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Quest Means Business
Twitter CEO: Aiming To Find Successor By End Of Year; Retail Sales Surge Three Percent In January To Nearly Two-Year High; Congress Hears Testimony From FAA Over Near Misses; Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon Announces Resignation; Dash To The Bell. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired February 15, 2023 - 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: An hour before the end of trading. We are still in Dubai and the markets are betwixt and between.
Have a look and see how they are trading, the Dow Jones Industrials. When I say betwixt and between, of course what we're seeing is these -- they
haven't gone positive, but the losses have pared and then gone back down again.
So it is anybody's guess what will happen in the last hour of trading, but we'll be together while it takes place.
Anyway, Richard, talking to myself, it is only 74 points. We don't need to get too excited about that. The markets and the main events that we do need
to talk about. Elon Musk warns that AI brings great promise, and with that comes great danger.
The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon resigns after wrestling on whether to carry on for herself and for her country.
And Martin Wolf is with me tonight to discuss his latest book, "The Crisis of Democratic Capitalism."
And also, as we've just heard, it has just been announced, the President of the World Bank, is to step down early. Martin will give us his thoughts on
We are live in Dubai, Wednesday, February the 15th. I'm Richard Quest, and yes, I mean business.
Now, as I just mentioned, it's been announced that the World Bank President David Malpass, has announced he will resign at the end of June.
He was picked to run the bank in 2019 by the former President Donald Trump. His term was due to expire in 2024. He was criticized last year when he
fumbled a question at a conference on the causes of climate change.
At the time, he told CNN's Julia Chatterley the next day that he was not a climate denier. And indeed, David Malpass will be on "First Move" with
Julia tomorrow. We'll be speaking to "The Financial Times" economist Martin Wolf, about the retirement of what might be behind it in just a moment.
Here in Dubai, Elon Musk took center stage on the final day of the World Government Summit.
Musk told the crowd that artificial intelligence is one of the biggest risks to civilization, and he called for more regulation. Musk also said he
wants a new CEO to replace him at the helm of Twitter by the end of the year.
Tesla shares popped on the news. Investors have been very concerned about the lack of attention from Musk as he splits his time across multiple
ventures. Speaking earlier, he laid out his plans for Twitter for the rest of the year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELON MUSK, CEO, TWITTER AND TESLA: I think I need to stabilize the organization, and just make sure it is in a financially healthy place, and
that the product roadmap is clearly laid out.
So I don't know, I'm guessing probably towards the end of this year should be good timing to find someone else to run the company, because I think it
should be in a stable position around the end of this year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Clare Duffy is with me. Let's split this into two. Let's do Twitter first, and then the AI bit.
On Twitter, I mean, I suppose the anti-Musketeers will claim you said you were going to go after that vote and you haven't gone after your poll. You
can't be trusted. You have ruined the company.
CLARE DUFFY, CNN BUSINESS WRITER: I mean, it is hard. We've heard this before from Elon Musk. He promised in December that he would abide by the
results of this poll asking his Twitter followers whether he should step down, more than half of the 17 million respondents said yes. And
he said, well, when I find someone foolish enough to take over the job, then I will.
And then again, you know, we hear him talking about wanting to find a new CEO by the end of this year, but then today, he is tweeting pictures of his
dog and saying that the new Twitter CEO is amazing. And so, it is hard to tell just how serious he is about the succession plan.
But look, I mean, as you laid out in the beginning, Richard, there are lots of reasons why Musk might want to hand over control of this company. He is
taking flack every time somebody doesn't like something on Twitter, Tesla shareholder are concerned about this distraction and so it makes sense that
he might be starting to think about this.
But I think there is a question too about this plan to make Twitter financially healthy. He says he wants to be the one to stabilize the
organization. We reported last week that more than more than half of Twitter's top 1,000 advertisers, as of September, had stopped advertising
on the platform in the first three weeks of January. And so it does seem a little hard to tell how he is going to get the finances of this company
back on track, if he wants to do that before handing it over.
QUEST: Then we'll watch the rest of the year to see that. His comments on AI were far more, I think, interesting in that he raises very valid
concerns about AI running away with itself, and he makes the point, particularly with ChatGPT that -- he makes the point that actually, this
has only just come out, and that there are far more sophisticated things sitting behind the curtain and waiting to be released, and that is the
DUFFY: Right. It is really interesting to hear him make these comments in particular. As the CEO of Tesla, you know, if you want self-driving cars,
you need to use AI and Musk is also a co-founder of OpenAI, which is the company that put out this viral ChatGPT tool, and so he clearly has a lot
of insight into this area.
