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Quest Means Business

Crisis in Niger; High Interest Rate Ramp Up Global Competition; Masdar Completes $750 Million Green Bond Issuance On LSE; Zoom Tells Some Employees To Return To Office; Taylor Swift's Eras Tour Brings Economic Boost; U.S. Market Set To Snap Losing Streak. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired August 07, 2023 - 15:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: We start a new week together, and there is an hour left to trade on the Monday session on Wall Street, and it

is a strong start.

We've been open and up in the green from the opening of the gate and I'm guessing that is where it's going -- I don't think it's going to put on too

much more weight between now and four o'clock, but we will wait and see.

The markets and the events that we're talking about: The United States has been in direct contact with Niger's military leaders and urged them to step


Saudi Aramco plans to give an extra $10 billion to shareholders, which of course, includes the Saudi government.

And Zoom, the latest company to tell its employees, or at least some of them, it's time to come home to the office.

We are live in New York. Together we have a week ahead of us. Monday, the 7th of August. I'm Richard Quest, and I mean business.

Good evening.

The United States says it has told Niger's coup leaders to step aside as they dig in for a fight with their neighbors. ECOWAS, which is the bloc of

Western African nations that you will be familiar with says it will meet on Thursday to discuss its next move. Yesterday was the group's deadline for

the military junta to stand down or face possible military intervention. You see them out there.

The military has been bringing troops into the capital, and thousands of people have rallied there on Sunday in support of the new government. A

spokesperson called on the young people to defend the country.


AMADOU ABDRAMANE, NIGER MILITARY SPOKESMAN (through translator): Niger's Armed Forces and all our defense and security forces backed by the

unfailing support of our people who are ready to defend the integrity of our territory and the honor of our homeland.

To this end, the National Council for Safeguarding the Homeland launches a vibrant appeal to the youth, to the worthy daughters and sons of our

country to stand ready to defend the homeland.


QUEST: Fear is growing in the capital, Niamey. Many people have rushed to the markets. They're buying food and basic necessities. One fruit seller

said he may have to stop doing business, it has been so busy.

It also has seen these goods come from neighboring Benin, and that's closed its borders with Niger. Local bus companies that trips out of the capital

are now fully booked and disappearing foreign aid threatens to make matters a great deal worse.

A US State Department spokesman said, the US government will resume assistance if and only if the situation improves.


MATTHEW MILLER, US STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: The Secretary announced on Friday also that we are pausing assistance to the government for the time

being that assistance will affect development aid to the government, security aid to the government.

It's a pause and it's a pause that we would hope would be reversed if the junta leaders would step aside and restore constitutional order.

Tomorrow, that pause would be -- the deposit would go away and security assistance would be reinstated, but as we've made clear, hundreds of

millions of dollars are at stake.


QUEST: Right. With me is Larry in Nairobi and Kylie at the State Department, and we are going to take this at a feral clip to cover some

speed and space.

Larry, is there any -- is there any likelihood, realistic or otherwise that the leaders will step aside?

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Nope, almost certainly not. They have shown no signs they will step aside. They have shown no signs that they're

even listening to the mediators that ECOWAS has sent their way.

This is why this Thursday's Emergency Summit by the Economic Community of West African States will have to make a tough decision if they go ahead

with their threat to intervene militarily, to restate the government or President Mohamed Bazoum or they are going to allow for some other kinds of

diplomatic or political solutions in this, but they have to make a decision here, otherwise it was all saber rattling.

This threat boxed themselves into a corner. If they do nothing, then you tell other coup leaders in the region that it's okay to overthrow a

democratically elected government. If you do actually go ahead and send it the army, you risk getting into protracted battle in an unsafe neighborhood

and the 4.4 million people in Niger that already need humanitarian assistance are the ones who will suffer the most.


The military junta in the meantime has been garnering support from the public. They filled the stadium on Sunday to show ECOWAS that they have the

backing of the public, and I want to play for you some of the soundbites from people who went to these protests called by the military who are



UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): If ECOWAS forces decide to attack our country, before reaching the presidential palace, they will have to

walk over our bodies, spill our blood, and we'll do it with pride.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It's France that's behind this ECOWAS force that wants to attack us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I think that everywhere in the world, they see that the people were mobilized. They are going to have to

crush us all to reach the presidential palace.


