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Quest Means Business

Markets Flat Ahead Of Fed Testimony, Jobs Report; Related CEO: Our Offices Help Attract Workers Back; TikTok CEO: China Has Never Asked For User Data; Russian Forces Move Closer To Capturing Bakhmut; European Space Agency Backs Away From Russia, China; ESA Calls For Giving The Moon Its Own Time Zone. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired March 06, 2023 - 15:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, I'm back in New York and the markets are open and doing business. We have an hour left to trade before

the New York market searches. This is the way it looks.

The good gains of the day had sort of evaporated and dwindled. It could go anywhere in the last hour. I'm not going to predict. We're up 12. It may

just tootle, but it might also dip negative. The markets and the events of the day.

Stop, go, or somewhere in between. Mixed economic signals put the Fed in a difficult position and they prompt the return of the QMB traffic light.

No one wants to go back to a dark dingy office says one of New York's top developers. Great places to work are now attracting key talent.

And Toblerone is forced to drop its iconic Matterhorn logo. Is this protectionism by the Swiss? We will explain.

Because we all live in New York. It is Monday. It is March the 6th. I'm Richard Quest and back in New York, I certainly mean business.

Good evening.

We start tonight with US stocks that are barely higher, which is interesting, because it is the start of an eventful week for economic


It began on Monday. Today, US factory orders down 1.6 percent, but that's better than we thought. You're going to hear over the next two days from

both the Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and the equivalent in ECB, President Christine Lagarde.

President Biden was set to unveil his budget on Thursday and on Friday, the latest job numbers come out, a strong labor market has helped the economy

charge ahead and the former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers tells us he thinks it could be headed for a nasty fall in the market.


LARRY SUMMERS, FORMER US TREASURY SECRETARY: I've used the term risk of a Wile E. Coyote moment to refer to the fact that the economy could hit an

air pocket in a few months.

My guess is that the overhang the savings, the consumers have accumulated as a few more months to run, but it doesn't have another year to run.


QUEST: So everybody agrees, these are exceptional economic times, very difficult to forecast. And so, we have brought back the QUEST MEANS

BUSINESS traffic lights. You will remember these.

We are reviving this old barometer to show you exactly what is happening in the global economy.

Now, we first used the traffic lights during the Great Recession, 2009-2010 and 2011. In fact, they've traveled the world with us.

As we now find ourselves in very confusing times, we've brought them back to help explain the road ahead.

Obviously, green means the number is either for growth or we're heading for a soft landing. Red means the number indicates things are getting worse and

we could be heading towards a recession and yellow, well, as you might expect, it is neither one thing nor another. It just means, it is a number

that we'll watch and see.

The traffic lights have made a triumphant report, but this is the one that you want to try and avoid, obviously, the red, and then of course, if we

see that.

But let's start with Matt Egan in New York, with today's number on where -- we've got a number on industrial productivity. Tell me what we saw and what

it means.

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Well, Richard, new numbers out today. They underscore what we already know about this economy, which is that the

manufacturing side of things is weak and getting weaker. Factory orders, they've declined between December and January, but that's really no


We know that that's been an issue. I think the problem for the Federal Reserve is that the service sector remains hot, and it is actually, by some

metrics getting hotter. And so the problem there, of course, is the Federal Reserve is trying to cool things off. They're trying to get inflation under

control, and still inflation remains way too high.

And so Jerome Powell tomorrow, he's going to be in the hot seat with lawmakers before Congress and he's going to get pressured about what the

Fed can do here.

QUEST: So the reality is, all the numbers that we've seen and the difficulty of obtaining this inflation, bearing in mind we have 425-basis

points of rises, it does suggest there are definitely room for further increases to come.


EGAN: Yes, absolutely. You know, Larry Summers told our colleague, Poppy Harlow today that he wouldn't be shocked if the Fed has to raise interest

rates all the way to six percent, and that, of course, would put even more downward pressure on the economy, and I think investors are starting to

price in higher rates, rates staying high for longer and even, Richard, the possibility of another 50-basis-point rate hike when the Fed meets later

this month.

QUEST: So what's the view on that? Because 50 points would signal a greater unease, obviously, and that will help to take the air out of the

market again.

