Return to Transcripts main page

Quest Means Business

French Pension Reform; Russia's War On Ukraine; Biden Addresses Irish Parliament; Impact Of Banking Crisis On The E.U.; Call To Earth: Mauritius; Profitable Moment. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired April 13, 2023 - 15:00   ET



COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: So that's -- that becomes the dilemma, but that's the kind of thing that I'd be looking at.

It has to be mission focused, and it has to be designed to actually work in a system, where those kinds of things that they need to do their job, those

pieces of information that they need to do their job be given them, but beyond that, it has to be really strictly controlled.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: And we will continue to watch the developments, in this particular case, the arrest of the Pentagon leaker,

the allegations, and we'll follow it in the hours ahead.

For the moment, let's turn in a completely different direction. Also equally significant, of course, we're at the Spring Meetings of the IMF and

World Bank here in Washington, DC.

QUEST MEANS BUSINESS coming to you live from the headquarters buildings at the IMF, and interestingly, of course, over the course of the rest of the

program, these are the voices you're going to have.

You're going to hear from the French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, who will be talking to us at a time when France of course, under protest; the

President of the EIB, Werner Hoyer will be with us; Mairead McGuinness, the EU Commissioner for Financial Stability at a time of credit crunch and

banking crisis, and Morocco's Finance Minister, Nadia Fettah will be with us, because of course, Morocco is the host of the annual meeting of the

IMF, which takes place in October.

Let's start with France, of course, and the ban on protests that take place. The band will continue until Saturday morning, but that still hasn't

stopped people coming out on the streets.

There have been a day of demonstrations: 380,000 protesters have been out and about, with teargas being deployed by the police and stun grenades,

rockets have been thrown, fireworks.

The Pension Reform Plan is now before the Constitutional Court, and we're expecting a law ruling on Friday. A reminder of course, the plan aims to

raise the pension age from 62 to 64.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen is in Paris.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Outbursts of anger rip across France.

PLEITGEN (on camera): I just got a full load of teargas --

PLEITGEN (voice over): Police in Paris charging a crowd of demonstrators.

Flares and sirens taking over the headquarters of Luxury Giant LVMH, which owns the likes of Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Tiffany's.

Chants from rail workers echo through the halls of the Metro, trash bins blocking off schools and streets with garbage set ablaze.

These are the sights and sounds of rage by some protesters stirring tensions in what was largely a peaceful day of protest across the country.

(PEOPLE chanting.)

PLEITGEN (voice over): French citizens, young and old, coming together for the 12th day of nationwide outrage against President Emmanuel Macron's

controversial Pensions Bill, which would raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

FABIEN VILLEDIEU, SUD RAIL UNION REPRESENTATIVE (through translator): I would lie if I was telling you that there is no fatigue. We are tired, but

immobilization is like a marathon. It's the last kilometers at the end that are the hardest.

PLEITGEN (voice over): While protesters say they are here for the long run, the final hurdle for the bill comes Friday at the country's

Constitutional Council.

The contested reform will either be greenlit, partly scrapped, or in a highly unlikely situation, entirely thrown out. The Court's decision will

bring to an end a month of deliberations; however, French unions and protesters say they are going to continue to fight the reform regardless of

the ruling.


QUEST: The French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire is, of course here in Washington for the Spring Meetings. He'll be explaining perhaps, to a

sympathetic audience, the French government's position, after all, many of the reforms that the French are putting in place are advocated by

organizations like the IMF.

So when he joined me a short while ago, I put it to him that back home in France -- whatever the situation here, back home in France, it would appear

that the protests were worsening.


BRUNO LE MAIRE, FRENCH FINANCE MINISTER: I will not say that the level of unease is growing. We have violence in the street. I strongly condemn all

violence, but nevertheless, the process is going on.

We are waiting for the very last decision or the French Supreme Court tomorrow. I just want to emphasize how vital this reform is for our pension

system. We have a very efficient very generous pension system, but we need to ensure to the French citizen that there is a financial balance by 2030.

This is the purpose of the reform.


QUEST: But they see it as an attack on the French way of life. I mean, whatever the economics, that is not going down well with the people on the


LE MAIRE: But you know, the French way of life is to work as all European countries is prosperity, and if you want to ensure prosperity to all the

French citizen, you need to have all the people working more.

Just one figure, at the beginning of the century, you had 10 million pensioners in France; by 2030, it will double, 20 million pensioners, so

you have to pay for the pensions, this is why it is so necessity -- such a necessity to have this retirement age moving from 62 to 64.

