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Quest Means Business

Hilary Drops Historic Rainfall On US Southwest; Biden Set To Arrive In Maui For Official Visit; Stocks Fall In China After Modest Rate Cut; Rising Near-Miss Incidents Put Airline Industry On Edge; Eyes Turn To India As Russia Moon Mission Falls; Mini Space Race Underway To Moon's South Pole. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired August 21, 2023 - 15:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: An hour to go before the end of trading on Wall Street. Start of a new week together and as you can see, we

have a bifurcated market.

The Dow is down just a tad. The NASDAQ is showing some pretty strong gains, up nearly one-and-a-half percent. We'll put some meat on those bones as we

move through the hour.

The events that we're looking at: President Biden is on his way to Maui, more than 800 people are still missing after the deadly wildfires that

swept the island.

The demand for the hit weight-loss drug, Wegovy is so high -- Wegovy is so high, it is keeping interest rates lower in Denmark, but it's not a good


And Russia's first lunar mission in decades ends in failure. Now, India will try to be the first to land on the moon's south pole.

We are live in New York. It's Monday. It is August the 21st. Where has August gone?

I'm Richard Quest back from Mongolia and back in New York, I mean business.

Good evening.

President Biden is due to arrive in Maui in the next few hours, on his first visit, since the Hawaiian island was hit by the devastating

wildfires. Now according to state officials, around 850 people are remaining on the missing list; 114 people so far confirmed dead, as the

president heads to survey the damage.

Meanwhile, there's another historic climate emergency unfolding just a few thousand miles away in Southern California. Hilary has weakened after

hitting the state as a tropical storm on Sunday, but it is still dumping historic amounts of rainfall and that is taking its own toll.

It is turning streets like this one into coursing rivers. Lives and property-owned stake are in danger. It's the strongest tropical storm to

hit the America West Coast since 1997.

So on both sides, if you will, of the Pacific, or at least of the US Pacific from the West Coast of the United States, Continental United States

to Hawaii, the president is flying west. He will land in Maui in the coming hours.

CNN's Bill Weir has been reporting for an hour well over a week. Bill, let's first of all deal with the situation in Maui. And the progress that

is being made, such as it is, and then we can talk about California.

Bring me up to date with Maui.

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the president is going to sort of make a mixed reaction here. Richard, there are those very

enthused to have the federal support, others saying he shouldn't come; feeling still hurt from the fact that he said "no comment" when asked about

this. The White House said he didn't hear the question, but there was five days of silence from a man who is usually the empathizer-in-chief given the

tragedy in his life, he will fly over downtown Lahaina, the burned area here.

And then actually, we're told take a tour on the ground with officials, Front Street, before meeting with survivors and first responders in a

nearby shelter.

It's that missing number, Richard that has so many people stressed here. The mayor said last night that originally, it was more than 2,000 people on

the list of the missing. The FBI helped whittle that down to 850.

Communications has been up really for a long time now. So the question is, will those people ever be found? Or will this be sort of a sacred site in

that way, the fact that the downtown was essentially cremated there.

So a lot of psychological pain right now, and a lot of just one foot in front of the other as people try to pick up the pieces, figure out the next

step, living in hotels moving to the mainland, jobs gone -- it is complicated on so many levels here.

And we'll be talking about that with the development authority in just a second.

Turn our attention if we may, Bill, to Southern California and now, this is an interesting one because they've got more rain than they've ever had at

this time. The weather patterns have clearly changed.

When I heard about all of this, I just sort of said, at what point is the message going to get through?

WEIR: You know, I've been asking that question, disaster after disaster, Richard.

You know, we have an amazing capability to normalize the horrible and the warning signs are all around us. You know, the heatwave is about to start

in the United States, but you can go around the globe and find just bizarre weather patterns right now.

But yes, this is something science has been telling us for a long time. A hotter platter planet, throws the water cycles off. It means a lot heavier

rains when it comes, and a lot longer intense drought when it doesn't, which led to the grassland fires here as well.