EGAN: Yes. I think 50 basis points would be disappointing, because the Fed had been moving really aggressively, right, 75 basis points and multiple

meanings. And it went down to 50 basis points, 25 basis points last month.

So that was good news in the sense that it showed some confidence that inflation was getting back towards healthy levels. I think if they have to

then kind of reverse course, that would signal some real concern here and markets would not like that.

QUEST:` So Matt, as we take today's number, the first one to use the new traffic lights. Does today's numbers suggest red, amber, or green? Are

things too hot and too strong, therefore further slowdown? Or what where should we go?

EGAN: I think when you look at the economy at large, I don't think red really makes any sense at all, right? I mean, this is an economy that added

more than half a million jobs in January alone.

QUEST: No, Matt, this number, this particular number that we saw today. If you looked to the trend for where it is taking us, red, amber or green?

EGAN: I think that it would be amber because it is -- it's a cautionary number. It does show that things are slowing down. But remember,

manufacturing is just one part of this economy and we could have manufacturing continue to be weak and services continue to be strong, and

the economy would keep chugging along.

QUEST: Matt Egan, who joins us again, by the way. Thank you for the amber. We will continue to obviously, look at this. And this will give us an idea

of which direction the numbers are going.

But Matt rejoins us after a stint of paternity leave. Matt, we've got some pictures that we kindly saw. It's not a new -- we've seen these before

because in the sense it was delayed, but who have we got here?

EGAN: Yes, this is Sebastian and with his big brother, Hudson. Sebastian is eight months old. So, I spent some time over the last month hanging out

with both of them, but including our eight-month-old Sebastian and we had a lot of fun.

I got to experience what my wife sees all the time when she is taking care of a both of them, which is, it is challenging, but it's a lot of fun. And

Richard, I have to tell you, our eight-month-old, Sebastian he celebrated my return to work by basically not sleeping at all last night.

So if anything I said didn't make sense, that would be why.

QUEST: That's right. Blame the indefensible. Blame those who can't speak for themselves. Yes, well done, Matt.

Matt Egan, the first Amber and the first -- thank you very much. Glad to have you. Thank you.

The CEO of Related Realty says demand for its premium office space is unprecedented. The developer's buildings dot the skylines of cities like

New York, London, Chicago, and Los Angeles, famous buildings. Such example is Hudson Yards where I am. Now, his companies look to attract people back

to the office.

Related says businesses that work in its buildings are ahead of the curve.

I spoke to the chief executive, Jeff Blau, who showed me what makes their buildings attractive and told me what companies are willing to pay more to

be there.


JEFF BLAU, CEO, RELATED COMPANIES: The demand for our new product, the Class AA office space is incredible, like it's never been before.

So when you think of what is a Class AA building? Like this building we are sitting in here at 30 Hudson Yards, these buildings are truly different

than any Class A building that exists today.


BLAU: Because these buildings -- first, it's their location. They're built in great central locations around great transportation. They are the

highest kind of level of sustainability. We use a LEED standard to define that sometimes. They have great HVAC system, which is obviously something

that's important to tenants post pandemic. There is great light and air.

We have incredible amenities in these buildings that people share and people can use. And most importantly, we have incredible food and

restaurant services either in the building or attached to the building, and it is an entire environment that we've created around these buildings that

truly differentiate them.

So let me give you some examples. So 50 Hudson Yards is a building we just opened next door to here. BlackRock is moving their global headquarters

there. Facebook is in the middle of the building and we're leasing the top of the building, it's almost a hundred percent leased today.


The highest rents in all of New York City at 50 Hudson Yards is over $200.00 a foot. Now, the people that are leasing that space for over

$200.00 a foot, if they wanted, they could go three blocks from here and lease space for $60.00 a foot in these Class B buildings.

But the truth is, you can't give away that $60.00 space because people are using office to bring their talent back to the office. It's not even an

occupancy cost anymore. It's a talent attraction and retention tool.

Nobody wants to go back to dark, dingy, quiet, smelly offices, right? They want to go back where all of these features and amenities exist.

QUEST: If you had to describe the grand land, how does it fit together?

BLAU: So really, this is about creating lifestyle of the future, office place of the future. So it has all the features and amenities that you

would want if you were to bring your office and company here.