QUEST: I looked on the -- as I was coming down here this morning, I was just reading a report about it, but the range of people protesting from

doctors to janitors to railways, I mean, this is the closest to a broad based general strike as such.

LE MAIRE: Because it is always difficult to convince the people of the necessity to work longer, and everybody can understand that if I asked you

well, you should work longer, I am not sure that you will be satisfied, but this is a necessity for the financial balance of our pension system.

QUEST: How far has the President really tied his colors to this? The good ship Macron sails or sinks on this?

LE MAIRE: Well, I think that we want to stick to the path of reforms, and we have been explaining during the presidential campaign, that if we want

to get prosperity, jobs, full employment, at the end of the mandate, we need to implement some difficult reforms.

We introduced a reform on the labor market, on unemployment, these pension reform, all those reforms are a necessity to have a country that is one of

the most attractive country in Europe, which is successful, which has quite a high level of growth, and which is creating new jobs.

QUEST: Are you spending a lot of time? Or is the French government having to spend a lot of time redefining what the President said in China, in

terms of Taiwan? And did he really mean what he said what he meant and --

LE MAIRE: There is nothing to be redefined.

QUEST: Well, you say that, but you saw the comments, and you've seen the analysis?

LE MAIRE: Yes, of course.

QUEST: And we all say that there seems to be a shift in policy.

LE MAIRE: Or if there is no shift in policy, we have been always advocating for an independent Europe. It has been at the core of the French

policy for more than five years now. We want a Europe which is more sovereign, more independent, with its own geopolitical view, aiming at

having stronger military forces, and I really think that this is in the interest of the US to have a strong Europe.

Second point, we are close and reliable allies to the US. There is no doubt to have about this, to US, our closest allies, and we are reliable allies

to the US.

And third, we think that on the challenges of the 21st Century, you need to engage with China to be successful in the fight against climate change, on

Ukraine, on all those key topics, you need to engage China.

QUEST: As I was listening to that answer, I'm seeing in my mind, tut-tut- tut-tut --

LE MAIRE: No. Absolutely not.

QUEST: No, all of us have to juggle --

LE MAIRE: No, no, no. This is like that.

QUEST: You have to juggle.

LE MAIRE: A very clear, no, a very clear position, a free and independent Europe.

QUEST: That's one --

LE MAIRE: US as allies, and China that you need to engage.

QUEST: Can you keep all three balls in the air at the same time?

LE MAIRE: Of course, but that's politics. Politics and diplomacy means to try to merge different positions, so that it would be in the interest of

all of us -- Europe, the US and the world stability.

QUEST: We must just quickly talk about the economy. It looks like you and the US is going to skirt the recession, but as Dr. Ngozi was telling me

earlier, we are in for several years of grind, of just slow growth. That's going to be hard, isn't it?

LE MAIRE: First of all, we have avoided recession.


LE MAIRE: And you know, last year, everybody was explained to me well, you will enter into a recession, I was explaining, no, we will get growth,

we've got growth and we should have a level of growth between 0.71 percent in France and the average level of growth in Europe should be the same.

Then there is the question of the level of growth, and if we want to have more growth to face the challenge of climate change and a green transition,

you need to have more productivity, you need to invest in skills, in education, to invest in people. That is the key if you want to increase the

level of productivity and the level of growth.


LE MAIRE: And the very last point is that while developed countries are doing well, you have a growing gap with the developing countries, and this

is one of the key issue, this growing gap, this great divergence between developing and developed countries, we want to address this issue.

President Macron organized a very important Summit next June on that question, to provide funding, financing to those countries.


QUEST: The Finance Minister of France, Bruno Le Maire, talking to me a short while ago.

The European Union has approved a $1 billion fund for ammunition to reimburse those countries that have supplied and that are arming Ukraine.

President Zelenskyy sees money to rebuild the economy, and he spoke to the IMF and World Bank roundtable as we were talking.

He says, the World Bank has put the costs at $411 billion, $14 billion so far this year for necessary and critical reforms.

Werner Hoyer is the President of the European Investment Bank. When you were set up, there was never really any idea of it having to be quite such

a -- I mean, the money involved that has to be for the reconstruction of Ukraine, how do you see your role?

WERNER HOYER, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN INTERNATIONAL BANK: They are a big role, because I mean, from our figures, it is more in return than a help in

this very situation. It is clear that one day the reconstruction of Ukraine will be very, very, very costly. But even more important is the fact that

the later we begin with it, the more expensive it will be.