And I think in a lot of ways, it is kind of nice to hear a leader in this space calling for regulation. He is not the only one doing this, but with
any new technology, a lot of times you see lawmakers are kind of behind the ball, they're trying to figure out how it works.
And so it is interesting to hear him say they need to figure this out, we need some guidance from lawmakers, as we continue to develop these
technologies, which do have a lot of potential to change the world.
QUEST: Think about Elon Musk, the three companies of which he is majorly involved are all at the cross centers of some form of dramatic change.
So Tesla and EVs and the whole shift to electric and autonomous vehicles, AI, space, the final frontier with SpaceX, Twitter, the entire conversation
about the public square, the disinformation, he really is a CEO at the crosshairs of so many crucial industries and talking points.
DUFFY: Yes, and I mean, it's kind of amazing, Richard, that you can have the richest man in the world have so much influence over the future, and
these companies that, as you say, are really driving us forward. And in a lot of ways of, working with the government in order to do that.
You see, he works closely with the government with Tesla. You hear him calling for government regulation of AI. It is -- I mean, he is a very
powerful man, and it is interesting, again, to hear him sort of calling for some oversight in at least one of these areas from the government.
QUEST: Clare, good to see you, always appreciate it. Thank you.
DUFFY: Thank you.
QUEST: Retail spending in the US picked up last month despite rising interest rates. Retail sales jumped a full three percent in January, the
largest monthly increase in nearly two years, and far higher than economists had expected, consumer spending had fallen in the previous two
months. It's a sign the economy is running hotter than the Fed would like.
Paul La Monica, all right, Paul, I'll say it, you don't have two. If you take last week's jobs number, and your throw in this week's retail sales,
rates are going to have to go probably quite a bit higher if you're going to hit two percent.
PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Yes. I think that is correct, because when you look at the CPI numbers that came in yesterday, we're
still far away from a two percent annualized rate on consumer prices.
So I think the Fed recognizes that this economy, everyone is now talking about the no-landing scenario where there won't be any recession, forget
about a soft landing or a hard landing, maybe there will be some rough patches, some choppiness, but continued growth, it is hard to envision a
scenario where inflation is going to come down dramatically when the job market is as strong as it is and consumers are still spending, willing to
spend despite these price increases.
So I think you're right, Richard, the Fed is going to keep raising rates for longer than what maybe the market would like, hopefully that doesn't
create a policy error where the Fed goes overboard with tightening and winds up causing a recession.
QUEST: Here in Dubai at World Government Summit, everybody keeps asking me is there going to be a recession? And I mean, the people here, obviously,
are well aware of the soft-landing scenarios that are now being put forward and we are entering a very, very tricky period.
LA MONICA: Yes, this is going to be difficult for Central Bankers around the globe to navigate for governments if they are thinking about whether or
not there should be lower taxes to try and induce spending, should there be tax hikes because of corporations that have already been able to benefit
from pretty low tax rates?
What's the calculus there? It is not going to be easy to manage this "soft landing." And I think that's why people are hoping maybe there doesn't need
to be a soft landing because the economy just keeps chugging along, so there doesn't need to be this managed slow down.
But you and I have done this long enough to know that is naive. Businesses and economies have cycles, there eventually will be another recession. So
when people ask you, is there going to be a recession? Of course, the answer is yes. But is it the end of 2023? 2024? 2025? Your guess is as good
QUEST: Paul La Monica, thank you.
Today, war raging in Europe and the global economic turbulence we've just been talking about wherever we look. Liberal political systems are being
tested by rising authoritarianism.
Martin Wolf believes these forces are fraying the ties that bind democracy and capitalism. His new book is called "The Crisis of Democratic
Capitalism." And it sets out why it's so important to mend this marriage.
Martin is with me from London.
You start in a recent article, you reminded us, of course, of your own family background that has -- that suffered so strongly as a result of Nazi
in the Second World War and the Holocaust. And you fast forward on to today, so the worrying sign of, if you like, the fraying of the bonds
between capitalism and democracy, but what can we do about it?
MARTIN WOLF, AUTHOR, "THE CRISIS OF DEMOCRATIC CAPITALISM": Well, that's a very big question.
I think the first thing we now have to do about it is be aware that we are no longer in normal times. We have moved in different ways to different
degrees and let me be very clear, I'm not comparing us with the 30s, of course not.
