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Quest Means Business
Chaos Ensues As Musk Purges Blue Check Marks; EU Lawmakers Preparing Legislation To Promote Trustworthy AI; Rival Factions In Sudan Agree To 72- Hour Ceasefire; China Bank Scandal Victims Left Penniless; President Of Argentina Will Not Seek Re-Election; Ten Family Members Killed In South Africa Mass Shooting. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired April 21, 2023 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Markets are flat to end the week on Wall Street. It is a combination of earnings, disappointing numbers, as
well as quite a lot of economic data that defined this week as you can see in the green, the beginning of the day, and then in the red as you can see,
we're flatlining right now.
Dow is exactly at zero percent.
All right, those are the markets and these are the main events. Chaos at Twitter after the platform removes blue checks verifying users.
Politicians grapple with how to oversee Artificial Intelligence. The EU lawmakers spearheading new AI regulation joins me live.
And Rome's Colosseum begins offering visitors a hands-on way to engage with history.
Live from Abu Dhabi, it is Friday, April 21st. I'm Eleni Giokos. I am in for Richard Quest, and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
A very good evening.
Great to have you join us tonight.
Elon Musk is ushering in a new era on Twitter where status is a gift and verification must be paid for.
Well, he is stripping blue checkmarks from celebrities, journalists, as well as government agencies that are not paying for Twitter Blue. Not even
the Pope, Paul McCartney of all people, Kim Kardashian have been spared, but some of Twitter's most high profile users have been, Musk says he is
personally paying to ensure that LeBron James, Stephen King, William Shatner remain verified.
It is almost as if he sensed the chaos that would ensue from unverified users, which is exactly what is happening right now. Here is one example.
An impersonator trolling New York City's official government Twitter accounts over who is real.
Clare Duffy in New York standing by for us there.
Clare, we spoke about this as the news broke as we were -- we all saw our blue checkmarks, you know, evaporate last night. It has been messy. He is
personally paying for a few people. I don't know what metrics he is using, and who is important to him personally, but this is messy.
CLARE DUFFY, CNN BUSINESS WRITER: It is messy. I mean, I think what you see in that Musk offered to pay for the accounts of certain people, but it
is unclear what metrics he is using.
I mean, the bottom line here is that there is no clear policy about what the rules are, who is getting verified, who is getting unverified, and when
you don't have any clear policy, it just -- I think it risks creating a lack of trust in the platform. People don't know what the rules are, they
have a hard time telling what's real and what's not, and I think that's really the big risk that Musk is taking here with this change.
He is betting on the fact that people are going to pay $8.00 a month for this verification, but I think there is also a world in which these high
profile users who in a lot of ways have brought benefit to Twitter by tweeting and bringing an audience say, you know, I'm not going to -- I'm
not going to participate on this platform where a bad actor could easily impersonate me and make me look bad.
There are lots of other platforms where they will verify me for free, and they might even pay me for creating content, and that's sort of the
opposite of what Musk is asking them to do here.
GIOKOS: Well, Clare, I have to say, I mean, when we saw the blue checkmark on Twitter, you almost certainly, you know, had security or confidence that
the person that you were engaging with, was legit, right?
Many are saying now that this could have perhaps open the door to other startups, to other players to do things very differently. And frankly, I
was doing a quick search, I saw that there are a few startup or there are a few companies that are alternatives to Twitter. They're not, you know, big
in scale, but I wonder what this will mean for the longevity of Twitter?
DUFFY: I think it's a huge question. I mean, it talked about the potential for high profile users leaving the platform, but I also think for regular
users who may not have had a blue check, maybe they don't care about the blue checks, but the blue checks, made it possible for them to know that if
they were seeing information, they knew that it was really coming from the person that was saying it.
And you know, I think for regular users, a lot of the utility of Twitter's platform was that it's a place to come and see what people are saying about
the news and see what's happening and it is much more difficult for it to serve that purpose if people can't trust that the verification marks are
actually, you know, showing who is saying what. I think that's the big risk that they're taking here.
GIOKOS: Clare Duffy, great to have you on. Thank you so much for breaking that down for us.
We now are welcoming a rock star on Twitter. He is very important. We have our very own, Larry Madowo joining us.
He's got 2.4 million followers on Twitter. He lost his verification on Thursday, and today tweeted there are already more than 30 impostor
accounts on the platform.
I'm never going to forget Larry that when I first met, you worked on another company and you said, Eleni, you've got to up your game on Twitter
and you've obviously done the right job. You are a rock star, but you are worried about impersonation right now.