MADOWO: I spoke to one analyst who said that the longer this has drawn out, more people seem to be supporting the military against ECOWAS, against

France. The country is more isolated here, the Arab states is closed.

They've got a travel ban. The rest of the West African countries have imposed sanctions. But at the heart of it, this military junta shows no

signs, Richard, of going away.

QUEST: All right, Kylie, so when is the US going to call it a coup? Kylie Atwood, when is the US going to basically say -- I mean, look, the US can't

win here. It really can't, I mean, whatever happens -- there is no good outcome at the moment for the US, unless the junta sort of drifts off into

the distance, which is not going to do and the US hasn't called it a coup.

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they haven't called it a coup really, you know, over the course of the last few weeks here for

a number of reasons. The first of which, of course, being that, once they do that, by law, they're required to stop any assistance that the United

States is giving to the country.

So what we saw on Friday was the Secretary of State announce that there is a pause in terms of US foreign assistance to Niger. It is not all of the

assistance that the US gives to the country, it doesn't include humanitarian aid or food support, but there is a pause in terms of some of

those programs that the United States typically gives to Niger, and they continue to watch this space.

You know, when we asked the State Department spokesperson, just this afternoon, if there's a point person for the US from the State Department

who is kind of running the lead on the talks with officials in Niger, the military junta, they declined to comment on any specific person doing that

are any specific meetings or trips that are occurring, saying they would give us more information, you know, when they could.

But it is clear that there is contact between the US and Niger that's ongoing. The spokesperson also said, in the last seven to 10 days, there

has been direct contact between the US officials and the military junta in Niger.

Of course, as you included in the introduction, pushing them to back down, so they are trying to take advantage of this moment in time, where they

hope that there could be a return to a democratically elected control of the country.

QUEST: Right, but that's --

ATWOOD: It just doesn't seem to be headed in that direction.

QUEST: No, it doesn't. Kylie, thank you. We'll leave you at the State Department.

I want to finish with Larry.

Look, Larry, at the end of the day as I said to Kylie, there is no good options here. But one thing I want to finish one thought. This popular

support or filling a stadia that they've managed to do. Is it genuine? Is there real backing for this junta?

And, you know, as well as I do in some of these countries, you can always get somebody if you whip them up and support and promise them this, that or

the other to turn up, but if you strip it away, how much real support is there for this coup?

MADOWO: Richard, you're referring to #RentACrowd, and that's the bread and butter of politics in almost every country.

QUEST: Thank you.

MADOWO: You can -- so that is yes, this crowd was mobilized by the military and by an activist group called the M-62 Movement that opposes the French

influence in the country and supports the coup.

So yes, there is support for the country, especially as the military has painted this as a fight against the French in the country, like the popular

topic is great anti-French sentiment, not just in Niger, but across the region; in Burkina Faso, in Mali, Chad, in Senegal all around.

But there are also people who support President Mohamed Bazoum, who support democracy, who don't want to see a fifth coup in Niger since its

independence, and their voices have been completely erased from the public discourse in Niger because with just one state outlet in the media, they

are controlling the narrative and the military is controlling this very closely so it feels like everybody supports them, which is just not true.


QUEST: All right, Larry, thank you. We'll talk more as this develops as it surely will over the next few hours. Thank you, sir.

The markets, which I alluded to -- well, more than alluded to, I told you at the beginning of the show, brilliant start, thanks to the latest

quarterly earnings.

Berkshire Hathaway says it made $10 billion profit and KKR beat on earnings and the Dow is seeing the best of the three indices. It's up over one

percent. We'll show you towards the close exactly the Dow 30 and you'll see on the Dow 30 why that would be, because obviously, clearly some

heavyweights in the Dow -- there you go.

And that's your reason. Boeing, which of course has the largest component or traditionally the largest component and that's up 2.6 percent. Apple

still suffering. It's suffered badly on Friday. It is still sort of down. Some will see it as a buying opportunity.

