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Quest Means Business
Biden Marches With Striking Autoworkers; US Government Sues Amazon For Alleged Online Monopoly; PM Sunak Faces Criticism For Pushing Back On UK's Goals; Over 30 Percent Of U.K. Adults Struggle With Cost Of Living; Inflation Squeezing Discretionary Spending; Quest's World Of Wonder: Nice. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired September 26, 2023 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: There's an hour to go trading on Wall Street, and it is a really horrible day, as you can see, red, not just
red across the board, but deep red and we're almost at the low points of the day, bouncing around 400 points.
It is the worst day since March for the Dow and the broader market and the tech market isn't showing any better. In fact, it's worse. If you look at
the NASDAQ, that's off one-and-a-half percent.
It is all about economic worries. People are deeply concerned about what's happening. Just about no stock in the Dow 30 is high, maybe one or two.
We'll show you as the market moves and as the program moves on.
The events that we're going to talk about over the next hour: President Biden has joined the striking car workers on the picket line. It's a first
for a US president.
The US government is now accusing Amazon of being a monopoly.
And the British prime minister, Rishi Sunak prepares to defend weakening climate targets in next week's Tory Party Conference. Tonight, we have the
head of Britain's Chamber of Commerce, who joins me.
Indeed, I'm live in London tonight on Tuesday, September, the 26th. I'm Richard Quest, and yes, in London, I mean business.
President Biden made a historic show of solidarity with striking auto workers today, as he became the first sitting president to join a picket
line, leaving no question, which side he is taking in this labor dispute.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You guys, UAW, you saved the automobile industry back in 2008 and before. You made a lot of sacrifices.
You gave up a lot and the companies were in trouble, but now they're doing incredibly well. And guess what? You should be doing incredibly well, too.
Let's get back what we lost, okay?
[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]
BIDEN: We saved them; it's about time for them to step up for us. Thank you.
[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now, MJ Lee is at the White House for us.
Joe Biden supporting unions is nothing new. He is a lifelong union member and a supporter of unions. But this is going further and there is political
risk in doing so, is there?
MJ LEE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, I think it is very much worth underscoring just how unprecedented it is the site of a sitting
president visiting the site of an active picket line.
You know, President Biden and the White House aides here at the White House have been careful to avoid sort of the perception that the president is
taking sides in an ongoing labor dispute and ongoing negotiations, but you're very much right that with what he did today, visiting these auto
workers at the picket line, and essentially saying yes, when he was asked by reporters, do you support these workers standing next to you getting,
for example, a 40 percent pay raise, he did not take sides, essentially, in this ongoing negotiation.
It is something again, that White House officials have been careful to try to sort of walk this tightrope. Yesterday, for example, when White House
press secretary, Kaine Jean-Pierre was asked repeatedly whether the fact that he was going to Detroit meant that he was taking the side of the auto
workers, she tried to say no, he is just showing -- he is just wanting to show his general support, but it doesn't mean that he is going to weigh in
on the negotiations. Well, it seems like that sort of changed today.
QUEST: Okay, but it begs the question, whatever soothing comments, he may have made over striking writers in Hollywood or actors, he certainly didn't
give that same level of blue collar support that he's done today.
LEE: Yes, you know, I think, all of this obviously, comes down to politics at the end of the day, especially if you're just looking at this in the
context of the 2024 election coming up here.
Remember, Michigan is a state that President Biden won narrowly back in 2020 and particularly talking about this union, UAW it is incredibly
influential. And nobody here would say that he is not going for this coveted endorsement again, but so far, this union has been mum on whether
it would support President Biden again, in his 2024 re-election, and also it is not a coincidence that tonight, we are going to see former president
-- excuse me tomorrow night, we are going to see a former President Donald Trump going to Michigan as well.
So this back-to-back split screen really does underscore the fact that Michigan is a very politically important state and the people, the kinds of
people that we are seeing at the picket line, these union workers and the blue collar vote is incredibly essential when it comes to being successful
QUEST: And arguably, both men have courted in the past. Thank you, MJ Lee at the White House.
Whilst President Biden is in Michigan, in Washington, well, lawmakers are trying to avert a US government shutdown that's due to happen by the
The Senate is in talks over a stopgap bill to fund the government beyond Saturday. There will be major impacts as you can imagine if a shutdown
happens. Essential workers by law remain on the job. Others will be furloughed, none will be paid. There's always this idea that you get the
money back after the shutdown is over, and it's a horrible mess.
Since 1990, there have been six episodes where Congress has failed to pass a spending bills, the most recent was just in 2018.
