Return to Transcripts main page

Quest Means Business

Russia Boards Cargo Ship in Black Sea; Hawaii Wildfires; Posen: China Struggling with Economic Long COVID; Potential Four Indictment Looms In Georgia; Women Gain Spending Power, Lack CEO Positions; Posen: U.S. Can Capitalize On China's Slow Growth. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired August 14, 2023 - 15:00   ET



BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN HOST: It is a quiet day on Wall Street, I guess a bit of August perhaps setting in.

The Dow is pretty much flat right now. Those are the markets and these are the main events.

The Black Sea becomes the latest flashpoint in Russia's war on Ukraine. Russia fired warning shots and boarded a cargo ship that it claims was

headed to a Ukrainian port.

Political shock in Argentina. Libertarian economist, Javier Milei wins the primary.

And "Barbie" is on its way to becoming the highest grossing film in the US this year.

Live from New York, it is Monday August 14th. I'm Bianna Golodryga in for Richard Quest, and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

Tonight, a cargo ship boarded by Russian servicemen on the Black Sea appears to be nearing a Romanian port. Russia says it fired warning shots

at the vessel on Sunday. CNN obtained this video of a helicopter taking off from a Russian warship and approaching the bulk carrier.

The crew members sat on the deck as the helicopter hovered nearby. Russia's Defense Ministry claims the ship was heading to a Ukrainian port and failed

to respond to a request for inspection.

Ukraine has condemned Russia's actions. The incident highlights the dangers on the Black Sea now that Russia has withdrawn from a UN brokered Grain


Nic Robertson is covering this from London.

Nic, tell us more about what you're learning.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, the ship -- the Russian warship fired warning shots first at the bulk carrier, dry carrier

altered its course as the helicopter then came and fired warning shots. The Russians landing a number of military personnel, armed soldiers it appears

and what appeared to be another person with them who came and questioned.

The captain and the crew, according to the captain were all ordered to show their documents and the Russians inspected them. The captain said that the

Russians didn't then proceed and search anything else, which is a little odd, but he was questioned and the captain was questioned about why he

didn't stop the vessel when the warning shots were fired at. His point was, I'm in international waters, and I was maneuvering to try to get a call to

the management of the vessel it appears, or the Coast Guard.

The Russians left after about an hour, but it does leave that impression that Russia is upping the stakes for Ukraine if it doesn't stop allowing

ships to come and pick up its grain because this ship although it is headed into Romanian waters in the Danube, it is expected to head to a Ukrainian

port that stores grain in the coming days, and it is a route and a routine that this ship has been plying for the last year.

So Ukraine seems to want to keep this grain export going. Russia seems to be trying to put a crimp in it, and I think when you add into the fact that

Russia last night pre-overnight salvos of drones and cruise missiles fired on the main port city of Odesa, you kind of get the picture that Russia is

upping the ante over what is happening in the Black Sea and the potential movement of vessels there.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, and it also suggests that Russia is in no rush to resume serious negotiations about restarting that Grain Deal that it had

negotiated and had been brokered by the UN.

How our neighboring UN countries, in particular Romania, this time where the ship was headed responding to this?

ROBERTSON: Yes, they are concerned about it because the ports along the -- essentially along the River Danube, which is a route for other grain

shipments, smaller grain shipments to make it out of Ukraine if they can't use the Black Sea, some of those grain silos have been targeted before, and

they are literally a few hundred meters away from Romania.

So this ship was on its way heading into Romanian waters before it will enter Ukrainian waters on the other side of the river a few hundred meters

across, presumably to load up with grain if that's what it's going to be and then take that out through the Black Sea.

So this is causing the more attacks or pressure that is put on the -- along the Danube route or shipping that's heading into the Danube can only cause

greater concern and is causing greater concern for Romania.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, and Russia's provocations meantime continue there. Nic Robertson, thank you, as always.


Well, the ongoing conflict is also squeezing Russia's economy. The Central Bank said that it will hold an emergency meeting Tuesday after the ruble

fell to a 17-month low against the dollar.