It's more a holistic idea. This isn't something that we have to get through and then life will go back to the way it was going forward. This could be

our future path. And communities like even billionaire playgrounds like Lahaina better buckle up.

QUEST: Have you seen many tour -- not obviously, around Lahaina, but in other parts of Maui? We're going to be talking about tourism in just a

moment and the controversy over there, away from obviously, the most affected areas like Lahaina, what is the rest of it like, in a sense?

WEIR: Well, it's pretty much life normal outside of this zone here on the west side of Maui. I actually met a couple at our hotel who said they came

over from Oahu to spend some money as a way of supporting people here and you could tell they were really earnestly trying to figure out the most

delicate, sensible, and respectful way to do that.

Celebrities from Hawaii, a lot of locals, big surfers said initially, don't come, we're grieving, give us time to heal, give us space. But then other

leaders had said look, these islands tremendously on those tourism dollars. If that dries up, it's not like COVID where people got a check from the

government for months.

These immediate sort of $750.00 checks for the folks, that's going to run out, and so, you're hearing more and more support to this place by coming

to Hawaii. It is really conflicted messages, but it's really about just respectfulness. Right?

I mean, if you are in Wailea, for example, there is no reason to come snorkeling, you know, while they're searching for bodies in Lahaina, which

some people did days after the disaster. So in a lot of cases, just a few idiots, frankly, who make it difficult for everybody else.

There are calls like if you have a wedding in Maui coming up, don't ask for a refund from your wedding photographer, because those people really need

the financial help right now. So that conversation is really evolving day by day.

QUEST: Now, I'm very grateful. Thank you, sir. Bill Weir in Maui.

And Bill encapsulated the issue we're going to talk about now just perfectly. The places that rely on tourism dollars, the quandary of what to

do. Should visitors stay out of the way? Or is the tourism actually helpful?

The Hawaiian actor, Jason Momoa says it's too soon to act like everything is normal with families newly grieving and hundreds still accounted for.

And tourism officials, on the other hand want visitors to return and fast, look at the numbers, you'll see why.

They say as many as 10,000 jobs have been lost. It's over a million a day, and just look at the per day household income that's likely to have been


Leslie Wilkins is the president and CEO of Maui Economic Development Board.

Leslie is with me now.

Leslie, I'm not for a second going to pretend that these things are easy, these naughty questions to visit or not to visit, but what's your gut

telling you about tourism, and whether you still want people coming at the moment?

LESLIE WILKINS, PRESIDENT AND CEO, MAUI ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD: Well, we are a non-profit actually, that is founded to lead inspire innovation

and business education and engagement and that is very important to listen to our community, make sure that our community voices are heard and that

our economic development efforts are for shared economic prosperity.

So we are not -- I'm not an expert in the visitor industry. There are many that are, which I'm happy to connect you to, but this is a community that

is grieving.

It is a community that is not just grieving on the west side of Lahaina. We are a small place, we all have connections.

So answer your question directly, I know that our Mayor's Office and our leadership, we know that South Maui, which also has a visitor inventory and

the North Shore, do have places of business that are still open and operating.

We know that about 53 percent of the jobs on Maui are directly related to the visitor industry in some way. So, visitors that come, they respect the

sanctity of Lahaina, still as you mentioned, there still 850 unaccounted for residents --

QUEST: All right, Leslie, let me jump in. Let's just jump in, Leslie, if I may.


QUEST: If I can just jump in for a second, I wonder just talk about the issue of the rebuilding and the economic development, which is very much in

the bailiwick of your organization.

What is it you're going to need to re-establish businesses, re-establish homes in an area of the United States where basically construction costs

can be up to 30 to 40 percent higher than the mainland?


WILKINS: Absolutely. We, first of all, are going to listen to the community, get community engagement on how to repair Lahaina. What can we

do to restore it in a way that aligns with community values and the historical significance Lahaina?

We are very worried with the average estimate of a home that was lost on the west side, over $700,000.00; with rebuilding costs probably higher than

that. How can we, as an economic development organization, work with federal support to try to get low interest loans, try to get subsidies et

cetera, to our residents who lost their residences and to our businesses, to help them re-establish, and we are working on that with our partners in

the community.