You know, are you going to pay for it for the $8.00 a month? What's your plan?
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: First of all, no, I will not pay for $8.00 and the simple reason is because even if I paid to get re-verified,
it does not mean that I am who I am, or who I say I am because anybody else, today, I counted at least 30 different other people who were claiming
to be Larry Madowo on Twitter, and any of them can also pay $8.00 of Twitter Blue and get verified, and that is precisely the problem.
For people like me who are journalists, who use and share credible information on Twitter that that credibility is now gone because any other
malicious person, a bad faith actor can use the free verification to mislead, to misinform, to impersonate, and to run scams and frauds there.
So, the problem here, Eleni is that, if unchecked, Twitter could easily become an impostor's paradise, a scammer's paradise, a fraudster's paradise
because of this chaotic sea that's been created by Elon Musk, and I think it appears to be that this chaotic design, this de-legitimization of the
media, this de-legitimization and devaluation of journalist voices, credible voices on the platform, is a feature, not a bug. It is deliberate.
Listen to Elon Musk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELON MUSK, CEO, TWITTER: The thing that a lot of traditional journalists don't like is they don't like being put on the same platform as the average
citizen. They don't like their voice being used the same. They're pretty mad about that.
I think it's very important to elevate citizen journalism. I think it's very important to hear the voice of the people, the actual voice of the
people, not the filtered voice of the people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADOWO: Elon Musk also said that let the people decide what the truth is, which is a fundamental misunderstanding what the facts are, and when you
muddy the waters, you allow for people to then bend the truth and the facts and that's what Twitter could quickly become.
And I did e-mail Twitter for a response on what they're doing about impersonation and fraud on the platform after all the legacy verified
checkmarks were taken away, I got a response back, a poop emoji.
As Elon Musk likes to say, that's BS for him. He does not seem to have a way to respond to media inquiries -- Eleni.
GIOKOS: Yes, I mean, and it is demeaning. I mean, seeing that response, there is the emoji, as you say. He says, it means BS, that basically means
that anyone writing to the press office gets that response and that is basically what Twitter or he thinks of them.
And as you say, there has been a big focus on journalists, right, and actually media houses as well.
I was just looking at the pricing. I mean, in Kenya shillings, this is where you live, it's 1,073 Kenya shillings a month. In South African rand,
where I come from 145 rand a month, that's basically a day's wage for many people in the country.
So when we talk about democratizing this, and giving the voice to the average people, it's not giving a voice to the average people, it's giving
a voice to the people that are able to afford it, that want that elite status.
MADOWO: Exactly. And Elon Musk, when he first tweeted about this plan back in November, said that the price would vary per country, depending on
income level, which made sense because obviously, income levels in the US are not the same like in Kenya, but that's not happened.
But that also is consistent with Elon Musk's inconsistency about every policy change as Twitter. And here's the problem, for instance, we've been
covering this whole week the conflict in Sudan and the war between these two Generals, and Twitter is one of the main tools that people are using to
organize, to share credible information.
And already even in Sudan, a fake account has been created for one half of this conflict, the Rapid Support Forces that's already claiming and sharing
fake news so to speak. So that is a problem.
When you see the conflict situations around the world, we've covered the Tigray conflict in Ethiopia for a long time, social media is a big tool. If
people, malicious actors take advantage of that to mislead people to incite people to violence, this could have real world harm in ways that I don't
think has even been imagined at this time.
GIOKOS: You know, that's true. I mean, you know, Larry, you were a user from the get-go on Twitter. I mean, you've been on Twitter for over a
decade, if I'm not mistaken.
MADOWO: Fourteen years.
GIOKOS: What do you think of the future -- 14 years, that's a long time. That's a really long time.
What do you think about the future of Twitter? And if you have an alternative, are you going to consider this? I mean, this is the issue as
you say, it could it'd be a cesspool of disinformation because there has been an erosion of trust to a large extent.
MADOWO: I need to figure out if I can remain on Twitter under these circumstances. Obviously, I'm going to give it some time to figure out how
it changes, but yes, there will be alternatives that will pop up, so Twitter is actually a pretty small social network compared to the influence
it's had in the world, especially in politics, in media, in policy circles.
It is the place that the world went to for information. That is why it's been known as a global public square. And I think a lot of the actions that
Elon Musk has taken over the past, well, the past six months since he took over the company really just takes away from that and devalues the product,
what it was at its heart.