Melanie Zanona joins me from Capitol Hill.
Melanie, I've looked at the various -- the various -- for want of a better word, complicated Senate procedural move on this, House procedural move.
There is a pathway that is extortionately complicated to keep things going.
MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Yes.
QUEST: Highly unlikely that they'll do it.
ZANONA: Yes, right now the House and the Senate are on a collision course they are teeing up a showdown and government funding is hanging in the
So over in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader and Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, have been in talks over a bipartisan plan
to temporarily fund the government for around 45 days. And initially, they were thinking about adding an additional billion dollar -- multiple billion
dollar aid package for Ukraine, but now it looks like they're not going to include that much money.
They want to make this as the least controversial option that they can to make it most likely to get this thing passed. But over in the House,
Speaker Kevin McCarthy has been trying to rally his Republican members around a conservative short-term plan to keep the government open, that
would include tougher border security and that it also would include spending cuts.
But it's unclear whether McCarthy would have the votes within his own ranks to even pass a bill like that.
So the most likely scenario at this point is that the Senate is able to pass something in the next couple of days, and then, the decision is on
McCarthy, whether he's going to take that bill up, which would likely infuriate his right flank and potentially could trigger a vote to remove
him as speaker. Does he ignore it, which would trigger a shutdown? Or does he try to amend it and send it back?
So those are the options for Kevin McCarthy right now.
QUEST: Right. But for McCarthy, don't all roads lead to the uncomfortable position? Either he gets it through with Democrat support, in which case in
any event, his right wing, those who will go against him and try and force him out of the speakership.
It's just about impossible to see how Kevin McCarthy and I say this bearing in mind the number of votes it took to get him -- he did get it in the end
-- but it seems like just about impossible for him to thread this needle.
ZANONA: Yes, I mean, at the end of the day, that's the reality of a divided Washington where you have Democrats in control of the Senate and the White
House and Republicans in charge of the House. It is going to require some compromise between Democrats and Republicans.
The question for McCarthy is, can he get enough wins that Democrats are willing to agree to, that his own conservatives are comfortable with? That
they can at least swallow a deal at the end of the day, and that they're not going to try to force him out of the speakership.
They did give him pass during the summer negotiations over the bipartisan debt ceiling deal, but it's unclear if they would be willing to give him a
second pass here during these negotiations. Both sides are really agitating for a fight. You have hardliners who actually want a government shutdown.
And so for Kevin McCarthy, it might ultimately come down to a choice. He can either keep the government open or keep his speakership.
QUEST: Or lose both in the process.
Melanie, you've got busy days ahead. Thank you.
Now the US government is accusing Amazon of creating an online retail monopoly. Seventeen states have joined the landmark antitrust lawsuit.
Anna Stewart is with me.
In the past, the answer to all of these things has been break it up, hive it off, do something. Is that what the Justice Department and others are
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: The FTC is asking the court to consider forcing Amazon to sell assets. Of course, it could look at the logistics company
that's very much linked to the marketplace. That's one of the key issues it has in this case, or it could just force different business practices, and
that's what we saw with the EU who had a very similar case against Amazon that was settled at the end of last year.
QUEST: You see, the thing with Amazon is, I mean, it's not just AWS, it's these horrible little sort of rules that they have that sellers have to
offer the cheapest price only on Amazon.
QUEST: You get kicked off.
STEWART: You find your product is so far down the search results, it may as well not be there.
QUEST: Right. But because Amazon is now de facto the world's warehouse for delivering everybody. They are not neutral players in this.
STEWART: Well, that's certainly the argument.
Amazon, of course, not only disagree and say they are not a monopoly, but they've actually come back and are attacking the FTC here.
We have a statement saying: "Today's suit makes clear the FTC's focus has radically departed from its mission of protecting consumers and
competition. The lawsuit filed today is wrong on the facts, the law, and we look forward to making that case in court."
QUEST: You know, the problem I've got here is sort of, I use Amazon all the time and I can say --
STEWART: We all, Richard.
QUEST: I can't remember, I ordered three things today from Amazon. And by the way, I noticed you can now order from overseas stores if you've got an
STEWART: You sound like an advert for Amazon.
QUEST: Exactly. But then I think about the poor traders who actually are shoved into Amazon's rulebook and can't move it either way. Now, I've seen
when FTC and DOJ move, there can be some fairly radical results. Is that likely here?