But we moved to times in which the basic compact between -- among the players in the democratic realm, their acceptance of the legitimacy of
their opponents and the legitimacy of elections is in question. Many regimes not yet in call, Western States, but many regimes are becoming
increasingly undemocratic around the world and that, I argue that in many places, and certainly in the West, part of what is fraying this is the
failure to deliver the economic compact on which our societies depend, which is the basic acceptance, and the ability to provide rising living
standards for the great majority of the population and economic stability.
What we can do about that? Well, we need to run our economies much better, we need to be able to promote growth better, we need to deal with some of
the risks that people find so difficult to manage, like sudden surges in imports, for example, which we've handled very, very badly in many
And we need also to reconsider how our politics work. We need to find ways of bringing back the wide range of popular opinions into politics.
QUEST: But we seem to be singularly incapable or unwilling to deal with many of those things. I mean, hard though they are to actually attack, we
actually seem to avoid dealing with them, and frequently go in the opposite direction.
WOLF: There is no doubt, sort of a form of populist politics, which blames everything on elites, and on some other groups in the population, which are
not one's self is much more popular, it is much easier. It's been very successful. It's how we got Brexit. In my view, it is how Donald Trump
became such a dominant political figure, so it is easy.
But if we want to preserve our system, we need to do some pretty serious work, and the sort of people I write for in "The Financial Times" are going
to be part of that because they have a great deal of influence.
I would have to say that despite all these faults and mistakes that some of what Mr. Biden, President Biden has been trying to do 1to actually get
things done to give people hope, to give the chance of believing that government can do things, that's a pretty good start. It's part of what we
have to do.
QUEST: Martin, within the last hour, the President of the World Bank, David Malpass, has announced he is stepping down early. He is due out at
'24. It is believed he's going in June of this year.
Now, obviously it's a political appointment, and perhaps President Biden wouldn't have reappointed him anyway, but Malpass' time at the bank has not
been a particularly happy one.
WOLF: I think that's fair. He was very much an outsider in his views and attitudes, pretty consciously so, that's why the Trump administration chose
him. He clearly wasn't in line with some of the core assumptions of bank staff about what the priorities and actually bank members of what the
priorities were, like dealing with climate change.
Many people feel the bank did not rise to the occasion of COVID and dealing with the problems of COVID for developing countries very well. I have to
say, his predecessor, Jim King, was not very successful either. So it's this is not really a partisan point. We want a President of the World Bank
who will motivate it, to deal with some of the big challenges of developing countries right now.
QUEST: The first question that's going to be asked, of course, is does the duopoly survive? You know, IMF goes to Europe, World Bank goes to the
United States. Now, I can't -- I am going to nail my colors to the mast, I can't see the US giving it up and they are the largest shareholder, but at
some point, the duopoly is going to go.
WOLF: Well, I think the duopoly is very unfortunate, though, I understand that, to some degree, it cements the loyalty of the Big Countries to these
institutions, but the big problem I've had, and there are some distinguished exceptions, is that this would be a relatively small problem
if they consistently put in place very high quality figures that everybody can see are going to do the job well.
But I think, particularly at the World Bank, even more than at the IMF, there are problems there, too, the Americans just haven't done that well.
They've tended to choose pretty second or third rate people who, very few members of the staff or the Board have confidence, and of course, it
doesn't work very well.
So what matters to me is who will President Biden now appoint -- effectively appoint to this job and that is a big and important decision.
QUEST: Martin, wonderful to have you on the program tonight, obviously, to talk about your book and also to give us perspective on the World Bank.
Thank you, sir. Wish you good night in London. Thank you.
QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
From airplane near-misses to computer outages, US senators are today questioning sharply the head of the Federal Aviation Administration over
what's been going wrong. We'll have that in a moment.
QUEST: Breaking news to bring you. Sad news: In the last hour, we've learned that the actress, Raquel Welch has died. Raquel in the 1960s
starred in films like "Fantastic Voyage," and "One Million Years, BC." She became the sex symbol of the era.
In a statement, her manager, Steve Sauer said, the actress died this morning in Los Angeles after a brief illness. Raquel Welch, was 82.
After a series of glitches and safety failures, US aviation officials have been called to testify before Congress. The year began with the failure of
an important safety system for Air Traffic Control, and it led to a grounding of all flights. Days later, a near miss, a collision -- near-
collision of two passenger planes at Kennedy. You can see here how one almost crossed the runway as the other takes off.