We're very pleased that actually the president deployed a large number of federal experts and resource people here to our community. So we are trying

to be the bridge from those federal resource experts and funding to our community, because they are grieving, and it is difficult to perhaps fill

out the forms, find that documentation that they need to access these federal services.

So our organization, our board of directors, our partners, our staff are committed to working with our community members to help them access these


QUEST: Leslie Wilkins in Maui, we will continue to follow and we will watch. And our thoughts are with you. Thank you, ma'am for joining me this


As we continue tonight, sales are soaring for two weight loss drugs made by a Danish company.

And now the Danish Central Bank is intervening due to its effects on the local currency. I'll explain in a moment.


QUEST: Chinese stocks fell on Monday after a moderate interest rate cut by the country's central bank. The Hang Seng and the Shanghai Composite were

both down more than one percent. Other Asian markets were higher in response.


China cut the benchmark rate for one year loans by a 10th of a percentage point, really much less than that. It held the rate for the five-year loan

steady and the market and investors are hoping China will still do more in the face of a real estate crisis, high-youth unemployment and deflation.

Bill Lee is the chief economist at the Milken Institute. Bill is with me now.

The question we always need to understand with China is, is the situation worse than we are being led to believe?

WILLIAM LEE, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MILKEN INSTITUTE: It could well be because one of the things that we've seen in the poster of Xi Jinping election is

that he has consolidated power and information has become much more difficult to obtain. He has, for example, cut off any sources of private

information, so that the only source of information we get about the Chinese economy and what's going on is from official sources.

QUEST: We've always had dubious doubts about the GDP number. Most economists I know will sort of take it with a pinch of salt, and a look in

the opposite direction.

But the real core question is, do we in the west or in the developed economies, do we need China to prosper ourselves?

LEE: That's the question that all of us in Milken have been asking? All of the sponsors are asking is China investable? And do we need to invest in

China? After all, the globalization has shifted to the point where everyone wants to replicate supply chains that not depend on sole sources anymore,

and China has been the sole source of a lot of electronics goods.

And a lot of investors are thinking, maybe we should be shifting resources along with the resources that are exiting China into Vietnam and other

parts of Asia, to be able to have safety and soundness in our supply chains.

QUEST: So a subpar growth China means what for the US, the EU, and above?

LEE: Well, China's subpar growth really is two-faceted. On the production side, China has been the producer of all these goods and services for the

rest of the world and when they slow down and not produce as much, it's because the western economies have also slowed down and shifted their

consumption as the West, the US and Europe are fighting inflation, we have slowed our economies down.

And so we're importing less stuff from China, but at the same time, the shifts have gone on in terms of consumption, we no longer want as many

goods, we want to have more services.

So, for the rest of the world, it really means very little, because we are really very dependent on China's imports.

QUEST: Okay, but to the extent that there is a shift that's taken place. How far is it permanent and systemic, and how far is it transitory and

reactive? For instance, the supply chain issues which have unwound themselves, but have Western companies found new suppliers, therefore, will

not be going back to China in the same numbers as China's lost.

LEE: It would be, but China has also managed to shift its own production. For example, it's become a major supplier of electric vehicles. Tesla, in

fact, it makes most of its profitable vehicles in China, and China is a supplier of batteries.

So in that sense, China has a monopoly in many of the very critical areas. But you're right to say that a lot of the lower value added stuff

manufacturers have moved out of China to Vietnam and other places in Asia, which is part of the Chinese Communist Party's plan to try to shift their

production to more high-value added stuff.

So this mix of stuff that's going on is very fluid, and in terms of assessing its impact on the US and the rest of the world depends really on

what sectors you're looking at.

QUEST: If we look at bond yields, and the way the bond market has been reacting, both in China and in the United States, it is very difficult to

get a grasp on where we think bonds are headed at the moment.

LEE: Very much so. In fact, one of the things that we've always been talking about has been whether the long-term interest rates are going up

because of expected inflation going up, or is it going up because we just - - the Fed lacks credibility in whether it is going to hit its two percent target, but vis-a-vis China, if China were a robust growing economy, that

would be fueling more inflation in the future.