A different story in Europe. It closed today flat. Exchanges are in an increasingly fierce competition for new business, a topic familiar to my

new guest, the chief executive of Six Group, which runs the stock markets in Switzerland and Spain.

Some of the initiatives include courting Chinese business green bonds, a market aimed entirely at startup. Jos Djsselhof is with me now, he joins me

from Zurich.

Sir, very good to see you. I'm grateful.

What's interesting is the market, particularly the Swiss market, having been restricted to certain extent with access to Europe, the EU, having to

find these new areas and really plumping down with China.

How successful has it been?

JOS DJSSELHOF, CEO, SIX GROUP: Well, first of all, we are right in the middle of Europe and we need to do have some discussions with Euro about

Europe about being equivalent.

We are from a market rules and regulations completely equivalent with Europe, but there is a political element there. But in itself, the Swiss

market is a very powerful market. Of course, the Swiss finance industry is strong. The country has a very strong currency.

If you look at inflation, interest rates, it is probably one of one of the countries that's doing better in this difficult environment than many


And the China business that you are referring to is just a very small part of our business. We've been working with the Chinese stock exchanges in

Xinjiang and in Shanghai for seven, eight years already to create an opportunity for Chinese companies to list GDRs here in Switzerland, and

also the other way around and that has just come to fruition last year.

QUEST: But I was particularly interested in the GDR, because I mean, it doesn't matter about the technicalities as far as viewers are concerned as

such, but if you think about the way the US for overseas did ADRs, which of course has become -- it then became so ADSs and became so incredibly

successful, and a backbone, in many ways of issuance into the US, could GDRs be that in the future, and you're basically ahead of the game?

DJSSELHOF: Well, we think it can be substantial, of course, the Chinese market is really big. Many of the companies that are actually investing in

Switzerland, GDRs are not even that familiar or known in the rest of the world, but they are of size.

We've had more than $3 billion raised last year, $1.2 billion so far this year. So I think we have a head start. We have the right conditions and we

have -- we are operating in a country, Switzerland that has good collaborative engagements with China. So I think we are in well position


QUEST: And as an exchange, I mean, I think that's when I started in this business and you know, the exchanges were all very sleepy, and then all

along came the online trading, and then the platforms and this, that and the other. Where do you see positioning for the future?

I mean, with Spain and with Switzerland, do you need to grow acquisition- wise as well as organically, do you think?

DJSSELHOF: Well, first of all, I think diversification is really important. So we have, as you mentioned, the stock exchanges in Spain and Switzerland,

but we also have a post trade business, so clearing settlement custody, which is of similar size as the exchange business. Our third business unit

is a data business, which is becoming more and more important. It is also the fastest growing business and then we also have a local Swiss payments


So we have a very diversified portfolio, which is very different than in the past exchange or exchanges, so diversification is important, and of

course size is important. So we are growing our business continuously, we grew first half of the year by four percent. If you have 4.4 percent, if

you equal out foreign exchange, but we need to continue to grow.

If you want to be at the top of the industry, you need to also be of size to be able to make investments required, so, it is a fierce competition

including size.


QUEST: I was interested in what you were saying at the beginning about exchange equivalence and the EU regulations, which of course, was at the

heart of so much of the Brexit discussions with the UK. Now Switzerland is slightly different. It has its 16 treaties, or whatever it is, which makes

it a far closer one.

But the protectionism of the union really knows no bounds when it comes to financial services.

DJSSELHOF: Yes. I think you cannot compare the Swiss and the UK situation. The UK situation was a divorce; between Switzerland and the EU, there has

always been like a partnership agreement, which is still in place very much.

So I think it's starting from a very different position, but I think in essence, the EU is trying to protect their business, doing what they think

makes sense. But I think it's important within Europe that the UK, EU, Switzerland that we also collaborate because in the end, we're not

competing with each other, but we're competing also very much with the rest of the world.

So I would be more in favor of more collaboration and less polarization within Europe, but the EU has, I think, on the back of Brexit taken a bit

more aggressive stance in their regulations, and we've been on the receiving end of that for sure.