And I gather there is a lot of Elon Musk fans who agree with him, who think that those of us who were legacy verified, just don't want to pay $8.00
because we don't like the democratization, but I think that's a fundamental misunderstanding of why some people are verified -- emergency services,
government agencies, and law enforcement, for instance -- and once you take away all of that, there is a lot of harm potentially that could befall
GIOKOS: Well, Larry, thank you so much for breaking that down for us.
If you're looking for the real Larry Madowo, you can find him on CNN. I know there's lots of people trying to impersonate you. Great to have you
on, my friend.
Okay, so as blue checks disappear from Twitter, some are worried the platform will be more likely to spread false information generated by
Elon Musk has called for a pause on AI development in order to manage the risks. Some European lawmakers say they agree in principle with this
warning. Twelve of them signed a letter citing the need for significant political attention and they are urging US President Joe Biden and European
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, to hold a Global Summit on AI.
Dragos Tudorache is one of those lawmakers. He's a Romanian Member of the European Parliament. He joins me now live from Brussels.
I mean, to say in the least that people are worried about AI, its capabilities and what the regulatory platform would look like, is an
understatement. I think everyone is talking about and thinking about what this is going to mean.
From a regulatory perspective, what intervention should there be?
DRAGOS TUDORACHE, ROMANIAN MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Well, here in Europe, we've been hard at work already you know, on preparing this
legislation, and we are taking what we call a risk-based approach, because we don't want to condemn the technology itself. The technology is always
neutral, it is how you use the technology that makes it good or bad.
So therefore, what we do is to look at the potential risks that the technology might bring, and then we categorize the different applications
of Artificial Intelligence into applications that could simply be too risky, too harmful to our interests, to the interests of our society, and
that will be banned. Applications that will be high risk or low risk, and then depending on that, there are various levels of compliance that
developers or deployers will have to go through.
And as far as generative AI, because right now, everyone is hyped, and I understand about generative AI and generally about foundational models,
again, we have been looking into them for a couple of months already, already before December when ChatGPT became known by everyone and we are
taking very seriously the writing of rules, also with respect to this kind of AI.
That is why, we chose to reply to the letter signed by so many business leaders and experts into AI because we think that here in Europe, we look
responsibly on how to deal with these models is the way to go, and that is why we're also making this call to our leaders to take very seriously the
need to seek convergence at the global level, and have a conversation about the impact of these models on our societies.
GIOKOS: Dragos, I have to ask you this. I mean, do you feel that -- are you worried that the horse has bolted already, that it is already out of
control? Because I mean, it has been interesting to see how it has evolved over the last few months in particular. I know that the letter is really
fascinating that you have Big Tech players saying look, this needs to be halted for six months to figure out what the process is going to be, some
people within Europe saying that it sounds a little alarmist. What do you think?
TUDORACHE: Well, on how jurisdictions have prepared or not for this moment, I don't want to sound against, but we, again in Europe have been
seeing these revolutions coming already for some time and we are now in fact ready to put pen to paper and to actually create these sorts of
guardrails that would we believe keep the evolution of this technology in check without hampering unnecessarily the good that this technology can
still do to our economies, to our societies.
TUDORACHE: I think the call for pause which came from the letter of 1,000 is -- I can understand it in a jurisdiction environment where there is yet
nothing, and I do believe and again, this is why we make this call for convergence for conversation at the global level, because we do think that
these jurisdictions have to also take seriously the need for rules.
Look, China's cyberspace regulator has unveiled draft measures as well, saying that it wants firms to submit security assessments before they
launch their products to the public. Do you think this is partly an issue of self-regulation? Do you think it needs to be regulated from the very
I know that Parliamentary Committee is debating a potential bill. What is the outcome, do you think going to be in Europe?
TUDORACHE: Well, I think already for some time, because AI is not new, AI has been there for many years, and so far, we have lived out of general
principles, which had been agreed upon at OECD at UNESCO level in in various multilateral fora, and out of due diligence that companies were
choosing to go through themselves through self-regulation.
But I think, again, if we look at some of the effects of AI lately in our societies, I think it's clear that we have gotten to the stage where self-
regulation is not enough because you do have companies that are diligent, companies that are responsible that will choose to basically, be very
careful about how they put products on the market.
But there will also be companies who choose not to, and I think we also have a duty as policymakers to create a level playing field for companies
so that they rather than racing to the bottom, and then again, induce risks in the society, that are not good for our citizens and for the health of
our democracies, but rather actually raise up to a standard that is considered acceptable.
And again, ideally, the standard will be aligned, at least among democracies of the world, and I think what the focus should be in the
GIOKOS: Interesting balancing act, making sure that you don't hamper growth of a very exciting technology, but at the same time, making sure
there is security in place.