But right now, we see that China's hopes for reviving its economy depends on the private sector, and President Xi's policies toward the private

sector really lacked credibility in terms of trying to revive the private sector because of what it's done to so many of the successful private

sector companies like Alibaba and Tencent.

QUEST: Bill, I promise you, I will not hold you to this. I will not shamelessly throw this back in your face on a future occasion. But are you

in the recession camp in the US, whether it be Q3, Q4, next year, whatever, or do you think, skirts by and soft landing, get ready?

LEE: I used to be a Fed staffer and I trust in the forecast of my Fed colleagues and the board forecast is now showing that we are going to have

a very soft landing. There will be a slowdown, but it won't be called the recession and we may not get the rise in unemployment up to four or four-

and-a-half percent that really pushes us into that kind of world of a recession.


QUEST: Okay, but I'm sorry, I am just going to have another bite at this cherry. Don't we need -- don't we need that increase in unemployment? It's

not nice, but don't we need that? Because that's the evidence that the economy is slowing sufficiently to meet your two percent target? Without

that increase in unemployment, you're really not going to slow sufficiently.

LEE: Bingo, Richard. As a role of a forecaster, I would have said we absolutely needed that recession to get us to two percent, but now in this

post-COVID world where supply chains are so critical in getting inflation down, we may not need that two percent. We may not need a higher employment

to get two percent inflation. That immaculate disinflation may actually take place if expectations are nailed down, firm enough.

QUEST: It just shows us that you and I have to talk more about this on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

Sir, very grateful for your time. Thank you.

Let's stay with China. Xi Jinping is promoting China's role in the global economy ahead of the BRICS Summit, which takes place in South Africa.

China's president is now on his way to the Summit, which starts on Monday, only his second international trip of the year. Leaders of Brazil, Russia,

India, China and South Africa begin three days of talks. The main topic will be whether the block should expand?

According to South Africa's president, Cyril Ramaphosa, there are many dozens of countries who want to join in he said he would welcome other



CYRIL RAMAPHOSA, SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT: More than 20 countries from around the world have formally applied to join BRICS, and several others

have expressed an interest in becoming part of the BRICS family.

South Africa supports the expansion of the membership of BRICS.


QUEST: David McKenzie is in Johannesburg, and so who wants to join? And I mean, is it realistic that you increase the BRICS when actually, there's an

organization that is really at very different ends of the spectrum, and he has not really done much.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think that you know, many people were skeptical that BRICS would even last as long as it did,

but it seems like, Richard, because of the war in Ukraine and other geopolitical issues, BRICS seems to have revived itself somewhat, even

though it was started as kind of a theoretical exercise by Goldman Sachs' economist, and as you alluded to, there is a large spread of nations, the

world's largest autocracy, the world's largest democracy all in one club, but doesn't necessarily make much sense on paper.

But I think the short answer is yes, I do expect there to be a very serious discussion of expansion. I think that has led by China who wants to see

BRICS to be a de facto counterweight towards the G7 -- Richard.

QUEST: But if they -- I mean, China, obviously would like to see this because it has quite a hefty say there in BRICS. But if you take G7, which

is highly, it is all West; G20, which really doesn't get anywhere because it's got so many different points of view. Does BRICS fit into that, or if

you start adding too many other countries with different political structures, you end up with a mess?

MCKENZIE: I think that is what some countries in BRICS would argue against, and at least diplomats we've been speaking to saying that it is a

consensus organization and any additions would need everyone to agree on this.

I think, chief among them, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, the UAE are countries that are looking to join BRICS as some kind of expanded grouping, I think

it's as much of what BRICS is, and more what BRICS is not.

And a lot of the discussion is criticism of multilateral western organizations like the World Bank, the IMF, and that criticism has been

robust over the years, but whether it actually leads to actionable alternatives is another question.

But I think it's a very real chance in the next few days, that you'll have progress in expanding BRICS as a kind of global south alternative. Whether

it happens or not, it is unclear at this stage, but that's the word that most people are believing in right now -- Richard.