So great restaurants. There are probably 15 different restaurants. The highest level to grab and go, health and wellness, Equinox and the Equinox

Hotel, really providing that wellness amenity; retail stores, restaurants, shops, and so that's really what differentiates this from the rest of New


QUEST: When you build a big building, how important is it to you that it looks different? That it is -- you know, that it has got some -- because

this city is just full of hoo-hoo boring boxes.

BLAU: Right. I mean, design is so critical in these new buildings.

QUEST: Even if it costs more?

BLAU: Even if it costs more. And so we've been -- in our company, we've spent an enormous amount of time and money bringing the best architects,

the best designers, and you look at some of these buildings. Norman Foster did this one here. KPF did this one here. And so that really helps to

differentiate these buildings from everything else.

QUEST: What is this? Is this yours or is that theirs?

BLAU: I did not design this.

QUEST: Did you put this in or is it the tenant?

BLAU: Yes. No, no, we did.

So this side of the building is mostly multiple tenants who will use this lobby. So this is a common lobby. This is a Frank Stella designed piece of

art that we selected. And he came here and we thought about it and he thought about it, and ultimately selected this piece to anchor this lobby.

It's really, in all of our buildings, we like to include a component of great art to really warm it up and differentiate it. And I would say if you

walked in here, it is a little differentiated from most lobbies that you see.

QUEST: Absolutely.

Oh, look at this.

BLAU: So, this is even elevated from the elevated, right?

QUEST: Oh, look at this.

BLAU: So what you start to see here is a residential feel, right? Warmth, colors, feeling that you don't normally see in an office building. Right?

And so here, you start just to get that residential feel, that again, once again, differentiates these buildings from all the others.

QUEST: And the mixture of residential with office as a concept of having residents. You were talking about how you're now working very much on this

idea of forgive the --

BLAU: The luxury renter.

QUEST: The renter who wants to be --

BLAU: So, I think, as we think about cities of the future, you're going to bring -- you want to create that, you know, people say a 15-minute city,

right? So it's having residential and retail, and restaurants and office all together.

Sometimes people would say to me, well, Hudson Yards is all the way over there. But I say if you're here, you actually don't need to go anywhere

else. Right? So that's really the city of the future.

QUEST: So I'm curious from your point of view, as we came out of the pandemic, and you realize the worthy shifts. Did Related -- was there an

"aha" moment when you said, we need to capitalize on this, and we need to expand it and we need to shift our policy, our building, our structures,

whatever, accordingly.

You meet your change. Right?

BLAU: Well, I would say, I mean, certainly at Hudson Yards, this was the vision. This was the vision for us to create the office of the future,

before we know that there was going to be a major shift caused by the pandemic.

But what we've done since then, is really, in our minds, formulated this and now replicating it around the country in each market.

So for example, in Miami, we're building an almost two million square foot, state of the art Class AA building that's never existed before in Miami.

It'll be the biggest building in the market. It'll be the newest, most expansive building with all the same features and amenities.

That's going to attract -- that's a smaller market. You won't be able to fill that building by just moving people around. You can actually bring new

people to that market that are going to be attracted by something that never existed before.

QUEST: Empire State Building or Chrysler, which is your favorite?

BLAU: Empire.


BLAU: I just remember going to the observation deck as a kid going and going up there and visiting it, so maybe it's just a personal fashion, but

just a very special New York building.


QUEST: So many buildings are a box. It serves its purpose, it gets to 40 floors or 35 floors or whatever and does its business, but it's boring.

BLAU: Yes.

QUEST: Is that an obligation of responsibility by a developer?

BLAU: I do think it is. And I do think that as a real estate developer, you have an obligation to do something special and to leave this place a

better place than what it was when we started. And hopefully 20 years, 30 years from now and people are walking through Hudson Yards. They're saying,

"Wow, look at these buildings. Look at the incredible design," just like you asked me about the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building from

many, many years ago.


QUEST: Jeff Blau of Related talking to me. And there is more from him later in the week.

As we continue tonight, two Swiss icons are going their separate ways. Toblerone is taking the Matterhorn off its package, there is the

Matterhorn. We'll talk about why the chocolate maker's Swissness has been called into question, and we'll be very lucky if this Toblerone survives

the hour.


QUEST: The chief executive of TikTok says the Chinese government has never asked the company to hand over user data.