It is key for the resilience of Ukraine, not only to talk about guns in and ammunition, but also the economic resilience of their country.

QUEST: For a fund by the EIB, what role do you see for your fund?

HOYER: Well, obviously, we need in particular, to restart the economic engine in the private sector and we need to provide funds for

infrastructure, for universities, for housing, for health, for rail transport, and all of these things.

So these are huge investments that are needed, and these need to take place now, because right now, the Ukrainian economy is performing quite well, and

that must be continued.

QUEST: So if you have to increase lending to the private sector, say, for example, in Ukraine, is that going to come at the cost of other investments

that the EIB would make elsewhere?

I mean, it's -- I'm not quite saying it's a zero sum game, but it's damn near it.

HOYER: Yes, but it would be very unwise to approach the issue like this. It is important to see that, of course, we cannot grow indefinitely, but we

must see that we must set priorities, and if we do not set the priority in favor of Ukraine now and the survival of Ukraine, and the support for the

amazing resilience of the Ukrainian people, then we have lost it, and we are failing before history.

QUEST: We were talking and we saw the numbers on the EBRD, and there are losses, as a result of both nonperforming and write downs. I assume you're

about to do the same?

HOYER: No, we haven't. We are a very prosperous institution. The bank is rock solid. We haven't known losses for a very long time, although we are

very, very open for risky business, but --

QUEST: Right, but you're going to move into a sort of even riskier stuff with Ukraine.

HOYER: Good banking does not consist of going away from risk, but managing risk, and that's what the EIB is able to do.

QUEST: Are you seeing, not just in yourself, but elsewhere -- are you seeing the evidence of the credit crunch that we're hearing about? Is there

a tightening of credit standards lending abilities?

HOYER: There is a serious development, which we should not underestimate, no doubt about that.

QUEST: Really?


QUEST: Do you subscribe to the view that it could be as much as a quarter to half a percent of monetary tightening?

HOYER: This is speculation, but I would not exclude it.

QUEST: So to an extent, the banking -- I mean, it's not ideal, but the banking crisis is doing the Central Bank's work to some extent?

HOYER: Well, the Central Banks are in the terrible situation that on the one hand, they must fight inflation, and this objective has not been

achieved. On the other hand, they must not kill the economic performance, so it is a balancing act.

So far, I must say I am in full admiration for the Central Banks that have performed so well.

QUEST: Sir, I'm very grateful that you joined us tonight.

HOYER: Great pleasure.

QUEST: Thank you. Good to see you, sir.

HOYER: Pleasure. Thank you.

QUEST: Thank you.

Now this is live pictures of Dublin Castle, where at the moment, the US President is due to arrive with a landmark visit. It's had both politics,

it's had pomp and ceremony and of course, it's had lots of reminiscing, after the break.




QUEST: Welcome back. It's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, live from the IMF.

Well, back in Washington, it is a very busy hour. Now back in Dublin. President Biden has been visiting, as you will well know. The president

spoke at the Irish parliament and he met the Irish president, along with the prime minister, the taoiseach, where they talked about strengthening

the Northern Ireland peace process.



Fourth one for peace.

QUEST (voice-over): The president rang the peace bell at the president's house. It symbolizes post Troubles reconciliation and he is the first

president to ring four rings in total for Ireland and the U.S., Irish ancestors and for peace.


QUEST: The president has wasted little time in exploring his roots.


BIDEN: Because of the story of my family's journey and those who left and those who stayed is emblematic of the stories of so many Irish and American

families, not just Irish American families.

And these stories are at the very heart of what binds Ireland and America together. They speak to a history defined by our dreams. They speak to a

present written by our shared responsibility. And they speak to a future poised for unlimited shared possibilities.


QUEST: Now with me is Mairead McGuinness, the E.U. Commissioner for Financial Stability.

Oh, no, we're sorry. We'll get there in a minute. I do beg your pardon. Before we get to it, we get to Nic Robertson.

And you show -- it just shows you where my mind is this morning.

Nic Robertson, you're not Mairead McGuinness. She'll be with us in a moment. Instead, you're going to tell me how the day went in Dublin.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: You know, I think this was a remarkably passionate speech from President Biden. And it really

felt as if it came from the heart. And certainly that was how it was received.