QUEST: David McKenzie in Johannesburg. Grateful for you, sir. Thank you.

Novo Nordisk, the stock is high on Monday. Now shares have soared. Sales of its weight loss drug have also skyrocketed.

Now, the Central Bank is taking notice. It has had to keep interest rates lower to maintain the krone back to the euro. High foreign sales is pushing

up the value of the krone and the market cap of the company is more than $400 billion.

That's arguably getting close to Denmark's own GDP. Anna Stewart is in London.

So, they sell all this stuff in the US in dollars. They then have to repatriate that onto the balance sheet in krone, its constant currency or

whatever they're doing it on, and that's having an effect.


ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: A huge effect, and I think particularly relating to this one drug really, which is both used for diabetes, also for

weight loss. We know that it has been selling like hotcakes in the United States to the point that there's actually been issues with supply. And as a

result of that, and seeing sales growth of sort of 37 percent for diabetes, 158 percent for the weight loss medicine, as a result of that, that is a

lot of dollars that need converting into krone, it strengthened the krone against the euro, and that is a problem for Denmark, particularly as the

Central Bank's mandate is to keep the exchange rate.

It is pretty much its only mandate, Richard. It is less interested in inflation, much more interest in keeping that peg. So that means it's

actually having to change strategy. It is raising rates in lockstep with the ECB, but not as much as the ECB has been doing.

QUEST: Right. And if you listen to what the Central Bank governor told me, when I visited just a couple of years ago, he was quite clear on what the

strategy was.


LARS ROHDE, THEN GOVERNOR, DANISH CENTRAL BANK: To keep the peg, it's very simple.


ROHDE: Yes, and we are also practicing telling the public and government and Parliament that if we have this mandate of keeping the peg, we can't

use interest rate, weapon or interest rate instruments to anything else, but the peg.


QUEST: Now, there you have it, so it couldn't be clearer. And so if they are using the interest rate for the sole purpose of the peg, therefore they

can't raise rates as much as they'd like to on inflationary in lockstep. Therefore, they're going to have to take an inflationary risk.

STEWART: It's really interesting. Okay, so Denmark's inflation is actually lower than the Eurozone. It is currently at 3.1 percent, euro is around

five percent. It actually increased slightly over the last month.

And you're right, they are lacking this fundamental tool that other Central Banks use, so they have to rely on fiscal policy and frankly, just

importing the impact that the ECB has in Europe, importing that into Denmark, and most of the time, it works.

But it is interesting when you then have an outsized company playing a huge role in economy, all at the same time.

QUEST: Although, I have to say the Netherlands and Denmark are used to that with their oil companies and their very big resource companies. So

yes, it's fascinating. Thank you, Anna. Keep watching that. Well, first, I'm grateful.

Tonight's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, a series of close calls is raising concerns about US air safety. An analysis by the "New York Times" says now says near

misses have been happening on average several times a week, the reasons why and what can be done, in a moment.



QUEST: A series of near misses in U.S. airspace, as the aviation community rightly concerned about potential tragedy. A private jet earlier this month

nearly landed on top of a Southwest Airline's Jetliner waiting to take off in San Diego, so-called runway incursion seventh of the year under

investigation. Now the New York Times looked at FAA records and found dozens more close calls involving commercial airliners this past month


Mary Schiavo is with me. The former DOT inspector general joins me from Charleston. If there's one person who sort of the right person to talk to

about this, it is you because you're well across. Is this situation worse or are we just hearing about the more?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, that's very good question. Some people like to say we're just hearing about them more. But -- so we go back

to the very statistics gathered by the government who was supposed to be gathering, you know, was supposed to be gathering them all the way along

and relying on the government statistics. Yes, the number of near collisions of near misses, as they call them, is up significantly.

For example, over the last decade, we always had about or under 2000 per year. This year, if the statistics track as they have been through the rest

of the year, we will have over 3000 near misses nearly unprecedented in our history after you know, modern aviation, after the last, you know, the

collision avoidance equipment, et cetera.