Shou Zi made the comments at the Harvard Future of Business Summit. It comes as lawmakers in the United States trying to clear the way for the app

to be banned completely.

Over the weekend, Senator Mark Warner said he could introduce a bill as soon as on Friday. Meanwhile, TikTok's CEO is set to testify before

Congress later this month.

Clare Duffy is in New York.

How realistic is the possibility of an all-out ban?

CLARE DUFFY, CNN BUSINESS WRITER: I mean, Richard, if you think about it is sort of wild that we're talking about the US government potentially

banning an app that a hundred million Americans use. But it does seem like it's sort of moving in that direction.

We have seen increased lawmaker pressure and concerns about this app in particular TikTok's connection to its Chinese parent company, ByteDance and

the way that the Chinese government might be able to access US user data and use it for Intelligence operations or disinformation.

You saw the TikTok CEO pushing back on that really strongly today.

QUEST: Okay, but I can understand if they want to stop, say a government employee from having it on their government phone, which is used for

government purposes, but what's the fundamental fear of somebody like my iPhone, which hasn't got any great secrets on it and why does the US and

other countries, why are they so concerned?


DUFFY: I mean, I think it is interesting because a lot of social media apps, a lot of phone apps gather a lot of data about us and those companies

have access to that data. I think the concern here really is about TikTok's connection to the Chinese government.

Over the past couple of years, you've seen the US government really sort of ramp up its concerns about Chinese tech in general, you know, banning

Huawei, moving more chip production to the US. The US really is sort of trying to move away from its reliance on Chinese technology, and I think

that's the big concern about TikTok in particular is the way that the app can access US user data, and potentially pass it along or be forced to pass

that along to the Chinese government.

QUEST: Now, if they do go further down this road than just say, US government phones, they're going to have to make the case, aren't they

surely, to the public and to younger voters who may be TikTok obsessed.

DUFFY: It's going to be a huge challenge, I think for the US government. This is something that people have built their whole livelihoods around.

You know, there's a huge advertising business for companies on TikTok.

People, you know, influencers make money on TikTok, and as you said, younger users spend up to 90 minutes a day on this app. This is so hugely

popular, and I think it will be a big challenge.

It is something that TikTok has said, you know, if the US government were to ban this app, it could be tantamount to censoring US users. And so I

think that is going to be the real challenge in pushing this forward, is how do you convince US consumers that this is something that really needs

to happen.

QUEST: I have to say, I don't use TikTok and it is not out of any superiority or pompousness. It just because I could easily become addicted

to it. Absolutely. I've used it once or twice and found myself scrolling for hours.

DUFFY: It is, so I think another a piece of the concern here, although maybe not as big as the China concern is the effect that this app has on

young people. And as you say, the fact that young people, you know, stay up late scrolling through this app and potentially can get funneled down sort

of concerning rabbit holes of content.

The CEO addressed this in his speech today, he said that the company is investing in AI moderation, human moderation to sort of handle some of that

harmful content. But I think that is a big piece of it, too is what kind of influence this is having on American young people in particular.

QUEST: Good to see you. Thank you. I'm grateful.

Now one of Credit Suisse's long standing shareholders is finally sold out. The Harris associates exit is a new blow. The bank has endured various

scandals in recent years, just look at this -- conviction for enabling money laundering, being named in the Panama Papers, huge losses on

investments and even accusations of spying on their own employees, and that's the last four years to Credit Suisse.

Credit Suisse has been around a century and-a-half.

Anna Stewart is in London. Why does this divestiture, why is it so important or significant?

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Well, I think it underlines the issues that the bank has and the fact that someone who is as patient as they were, this

investing, hung around for so long, has finally lost it. It's quite extraordinary that they've only just lost patience now looking at that


Credit Suisse has lurched from, well, spectacular failures, really risk management, whether we look at Wirecard, or Greensill or Archegos.

Corporate governance issues, compliance issues, as you said there were issues about money laundering. And it's also just posted its biggest annual

loss $7.9 billion, the biggest loss since 2008. It expects to post a significant loss this year as well.

It lost huge amounts of money in the last quarter of last year. Investors not happy despite the fact that it has announced a restructuring, it is

underway. It is trying to focus on wealth management. It will spin off its investment bank.