Finances are strained amid the impact of Western sanctions. CNN's Clare Sebastian has more.


CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So the question is not why the ruble is hitting a 17-month low, but what took it so long to get here given

Russia has now been fighting this war facing sanctions and international isolation for almost a year-and-a-half.

Since the ruble plummeted in value in the early weeks of the war, two key things helped it recover. One was the Central Bank, which stepped in with

big rate raises and capital controls, some of which, it is now reversed.

Secondly, the rising price of energy that we saw last year and the fact that the biggest sanctions on Russian exports, the EU embargo and the price

gap did not take effect until last December. So it's only now that we're seeing this big shift.

The Russian Finance Ministry says Russian oil and gas revenues are down by more than 40 percent in the first half of this year compared to the same

period last year because of sanctions and of course, lower prices that is contributing to a big change in the trade picture.

The current account surplus, which broadly measures the difference between imports and exports, that's down by 85 percent in the first half of this

year, compared to the first six months of 2022. So exports are down, imports are surging, the Central Bank says, and a weaker ruble makes

imports more expensive, which of course means more inflation.

So while this isn't going to have much impact on Russia's warfighting ability for the moment, it will probably be felt by the Russian people

facing inflation and the central bank warned Monday most likely higher interest rates.

Clare Sebastian, CNN, London,


GOLODRYGA: All right, thanks to Clare for that report.

Meantime, Argentina is trying to stabilize its financial markets after a surprise primary election results and asset prices reeling. The government

is devaluing the peso by 18 percent and raising interest rates by 21 percentage points.

It comes after a strong showing from a far right candidate in primary elections. CNN Espanol's Ivan Perez Sarmenti has more.


IVAN PEREZ SARMENTI, CNN ESPANOL CORRESPONDENT: Argentina tries to assimilate the surprising victory of Javier Milei, the libertarian outsider

candidate who won the primary this Sunday is making markets tremble.

He got more than 30 percent of the vote, far higher than predicted with the main conservative opposition bloc behind on 28 percent and the ruling

party's coalition in third place on 27 percent.

Voting is obligatory for most adults in Argentina, so this primary could be read as a preview for the October 22nd general election that gives a clear

indication of who is the favorite to win the presidency.

Milei introduces himself as the true opposition as he said in a bullish speech after the results. A different Argentina is impossible with the same

old things that have always failed, he added.

With inflation now almost 116 percent and the cost of living crisis leaving four in 10 people in poverty, these results seems to be a hard message to

the central left Peronist coalition, which has been in office for the last four years, and to the main Together for Change conservative opposition

bloc that has ruled Argentina between 2016 and 2019.

This mandate the day after the election, the government whose candidate is the Economy minister decided to devalue the official peso rate. The Central

Bank also stepped in raising interest rates. Stocks and bonds also got hammered.

Milei, who has promised to burn down the Central Bank starts as the favorite candidate for the general election of October 22nd.

In the meantime, investors are bracing for more uncertainty as they expect the election will go to a second round in November.

Ivan Sarmenti, CNN, Buenos Aires.


GOLODRYGA: We will be watching what happens in Argentina closely.

Meantime, the wildfire that destroyed the Hawaiian town of Lahaina is now the deadliest in the US in over a century. Officials say at least 96 people

have been killed and it's still unclear how many are missing, raising fears that the number of deaths could climb.

The amount of damage is simply staggering. The state's governor puts the property losses at roughly $6 billion. CNN's chief climate correspondent

Bill Weir reports from the ground in Maui.


BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Aloha from the north side of Lahaina, just one of the several thousand structures that were completely

burned and gutted by the firestorm last week.

This is the line that the fire department on this part of Lahaina held, they decided we're going to keep it here, this particular neighborhood,

most of it survived as a result.

But let me show you the contrast right here. This is the home of Archie Kalepa.


He is a legendary surfer, lifeguard, a waterman Hall of Famer on Maui, ninth generation Hawaiian family from the Lahaina area. And you can see

what the spirit of ohana or family in the islands means as everybody on Maui and from around the islands began flooding donations here.