STEWART: I don't know how likely that is, but I do think the argument here is interesting, because it's not just about whether the consumer is getting
a fair price for a product, which is perhaps the traditional way of looking at a monopoly. It's the fact that you and I don't know what this landscape
would look like if Amazon wasn't there, because that is how big a monopoly it is.
QUEST: Anna, thank you. Good to see you. Thank you.
The British prime minister, Rishi Sunak recently walked back some of the UK's climate targets. And of course, there's the whole question over HS 2,
this very expensive railway that may or may not, or probably will, or perhaps won't get built.
After the break, the head of the Chamber of Commerce will join me.
QUEST: The British prime minister, Rishi Sunak will have a chance to defend his controversial climate policies when he hosts next week's Conservative
The Prime Minister has pushed back the timeline for eliminating diesel cars and gas boilers in the UK, 25 years. But the PM said the previous targets
presented an unacceptable cost to British households.
I spoke to the Allianz CEO, Oliver Bate last week, after the announcement. He told me that procrastination only costs more in the long run.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OLIVER BATE, ALLIANZ CEO: In general, I would say delaying action is increasing cost massively for the next few years and beyond. So -- and
we've been pushing the can down the road for too long, so we need action now. But that has nothing to do with the UK alone, it applies to Germany
and many other countries as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Shevaun Haviland is the head of the British Chambers of Commerce and joins me now. Do you support the rollback?
SHEVAUN HAVILAND, DIRECTOR GENERAL, BRITISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: So the climate challenge is a global challenge. It is, I would say disappointing
to see it become a political football.
What we need as businesses, Richard, we need clarity and certainty. You heard it there from your last guest. We need targets. Businesses want to be
part of the solution. They want to get to net zero.
QUEST: Yes, Fine, fine, fine, fine. Yes, yes. But when you heard that it moved the targets, did you think yes? Or did you think ugh, God no?
HAVILAND: We thought, oh, God, no. We need -- we want clarity, we want consistency. We want frameworks that are long term. It's those long term
frameworks that give businesses the confidence to invest, right? So you're an asset, you're a small and medium-sized enterprise, you have a lot on
your plate at the moment. You want to get to net zero. It's super hard.
You know, you're thinking, I need to keep the doors open. But I need to get to net zero. I need to measure my carbon footprint, I'm not sure how to do
it, I need to invest 100K in new lighting, new heating. Well, I don't have that money. You know, the good news is the data is showing that they are
taking action, but we need to help them there.
QUEST: Well, we've got another example exactly of this, which is HS 2, which is the high speed rail link that was supposed to go from London, up
the middle of Britain and out towards the east and the west in northern England. But bits have been truncated. And now the rumor is that it's
actually going to be to stop at Birmingham and not really, really even go to London.
HAVILAND: Yes, so the Chambers of Commerce across the UK all agree on one thing, and that is the full build of HS 2 is something we all want to see.
Now, we know we're not going to get the full build, but actually, you know, people talk about HS 2 being really important because it cuts commuting
times. Well, that is important, but actually, it's way more than that. It's new capacity on the line to move freight, to move goods and take lorries
off the roads.
It is infrastructure build that for local economies, it has a multiplier effect of four times.
QUEST: But you would agree as ministers have said this costs are out-of- control. What should have been 35 billion pounds, forty odd billion dollars, is now well over $110 billion. Surely you wouldn't want a blank
cheque to be written.
HAVILAND: We want investment in the infrastructure of the UK.
QUEST: You want a blank cheque.
HAVILAND: It's an investment. Of course, we want it to be the right amount of money, but we need to get on with it, which is you know, going to stop
the cost spiraling. We need to get on with it.
When need planning reform to make it go quicker. We need a functioning public realm so that businesses can get on with it.
QUEST: You see what I thought when I heard about this latest bit, this HS 2, I thought hang on a second. Here we go again. They couldn't get HS 2,
they can't get the third runway at Heathrow. It seems as if a post Brexit Britain, it just doesn't seem to move forward.
HAVILAND: Look, we have got quite a lot of economic challenges. And we are a year away from a general election. So there -- it is a really important
time for businesses' voice to be heard and that is about a functioning public realm, planning, a grid that works, infrastructure build is crucial
to get the economy going.
QUEST: But this government of course, which came in under a previous prime minister or two, leveling up, that was the thing wasn't it? Leveling up,
bringing the north up to the south. It's very difficult to see that you're leveling up if you cancel or truncate the single biggest, most important
HAVILAND: Absolutely. We need to connect our incredible investments, our incredible cities in the north with the south. You know you go to
Inverness, to the new green port of Cromarty Firth all the way down into the new lithium products in Cornwall, we need to connect our country
QUEST: So as we head to an election and I come from the north of course, but from all those places where HS 2 are supposed to go to -- Liverpool,
Manchester, Leeds -- as we come to an election next year, do you fear that there will be just an -- we are in for a year of nothing. A year of
promises, it'll be very difficult to work out which promises are going to be held.