QUEST: A true diplomat, sir. I'm grateful for your time this evening. Thank you.


Lower energy prices have led to a fall in profits by 40 percent at Saudi Aramco. It is the world's largest energy company, still planning to pay

shareholders an extra $10 billion. And this, of course, plays strictly and heartily into Saudi's goals.

We'll talk about it after the break. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.


QUEST: Saudi Aramco reported a 38 percent drop in Q2, and that was because of lower oil prices. Even so, the oil company giant, behemoth, announced it

will start paying investors a more generous dividend. The Saudi Kingdom stands to benefit most.

We needed to understand and so we turned to get the gist of it all to Becky Anderson.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The Saudi state remains overwhelmingly Aramco's biggest shareholder owning over 90 percent of the

company. The Kingdom is spending billions of dollars on sport, on entertainment, cultural assets, global brands, and domestic industries all

in a bid to diversify its economy and move it away from its reliance -- its sole reliance on oil.


But in order to do that, it still needs its oil money to fuel that costly change. Now last week, the government announced that its budget deficit had

widened in the second quarter after what has been an increase in spending.

So Aramco's announcement today signals how deep the Kingdom's reliance is on the company's profitability to help balance its state budgets, and it

could also signal Aramco is designed to attract further foreign direct investment into the company and into its stock.


QUEST: Becky Anderson with the gist on the Aramco numbers.

The UAE's top renewable energy company has raised $750 million to its first ever green bond. It's called -- I mean, the company of course is Masdar,

which we are very well familiar with, and it says the offering on the LSE is part of a plan to raise $3 billion.

The money will go towards the development of new solar, wind, and other renewable energy projects, and this says Masdar was the first bond and it

was first time oversubscribed.

The chairman, which is Sultan Al Jaber, who of course is also head of COP 28 coming up later this year, has described it as a defining moment for

climate finance.

Niall Hannigan is Masdar CFO. He is with me now from London.

It is interesting. Look, Masdar, I'm well familiar with. You've been dealing with renewables, it's your raison d'etre. You've been at the

forefront in many ways, so this significance of this bond, which will be diversified in terms of its distribution into other countries and

developing nations is what?

NIALL HANNIGAN, CFO, MASDAR: Well, I thank you, Richard, and good morning.

I think for us, the key output from this green bond issuances today, we've now diversified even further the pool of funding that we are tapping into.

This was the first time that Masdar, which has previously financed all of our projects through either non-recourse project financing from commercial

banks, development, financial institutions, and through equity. It is the first time we've gone to the debt capital markets and we've reached out to

the investment community to access capital.

So by diversifying our pool of funds here, we're accessing greater amounts of capital, which will allow us to push forward in terms of our growth

ambitions, and I think you'll probably be aware that, you know, with the new shareholders, we brought into the company, we have an ambition to grow

to over a hundred gigawatts of gross renewable energy capacity by 2030 and 1,000 MTP of green energy -- green hydrogen production by 2030 as well.

QUEST: This is a fascinating aspect, of course, is as we come to COP 28, your chairman is the president of COP 28, sorry, the chairman of the

company is president of COP 28 and it is this juxtaposition of fossil fuels with sustainable energy, the sort of thing Masdar has been doing, and the

climate finance. Now they always say to me, there's plenty of money for climate finance, and some people say, climate finance is hard to finance,

which is it?

HANNIGAN: Look, I think there is plenty of money for climate finance, but there is challenges in getting that money into all of the geographies that

necessarily require it, and I think that's one of the interesting things about our green bond issuance today.

You know, we raised as you mentioned, $750 million. The issuance itself was 5.6 times oversubscribed, with the audible peak at $4.2 billion and 87.5

percent of the issuance has gone to international investors. That money itself is going to go towards new renewable energy projects -- solar, wind

and battery storage -- a number of which, a large number of which will be in developing economies and climate challenged countries.

So what is happening is that, that capital is taking Masdar risk, it's not taking developing country risk. So this is a way we see as being able to

access the wider investment community, these additional pools of capital and use that money in the global south.