So they've set up a command post, improvised -- first responders here, all volunteers, all people from the community and they've created several of

these pods around the burned area of the fire zone.

You can see all the diapers and critical supplies, the water, and food and people just coming in here and it is sort of a self-organizing system.

Archie has great leadership experience as a lifeguard extraordinaire and it's all coming to play right now. People trust him. He does say that the

state and federal response is getting a bad rap.

Let me ask you about the immediate response right now.

There is a perception as you've been outside of the perimeter that there's no federal or real official state response and most of the work on the

frontlines are being done by people like you, grassroots, just improvised first responders. Now, is that fair?

What's really happening? What do you need and what's the story?

ARCHIE KALEPA, MAUI RESIDENT: I don't think that's fair. I don't think that's fair, because this is a crime scene. This right here is a crime


And so what people don't understand is the government has to do due diligence before they start moving in. So they're at 30,000 feet. They're

looking and evaluating about how they need to come in to begin to facilitate this operation.

At the same time, they have to figure out how to take care of this operation. And so, you know, that is not easy.

WEIR: So it's a humanitarian response in the middle of a working crime scene.

KALEPA: Exactly. The truth of the matter is, when you look at the overall devastation, we are not going to be ready to allow people to see what we're

living through in six months.

WEIR: We're hearing from a lot of people outside of the sort of quarantine zone right now, the fire zone, they're frustrated, because they can't get

back in to see what happened to their homes or belongings. They are afraid that people up here aren't getting the help they need, that there's too

much red tape in the shelters down in the center of Maui there.

But those folks here say, right now it's a matter of managing the outpouring of aid. They don't want a lot of this to turn into trash, so

they're trying to manage it as it's coming in.

FEMA is now starting to bring in shipments, we understand. So right now, the message from here is they have enough, plenty of tangible supplies.

They would love to get a dust shield to protect this community from all of that toxic dust that's blowing up the hillside from down below, containers

to store a lot of this stuff and keep it to when they need it maybe months from now.

And they are really begging for sustainable compassion --


GOLODRYGA: Our thanks to Bill Weir. The scenes out of Lahaina are just devastating.

Well as China's property sector wobbles, some see an opportunity for Washington to shift its economic policy toward Beijing.

We will talk to a prominent economist making that exact argument up next.



GOLODRYGA: Well, there are new signs of trouble in China's struggling real estate market.

Shares in Country Garden, China's largest private developer fell on Monday to a record low in Hong Kong. Over the weekend, the company suspended

trading in several of its bonds, that's raising fears that an industry-wide debt crisis could get worse. Dozens of developers have defaulted since the

collapse of Evergrande, another major firm back in 2021.

My next guest says China's economic rival should be capitalizing on its setbacks. In a recent piece in "Foreign Affairs," economist Adam Posen

argues that China's slow post-COVID recovery reflects deeper problems.

He says China is following a typical pattern of autocratic regimes, over extending its reach into the economy and stifling private sector growth.

Posen says this presents an opportunity for the US to attract Chinese talent and capital by adopting a less confrontational approach.

Adam Posen is the president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and he joins us now from Arlington, Virginia.

Adam, always great to see you. Fascinating article. And it's really interesting because after what many had hoped would have been a strong

rebound after the Zero-COVID Policy was lifted in China, China instead saw a relatively short bump followed now by consecutive report signaling

economic challenges. The latest showing that exports declined by over 14 percent year-on-year, the steepest fall since the outset of the pandemic.

Imports tumbled over 12 percent, not to mention, as the introduction said, a crippling real estate market.

What is going on there in your view?


I think there are several things going on. China, like the US is a very large, very complex economy and the debt problems in the real estate sector

you mentioned, are clearly having a drag.

But ultimately, as you summarized, I think that there's been a change in China, basically since 2015, President Xi and the leadership of the

Communist Party have been increasing their intervention into the Chinese economy, and since the Zero-COVID Policy was so draconian in the face of

the average people, small businesses, workers, just normal households. I think behaviors change.