HAVILAND: Look, we need a long-term economic strategy.
QUEST: You aren't going to get that.
HAVILAND: No, we're not going to get that in the next year. So what we've said for the autumn statements, we've got the autumn statement coming up in
a couple of months. We know that the chancellor has got a tight fiscal envelope as he likes to say to me quite often, so there are things that the
government can do in the short term that don't cost a lot -- planning reform, a grid that works, getting our businesses trading again with our
biggest trading partner, skills, apprenticeship levy reform -- there are things they can do and that's what we're pushing them to do.
QUEST: It is good to see you and I'm grateful you've come into us today. Thank you so much.
HAVILAND: Pleasure. Thank you.
QUEST: Thank you.
Russian drones hitting a Ukrainian port in the Odesa region, damaging warehouses and trucks and the ferry service between Ukraine and Romania has
been suspended since the attack.
Meanwhile, heavy fighting continues near the city of Bakhmut.
CNN's Fred Pleitgen has traveled with a Ukrainian drone unit to see more.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Rolling into battle as night falls, Ukraine's army attacking in the east
PLEITGEN (on camera): For the Ukrainians, this is an extremely important, but also very complicated and potentially very dangerous mission and we're
going to be located very close to where the Russians are.
PLEITGEN (voice over): We are with a frontline drone unit called Code 9.2. Their drone, the Ukrainian made Vampire, the crew attaching the bombs, as
artillery whistles over our heads.
The Vampire is fully night vision capable and plays a soundtrack showing it means business.
The team leader's callsign is "Groove" (ph) and he confirms because Ukraine doesn't have a modern Air Force. Tonight, they are the Air Force.
(GROOVE speaking in foreign language.)
PLEITGEN (voice over): "The drones see in the night like in daylight," he says. "We see the infantry. We hit the vehicles, cannons, everything we
need to destroy."
Groove also says, Russians from the Wagner private military company have returned to the battlefield around Bakhmut.
(GROOVE speaking in foreign language.)
PLEITGEN (voice over): "Yes, there is Wagner here, too. They swiftly changed their commanders and have returned here," he says. "We're breaking
through their line of defense and hitting them well."
As the drone takes off, the battle is already well underway. The Ukrainians using Western extended range artillery shells, and cluster munitions to
attack Russian ground force.
Groove is already busy targeting the Russians.
(GROOVE speaking in foreign language.)
PLEITGEN (voice over): "Oh, something's burning," he says. His unit also managing to take out a Russian main battle tank by dropping several bombs
The Ukrainian army now starting to push forward. Our photojournalist, Dan Hodge films powerful explosions as armored vehicles advance in the moonlit
PLEITGEN (on camera): We're now hearing a lot of fire -- a lot of outgoing fire, a lot of incoming fire actually also as well as the Ukrainians are
trying to move forward and they say they want to take a key road away from the Russians.
PLEITGEN (voice over): But the Russians are fighting back, firing flares to unmask the Ukrainians advance and hit Kyiv's forces. Groove remains unfazed
hunting a Russian tactical vehicle before destroying it.
The Code 9.2 drone team often hunts Russian armor here recently even destroying a modern T-90 tank in a highly complex operation.
After more than a half dozen missions, the drone returns a final time.
But as we tried to get away from the battlefield, a tire burst on our Humvee. No time for a spare, we push on.
PLEITGEN (on camera): We just witnessed an extremely tough battle between the Russians and the Ukrainians, both sides going at it for hours with very
heavy weapons and the area where we were, shells landed close to there on various occasions.
Now, we're heading back to base.
PLEITGEN (voice over): Hobbled but rolling after a long night on one of Ukraine's most dangerous frontline.
Fred Pleitgen CNN, Bakhmut, Ukraine.
QUEST: Now, prices -- rental prices across the United Kingdom have risen more than five percent since last summer, prices are going up wherever you
look. Families are struggling to make ends meet.
QUEST: A cost of living crisis here in the United Kingdom could cut many lives short say researchers. In a study that suggests premature deaths,
people dying before the age of 75, it is expected to rise six-and-a-half percent this year. It was all in the BMJ, the British Medical Journal.
Isa Soares spoke to one father who is struggling to keep his family afloat.