Dragos Tudorache, thank you very much for joining us. Great to have you on the show.
Well, coming up, the British Deputy Prime Minister has resigned after reports of bullying. He says the people of Britain will pay the price.
GIOKOS: The Sudanese Army says it has agreed to a three-day ceasefire proposed by the RSF, an opposing paramilitary group. Even so, there were
clashes north of Khartoum on Friday. Just before the start of the Muslim holiday, Eid al-Fitr. The World Health Organization says over 400 people
have been killed since fighting broke out on the weekend.
Several countries including the US are weighing whether to evacuate their embassies in Sudan.
Nima Elbagir is in London for us.
Nima, look, despite the call for a ceasefire, we've heard reports of people waking up to intense fighting, sounds of fighting this morning. It
basically shows again, that we're looking at a potential failure of another ceasefire. I think this is the third now.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and this despite intense efforts from the international community, although
many would say those efforts came too late in the day given that the tensions had been building for some time now between the two Generals.
US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, just as we came to air, released a statement acknowledging that this ceasefire, which he said they have been
working towards, with General Abdul Fattah al-Burhan and Commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo that fighting had broken out and essentially acknowledging
that the ceasefire had not held.
And also interestingly, saying that it's clear the mistrust between the two sides is too difficult to overcome at this point, although they will
continue to work towards that. The outstanding question remains for the people of Sudan who had hoped that this respite would not only allow them
to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid, but also allow them to regroup, to get clean water, to get medicine, to get access to food supplies.
This is -- I mean, this is just yet another disappointment as you point out, this is the third or fourth ceasefire, in fact, but also for those
countries like the US and Spain who were waiting for a lull to evacuate their diplomats from country. This also only exacerbates the tensions and
the fears around that -- Eleni.
GIOKOS: Nima, you know, when we just look at the underlying issues here, and we see these two Generals fighting, basically, you know, the question
then becomes, can they get around a negotiating table? Do they want to get around a negotiating table?
An analyst told me earlier that only when one gets full control and power will this all end. What is the prognosis of whereto from here?
ELBAGIR: It has actually been very clear right from the beginning that that's where this was headed. That this is incredibly entrenched, that this
is the end result of two men who failed to share power, and that is not just what is the rivalry between the two men but it's the disparate nature
of the two institutions that they lead.
For one, the Army is an institution. It is part of the infrastructure of the rule of Sudan, no matter how it has been misused by General Burhan, or
former dictator, General Omar al-Bashir.
Commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo commands a paramilitary force. It is essentially the army of one man, his army. So the idea that he was
demanding that it be given parallel status as an armed forces of Sudan while he continued to wield the influence over it was a very worrying issue
that Sudan would have to deal with in the future. Imagine how destabilizing that would be.
So this has been existential for some time, and both men and their forces at this point seem to recognize that only one can emerge the other side of
this -- Eleni.
GIOKOS: Well, yes, and in the meantime, people are stuck in the middle, stuck in their homes for over seven days. Nima Elbagir, thank you very much
for that update.
Well, the Kremlin isn't offering any details about how a Russian warplane managed to bomb one of its own cities. The explosion happened Thursday
night in Belgorod. around 40 kilometers from Ukraine. State media called the incident and emergency release of an air ordnance.
The bomb left crater, damaged several buildings and blew up a car on to a roof.
The Governor of the Belgorod region said two people were hurt. Nick Paton Walsh is an Eastern Ukraine for us.
Nick, 40 kilometers from Ukraine. This is clearly munition that was destined to target a Ukrainian city. This is, I'm sure an embarrassment for
the Russians. Do we know how this potentially could have happened? Is this a malfunction? They are calling it an emergency drop of munition.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. We don't know frankly, what the original target was. Yes, it would be likely that
something flying over Belgorod, an SU-35 sort of standoff jet like that, the fast-distance munitions could have been headed towards Ukraine. That's
the most likely explanation, but as to why this exceptionally powerful bomb ended up essentially falling or incorrectly targeted from the SU-34 that
was flying over Belgorod, that is still a mystery.
WALSH: And it's yet another example, frankly, which Ukraine needs no further versions of, of the ineptitude of how a well-fated army like the
Russian military have found themselves constantly exposed as inept and certainly for many Ukrainians here, the inaccuracy, the indiscriminate
nature of Russian bombing is something they deal with daily.
So, it is startling to see the scale of the destruction caused by this one bomb, how it hits otherwise exceptionally peaceful part of Russia,
reminiscent I'm sure to many Ukrainians to how their country looked before February of last year at most crossroads.