So we're seeing the drag from real estate, we're seeing exports fall, but it is really critical to point what you have started with -- that there was

no big bounce upon reopening, and I interpret that as a lot of average Chinese now are scared about what could happen to their assets.

So, they are sitting on cash. They are being more liquid, they're being more cautious.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, well, we keep talking about inflation concerns in this country, and now we're hearing deflation potentially, in China, not to

mention their struggles with unemployment, particularly in their younger population.

You call this a case of economic long COVID. You know, it's interesting prior to Xi, China really had a unique balance of maintaining an

authoritarian state while also leaving the private sector to run virtually autonomously, right?

And now we've seen that change where Xi, following the pandemic, but you said really going back to even a few years prior has started interfering

and stepping in with the private sector.

every economist I talk to realizes that there are many in China that understand the dynamic at play. The key question, though, is does Xi, and

will he make any adjustments given the staggering data that we're seeing coming out of the country?

POSEN: The data is not good enough, and clearly, there is some sense in which people talk about the mandate of heaven in joking or moo's ways that

part of the Communist Party's legitimacy, President Xi's legitimacy comes from economic growth.


But as I point out, in my article, when things get bad, at least initially, people become more dependent on the party. They are more scared to be on

the bad side of the party, the more dependent the party for favors.

So nobody should be looking for a U-turn from President Xi or the party anytime soon, or for that matter, collapse. What I do think we should be

looking for, and this is what I meant about taking advantage of the opportunity is the US can go from having a very confrontational policy that

costs us money and costs us allies, to a policy that's about welcoming exit from China.

And that I think, puts more pressure on the regime. It's possible, she will look at the data and say, oh, God, I've got to reconsider. It's more likely

that he'll say, oh, boy, I've got to keep people here. I've got to keep more control. He'll up controls more, intervention more, and that will feed

the outflow over time.

GOLODRYGA: So does that suggest that you perhaps don't view the current policy as an effective one -- the current Biden administration policy vis-

a-vis China is an effective one. He has kept a lot of the tariffs that were imposed in the previous administration, and we've introduced more

sanctions, actually and export controls as well, and put pressure on some of our closest allies in Europe to basically do the same.

POSEN: Yes, and I think they've overdone it.

I think it's very reasonable in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine to take advantage of this incredibly wide range of allies,

including Asian partners like Japan and Singapore that often don't join sanctions, who very quickly did.

But to think you're going to be able to sustain that in a large way against China and keep all your allies on board and therefore make it effective, I

think it's unrealistic.

A certain amount export controls, a certain amount of diversifying sourcing for specific goods, like obviously, some kinds of semiconductors. That's

right. The administration is right to do that, but I think more broadly, they'd be better off thinking in terms of suction, not sanction for China,

that pulling stuff out and welcoming it, whether it's people, financial assets, investment, students, ideas, that's I think, the way to go.

That worked in the Cold War, that worked in like before World War Two, and I think it should be part of the arsenal now.

GOLODRYGA: Should the US be concerned about the impact of a weakening China economically at least, just in terms of the issue of decoupling? Are

we there yet? I mean, how much are we still relying on China's growth and stability for our own here?

We already see that imports fell 25 percent the first six months of this year. Our economy seems to be maintaining its resilience. At what point or

is there one where that could change depending on where China stands?

POSEN: China being weaker economically is not good news for the human beings there. They are human beings we have no fight with. And they are --

it's not good news for the US and the world. As you said, China's growth has been, to some degree a source of demand from the rest of the world, and

it has been a stabilizing force, a big source of growth.

So I don't think we should take joy in China's economic slowdown. What we should be doing, though, is recognizing that it's a largely closed economy,

and it's moving more and more towards self-sufficiency because of Xi's reaction to the US and his own beliefs. And that means like Russia did,

it's going to become less important to the US economically.

The question is, can we minimize the costs to all of us, as well as to the Chinese people of doing that? Decoupling, I'm much more worried about on

the investment side. The Biden administration just announced investment outflow restrictions on China that kept them pretty narrow and tied to

export control technology, which I support, but it opens the door and Congress wants more and that could be disruptive.