But honestly Richard at this stage with all of these issues, it feels that investors perhaps are not confident, and if you look at the share price of

Credit Suisse versus other European banks. In this background of rising interest rates, you can see why maybe an investor would lose patience with

Credit Suisse.

QUEST: So, what are the options there? I mean, they go out of business and highly, highly, highly unlikely be bought by something else that creates

its own issues and problems, be broken up possibility, but again, that has a variety of things, or just muddle along in a sort of rather poor fashion.

STEWART: I've got to pick the last option, muddle along for a little bit longer. There was a big fundraising near the end of last year. Saudi

Arabia's National Bank invested heavily in it. And I think at this stage, lots of investors will stick around to see what happens with the

restructure. But will this bank ever be of the value that it once was? That I'm not so sure about.

It'll be very interesting as well to see what happens to the investment bank once that is spun off, perhaps that will be a success in and of

itself. We will wait and see.

QUEST: Anna, stay with me, please because we're going from banking to chocolate and various renowned Swiss brands are losing their luster.


Toblerone says it can no longer promote its Swissness. You see the Matterhorn there, of course, and the shape.

The chocolate maker must remove both the Matterhorn logo and the Swiss flag from its packaging after shifting some production to Slovakia. The company

is complying with Switzerland's Swissness Act which says national symbols can't be used on a product unless 80 percent of materials come from

Switzerland, a hundred percent of its milk or dairy and essential processing must be done in the country.

Now, what's all this mean?


STEWART: Was that to me? What does it mean? Well Richard, look at my Toblerone, which I'm thrilled to say is much bigger than yours actually

perhaps because I'm in Europe.

Essentially this is -- the Swissness Act means that they think there was a big premium on an item of free product being Swiss, 20 percent or even more

for luxury items. They don't want things being labeled Swiss if they're not, and if this is going to be made even partly in Slovakia, it will no

longer be able to say Made in Switzerland.

So this here established in Switzerland will be repeated on the back. Look at yours it may say, Made in Switzerland like mine, and I'm very

interested, Richard in the Matterhorn here.

So this is a Swiss emblem I suppose that's why it's being removed. How Swiss is the Matterhorn because arguably, it straddles Italy and is known

in Italy as Monte Cervino, I mean there is the question for you.

QUEST: Okay, but if this is all about Swissness, how come a US Court has said Gruyere cheese, Gruyere, I'm sure you'll correct my pronunciation can

be made anywhere, not just that particular region.

STEWART: Yes, so in Europe absolutely not. Gruyere cheese has to come from the region in Switzerland and France that is known as Gruyere. It is very

strict like Parmesan from Parmigiano Reggiano, like champagne for the Champagne region.

The US took a claim from some cheese makers from Gruyere that they shouldn't call American cheese, Gruyere, and they threw it out. They said

to Americans, Gruyere is a type of cheese, not a place. They have got some standards though, Richard. It must have small holes and be aged for at

least 90 days.

I dread to think what can happen next: Is America going to start making champagne? Your cheese and wine nights are looking a little bit dodgy at

this stage, I'd say. You'll call me a snob.

QUEST: Which do you want? The Toblerone or the Gruyere cheese? What are you're going to have?

STEWART: I would definitely go for the Gruyere cheese. But is it American or European?

QUEST: You're too snazzy. Anna Stewart, thank you.

It is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS tonight, as you can tell.

After the break, Ukraine's President Zelenskyy is refusing to surrender and Russian forces are closing in on Bakhmut.



QUEST: Ukraine is vowing to defend the city of Bakhmut after military leaders met today with President Zelenskyy. The defense ministry says one

of the generals at the meeting visited Bakhmut on Sunday. If it falls, it will be a symbolic win for Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin.

Melissa Bell in Kyiv has the latest on the fighting.

MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: Richard, images are coming in this evening that will be bad news for the Ukrainian defenders of Bakhmut. We've

managed to geo locate them. They show Wagner Mercenaries planting their flag on a World War II tank commemorating the liberation of the town from

the Nazis by the Soviet Union. Them planting their flag and burning the Ukrainian flag.

And we've managed to geo locate them. They look like they are about 500 meters from the river suggesting that Wagner Mercenaries are indeed inching

towards the town center.