The damage done could have been significantly worse. Only two people injured, two women, one with a head trauma and another treated with
lacerations at the scene.
Damage done to an apartment block and those inside it quickly rehoused in a hotel.
So little information for the military as to how they ended up causing this catastrophic disaster, this massive embarrassment, frankly, at this stage,
but for many Ukrainians, a moment of cold comfort.
No one rejoices in the misery of the other, I think even here, but we were certainly in a basement, listening to people receiving the news of this and
they said they heard it on a battered old radio in the dark and said this is the best news they'd heard frankly, for quite some time because they'd
been on the receiving end of Russian bombardment for about a year plus, and it was interesting for them to at least to see that the callous ineptitude
of the Russian military was able to be as impactful on their own citizens, as it has been on this side of the border -- Eleni.
GIOKOS: Nick Paton Walsh, thank you so much for that.
Well, the former British Deputy Prime Minister says he has endured a big saga after he resigned due to bullying allegations.
A report found Dominic Raab was intimidating and persistently aggressive during his time in government. It's a result of an investigation that was
sparked by multiple complaints over his behavior.
Mr. Raab responded in "The Daily Telegraph" newspaper and he said the decision is flawed and sets a dangerous precedent.
Bianca Nobilo has more.
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dominic Raab has resigned as Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary following the outcome of an
investigation into bullying allegations which found that he behaved in an intimidating fashion with unreasonably and persistently aggressive conduct
while at work.
Deputy Prime Minister is not a formal constitutional role, but Raab is a big beast in British politics and in the governing Conservative Party,
having held the roles of Foreign Secretary and Brexit Secretary.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak launched this probe several months ago to address complaints about Raab's bullying behavior. Raab had committed to
resign at the inquiry made any finding of bullying whatsoever.
So Raab resigned Friday, but said the report was flawed and in setting the threshold for bullying so low, this inquiry is a dangerous precedent.
He said that Ministers must be able to give direct critical feedback on briefings and submissions to senior officials in order to set the standards
and drive the reform the public expect of us.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak accepted the resignation and responded in a letter writing. As you say, you had rightly undertaken to resign if the
report made any finding of bullying whatsoever. You have kept your word, but it is clear that there have been shortcomings in the historic process
that have negatively affected everyone involved.
We should learn from this how to better handle such matters in the future.
Raab's resignation is the third from Sunak's Cabinet since he became Prime Minister in October 2022. The others, Gavin Williamson and Nadhim Zahawi,
had to resign because of allegations of bullying and a lack of transparency over tax affairs, respectively.
This is a difficult look for a Prime Minister behind in the polls who committed to a government of integrity in his very first speech as leader
of the country on the steps of Downing Street.
Bianca Nobilo, CNN, London.
GIOKOS: We've had a full week of US earnings to digest despite some signs of strength in the banks. And consumer companies' investors are not happy,
we're on track to end the week lower and we'll tell you why, that's coming up, next.
GIOKOS: Hello. I'm Eleni Giokos. There is more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment when we'll hear from Chinese depositors trying to get their money
back after banking scandal led them penniless last year.
And the details of the $15 million gold heist in Canada. Read like the plots of a Hollywood movie. We'll give you the latest details.
Before that, this is CNN and on this network the news always comes first.
The President of Argentina says he will not seek reelection this year. Alberto Fernandez said the -- he made the announcement on -- today on
Twitter. Argentina's inflation rate is running at more than 100 percent year over year. One of the highest in the world. Nearly 40 percent of the
country is now living in poverty.
Police in South Africa say 10 members from the same family were killed Friday when unknown gunmen ambushed a homestead It happened near
Pietermaritzburg in the country southeast. The motive behind the attack remains unclear.
CNN has learned that U.S. President Joe Biden plans to announce his reelection campaign as soon as Tuesday. It is expected to kick off an
aggressive fundraising effort with Mr. Biden asking for help to keep Democrats in control of the White House. Mr. Biden has said he intends to
run Tuesday marks the anniversary of his 2019 campaign launch.
A knee injury will keep English soccer captain Leah Williamson out of this year's Women's World Cup. Arsenal says Williamson ruptured her ACL while
playing against Manchester United. On Wednesday, the star defender said she's struggling to express her feelings about the setback.
Welcome back. The U.S. markets are flat. There we go, right camera on track for weekly loss as investors digest a flu -- a slew of first quarter
earnings reports. I was just looking back to see the numbers here. As you can see, we're flat. I -- this is just dismal performance. Today Procter
and Gamble was the latest company to release results. Beating expectations. That's been a bit of a trend this week. Three quarters of the S&P 500
companies have beaten earnings estimates so far.