He began his speech inside parliament, saying, I'm home. He said it in Irish. There was huge applause. He said, I wish I could stay longer. But

there was this real sense, I think, of longing, of longing for the values that he sees in Ireland.


And a couple of places that really stuck out to me, and it was almost what he didn't say, as opposed to what he did say. One place where it really

stood out to me was where he said, Ireland's voice has meaning. It's important in the world.

Why he said, because it has moral authority. This is coming from the president of the most powerful nation in the world, essentially the most

powerful man on the planet, saying that Ireland's voice is important because it brings moral authority.

We can leave out what he didn't say there. The other place that I think that he perhaps departed from the tones that he has used on this trip until

now, he said that the U.K. government needs to work more closely with the Irish government to hold with the Good Friday agreement.

He had been on very sensitive diplomatic ground when he had been in Northern Ireland and he trod carefully yesterday. Today, he seemed to break

away from that by admonishing Rishi Sunak, the British prime minister -- not by name, of course.

But the -- but the U.K. government. But as you say, yes, this was -- it was a speech redolent of his ancestry, redolent of all the strong connections

that he feels personally and United States feels with Ireland. The improvement in business; 900 U.S. company, global companies have their base

here; 700 Irish companies in the United States.

I think, he said 375,000 people employed in Ireland in relation to U.S. businesses; perhaps not all of them directly. Ireland being the ninth

largest investor in the United States.

So different, of course, from when president John Kennedy came here in 1963. So, so different but this was Biden really from the heart. And it was

hugely appreciated. The applause, deafening and lasted and lasted and lasted.

QUEST: Nic Robertson, thank you.

There we have the pictures of the president's motorcade arriving for the banquet at Dublin Castle, a gala evening this evening taking place.

Which begs the question, why my next guest, isn't there. Mairead McGuinness, she is the E.U. commissioner for Financial Stability. But of

course, a former journalist in Ireland and a member of the European Parliament.


QUEST: You should be there.

MAIREAD MCGUINNESS, E.U. COMMISSIONER FOR FINANCIAL STABILITY: Well, I should be but duty calls and I'm here. And what's really good to say is

that, in 2016, when President Biden was vice president, I welcomed him too Louth, which is my home county.

So I'm from the same county as his ancestors and I'm keeping an eye on what's happening in Dublin. I think the rain has stopped, which is really

good. And it looks like it's been a very impressive visit.

I would love to be there but there's lots happening here that I need to keep an eye on.

QUEST: It must be big to keep you here. The reality is the financial stability -- and keeping an eye on the pictures here of the president so

that, when we see him, because I wanted to -- we can talk


QUEST: Yes, go ahead, have a glance. Yes, you have a glance at the picture. Go on. And you can see there that the president getting out of

that car.

Tell me, look, financial stability, the whole banking net system. Everybody's worried it's -- not about to collapse but that there is a --

there's a weakness that has still yet to be exposed.

MCGUINNESS: Well, what's interesting is, after COVID-19, I think we were all a bit concerned about the financial system and the health of our

banking system. And the truth is, it's been very resilient.

And I think from a European Union perspective, the work we did after the crash really enhanced the banks so that their capital requirements, their

liquidity issues are strong. That's not to say that we're complacent.

What happened in the U.S. certainly, you know, had ripples in Europe and we were watching very closely --


QUEST: Credit Suisse, though, the way the Swiss dealt with it, not the way that the --


MCGUINNESS: -- we would deal --



MCGUINNESS: Absolutely. And I think that it was really important that the ECB clarified that. But the future is what we need to look to.

And you're right in saying that we need to be mindful of everything around the financial system and watch very closely to make sure that we don't have

problems. So I'm looking forward to the report about SVB, so that we see exactly what happened. As I speak to people here, there is a sense in which

there is calm.

QUEST: Do you also see a tightening of credit? We were just talking to the head, the president of the IP, who basically says, yes, it's definitely

happening. But we can't necessarily quantify the extent.

MCGUINNESS: OK. Well, if interest rates rise and there are issues there, people are reluctant to borrow as much where they need to borrow. And we

need to invest is in the green transition toward a more sustainable economy, a more digital economy and one that works and serves for



QUEST: But if there's a credit crunch because of SVB --


MCGUINNESS: -- no, no; we have to be very careful about words. Not a credit crunch.


I think what happened with --

QUEST: Tightening of credit --

MCGUINNESS: -- there's tightening of credit. But let's look back and the point about resilience. Our banking system in Europe went through the

horrors of a big crash. We learned hard lessons and we have a stronger, more resilient banking system today.