BELL (voice over): Ukrainian forces giving all they can to defend Bakhmut or what's left of it.

After the longest battle of the war, one of the oldest cities in the Donbas lies in ruins.

VOLODYMYR NAZARENKO, DEPUTY COMMANDER, UKRAINE'S NATIONAL GUARD (through translator): There were no orders. No decisions were made regarding

withdrawal from Bakhmut. There have been tactical changes. We are holding the defense.

BELL: Abandoned by more than 90 percent of its population over the course of the seven-months siege, only those who couldn't leave before are left.

The intense fighting means that only five to 10 people a day can now be evacuated compared to the 500 to 600 a day when the evacuation started at

the end of February according to the city's deputy mayor.

The Russians throwing all they have at the city says the deputy mayor. Heavy artillery, mortar fire, airstrikes and a substantial commitment of

ground forces both regular soldiers and Wagner Mercenaries. But Russian advances have come at huge cost. Wave after wave of Russian soldiers have

been sent to their deaths. And Ukraine has accused Russia of exaggerating its gains, claiming they still control one of the major highways into


A lifeline for Ukrainian defenders, with one Ukrainian commander tweeting that there are many ways still to get into the city. Analysts have

questioned the strategic importance of Bakhmut but that has not stopped Moscow's intense campaign to capture the city. Nor Ukraine's existential

fight to keep it. The unceasing barrage of artillery fire hasn't just killed or forced out most of the city's civilians. It's taken a huge toll

on Ukrainian soldiers too, as the battle turns to close quarters street fighting.

But Ukraine continues its fierce fight for victory, even as Russian forces continue to close in on a city that's already a byword for Ukrainian

resilience on the battlefield.


BELL: Richard, we've also been speaking this evening to an advisor to President Zelenskyy who said that whilst the Ukrainians continue their

battle for the center of Bakhmut, Ukraine's strategic ambitions have been fulfilled 100 percent, he says, and those were twofold buying time and

depleting Russian resources, Richard.

QUEST: The European Space Agency was one of many organizations to cut ties with Russia after its invasion. And in January, it said it was putting out

a mission to send astronauts to China's Tiangong space station. Since finding founding nearly 50 years ago, the U.S. has made enormous

contributions to space exploration. Its Mars and Venus Express missions explored two of Earth's closest neighbors and in a spectacular 2014


Its Rosetta mission landed a probe on a comet the first time that has been done. And then in 2021, partnering with the U.S. and Canada to launch the

James Webb Telescope.


Josef Aschbacher is the chief -- director general of the European Space Agency. He joins me now from Paris. It's good to see you, as always. And

the first thing that does occur to me reading that is you have tremendous technological and scientific breakthroughs. But at the same time, the

business of space is still deeply enmeshed in geopolitics, be it Russia or China and the fact you've decided you can't go to the Chinese station.

JOSEF ASCHBACHER, DIRECTOR GENERAL, EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY: Yes. Hi, Richard. Really good to see you again and always a pleasure to be with you.

Now it's true. Geopolitics, unfortunately, has also entered the space. Space used to be a bit outside or a buffer, geopolitics literally. But now,

as you say, China, the tensions with Russia, of course, all this has changed our life quite significantly.

The day of the invasion of Russia and Ukraine, I had to make over together with my member states. Very clear decisions to separate all our

corporations which we have built up over more than a decade or several decades, actually, with Russia, and literally, to stop it and to replace

the Russian technology and the Russian are elements of a future cooperation with the European ones. And this, I can tell you has not been an easy


QUEST: Do you follow or tend to follow, for example, the way the E.U. will go in terms of assisting Ukraine if it needed satellite information or

there was some aspect of work that the ESA could offer that would assist Ukraine? Is that something you could handle would do?

ASCHBACHER: Yes. I mean, we are already offering technology to Ukraine. It's probably not widely disseminated. Of course, this is all information

that serves the defense communities. But what we do is normally offering technology that is used in the civilian domain, but also as applications or

for security reasons of security domains. An example is agricultural. Agricultural production for example. We have measured how much or less

wheat is being produced in Ukraine due to the war and the destruction of some of the fields.