QUEST: So, start at the top one, two, three, four reasons why.

SCHIAVO: Well, yes, number one reason why and again, I, you know, I like to go with the statistics that the government collects because if they collect

them, they must think they're important. 87 percent of these near misses, near collisions are caused by human error. Now, the FAA needs -- it likes

to say they need tons more cash and they need a lot more equipment, et cetera.

But even with the equipment that they have 87 percent human error, 53 percent of the time one or the other of the parties involved says, well, I

was confused. One-third of the near misses are attributed to air traffic control. So, human error. Two, why is air traffic control making so many

mistakes? They're supposed to be the ones who keep us separated, there is a horrible shortage of air traffic controllers.

The FAA says yes, we can run our facilities at 85 percent capacity. But 77 percent of all FAA facilities aren't even up to 85 percent of the capacity.

The reason for that, reason number three which everybody blames everything on is COVID. During COVID, the FAA stopped hiring and stopped training

controllers. Well, almost stopped, you know, not planning for what would happen with the huge buildup on people could travel again.

And then finally, you know, it comes down to the big ask. The FAA asked the airlines to voluntarily cut back on flights. They did for a while, some did

for a while. But then the summer picked up and they were right back at full tilt. Now, the airline said, well, we use bigger airplanes, so we don't

have as many air traffic control events. But that hasn't helped. And, for example, New York trade -- who is swamped.

QUEST: All right. So, clearly, nobody wants two planes to meet in the sky or on the ground. That's a given, everybody accepts that. So, the final

thought is enough being done to prevent it.

SCHIAVO: Absolutely not. And unfortunately, there isn't much the public can do. This is an FAA problem and the FAA must solve it. And I'm just

concerned here, they don't seem to be that, you know, that concerned about that. In my old office, the office of inspector general said they have no

real plan over at the FAA to get this solved. And this is a government problem.


QUEST: Mary, grateful as always. Thank you. So, let's go from aviation to space and the race to space and the moon. South Pole is underway. India

just got the upper hand. Russia tried to land its Luna 25 there yesterday. The craft crashed after losing control as it entered the atmosphere of the

moon, which is becoming an engine failure as the country's first machine 47 years. Now it's India's turn on Wednesday.

If successful, it will be the first country to land on the moon's south pole ever. Miles O'Brien is with me from Massachusetts. Miles, I suppose we

shouldn't have too much schadenfreude at the Russians misfortune in crashing into (INAUDIBLE) others have done things similar on other

projects. But they were trying to do something that's not been done before.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Yes. And I think it's tempting to go that route, Richard. But anybody who cares about space exploration truly

doesn't like to see new craters being formed on the moon because of an accident like this. You know, this is in emblematic, probably symptomatic

of what's going on inside the Russian space program in the wake of the Ukraine invasion.

It's actually something that began before that invasion as the International Space enterprise moved in different directions and the money

moved to private enterprises. SpaceX being a big example of them. And as a result, what's left in the -- was the great Soviet space program is pretty

much a shell of what it once was.

QUEST: So, do you have better hopes for India on Wednesday?

O'BRIEN: I like the way the Indians approach space. Now let's -- to be fair, here, they are coming off of their own mishap in 2019. The

Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft crash then. They have revamped it, they've made it lighter, they've improved the software, done all they think they can to

make this more successful. You know, at the bottom line here, we have to remember space is hard. It's difficult to do these things.

But this is kind of a tortoise and hare story here. Russia launched from its Russian spaceport itself. Pet project of Vladimir Putin, because of

course, as you know, they've always launched from Kazakhstan. And he wanted to repatriate the missions to Russia. He wanted to get this off as a point

of personal pride and dare we say vanity and get there before the Indians which didn't happen.

So here you have the Indians with a very lean mission, very fuel efficient, taking longer, and maybe they'll just win the race.

QUEST: Why are we going there anyway? What's the advantage? What's the advantage? No, I know, we're going there because it's there and we want to

explore it.

O'BRIEN: Because it's there.

QUEST: Yes. What's the advantage of the southern pole in terms of greater space exploration deeper, further, farther?