Admittedly those expectations are lower. Overall profits are tipped to fall 4.7 year -- a percent year over year. And that's darkening the mood on Wall
Both the broader S&P and the NASDAQ are flat. Big tech earnings come in next week. And we've got a lot of numbers to digest. We've got Kristina
Hooper. The chief Global Market Strategist at Invesco. She joins me now from Cincinnati, Ohio. Great to have you on, Kristina. Look, this has been
an interesting week. We've had quite a lot of earnings to digest. Some have disappointed the markets.
I want you to take me through what people are thinking right now with the latest economic data and importantly, earnings and we know they're backward
looking. But, you know, it's the economic data that is giving us a sense of where we're headed.
KRISTINA HOOPER, CHIEF GLOBAL MARKET STRATEGIST, INVESCO: Well, Eleni, I think there's just a lot of confusion right now, in terms of where the
economy is headed. And what the Fed is going to do. We actually got some positive economic data this week. The preliminary, S&P global PMIs show an
economy that is on an upswing on both in terms of the services sector that's rather robust, as well as manufacturing.
That's moved from contraction last month into expansion this month. So, there is a lot of head scratching going on in terms of investors wondering
what the Fed is going to do. And is it bad news? Is this a good news-bad news scenario because we've gotten good economic data and that is just
going to fuel the Feds desire to hike rates even more. Having said that, though, we are seeing inflation move in the right direction, even the kind
of inflation that Jay Powell is most worried about. That services X shelter component of inflation.
GIOKOS: Yes. It's really fascinating because at this point, when you have good economic data, does that -- is that a signal that we're still, you
know, in hot territory? And does that mean, the Fed needs to keep on hiking rates further? The PMI number, I mean, manufacturing is quite important
barometer in understanding how the industry is doing. But how do you think that's going to feed into the wider strategy of the Fed because the concern
here is, the Fed might be going too aggressive on hiking rates?
HOOPER: Well, I think the Fed is going to aggressively in its approach to hiking rates. But certainly, getting that kind of economic data, which is
arguably, more of leading data suggests that the Fed might feel it can hike rates more because the economy is so resilient. Now, on the other side of
the equation is credit conditions. They're tightening, and that is doing some of the Fed's work for it.
So hopefully, the Fed looks to that and says, hey, we don't need to hike rates anymore. Because credit conditions are tightening, it's really doing
a lot of the work for us that we would need to do with hiking rates. So, it, you know, it's -- and that's why I think there's so much confusion and
to it, the fact that earnings certainly are on the decline, right, but we are seeing a lot of positive beats.
And we're actually getting some positive guidance going forward that's rather encouraging. So that suggests, again, an economy that's resilient. I
also think that the earnings decline really is priced in to stocks largely. And what we tend to see at this point, when yields come down, is that that
creates an environment of multiple expansion. And that's a countervailing force to earnings coming down.
GIOKOS: You tweeted this a few days ago, you said, I believe central bankers see themselves as modern day superheroes using their powerful
policy tools to avert economic crises. But you're worried about them being far too aggressive in the way that they're hiking rates. You know,
policymakers, it's difficult for them to actually make a decision. We saw what happened when they missed the opportunity to start tightening.
And now we've really got to go aggressive into this. What would you say the best method is for the Fed going forward to ensure that they don't, you
know, over -- that take too much money out of the system at this stage?
HOOPER: Well, let me put it this way. The Fed has stressed that it's data dependent, but it's looking at data that's in the rearview mirror. We know
what happens if we're to get into a car and drive by looking in the rearview mirror. It can be disastrous. And so, I think the Fed needs to
recognize that yes, it should look at a mosaic of data, but it should also be very cautious at this point.
I'm having done such an ingressive amount of tightening in a very short period of time. At the same time, other central banks have done it. They
need to really sit back and wait and watch and be patient which is the advice that Austan Goolsbee, the New Chicago Fed had -- has articulated and
argued for in recent days.
So hopefully cooler minds will be -- will prevail and they will be patient. And watch because there tends to be a significant lag between when there
are rate moves, and when it impacts the economy so we could have a big impact coming.
GIOKOS: Right. Kristina Hooper, great to have you on. Thank you so much.
Well, it has been a year since China's banking scandal cost some people there saving. Some of them still haven't gotten a cent back. And we'll have
a report from Beijing. That's coming up next.
GIOKOS: All right. In China, depositors are still fighting to get their money back after a banking scandal led them virtually penniless last year.