So, of course, the infrastructure has been widely shown on satellite images, bridges, roads that have been -- that have been damaged but also,

the use of telecommunications is certainly something where satellites are needed. And we all know the examples of Starlink. But Europe actually now

is also in the process of building up a European broadband network called Iris Square where we also want to offer in the future is not yet existing.

But in the future telecom access through a constellation of satellites. So yes, there's a lot happening. We of course, realize -- yes, go ahead.

QUEST: What's your big idea? What's the thing that you're working on now that is -- that's going to blow the socks off. And everybody's going to say

by word, that's good?

ASCHBACHER: Well, if I mentioned one example, that does blow the socks off that might be to collect solar energy in space through photovoltaics as we

do it on the ground but so huge infrastructure, so literally, an infrastructure of satellites that are being put together of the length of

1.72 kilometers and beaming down two gigawatts of power to the earth and therefore having this power available 24/7.

There's something where we are working on a concept. I have to say that this is not yet technology that is proven to work. We have to do some

feasibility studies and make sure that technology but also some other regulatory aspects can be met. But if that works, the whole energy crisis

are -- including the dependency of Europe from other nations, in particular, Russia would actually be something that we could really


But after really put a big question mark will be caution or big caveat to it, because this is future work to come. But we are engaging in this -- in

this domain. That would literally blow off (INAUDIBLE) if that works.

QUEST: Yes. Literally. Especially if the rays go off a bit and suddenly you get more than a suntan from that coming down on top of yet. I had talked

about a new moon time. And for the two people who go on to the moon or the five people who get there. Why do they need their own time zone? You just

change your -- change your watch and decide which part of the world you want to follow?

ASCHBACHER: Well, it's a bit like -- take the situation on Earth, if you want to meet somebody at lunchtime but a certain point you need a reference

time and this is exactly what we're discussing right now. And the more you need a reference or length like Krzanich used to be now, it's the UTC time

zone or which is defining time on Earth. We need to save on the moon if there are robots, if the astronauts if there's infrastructure of course,

you need to calibrate your clocks towards a certain time zone.


In fact, what we're doing there and this is not a quite exciting project, it's building up a navigation and communication network. We call it

moonlight, which will be satellites around the moon that offer navigation signals like GPS or Galileo here on Earth and similar things for

communication. So yes. This is future projects, future initiatives. But yes, this is about to be built because we have got the first funding slicer

last November from our member states.

QUEST: Thank you, sir. I'm grateful. Thank you for joining us. Very appreciative. And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for the moment. At the top of

the hour, I'll have a dash for the closing bell. Our billing is going to be particularly exciting dash (INAUDIBLE) in between. But coming up next,

we'll look at that all whole 30 odd points. Gosh, what could happen in the next 20 minutes? I don't know. But stay with Connecting Africa and you'll

be with me at the top of the hour.



QUEST: Hello. I'm Richard Quest. Together we're going to have a dash to the closing bell (INAUDIBLE) went in half or so away. Markets have run out of

steam. The Dow was up 45 points but they were much higher. It's an exceptionally busy week. We have Jerome Powell giving testimony. We have a

jobs report coming out, all of which will take its toll on the market. The triple stack gives an idea of that. Literally, this is wait and see.

The chief executive of the real estate company Related says businesses are spending more than ever for premium office space. Jeff Blau told me it's a

way to get employees through the door.


JEFF T. BLAU, CEO AND A PARTNER, RELATED COMPANIES: The people that are leasing that space for over $200 a foot, if they wanted, they could go

three blocks from here and lease space for $60.00 a foot in these Class B buildings. But the truth is, you can't give away that $60.00 space because

people are using office to bring their talent back to the office. It's not even an occupancy cost anymore. It's a talent attraction and retention


Nobody wants to go back to dark, dingy, quiet, smelly offices, right? They want to go back where all these features and amenities exist.


QUEST: And if we look at the Dow components, Merck is almost four up. It reported promising data from two hard drug trials. Apple gains around two

percent. Goldman puts a buy rating. Cola and Visa are both up over a percent. More red than green just about even Stevens, Intel is off 1-1/2.

The Dow Inc. is at the bottom. It is off two percent.


And that the dash for the bell. I'm Richard Quest. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable. The closing bell is ringing on

Wall Street. It's "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper that starts right now. The Dow is barely up.