I mean, everyone in this country in some shape or form has either seen a mortgage double, costs of foods rise dramatically to say nothing of fuel
ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Absolutely. I think we all - - we've all had those conversations, heard those conversations, and you and I spoke about the cost of living crisis a year ago when it was framed
around the war in Ukraine.
But a year on in, we're starting to see, Richard, how that is really also impacting the middle classes. People are no longer saving to go on holiday.
People forget saving for your children's universities, people not putting money into their pension funds. This has a real knock-on effect for future
I went to visit one family who really told me they're at their wit's end. Have a look at this.
MATTHEW GREENWOOD, PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHER: It has been a really, really tough six months. I've lost sleep over it because you wonder where the next
bill is going to come from.
SOARES (voice over): It's been a year of constant stress for the Greenwood family.
GREENWOOD: You see the cost on your electric just trickling up and up and up. And it's not that you're doing anything different on the day-to-day.
SOARES (voice-over): And with that, the anxiety sets in. It's a cycle that left Matthew, a 34-year-old primary school teacher, struggling. He lost his
job as schools cut budgets. And his wife, who works 12-hour shifts, is training to be a nurse.
In between parenting and job searching, he's counting the pennies as the cost of living crisis squeezes the middle class.
SOARES: Have you considered, with rental prices going up and inflation, food inflation, moving in with a family member?
GREENWOOD: I think this was something last year. We put it to the board that it would be something that we would have to do because we didn't know
where the extra money was going to come from to cover the increasing rent.
SOARES (voice-over): Matthew's rent went up last year, like many others around the U.K. facing a similar problem. Since July 2022, private rental
costs increased here by 5.3 percent and now more than a third of adults are finding it difficult to afford their rent or mortgage payments.
The charity Turn2us, which advises people in financial difficulty, is seeing first-hand the scale of the problem.
THOMAS LAWSON, CEO TURN2US: We're seeing people get into debt, let alone holiday funds or saving for children's university. They're borrowing from
family members. People are making really hard choices about not only their long-term future but even months away.
SOARES (voice-over): And that's the case for Matthew, who is dreading another rent hike.
GREENWOOD: There's no guaranty that I will be able to afford the extra 50 pounds a month. A lot of people say, it's only 50 pounds a month, you can
cut back on things. But -
GREENWOOD: -- there's nothing else to cut back on. We are stripped to the bare minimum.
SOARES: What would you put your ice cream?
Just a few days after our interview, Matthew tells us that his worst fears have become a reality.
Matthew, we saw your text message. Give us a sense of what your landlord has told you?
GREENWOOD: So we had a message from him a couple of days after you left, basically saying he's really sorry and he's got to put the rent up. So
that's a bill for another 50 pounds.
SOARES: Another stressful news --
SOARES: -- for you.
GREENWOOD: Worst case scenario is we'll have to move out. But realistically, I don't know. I don't have words at the moment. There's just
no easy solution because --
SOARES: Fifty pounds, that was it, 50 pounds increase.
QUEST: The banks can't -- fine, you have a 25 year mortgage; make it a 50 year mortgage to reduce the payments. But that's just debt, debt, debt,
SOARES: And that's what we're starting to see. The charity I was speaking to said people are getting themselves into debt and the government is not
seeing the long-term pain they are going to face.
QUEST: -- but they've got no solution --
QUEST: We saw how expensive it was to bail everybody out during the pandemic and no government at the moment is in any fiscal shape to be able
SOARES: The biggest pain people are facing besides rents, mortgages, petrol also one of the biggest concerns but inflation. Obviously, the BOE paused
that, expecting to rise and that's also continuous pain that people are feeling.
QUEST: Isn't it difficult, in one sense, you know, we cover this as business journalists and I know the economic necessities of this, that or
the other. But the reality is what you showed us tonight. It is people, not you and me, we are going to have to pay our bills tomorrow. But the reality
is the people can't pay their bills.
SOARES: In middle class professionals, Richard, who cannot afford to pay their bills.
QUEST: Very grateful for you to come on. Thank you for staying late. You can go home now.
SOARES: Thank you.
QUEST: Very much.
So the rising cost of living is making much harder to afford all sorts of things, even simple pleasures like a candy bar, all my favorites, the M&Ms.
(INAUDIBLE). Mars is one of the world's biggest candy makers with plans like M&MS, Mars bars and Galaxy. Actually they also have pet food as well.
Mars is among the companies that has also been accused of shrinkflation. Galaxy, for example, its bars are 10 grams lighter than they once were. A
spokesperson said it's not a step that was taken lightly.
