's been defeated before we
even got started. Thank you. I appreciate your time.
We will take a profitable moment of time after the break.
QUEST: Tonight's profitable moment. There's been a delicious confluence of events tonight, talking about the baguette and the French way of life and
the sort of enjoyment as well to me. Along with not enough time, always rushing. And next it will be at Davos when time will just fly about it all
which was all just a good reminder to take time. As our guest said, when time has gone and then I cut her off.
But I'm guessing that she was going to say, well, when times out and that it's over. And I think we all know what I mean by that. And that's QUEST
MEANS BUSINESS for tonight. I'm Richard Quest in London.
Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable. I shall enjoy this for breakfast before I go to Davos. Davos.