I'm mostly worried about barriers to inflow though.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, and that is interesting, because this is one of the few areas where you do see bipartisan support for a more hawkish approach

towards China both militarily and economically.

Really fascinating article. Everyone should go read it. Adam Posen, great to see you again.

POSEN: Thank you so much for having me.

GOLODRYGA: Well, Brazilian football star, Neymar, appears to be headed for Saudi Arabia. Saudi state media says Neymar's current club, PSG has agreed

to a nearly $100 million transfer fee with the Saudi club Al-Hilal.

The French newspaper, "L'Equipe" says Neymar will be paid somewhere on the order of $175 million over the course of a two-year deal.

CNN's Don Riddell joins us live from Atlanta . Not too shabby, Don.

So you were just on our program a few weeks ago talking about a billion dollar offer from Mbape, now we're talking significantly less, but still

much more of the real deal here. Any sign of Saudi's spending subsiding?


DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT HOST: Hey, it doesn't seem to be the case, does it? They've been spending all through the summer and they've been

spending really big bucks on some really big European names.

Neymar, I think we would all agree is the second biggest player since Ronaldo moved at the end of last year, just around the time of the World

Cup. And yes, more big money. As you say, $100 million-ish plus add-ons.

I think Paris Saint-Germain are quite happy to move Neymar and his considerable wage bill onto somebody else's books. Clearly, the kind of

experiment with PSG with their big names is coming to an end. Remember, Messi was allowed to leave fairly recently.

And I suppose we will see what happens in the next few weeks now that the Saudi pro league is underway now that the European leagues are underway. I

think we can expect a bit of a slowdown around about now. Now that the players are settling down, the club season is underway, the transfer window

in Saudi Arabia will close actually in September.

But I think as kind of the European League gets underway, players will become more settled, and it might be a while before we see another flurry

of big name signings as we just have seen, but clearly, they still have incredibly deep pockets, and they are still more than happy to be spending

that money on top football players.

GOLODRYGA: But we will keep Messi here in the US and are incredibly happy. I speak for all Americans. I have the authority to do that, and we are

happy to have him playing in Miami.

What about Neymar himself though? Is this a good move for him career-wise?

RIDDELL: Well, I think what's interesting when you consider that he is still only 31. And apparently, he wanted to stay in Europe, but nobody

seemed to want him to stay in Europe, or at least no other clubs seem to be coming in with offers for him.

Perhaps if you really wanted to stay, he should have lowered his wage and salary demands. And now, he is going to Saudi Arabia, which is seen as a

place where you would only go for the money.

The Saudis would argue differently. They say they're trying to build a league and they're trying to sort of build something special for the

future, but certainly, a lot of people within the game believe that top players would only go there for the money, and he is certainly going to be

very, very wealthy as a result.

But I think when he looks back on his club career, and when many people do look at his legacy, they will say that he's been a little bit of a

disappointment. He's only won the Champions League once, that was in Barcelona in 2015. He spent six years with Paris and although he won 13

trophies there, including what -- five French league titles, no European Cup there, and now he's moving to Saudi Arabia, where he's not going to be

playing in any tournament, so off kind of international kind of fame and repute.

So maybe not the best move in terms of his resume and his legacy, but certainly in terms of the money, absolutely a great move.

GOLODRYGA: Well, he may not have won as many championship titles, but he is a fun, talented player to watch, and we will be following his career.


GOLODRYGA: Don Riddell, thank you.

Well, the fourth indictment could be on the way for Donald Trump, this time in Georgia. We'll talk about the state's investigation into alleged

election interference, up next.



BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN SENIOR GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Donald Trump is facing a potential fourth indictment this time in the U.S. state of Georgia.

Prosecutors are expected to bring charges over his alleged effort to overturn the 2020 election.

Fulton County District Attorney has been investigating and attempted interference with the election tally, pressuring state officials and a fake

electoral scheme. Marshall Cohen is in Washington, D.C. So, the D.A. here Fani Willis is moving rather quickly. Marshall, what happened today?