Anton Vincent is the president of Mars Wrigley North America.
Sir, I know that you are not responsible for my Galaxy being 10 percent less but shrinkflation is an issue.
QUEST: You've got no choice, you either put up the price or you reduce the product.
ANTON VINCENT, PRESIDENT, MARS WRIGLEY NORTH AMERICA: Well, Richard, first of all, thank you for having me. One of the things that we're responsible
in doing is making sure that we're taking all potential measures on our side of the business to make sure that we are providing value.
And sometimes we have to make adjustments to the product to be sure that we can keep quality high and making sure that we're providing value across the
price value stream.
As a matter of fact I was in our European plants last month. We have a tremendous manufacturing community and history in Europe. And look, they're
fast at work in making sure that, first, we have high quality. They're making sure that our costs are in control and that we're managing the value
spectrum for our consumers.
QUEST: The issue of price elasticity, if you will, to use a horrible phrase, we've always thought that a Mars bar, well, people always want to
cheer themselves up with a Mars bar, particularly if it's a fried Mars bar in Scotland.
But we've always thought that people would buy these things.
Is there any suggestion that this has changed, that recession-proof nature of candy?
VINCENT: I think the beautiful thing about confection and treats and snacking in general is it is a pretty resistant space, particularly as it
relates to the more indulgent side. As it relates to seasons, coming to Halloween, that's a period of permissibility.
Consumers give themselves permission to consume as well. People are, first of all, they're enjoying them and it becomes a routinized part of sort of
how they sort of allocate their calories across their entire nutritional intake.
QUEST: As the head of Mars America, how difficult is it for you to choose between your children, all the various products, because, sometimes you
have to get -- even if it doesn't sell brilliantly, there are some people who'll swear by a particular product that they've known since they were
And if you touch them, sir, we're (INAUDIBLE) you.
VINCENT: You know, that's a great question. I love all of our children but you know we're fortunate to have some tremendous brands. We have 11 brands
over $1 billion in terms of revenue.
And soon our ice cream business will be there by 2030. For us, it's making sure that those iconic brands, like a Mars bar in the U.K, or M&Ms,
Snickers or Twix, they're beautiful and provide different types of enjoyment across our household set and our consumer set as well.
So it's up to us to make sure that, A, they're relevant and they're out there with high quality and with the types of marketing that will draw
people in to make sure it's a continuous part of their consumption with the responsibility around it as well.
QUEST: The ownership structure of the company is always fascinating, it's a privately owned company, it's a family. Whenever I have spoken to senior
executives at Mars they all say that helps because it's got a long-term focus on the business.
They're not worried about a quarterly result. They can take the risk or make the decisions with a vision of 10-15-20 years' time.
VINCENT: I would agree with that wholeheartedly. First of all we're a purpose driven organization, we don't think there's a conflict between
purpose and profit. One drives the other.
I think as senior executives, we're aligned with the family with a compass, which is essentially our agreement with the family around how we want to
We have the five principles but it also allows us to have a very long-term view around how to execute against our purpose and ensuring that the
economic model supports that as well.
You know, as a matter of fact, there's parts of that compass built around, how do we make the world a better place?
As one of the senior executives, part of my long-term compensation is making sure that I put just as much emphasis on how we make the world a
better place as I am that our model continues to move forward.
QUEST: A couple more questions before I let you go. It's fascinating to have you with us.
How difficult are the debates about naming products, particularly when there have been different products -- same product, different country and
really you want to standardize it?
We saw it with Snickers, we have seen it with Twix. You want to standardize around one name.
VINCENT: Yes, like any other company, we do a tremendous amount of consumer research. Also being a global company, we have to be sensitive to our
regions and localities as well. It's important for us to understand the cultural context.
VINCENT: So I think we do a good job of listening to our consumers and putting a name and investment behind that name and brand building in a
QUEST: I need to point out, for anybody who thinks otherwise, we did pay for these things. Now the really horrible question for you, pick your
poison, you can have one to go home with.
Are you going for the M&Ms or the Mars bar?
VINCENT: Well, it's hard to pick one, Richard. I would say they serve different purposes. So, I'm going to take both.
How about that?
QUEST: Why did I not know that would be your answer?
Good to see you. Thank you.
That's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. At the top of the hour, together we'll make a dash for the closing bell. You might want to take it very slowly, it's a
horrible day on the market. But you will enjoy Nice in "World of Wonder" -- that's next.