But Chinese authorities aren't budging. Instead, Communist Party supporters are turning attention towards banking woes in the U.S.
Selina Wang has this report from Beijing.
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In China's central Hunan province this month, demonstrators chant, give me my money back. One poster
reads, America's Silicon Valley Bank customers got their money back in three days, but China's Hunan village banks customers haven't been given a
cent in a year.
These protesters are victims of a banking scandal that started last April when several small banks in Hunan froze depositor funds, impacting an
estimated 400,000 customers according to a state-run magazine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Some depositors, myself included can no longer survive. Because all of our money is stored there. Some
people may commit suicide, some depositors may hurt others. Everyone has a tipping point.
WANG: This banking victim in Beijing is a lawyer who is gathering depositors to sue the local authorities. He says, all they want is their
money back. But instead, they're being tracked, harassed, or even worse. While the banks are now open for business, an estimated several thousand
still cannot access their money. The banks and authorities have ignored the victim's relentless efforts to get answers over the past year.
We're not revealing the identities of all the victims who spoke to us in order to protect their safety.
This couple in Shanghai says earlier this year the government hired people to stay outside of their apartment for weeks.
On March 4th right before China's biggest annual political meeting in Beijing, they say their car was suddenly stopped on the streets of
Shanghai. They were driving to meet a relative and shot this encounter on a phone.
Get in our car, the man in the brown jacket demands. No, she replies. So many people have surrounded us. What are you trying to do? She asks. A
couple says the men then threw black cloth bags over their heads and drove them to an island outside of Shanghai.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We were locked up for 11 days. They illegally detained us and confiscated our bank cards, phones and wallets. I
tried my best to cooperate with them. Still, they beat me.
WANG: He says the authorities were paranoid they might travel to Beijing to demonstrate during the political meeting.
The banks, regulators and local authorities have not responded to CNN's multiple attempts to contact them about these serious allegations.
Last summer, police violently crushed peaceful demonstrators demanding their money back. Then, weeks later, authorities blamed the scandal on
financial fraud, arrested hundreds of alleged suspects and promised to start paying depositors back.
Chinese media has reported that the government has the crisis under control. But has ignored the stories of these bank victims.
Meanwhile, pro-Communist Party social media influencers have been zeroing in on the bank failures in the U.S.
This one says, explosive news, the U.S. is facing a catastrophe. Another says, it might be the end of the U.S. if they fail to handle this well.
And state tabloid Global Times published this dramatic infographic, but the U.S. government quickly stepped in to pay back the depositors in full.
WANG (on camera): Have you received any sympathy, any response from the authorities?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): No, I have not. The government's attitude is that as long as they've suppressed the people with problems,
there is no need to pay back the money. It is completely different from how Silicon Valley Bank was handled.
WANG (voice over): This depositor from Zhejiang province went to the protests last summer and says he was beaten by the police.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): If I can't get the money soon, then my children and I can only live on the streets.
WANG (on camera): Do you have hope that you're going to get your money back?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): People like us have been robbed of money. Yet we are treated like criminals. If my money cannot be withdrawn,
only one option is left for me, which is death.
WANG (voice over): Back in Beijing, the lawyer says his relentless legal efforts may be their only hope.
WANG (on camera): If you do get the money back. What is your plan?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Leave the country with kids and parents because I want my children to grow up in a democratic, free and
rule of law country.
Selina Wang, CNN, Beijing.
GIOKOS: Police in Canada are investigating a brazen heist at Toronto's International Airport. A container filled with more than $15 million worth
of gold and other valuables was stolen Monday. Police say it was unloaded from an aircraft and taken to a holding facility and then later
CNN's Tom Foreman is in Washington for us. What a bizarre story. Truly, it sounds like, you know, makings of a movie. But here's a container that was
offloaded. It then eventually disappears. And the question is, how? Who was involved? Just too many questions around this, Tom.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I think you've described the entire case as we know so far. The plane came in on Monday night, authorities say
this container was removed from it, they're calling it five square feet. I don't know if they mean five square feet, or they mean five linear feet, or
five cubic feet, difference in size. But nonetheless, one container, it contained about $15 million -- U.S. dollars-worth of gold and other
We don't know what the other valuable are. About 20 million in Canadian dollars. They say it was transported to a cargo holding area and they're
making a point to tell some outlets that this cargo holding area was under contract or leased by another company. So, they're trying to say wasn't
necessarily under full airport security. But then this thing just vanished. They're not saying whether or not there was any video involved. They're not
saying if it was an inside job.