MARSHALL COHEN, CNN REPORTER: Bianna, it's all systems go down there in Georgia. Two key witnesses appeared before the grand jury earlier today.

Those were two state lawmakers that were -- former state lawmakers in Georgia who were there back in 2020 when Trump ally Rudy Giuliani and some

of the -- some of his cronies testified to a state legislative proceeding about fraud. The only problem is that what they said wasn't true. There was

no massive fraud.

And that is part of this investigation, possibly pursuing criminal charges against not just Trump but Rudy Giuliani. So those former state lawmakers

testified in the morning. There are other grand jury witnesses that were expected to go in tomorrow, opposed part of a two-day long presentation.

They said just in the past hour or so that they are going in today, Bianna, that because things are moving a little faster than they were expecting.

Those witnesses who said they are going in today are an independent journalist named George Chidi and the former Republican Lieutenant Governor

of Georgia, Geoff Duncan. He is now a CNN contributor. Donald Trump, for his part is responding to this flurry of activity with attacks, public

attacks and the vitriol directed at the prosecutors and also at the witnesses. He posted earlier this morning that Geoff Duncan, "shouldn't


That raises all kinds of questions about whether he's trying to influence or intimidate witnesses. But things are moving ahead down there in Georgia,

again, could be a one or two-day presentation. We'll have to wait and see what time the prosecutors feel like is the right moment to request


GOLODRYGA: Yes. These attacks online by the former president despite being warned against doing so by judges and other cases where he has been

charged, he continues to do this. Marshall, do we know more about whether cameras will be allowed in this trial?

COHEN: Cameras not just for the trial, Bianna, but cameras will be allowed when prosecutors walk into the courtroom after securing an indictment from

the grand jury, which is secret behind closed doors. But a prosecutor, a bailiff and a court clerk take that paper and literally walk it to a

courtroom in another part of the courthouse. And in that courtroom, cameras are allowed. We have a camera in there right now ready to go, waiting for

possible activity.

So, you'll see something. You'll be able to see something today which is of course completely different than the process that unfolded with Donald

Trump's federal indictments and also different than the state indictment that he is facing up in New York.

GOLODRYGA: We will be watching closely as well as following your important reporting throughout all this. Marshall Cohen, thank you.


Well, Barbie is on track to be the biggest movie of the year in the U.S. It's $525 million in domestic earnings is largely thanks to women. But

while they're spending power grows, women still lag behind in positions of power. As of February, just right percent of S&P 500 CEOs were women.

However, they did achieve a milestone of sorts, because for the first time, women outnumber men named John among the top CEOs.

Well, that's one way to put it. Moira Forbes is the Executive Vice President of Forbes Media. And she joins me from New York. Great to see

you, Moira. So, between Taylor Swift's concert, Beyonce's concert Sierra tour, and now Barbie. A lot is being made of this being the summer that

women really flex their spending power. Do you think this is a turning point or perhaps just a one off for the summer?

MOIRA FORBES, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, FORBES MEDIA: For sure. I think this definitely was the summer of spend for women. And we saw, as you mentioned,

three of these entertainment moments that have become a history making. Barbie, the first film directed by a woman to generate over a billion

dollars at the box office. We had Taylor Swift and Beyonce record breaking tours.

And yes, while these may be outliers in their respective industries, regardless are male or female, it is really put women at the forefront in

terms of their spending power, what they're looking for, and terms of the cultural moments in our country. But the fact that so often, the

entertainment industry disregarded women as a market, and this proves otherwise.

GOLODRYGA: Yes. Big time. Just look at the revenue coming out of these tours and the box office. What is drawing women to these events? Do you

think there's an authenticity here that maybe was perhaps lacking in the past?

FORBES: I think what you're seeing is a series of narratives of these really authentic, compelling women, whether they're portrayed or whether

they're celebrated, as you know, in terms of power. These are really strong, strong female figures that I think right now, the world and the

culture in the U.S. are gravitating toward. But what's really interesting, and I think a wakeup call for everybody is it's not only these compelling

narratives, but the ways in which these moments can be so transformative as it relates to the economy.