And earlier this month, the FedEx plane narrowly avoided colliding with a Southwest passenger jet that was preparing for takeoff. Finally, over this
last weekend, we heard the first report of an incident that took place back in December. A United Airlines flight moments after taking off from Hawaii
dropped dramatically to within 800 feet of the Pacific Ocean.
Now the pilots managed to regain control of the aircraft and the flight completed itself successfully and safely on to San Francisco. The acting
FAA Chair addressed the safety concerns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILLY NOLEN, ACTING FAA ADMINISTRATOR: Overall, I have a good sense about where we are, can I say, to the American public that we are safe? The
answer is that we are. If the question is can we better -- be better? The answer is absolutely, and that is the piece we're working on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Mary is with us. Mary Schiavo in South Carolina.
This is red meat to you, isn't it, Mary?
MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: It is, Richard.
QUEST: A series of very serious incidents that could have been catastrophic and we are now looking to see whether there is a systemic
failure that led to it.
SCHIAVO: Well, we can break it down, if we believe statistics, and we spend an awful lot of money in the Federal Aviation Administration
collecting statistics and of course, the most dangerous statistic is the trendline. What's increasing? And what's increasing with aviation safety in
terms of risk is runway incursions, one plane running into another plane at the airport, takeoff, landing, taxiing, and that is up about 90 percent in
about five years.
So yes, I have to disagree with the administrator, we are safe for now, but that is one statistic that is headed the wrong way, and they have got to
get a handle on runway incursions.
Now, it is not money because every year, we shovel out billions of dollars on runway and airport improvement projects, but it is an issue of having to
get all of the software that we've been working on for 30 years, including NOTAMs, which I'm sure we're going to talk about, but it's a problem of
computers and workforce, but most of all, it's a problem of a very bad trendline.
QUEST: Isn't this a result of -- I mean, you say there are loads of money, but the agency itself is demoralized. There have been changes at the top.
You know, everybody says safety first, but the signaling and messaging becomes confused.
SCHIAVO: Right. You are so right. This is an agency that has been allowed to become a shell, a very politicized shell. Yes, the FAA is hugely
important and we desperately need them worldwide. They do lots of functions outside the US, but they have become an agency just managing literally
thousands, if not tens of thousands of contractors and contractors and contracts and most of them are shoveled out in computer projects to run
this Big System, but nobody at the FAA is really capable of running it.
We have outside contractors to run the outside contractors and that's where the money goes, and every year, they have to scrap project. The scrapped
the $300 million project just last year and had to start over.
The problem is one of managing these billions of dollars of contracts and contractors, which they can't do.
QUEST: Let's just briefly finally talk about the United flight out of Hawaii. I was surprised we hadn't heard of this sooner, even with the
confidential reporting system, but it seems that the only thing that happened as a result is that the pilots have gone for retraining, which is
still underway. Now that suggests they know what happened here and it suggests and please, put me right if I'm wrong, that this was something in
SCHIAVO: Well, I think it was something in the cockpit, but I also think it's a software problem. Now, you know, as you know, I've done a lot of
work on the 737 Max eight cases, and you know, as have you and other people, but that kind of software now, I'm not saying the same software,
but that's a kind of software which can take over from the pilots in particular situations is on other aircrafts, and since they sent them for
retraining without mentioning much about the software or the systems involved, I think it's probably a man-machine interface.
I suspect it was something in the plane that did do that kind of direction, because you would not lose situational awareness on takeoff, you just would
not, and you have sterile cockpit and both pilots are zeroed in on their tasks at that time. So my guess is when this all sorts out, it will be a
situation where the computer commanded something, and the pilots weren't watching it closely and pulled the circuit breaker or pulled out the last
minute, yet another reason why we will always have pilots in our cockpits and we won't have unmanned passenger planes, at least not in my lifetime.
QUEST: Mary, thank you. We'll talk about the report when we finally get it from the NTSB who are apparently now going to look into it.
Good to see you. Thank you.
Global trade is set to slow sharply this year, as rising interest rates take their toll. The World Trade Organization, WTO, now says trade volumes
will increase by just one percent down from three and a half last year.
In the latest "Connecting Africa," Eleni Giokos sat down with the head of the WTO to discuss what lies ahead for the continent.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Dr. Ngozi Okonju-Iweala, amazing to see you again.
Trade is synonymous with globalization, but globalization for the last few years has been vilified. Could you break down for us just how important
trade is in poverty alleviation, specifically, in the African context.