And when people say, was this the work of professionals? I'm going to kind of waffling on that too. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
INSPECTOR STEPHEN DUIVESTEYN, PEEL REGIONAL POLICE: Investigators have got their eyes open to all avenues. So, we really don't want to make an error
and sort of focus on one particular area. We're kind of keeping a broad outlook on it. So, we're looking at all angles on how this item was stolen.
So -- but I mean, for me to come on the record and say it's professionally designed would be really, really early for me. And I, you know, I'd be
hesitant to say such thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: It certainly sounds like it was well put together though and that we don't really know anything else beyond that. This is a very big airport,
I must say. No kidding. Their own Web site describe it very Canadian terms as being 12,500 Hockey arenas in area. That's a lot out. There was -- I
like to point out that's about 100,000 curling rinks if that helps you understand better the amount of space involved.
GIOKOS: Well, yes. I mean, it is the busiest airport, right in Canada. And one wonders, you know, where is the surveillance footage? You wonder, you
FOREMAN: They have to it.
GIOKOS: It's -- I -- absolutely. Maybe they keeping this information, you know, of --
FOREMAN: Maybe. But they handle 388,000 -- almost 389,000 metric tons of cargo up there. So, they handle a lot of cargo. They have three different
cargo facilities there. It is hard to believe that they don't have some sense of tracking on where this was. Some cameras, some something.
Although, I do want to point out in 1953, the same airport also had a gold heist happen at it.
Now, I'm not saying it's the same people from 70 years ago, if they -- if it is, we may be in for a very low speed chase. But it's happened here
before. They never solved it.
GIOKOS: But I'm just wondering. What do you put in cargo? You put in clothes, you, you know, you know, would you put gold and other valuables in
a cargo hold? Anyway, I've got too many questions. We'll talk offline. Tom Foreman, good to see you.
FOREMAN: Maybe they'll figure it out in the mean time.
GIOKOS: All right. Good to see you. Well, a 500-year-old love goddess is Italy's newest Tourism Ambassador. We'll show you the country's latest ad
campaign which stars an A.I.-powered version of Botticelli's Venus. That is coming up next.
GIOKOS: Italy's newest Tourism Ambassador is a cultural icon and she's more than 500 years old. Botticelli's Venus has been brought to life by A.I. for
a new marketing campaign from Italy's tourism ministry. It shows her in some of Italy's hottest destinations. Riding a bike, taking selfies of
course and eating pizza. Venus is reimagined as a virtual influencer with hopes that she'll catch the eye of prospective tourists.
Italy is also making strides in the physical world of tourism rarely seen artifacts are now on display at Rome's Colosseum and where the museum rule
of no touching doesn't apply.
CNN's Barbie Nadeau reports.
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Under the shadow of the Roman Colosseum, millions of people immerse themselves in ancient Roman history each year.
Here in Rome, museum curators are spoiled for choice. What do you do with 500 roman-era coins?
With limited space in the site's new museum, the Colosseum is trying a new hands-on approach. Warehouses and storage facilities brimming with
artifacts are currently open to visitors. These former shops and market stalls have been converted into temporary museum space to hold the leftover
artifacts that didn't quite fit into a new museum that opened in 2021.
Until the end of July, eight visitors at a time can reserve a special tour guided by an archaeologist, who will let them hold these important
historical finds. Many of which have not been on display in 30 years.
In this way, the people have direct contact with the ancient culture and materials, archaeologist Roberto L. Terry (ph) says.
After that, their fate is unknown. The popular pieces will upgrade to the museum and the rest will go back to collecting dust in the warehouse.
Alfonsina Russo, the director of the Colosseum Archaeological Park, says she hopes the project gives people a better understanding of daily life in
These artifacts tell the story of daily life, how they carried out activities and above all, to bring these objects that would otherwise have
remained hidden in our warehouses.
She also hopes other historical sites open up their warehouses to let people see all history has to offer and to bring the past into focus.
Barbie Latza Nadeau, CNN, Rome.
GIOKOS: There are just moments left to trade on Wall Street. We're currently in the red. We'll have final numbers and the closing bell right
GIOKOS: There are just moments left to trade on Wall Street. The Dow is flat after a choppy session as you can see, you know, playing with between
red and green. We're up naught point-one percent. It's big tech reports next week which are going to give investors a better snapshot of the
I want to take a quick look at the Dow Components. Proctor and Gamble has popped three percent on strong results. And an improve (INAUDIBLE) Disney
is up 1.6 percent. It's going to lay off more work because that is the sound of the closing bell. That's it for QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I'm Eleni
Giokos. "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper is up next.