QUEST: Okay. Right. But in the case of this bond. I mean, you talk about Masdar risk versus development risk, but what I think is interesting is,

people were investing in Masdar.

You know, you have been around a while, and therefore, your credibility is really what this is about, where people are basically saying, hey, take the

money, we trust you to do something that you say you're going to do, and the right amount of money will end up in the right project.

HANNIGAN: That's correct, and I think -- but also, part of that is the fact that we are committed to transparency. So it's not just about take the

money and we trust you, you know, we have put in place a green finance framework through which -- and that guides where all of The proceeds from

this green bond and hopefully from future green bond issuances. This is part of a $3 billion program as you mentioned and as we grow our business,

we plan to come to be a repeat issuer in the market.


But it will be deployed in accordance with the green finance framework, which has a second party opinion from Moody's, of SQS 1 which is excellent.

It will also on an annual basis, we will report so we will report annually not only where the money is going, but also we will report annually on the

ESG benefits that are deriving from the money as we deploy it.

QUEST: All right.

HANNIGAN: And we will independently audit that. So, I think what we're giving is real transparency, so that investors know that every single

dollar that they invest in the Masdar green bond will go to the darkest of green projects in new -- generating new capacity.

QUEST: Right. Get your diary out, get your diary out, your calendar out. One year from now or whenever you report, make a note, you'll be back here

to go through the numbers with me again, so we can see where the money has gone and what's happened to it. Is that a deal?

HANNIGAN: I'd be delighted to. Delighted to.

QUEST: Good man. Thank you, sir. Glad to have you on the show tonight.

HANNIGAN: Thank you.

QUEST: QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, some news to bring you. Ukraine's Interior Minister says at least five people are dead after a Russian strike in the

east. Missiles hit residential areas in the city of Pokrovsk. At least 31 people have been wounded. Search and rescue continues.

As we get the details, we will bring them to you.

In the UK, the first asylum seekers to be housed on a barge up the British ghost have now boarded the vessel. The decision to keep up to 500 people on

the Bibby Stockholm to the Port of Dorset. It's highly and hugely controversial.

Britain's Fire Brigade Union calls it a deathtrap, the vessel.

ITN's political correspondent, Carl Dinnen reports from Portland.


CARL DINNEN, ITN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Asylum seekers bust through Portland this morning were welcomed by a small group of campaigners

on their way to the Bibby Stockholm.

Although some of the buses only seem to have brought a handful of people on board, the campaigners have prepared welcome packs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've got a map of Portland because obviously they will be new to the area and it will help them find their way around. We've

got notebooks and pens so they can write things down for their English lessons.

DINNEN (voice over): But not everyone here thinks this kind of welcome is appropriate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take these bags to the community fridge or Portland Food Bank.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Help set up the community fridge. We also want --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not there on Wednesdays or Saturdays.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We also want to support the refugees. Why not? Why don't you want to support them?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Not over the people of Portland.

DINNEN (voice over): These are not the first migrants to stay on the Bibby Stockholm. It has previously housed migrants in the Netherlands and indeed

construction workers in Scotland, but the mayor of Portland says the 500 people being put on it here is too many.

CARRALYN PARKES, MAYOR OF PORTLAND, ENGLAND: When it was used as accommodation for workers, it was 220. Now, they're talking about more than

double that. It is beggars belief, human beings belong in communities, that's where human beings should be treated and taken care of, not on a


DINNEN (voice over): But 500 is just a drop in the ocean of 137,000 outstanding asylum decisions. Nearly 60,000 people are awaiting them in

temporary accommodation like hotels, and the pressure is all upwards with 15,000 migrants already having crossed the channel in small boats this


And this evening, the Home Office said 20 people had refused to come here today, that's more than have actually boarded the barge.

CHERYL AVERY, MP, HOME OFFICE DIRECTOR FOR ASYLUM ACCOMMODATION: So we successfully on boarded the first cohort today, and there are 15 people on

board. We have had a few challenges, but this is part of an ongoing structured process to bring a cohort of up to 500 people on board.