NGOZI OKONJU-IWEALA, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION: There is a lot of talk of a vilification of globalization, and yes, trade is part of
it, it is not all of it. But trade -- we cannot live without trade.
Trade is what moves goods from one part of the world to another. Trade is what helps us to be resilient. So in the African continent or on the
European continent or the US, you cannot have everything you need to survive. That means that you need to get it from some other parts of the
world and that is why we need trade.
And in spite of all the talk about the demise of globalization, there is still robust trade among countries, among all of us, once with the co-
member countries know what is going on, let's say that globalization has helped to lift more than one billion people out of poverty, we shouldn't
But there's also no doubt that not everyone benefited. There were poor people in rich countries that were left behind when manufacturing or other
jobs were taken and there are poorer countries, there are many on our continent who have not yet benefited. But does that mean that we cannot
benefit in future? The answer is no.
I think we need a new type of globalization, I call it re-globalization that is going to benefit our countries by pulling in all those who are left
GIOKOS: The year ahead for the continent, what are you expecting?
OKONJU-IWEALA: We have forecasted trade, global trade is going to fall to one percent this year, 2023 from 3.5 percent, the growth in global trade is
going to fall dramatically. So that feeds into the forecast from the IMF, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, all the multilaterals showing
that we are heading for very low growth, perhaps recession in some parts of the world in the coming year.
And once we have that, of course it impacts on the continent. What I would say is look, there are also countries on the continent who are not doing
badly and what we need to do is look at these opportunities to support the bright lights on the continent and try to make those things work for us.
QUEST: That's the World Trade Organization.
After the break, Scotland's First Minister, we will report, is stepping down. The latest in a slew of high-profile women who have resigned from top
jobs in the recent past.
QUEST: Nicola Sturgeon has resigned as Scotland's first minister. She will leave her office once her successor has been found. She has been in the job
for eight years and the first minister says she is not the asset to the independence movement she once was.
She wants to step away from what she has called the brutality of modern politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLA STURGEON, SCOTTISH FIRST MINISTER: Essentially, I've been trying to answer two questions.
Is carrying on right for me?
And, more importantly, is me carrying on right for the country, for my party and for the independence cause I have devoted my life to?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: There is a pragmatism by Nicola Sturgeon's decision to leave. It can be seen in the same light as Jacinda Ardern's shock resignation as New
Zealand's prime minister last month.
Ardern said she no longer has enough in the tank to do the job properly, which has led me to think, are female leaders better at knowing when to
call time on their careers?
Political or business or otherwise, do they just simply know, my time is up, I've no longer got, it I'm off.
I did a quick scan of the corporate world. A few examples, Marillyn Hewson stepped down from Lockheed Martin in 2020, after seven years as CEO.
At PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi resigned after 12 years in the job, having more than doubled the annual profit. They just simply said, enough, I'm off.
Bianca is with me.
We are reading the runes on why she decided to go. It was a surprise that it was done in a very Nicola Sturgeon matter-of-fact way.
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the speech was dignified. It was last minute. Journalists were scrambling to get there on
time, for 11 o'clock in the morning in Edinburgh today. The suddenness was the surprise.
There was chatter that maybe she wouldn't leave the party until the next election, which is January 2025 at the latest. But of course the political
circumstances are going to be influencing her decision.
Even if she says that they are not the main reasons and that's because she is a consummate politician, very effective. She's been facing these very
difficult controversies recently specifically around gender identity policy, also her husband donating and giving a loan to the Scottish
But above all, she says the reasons were personal. She wants more time for herself and to focus on life that isn't politics. And also political,
because now it's time for somebody else to take the helm.
QUEST: What about the idea that the gender issue, which we don't need to get into the minutiae of, but she was on the wrong side of that and it had
sort of backfired badly. But also, she says the brutality of politics.
Can you think of anybody who was more brutal in the way she executed politics in Scotland as Nicola Sturgeon?
NOBILO: That is very good point. And her critics have said that that brutality and that combative atmosphere she refers to, which makes
reasonable politics difficult, is something which she added to herself.
She is an effective, charismatic communicator but definitely, a combative one. She has been a formidable foil for Britain's Conservative Party for a
long time. She also hasn't been particularly effective, whether it was opposing Brexit or trying to fight for Scottish independence.
Neither were ultimately successful. But I think the question of gender is also an interesting one.
Is it the fact that female politicians perhaps do the political calculus and they realize it's better to jump than be pushed?
They are more comfortable relinquishing their roles. It is difficult to say. But perhaps what we are seeing is a normalization of this idea that,
actually, acknowledging when you have political burnout is an OK thing to do.