QUEST (voice-over): There's a reason that people have flocked here and the mild climate is only part of it because, really, everyone talks about the
light. Of all the impressionists and French painters, it is perhaps Matisse who is most closely associated with Nice and its famous light.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He came here in 1917 and just fell in love with the region.
QUEST (voice-over): The art enthusiast, Florence Tournier, is talking about the art master, Henri Matisse. The museum is most certainly well visited.
But Florence and I have come here to see a particular painting.
FLORENCE TOURNIER, ART ENTHUSIAST: So this is (INAUDIBLE), which means "Storm in Nice." That is his first visit in nice. And, it was ruined by
constant rain for an entire month. The next morning, the (INAUDIBLE) clouds away and some amazing light came to (INAUDIBLE) the sky. (INAUDIBLE).
QUEST: Where was it taken?
TOURNIER: It was taken on promenade (INAUDIBLE), from the (INAUDIBLE), which is now a hotel.
QUEST: And we can see?
TOURNIER (voice-over): We can still see that today.
QUEST (voice-over): Now the Hyatt hotel wasn't here in 1920 when he painted this picture. But I think it's pretty close to where.
TOURNIER (voice-over): Yes, exactly. So the number of trees might have changed over the past 100 years but this is the place. He was here at
(INAUDIBLE) at the time to paint this canvas.
QUEST: But the weather today is so much more glorious than he saw it as. This is beautiful.
QUEST (voice-over): Matisse had a room at the Mediterranee and he used it as a studio for a time.
TOURNIER: How can you get bored of that view?
QUEST: There were many of them down here painting at that time, weren't there?
TOURNIER: Yes, exactly. It was a period of artistic joy and there were a lot of, yes, big galleries for artists.
QUEST (voice-over): Not just any old artist turned up here. The great ones in his presence, Renoir and Picasso, Monet and Chagall.
TOURNIER: You have the whole (INAUDIBLE) and you can identify spots that have inspired artists and have been used as decor and (INAUDIBLE) for
QUEST (voice-over): How can we put ourselves in their shoes and better understand their paintings?
There's a little known tourist attraction. It's called an artist route, if you will. Following the route, I can visit the places that inspired the
famous paintings. So I leave Nice and head to the hillside village of St. Paul de Vence.
We really are now in the depth of the countryside here.
QUEST (voice-over): St. Paul de Vence. Beautiful.
TOURNIER: And hear the sound of (INAUDIBLE).
Where are we going?
TOURNIER: We're going to see a lectern displaying a painting of Marc Chagall, who loved this village and the house here and spent the last years
of his life.
QUEST: Oh, my goodness. The heart just sort of rises, doesn't it, when you look at -- oh.
TOURNIER: We understand why this light was so important for them and the changing colors.
QUEST (voice-over): I told you, they love their light here.
QUEST: Oh, now, look, here we go.
QUEST: Marc Chagall, "The table devant la village," "The Table in Front of the Village."
And this is where he got the inspiration from.
QUEST: I think one of the great parts is you can actually go and see the places.
TOURNIER: Yes, exactly.
QUEST: You can see the places and even though, maybe, there's a palm tree that's not there or a palm tree that is there, you get a feel for it.
TOURNIER: You get a feel for it, exactly. You can see the light. You can see the colors, you can really see it, be in the footsteps of these
QUEST (voice-over): There are several of these artists' point of interest plaques. They're dotted around the Cote d'Azur.
TOURNIER: A lot of (INAUDIBLE). Not only you have (INAUDIBLE) in (INAUDIBLE), in (INAUDIBLE) you have Picasso, (INAUDIBLE) is really Marc
QUEST (voice-over): I love these. You should do more of them.
TOURNIER (voice-over): It adds something to your stroll.
QUEST (voice-over): It gives you something to discover.
TOURNIER (voice-over): Exactly.
QUEST: Something to deepen the understanding of this whole area.
QUEST (voice-over): Slowing down to enjoy the view.
Thank you so much.
It's not lost on me, once again, a simple pleasure of the French Riviera that brings true joy.
QUEST (voice-over): I had heard that the lavender fields of Provence was something to behold. But I wasn't expected anything as spectacular as this
Today this beauty makes perfect Reels on Insta. It's as if it was designed this way. And, of course, I'm not alone. Everyone and their brother is here
to get their selfies.
JEAN-PIERRE JAUBERT, TERRAROMA: (Speaking foreign language).
QUEST (voice-over): Jean-Pierre and his family are very tolerant of all these tourists, tromping through his lavender fields. It's good business.
Jean-Pierre speaks almost no English.