DINNEN (voice over): The first residents of the Bibby Stockholm can expect to stay here for three to nine months. What happens to those not granted

asylum after that depends on whether the government can get its Rwanda plan through the courts.


QUEST: As we continue tonight, banking and tech companies are telling employees to come back to the office. Now we knew that, but even Zoom is

saying the air of complete remote work is over.



QUEST: I'm sure there is a bit of schadenfreude and perhaps an odd snigger or two, that Zoom, the bastion of video conference calls that we all

learned how to do. Zoom is now telling some of its employees come back to the office. Zoom, synonymous with remote working has decided on a

structured hybrid approach which says employees who live near a zoom office must come in two days a week.

It will continue to use Zoom to keep remote teams connected, but have a snigger there. But I think it's deeper than this. It's the latest sign in

the shift away from remote workers we try to find the correct balance. Before the pandemic, it was all in the office. Working from home was rare,

everyone went to a place of employment. Then during the crisis of COVID it becomes --everyone, WFH, working from home to stop the spread of the virus.

Now the last two or three years, I suggest that you stop the spread of the virus. The last two or three years has been finding the post pandemic, if

you will, equilibrium. The way in which it's the middle ground that you need to find and this is what people are looking for now. Report from Eagle

Hill Consulting found that almost half of its U.S. employees will look for a new job if their employer reduces the flexibility.

Melissa Jezior is the CEO of Eagle and Consulting and joins me now. And there's a -- I mean, besides the snigger that Zoom's asked people to come

back. Actually, what Zoom has done is entirely consistent with a managed policy. If you live nearby, two days a week back in the office, but this

pendulum, I'm looking for a pen, so I can do it. This pendulum of backwards and forwards, we don't have any -- do we have any guiding principles yet?

MELISSA JEZIOR, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, EAGLE HILL CONSULTING: Well, I think the reality is you can't put the hybrid work Genie 100 percent back

in the bottle. I think workers like the flexibility and the independence and at the same time they seen the value of working in person at

appropriate times. So, I think the reason news doesn't mean remote work is over, I think it's simply means it's nuanced.


QUEST: So now we're looking for the principles of that nuance, because every company is going to be different, look, you know, I broadcast from

home during the pandemic, but now I've been back in the office for the last two or three years. So, what principles are you seeing for this?

JEZIOR: Yes. I think many organizations are being thoughtful as there's not really a one size fits all approach. I think I'm a great example. Like I'm

-- I work in both the office and I work remotely, so I can juggle running the company and getting my kids to wherever they need to go. But I'm in the

office when there's a purpose, you know, for collaboration on projects, team building, training, mentoring, brainstorming, you get the idea.

I think -- I think two things can be true at the same time. Remote work has its benefits and it has its challenges. So, I think you -- as you mentioned

our polling that we recently did here in the U.S. And in that polling, we found that employees get this. They know that some work is performed better

in person, especially when it requires collaboration. So, for example, 82 percent of workers say team building is better handled in person.

But I think employees have also deep and valid concerns about commuting times and work life balance.

QUEST: So often, it seems to me one of the issues in terms of WFH is, when you want to work for -- I fully accept that you can work from home X number

of days or whatever. The problem is, when the boss wants those and says, I need you in the -- you've requested to work from home on a Thursday or

whatever. And I'm saying, well, actually, I need you in the office that day. And your entitlement over my ability to instruct you in becomes a


JEZIOR: For sure, I think -- I think you're balancing -- I think you're balancing the organization, which is trying to achieve high performance,

while also trying to retain your top talent, right? Because you're saying - - you're talking about the line that employers are drive -- are like -- are drawing. But I think it -- I think it's the important thing is to listen --

two things. I think it's to listen to your employees and be flexible.

So, I think it means seeking their input and taking that into consideration. And I think flexibility may mean permitting remote work for

individual tasks or rethinking traditional work schedules. Having collaborative time in the workplace, I think the key is that most employees

agree that a certain degree of impersonal work is important. They just don't like mandates and rigid rules on how they get their work done.

QUEST: I wonder whether this is a millennial Gen Z type thing, you know, whereas those of us of a certain era are far more -- ah, just get your ass

into the office.