But it will only stay strong and resilient if we watch for the unexpected. So all of our regulators, our supervisors, my role is to make sure that

that system serves the economy. So it's not to say that what happened in the U.S. stayed in the U.S.

You saw that there were concerns both in the European Parliament. But it will also allow us to make sure that Basel 3 is implemented effectively and

fully, that we prepare our banking system for the future, based on the experiences of the past and that we have this very resilient banking


QUEST: The moment you mentioned Basel 3, we must go back and look at the pictures from the (INAUDIBLE) happening in Dublin this evening. (INAUDIBLE)

the president is on his visit.

MCGUINNESS: What I have to say when I didn't when he was vice president, his genuine grow, as we would say, love of Ireland is very strong. And he

was with his family at the time.

And I think the fact that he's spending time in Ireland, that he went to Belfast first and rightly recognizing the peace process and giving

commitments to Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland and to the U.K. about U.S. commitment to that process, I think that's really, really


QUEST: But Nic Robertson was just saying that -- and you may not have seen what the president said with the taoiseach, there might be an element of --

to the British and to Rishi Sunak, come on, get your act together. Move forward. Your -- you need to do --

MCGUINNESS: We're all in this together. I mean peace is precious because I've lived through a time when we didn't have peace on the island of

Ireland. And though there are difficulties now, nobody wants to go back to the horrors of that time.

But what we do have to try and see happen is that the assembly functions again, that people get back to the table and work toward helping the

economy and society. We've resolved the protocol issues, which were a really difficult point around Brexit --

QUEST: -- the Windsor framework is going to do it?

MCGUINNESS: Well, the Windsor framework will do it because the people of Northern Ireland and businesses in Northern Ireland want to move on. And

I'm hoping that politics will also move on.

From a European Union perspective, 2016, remember is when the vote happened. This is 2023. The world has changed. We're working hand in glove

with the U.K. on sanctions with the U.S. against what Russia is doing in Ukraine.

So there are lots of big issues. But the peace process in Northern Ireland matters to all of us. And we value the U.S. interest. And we, of course,

know that the European Union is also fully behind peace in Northern Ireland, as we all should be.

QUEST: Do you see, with your Irish roots, do you see the U.S. still having a major role in this?

It's a very strange role, isn't it, in a sense?

MCGUINNESS: It's not strange at all, because I think that -- if you remember the past, you will actually realize how the present is so

precious, because a generation of young people have not grown up with murder and violence.

That's not to say that the peace is fragile. And we saw recent incidents, where young people who were not even born at the time of the peace process

were throwing stones and grenades and whatever.

So, so I say, with real sincerity that all of us have a duty of care around the peace process. And President Biden is absolutely committed. I mean,

he's you can see him there with the taoiseach, my party leader, Leo Varadkar. I think the visit has been incredible.

He was in Dundalk, which is a town close to where I live myself. I was a little bit jealous that I wasn't there. He was in Carlingford, which is a

beautiful part of County Louth. And he will go west, where he also has very deep family connections.

And you know, some people are cynical about this. You know, they say, oh, this is just, you know, if you like, drawing on Irish roots. My experiences

with the then vice President Biden, it's absolutely sincere and I think Irish people are delighted.

But the strong bonds between Ireland and the U.S., which were based on horrors of the past, Irish people had to leave because of tragedies in

Ireland. And it's nice that they're having a banquet.

I hope they remember me there a little this evening but I doubt it somehow.

QUEST: Good to see you. Thank you so much.

This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS from Washington.





QUEST: The reality is we've talked on this program many times, wildlife can often pay the price when it comes to economic growth, which is why on

today's Call to Earth, the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, working with farmers, doing the hard work in so many cases to create a future for one of

its most iconic (INAUDIBLE).



Ile Aux Aigrettes

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Isolated around 700 miles east of Madagascar, in the middle of the Indian Ocean, is the

island nation of Mauritius.

Known for pristine waters and tropical rain forests, it is home to a vast array of bird and marine life. But the island is also synonymous with

extinction, for this was the final resting place of the last dodo.

VIKASH TATAYAH, MAURITIAN WILDLIFE FOUNDATION (voice-over): The notion that extinction is forever and is not reversible came about when the dodo

went extinct.

So almost the birthplace of the consciousness over extinction is here on Mauritius but also the birthplace of conservation is actually here on

Mauritius because men realized that we had to protect the species and save them from going extinct.