O'BRIEN: Yeah, it's a -- it's a two-part question. A few years back, we discovered not we, not me but scientists discovered ice in the south pole

of the moon, that is H2O. H and O are rocket fuel, hydrogen and oxygen. So, in theory, if you had an outpost there, you could manufacture rocket fuel

on the moon and use it as a launching point to who knows where and beyond. The other aspect of this, Richard, is if you look at the Indian space

program and for that matter, the Chinese space program, they are following the U.S. in one way we haven't tracked as closely, which is they are

embracing the free enterprise side of things.

And there is huge ecosystems that are being nourished in both countries right now for private small space startups. They are copying the U.S.

approach to move things into the private sector. And that in and of itself creates a more robust program as we've seen here in the United States. So,

I think what's happening now is a very different kind of space race which ultimately leads to a lot of technological advances on the ground.

And after all, as we always say, it's not like you bundle up $100 bills and ship them into space. The money gets spent here.

QUEST: Miles, very grateful to have you with us. Does the U.S. still have the commanding lead or not?

O'BRIEN: Yes. There is no question. But the blueprint, the template is being watched closely and being copied as often is the case. U.S. still

leads. It allows -- it has allowed SpaceX in the -- with appropriate investment and SpaceX has put it at the forefront, other -- Blue Origin and

others are doing good things. But I will say you got to keep moving.

QUEST: Keep moving forward. Yes. Thank you. Yes. Miles O'Brien. I'm just so glad to have you talking to us about the story today. Exactly the person we

needed to hear from today. Thank you, sir.

O'BRIEN: A pleasure, Richard.

QUEST: Miles O'Brien. And a look at the markets and how they've been trading. A bifurcated market. I like that phrase. We're down on the --

well, we're not. Actually, the Dow is only just off now three points. The triple stock will show that actually the NASDAQ were showing better gains

over 1-1/2 percent. So we have a strong robust -- I'm guessing tech sector that the Dow 30 would show a cross.


And there we are, Microsoft, Cisco, Intel, I didn't even need to look at it. You could guess Salesforce. They're all higher and that's why we're

seeing the NASDAQ up as well. I'll be at the top of the hour. Dash for the closing bell. Interesting to see if the Dow Jones hold on to those gains.

Coming up next, Living Golf. This is CNN.



QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. bringing you breaking news out of Atlanta where Donald Trump's legal team has reached a bond agreement with

prosecutors in Georgia. The former U.S. president will pay $200,000 bond for his release. He's accused of interfering with the results of the 2020

election in the state. All the defendants, there are 19 in total have until Friday at noon to surrender to the authorities.

Records show that at least two of Trumps co-defendants John Eastman and Scott Hall have also reached bail agreements and bond agreements but at

lower levels.

And some pictures that we've just got for you that you'll want to see. In Madrid, the World Cup winners Spain have arrived home. These images just

coming from CNN a few moments ago. You know the result, one nil victory over England with the final took place in Australia on Sunday. It is the

first World Cup Championship for Spain's women's team and as -- but there'll be (INAUDIBLE) there will be a tour through the city and we'll see

a lot more of the celebrations as those hours move on.

The final moments of trade on Wall Street and U.S. stocks. A late session comeback arguably. The Dow may be flat just barely $1.00. We haven't nudged

positive. We're going to bounce around there having spent most of the session in the red. But the NASDAQ is a very different story. It is at 1-

1/2 percent. And the reason there is NVIDIA is reporting on Wednesday. The outlook kicked off the A.I. rally and NVIDIA shares are up more than eight


I'm going to show you quickly the Dow 30 and you see it is tech, Salesforce, Microsoft, Intel, Apple Cisco over there. All that's -- all the

tech is right at the top. All the stuff is heading towards the bottom. Goldman Sachs is lower as it -- it made sell its investment advisor


And that is our dash to the bell for the start of the week. Busy start for the week.


Who knows what the rest will bring us? Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I do hope it's profitable. The big closing bell is ringing on Wall

Street. And "THE LEAD" with Jake Tappers starts now. This is CNN.