JEZIOR: Oh, I definitely think there are some generational differences without a doubt. I definitely think folks, the workers that are -- older

workers that we're used to this, right? Where you -- we come to work every day for our whole careers. But we also now have a generation that started

work during the pandemic and never has come to an office. So, I think we're -- right? It's a -- it's a -- it's the two extremes.

QUEST: Who's better off, you at home or me in the office? I'm sitting in a studio and you're sitting there with your furry slippers on at home in

sweat, I can't work out. All right. It's lovely to see you. We'll talk more about it. Thank you very much. Grateful for your time. Thank you.

JEZIOR: Thank you so much for having me.

QUEST: Cities around the world are seeking a swift economic booster turning to singer Taylor Swift. The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reaching

out on social media referencing some of Swift's lyrics. We hope to see you soon. And for good reason, in some cities, hotel rates have tripled on the

nights of a concert. By one estimate, a show in Colorado generated $114 million of economic activity.

The tour's impact has been so massive. It was cited in the Fed's last beige paper. Vanessa is with me. This is extraordinary in a sense because for the

first time that we've always known big concerts and festivals, but this is the first time really individuals are being picked out in this way.

VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Taylor Swift is an economic powerhouse. There is no doubt about that. We spoke to one

economist who says that he believes and he estimates that Taylor Swift could add $5 billion to U.S. GDP. That's with ticket sales. That's with

airfares, that's with merchandise, that's with hotels. And as you mentioned, Richard, you know, the Federal Reserve has this Beige Book.

A lot of people don't read it. We do. And we saw that they noted the city of Philadelphia had been sort of slow to recover on tourism. But the one

month that Taylor Swift came to town in May of this year was the strongest month for hotels since before the pandemic.


And that is saying a lot. And you know who's taking notice? World leaders. As you mentioned, Justin Trudeau tweet tweeting, hoping that Taylor Swift

comes to Canada and she is Richard. She just announced that she would be making a stop in Toronto. I also just want to mention, the President of

Chile, and the mayor of Budapest, Hungary, also saying they reached out to Taylor Swift but they haven't heard back quite yet, Richard.

QUEST: Right. And I'm guessing that what happens next, you and I, as business journalists can sort of game this out, they start offering

benefits, they start offering incentives for -- in the same way that you would do for a film industry or to get a film in. 11You start offering tax

breaks, VAT rebates, all those sorts of extra inducements to get the concert.

YURKEVICH: Why not? I mean, this could set a new standard. And I would throw Beyonce into the mix here because she's generating huge economic

power everywhere she goes. Why not? You know, cities, mayors, especially after the pandemic, as tourism hasn't come back in a big way as you just

had your guest on a lot of people still working from home. So not a lot of foot traffic in these downtown areas.

Sure, that might be a great way to draw a lot of these big headliners into town by giving them some incentives to come to their city or their country,


QUEST: Excellent. Thank you.

YURKEVICH: Thank you.

QUEST: Thank you for reading the Beige Book. I can't remember the last time I plowed my way through the Beige Book to tomb of an industry. Anyway,

thank you, Vanessa. The Beige Book for those of you who are not familiar. The Beige Book is -- it's the anecdotal evidence of what's happening in the

economy. That's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Top of the hour together, we have a dash for the closing bell.

I think it's going to be green across the board. Next, Connecting Africa.



QUEST: Barely just a minute to go before the closing bell rings and you look at the numbers you'll see exactly where we are. You've got the Wall

Street is having a very good day, high up one point -- more than one percent, 417 points. The Triple Stack is also showing good gains. One of

the best of the day is on the Dow and it's largely because of Boeing, which has had a very strong session throughout the course of the day.

You see Boeing is up the best part of three percent and that's dragging the whole of the market much higher. But there's a lot of green on that map,

which does tell us a lot about how the market is looking at earnings. We had some good earnings numbers one way or the other.


And that's the way things are looking at the moment. I'm Richard Quest in New York. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, that's the dash for the

bell. The closing bell is ringing. "THE LEAD" follows next. I think one of the best there.