WEIR (voice-over): Now another one of the island's endemic species is at risk: the Mauritius fruit bat, also known as the flying fox. Since 2015,

the government has called the population of this endangered species on four occasions, all in a bid to protect the country's fruit industry.

TATAYAH (voice-over): In the first year of the cull (ph), nearly 31,000 bats of the 90,000 that was estimated in that year, were killed. That's a

third just to the official cull (ph). To that, we have to add numbers that have died due to electrocution and power lines.

We had to add to what people have been killing illegally in their backyards or in orchards. So the figure was actually far higher than the 30 percent,

more than a third of the bats, that have been culled (ph).

WEIR (voice-over): Fruits like mangoes, longans and litchis are a major income source on the island and the root of much of the conflict with the

bats. The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation has been working with England's Chester Zoo to help find a solution.

CLAIRE RAISIN, CHESTER ZOO (voice-over): It's a really complicated issue. It's not just a matter of bats are eating fruits.


So we need to either diversify income or we need to get rid of bats. There's a lot more to it going on. We've been working with research

partners to get a much better understanding of exactly what the predation rates are on these fruits and how much that's responsible for and how much

other species are responsible for.

TATAYAH (voice-over): We're doing some studies and we've shown that around 20 percent of the crop is taken by bats. However, this loss can be reduced

to near zero (INAUDIBLE) trees are pruned and netted with commercial nets made of nylon and other materials.

TATAYAH: The bats are not coming onto our fruits because they love our fruits, it's because we've been chopping down the forest.

WEIR (voice-over): Along with helping farmers add netting around their crops, the foundation is educating locals and schoolchildren about the

flying fox.

TATAYAH: So what we've tried to do is to say, let's try to understand the farmer. Let's try to understand the person whose got trees in his backyard.

Without bats, we will not have much forest left on Mauritius because it's the only large distance seed dispersal and large distance flower pollinator

on Mauritius.


TATAYAH (voice-over): The children who are here today, who are 15 year old, in 15 years, they will be the decision makers. So what we're doing

right now but we see it as sowing the seeds of something much bigger that will come in a decade or two.


QUEST: Absolutely spectacular. And please let us know what you're doing to help protect the Earth. It's the usual #CallToEarth.




QUEST: Now allow me to update you on the various events of the day, particularly, of course, the FBI arresting a suspect in the -- the leaked

Pentagon documents case concerning Ukraine.

The man taken into custody in Massachusetts has now been identified and named. You see him there, 21 year old Jack Teixeira, a member of the Air

National Guard. He is accused of posting Pentagon secrets in online chat rooms.

The president, President Biden, has been briefed on the arrest. We don't know motive, we don't -- well, these are all allegations, of course. We

don't know the way in which he was discovered.


Although the investigation has been thorough and extremely quick to get to the bottom of it.

Need you all to update with the markets and how they're trading. We saw numbers on PPI. PPI inflation is lower and that -- we see inflation is

lower, therefore rates may not go up or you know the theory. We've talked about it often enough.

And look at that, that sort of green, gentle slope throughout. So the market has built on it throughout the day, despite recession fears. To the

Dow 30, you've got Apple at 3 percent. It says only recycled cobalt batteries by 2025.

Disney 3 percent higher after Bob Iger is open to meeting with Ron DeSantis over Florida. Goldman, JPMorgan slightly up. JPMorgan reports tomorrow. IBM

is down because it says it might sell its weather unit.

That's where the markets are looking. Honeywell at the top. You don't see that very much. And if it's not mistaken, Walgreens at the bottom again. So

that tells you the market is on a frolic of its own.

We will take a frolic of a different kind, a "Profitable Moment" after the break. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, live from the IMF.




QUEST: Tonight's "Profitable Moment" from the IMF in Washington, D.C., it's really simple. Growth is going to be there but it's going to be low,

sluggish and, at best, anemic, which reinforces the point.


I hate to say I told you so. But I did tell you so.

It reinforces the point that there is very little difference between a shallow recession of 0.2 percent and growth of 0.1 percent or 0.2 percent.

To those involved, it feels like trudging through the sludge. And that's the problem policymakers have.

So whilst you may skirt a technical recession in the U.S., E.U., U.K. and everywhere else, for those on the other end of this recession, it will not

feel good just because it's a little bit of growth.

And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for this Thursday night. I'm Richard Quest at the IMF in Washington, D.C. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I

hope it's profitable. I'll see you tomorrow.