QUEST: Bianca, thank you.
Somebody who knows all about politics is Sir Malcolm Rifkind. He's the former British foreign secretary and crucially for today, former secretary
of state for Scotland. He joins me from London.
Before we get into the minutiae of Nicola Sturgeon, do you think there's a difference between the way women politicians these days are prepared to
say, my time's up; I've done my, work I'm off versus --
QUEST: -- I will cling on to the last bitter end.
MALCOLM RIFKIND, FORMER BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: I'm qualified to comment on a number of things; I don't really think I'm qualified to
comment on that. I'm very skeptical of my theories that simply say, because you're a woman or a man, that makes a fundamental difference to your
political behavior. It may do but that's beyond my pay grade.
QUEST: Which is why you're an excellent politician to skirt around that one, before damage is done.
Sir Malcolm, the issue of Scottish independence, losing Nicola Sturgeon as the leader, does that take it off the boil?
Does that put it on the back burner?
RIFKIND: Well, yes. That's a very important question, which I'm very happy to answer. I think first of all, I heard your previous speakers discussing
why she decided to go. I think they didn't include the most obvious explanation of all, which is that she's been in power for eight years.
For the first seven years, there was hardly any criticism that stuck. That's all gone very sour in the last year because not only has she failed
to make any progress at all on forcing the British government into another referendum, but we've seen support for independence falling in Scotland.
It's now less than it was at the time of the last referendum, when they lost six years ago. But in addition to that, there's been mounting
criticism that she is obsessed by independence and (INAUDIBLE) our health service, our education, all the other issues for which she is responsible,
and she has not been giving enough attention to.
Now although today was a complete surprise, in the sense that nobody was expecting an announcement today, there has been speculation in the Scottish
media and in the British media for some months that she might very well jump at some stage. So in that sense, it's not all that much of a surprise.
QUEST: So now, the question is who takes over?
And I think crucially, the ability of the SNP, the party, to maintain an ironclad grip on Scottish politics, does this give the other parties the
opportunity they've perhaps been looking for?
RIFKIND: Well, I think you raise an important point. First of all, the whole issue of independence, whether Britain should break up into Scotland
and the rest of the United Kingdom, mainly England, that had a serious possibility of breakthrough when the SNP had charismatic leaders.
Now whatever I might personally think of Alex Salmond, her predecessor, or now Sturgeon, they were charismatic. They showed real leadership qualities.
There is no one waiting behind that the public has even heard of in any meaningful sense.
So this means that, at a crucial moment, they are not going to be able to get the kind of leadership at the very top that will inspire.
You ask, is it an opportunity for the other parties?
I'm a Conservative, so I'm not particularly happy with what I'm about to say. But I think we are going to see that we are really beginning to see
the beginnings of a revival of the Labour Party in Scotland.
The Labour Party used to be the particularly dominant party in Scotland. Overwhelmingly so. And they were crucified by the SNP. They very slowly
began to increase their support there.
But I think since Starmer took over and Jeremy Corbyn, the hard left leader disappeared, then I think that they have a very good chance of winning
seats in Scotland, which of course, will make a contribution to changing the government in the United Kingdom, if that was to be replicated
elsewhere in Britain.
QUEST: Which is a subject we shall discuss on a future occasion, sir. Very grateful for you tonight. Thank you for joining me from London.
And that is the way QUEST MEANS BUSINESS looks at the moment. I will have, at the top of the hour, we make a dash for the closing bell. Coming up
next, "MARKETPLACE ASIA."
QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard. Quest together we have a dash to the closing bell and we're just over a minute away.
U.S. retail sales soared last month raising fears that the Fed will have to move interest rates higher and keep them there longer. Look at the Dow. The
Dow has clawed back most of the losses. In fact, all of it. It looks like we are positive. There you, are you don't see that very often. Such a
reversal of fortunes.
The S&P is up as well, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq going into the green along with it. Looking at the Dow components, Caterpillar leads the way.
Apple is also up a percent higher, for what is a patent for a foldable phone.
Microsoft is down. People are reporting that ChatGPT is sending unhinged messages. Johnson & Johnson is at the bottom; a judge indicated that he
will reject the company's attempt to get out of the talc injury lawsuits.
That is the dash to the bell with the market actually positive, which is remarkable the way the day has gone. Whatever you are up to you in the
hours ahead, I hope it's profitable. The closing bell is ringing on Wall Street. "THE LEAD" is next.