If you look at for example, Taylor Swift's tour and L.A. alone, the last six moments of her tour are generating over $300 million for the L.A.

economy. The -- this is seen as a huge boost for local economies, even around the world. Stockholm blame Beyonce for their inflation woes because

she generated so much revenue in their country last May.

GOLODRYGA: That is fantastic and fascinating but, you know, we talk about the on the one hand. Women listen, in general have made most decisions in

the family in terms of spending. That has gone back decades. But when I read off, the number of the few number of female CEOs that consistently to

this day is growing but still quite low. Do you think there's a connection here or why does this seem to still be stuck?

You have more women going to grad school, we saw what women can do at the box office and their spending power. And yet when it comes to getting that

top job in the C-suite, there are still far too few women.

FORBES: Women's representation in Corporate America is woefully underrepresented. I think there's really positive signs though in certain

industries where you may not necessarily see a female listed as a CEO, but you look one or two levels down in that organization. And there's a really

robust talent pipeline growing. You have to remember that this change can take longer than we would like over the past 10 years.

There's been huge strides in terms of women's representation culturally, and in business, and what these narratives. What Barbie and Beyonce and

Taylor Swift and the spending power, all of these things are just affirming that companies, countries, communities need to take women really seriously

in terms of the opportunity that they represent from talent to their wallets.

GOLODRYGA: The impact of women leaving the workforce during COVID, we've seen more flexibility in a -- in a lot of companies and sort of the hybrid

work from home or, you know, not necessarily imposing a five-day work schedule. Do you think that's changing the landscape, perhaps for women and

in the corporate world as well and opening more opportunities for them?

FORBES: I think certainly that pandemic underscore how valuable flexibility is and the ability for workforce to have some agency over their time that

they commit to work. That's been a huge positive for so many women, so many families, that they are able to shape their schedule more rigorously. You

do often though, there's many discussions right now around those women who choose to work from home are they going to be absent from opportunities

that those in-office workers may be able to experience.


So that really puts a lot of the onus on companies to create the cultures and the procedures and the policies to ensure that they are -- have the

best talent, but they're also creating a workplace where women are engaged and want to stay. It's really expensive to lose talent in a workforce and

these -- there's a huge ROI when you take the time to invest.

GOLODRYGA: Yes. And that is the key taking that time to invest. A lot of things to be optimistic about that but still a lot of work remains. Moira

Forbes, great to see you, thank you.

FORBES: Thank --

GOLODRYGA: And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I'll be back at the top of the hour as we make a dash for the closing bell. Up next, Marketplace Asia.



GOLODRYGA: Hello everyone. I'm Bianna Golodryga. It's the dash to the closing bell. We're about 90 seconds away. U.S. markets are mixed amid

concerns about China's property sector. Dow has been seesawing all day. And as you can see, it's set to close about flat really right now. The other

indices are in better shape. The NASDAQ is up almost a percent and S&P 500 is up about three-tenths of a percent.

China's struggling property sector is raising questions about Beijing's economic policies. The president of the Peterson Institute Adam Posen says

heavy handed measures by President Xi Jinping give the U.S. an opening.


ADAM POSEN, PRESIDENT, PETERSON INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS: Nobody should be looking for a U-turn from President Xi or the party

anytime soon or for that matter collapse. What I do think we should be looking for and this is what I meant about taking advantage of the

opportunity is the U.S. can go from having a very confrontational policy that costs us money and costs us allies to a policy that's about welcoming

exit from China.


GOLODRYGA: So let's take a look at the Dow components. Tech stocks are among the winners. Intel and Salesforce are on top up. Retailers Home Depot

and Wal-Mart are both down. Home Depot reports earnings before tomorrow's opening bell. Wal-Mart reported reports later this week. Goldman Sachs off

about one percentage point as well.


Well, that is your dash to the bell. I'm Bianna Golodryga in for Richard Quest. So the closing bell is ringing on Wall Street right now and "THE

LEAD" with Jake Tapper also starts now.