QUEST: (Speaking foreign language).
QUEST (voice-over): My Duolingo French is coming along nicely.
QUEST: Lavender (INAUDIBLE).
QUEST (voice-over): Lavender is as much a part of the identity of the south of France as the sun and the beach. The flower has grown wild here for
hundreds of years.
QUEST: Lavender estimate classique.
JAUBERT: (Speaking foreign language).
QUEST (voice-over): "Crush it, it smells nice," he tells me.
JAUBERT: (Speaking foreign language).
QUEST: Oh, you're giving me a massage?
So let's go on.
QUEST (voice-over): Jean Pierre's enthusiasm is infectious and wonderful.
Pourquoi adore lavender?
JAUBERT: (Speaking French).
QUEST (voice-over): "I think it's in my veins," he tells me. "My family has been here for 300 years.
JAUBERT: (Speaking French).
QUEST (voice-over): "What's more beautiful than this?" he asks.
The sound of the bees and the smell.
QUEST (voice-over): Of course, it is the same magical light that attracted all those famous artists to the region. This light was the raw fuel to make
the plants grow and create this beauty.
Provence is a circular story.
JAUBERT: (Speaking French).
QUEST (voice-over): Jean-Pierre echoes a sentiment that I've heard throughout my visit, we always come back to nature and the simple things.
QUEST: I'm using up his profits.
QUEST (voice-over): And it wouldn't be a farm if there was not a farm shop to buy lavender this, lavender that and lavender the other. I bought some
QUEST: This is, ooh, strong.
QUEST (voice-over): I intend to make lavender ice cream.
QUEST: I've always been slightly embarrassed that I like the smell of lavender. After all, it's the smell of Grandma's living room and those
little pouches you put in drawers and cupboards.
And maybe, well, maybe if it's not cool, so be it.
Own it, Richard.
I like the smell of lavender.
QUEST (voice-over): The positioning of the perfume capital of the world, nestled in the French Riviera, is not an accident. The town of Grasse is
about an hour outside of Nice. And besides, lavender, which is a mainstay of perfumes, here, flowers grow everywhere. It is the noses at Fragonard
perfumery that know what they're looking for.
Like everybody who has sat here, I want the perfect part, the eau de cologne for a man.
So where do we start?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Smell each ingredient separately and then make some little notes.
QUEST (voice-over): And you see people going spritz, spritz, spritz.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): And yes, well, that's to get rid of the alcohol because our perfumes are innovative (ph) alcohols. We want the
alcohol to evaporate. Then we smell the perfume.
Grab your first bottle. So you have got them numbered on your little --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Orange from Brazil.
What does orange remind you of?
QUEST: Being unable to peel an orange.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, (INAUDIBLE).
So bergamot also is a citrus fruit.
QUEST: Oh, that's classic cleaning fluid.
QUEST (voice-over): Jessica is an expert. She's been trained to differentiate 3,000 essential oils by smell. Only by reaching that heady
level is she allowed to call herself a nose.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rosemary.
QUEST (voice-over): Now at this point, they're all smelling the same.
I can barely tell the difference between the two.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): We're making our harmony with different ingredients. Let's go to lavender and then a little bit of rosemary, then
QUEST (voice-over): So I need a bit of mad scientist.
You know, if we take the lavender down to 45 --
A soupcon of this --
-- mandarin would be 30 --
-- the petit of that --
-- and 20 of the petitgrain.
A dash of (INAUDIBLE). And voila.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's really well-balanced between those ingredients. It's very light -- and this is classically eau de cologne:
light, fresh --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- to wear.
QUEST: Ooh! Ooh, I do like that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fantastic.
QUEST: Eau de Quest.
QUEST: I'm Richard Quest. Together we'll have a dash to the closing bell and we are only two minutes away from that.
The possibility of a U.S. government shutdown is looming over Wall Street. Horrible day. We are off the lows of the day but not much. We're down about
406 points earlier. It's all got a whole list of investors concerned. That means deep red for the Dow.
Whilst off the session lows, apparently at its worst point, it was 437 points lower. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, the broader and the tech, they're
also losing. The Nasdaq losing the most, down 1.50 percent.
So all in all, it will be a disappointing September when you factor in the numbers. I spoke to Shevaun Haviland, the head of the British Chamber of
Commerce, about the U.K.'s government's goals and priorities.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAVILAND: We need a long-term economic strategy.
QUEST: You're not going to get that.
HAVILAND: No, We're not going to get that in the next year. So what we said for the autumn statements, we've got the autumn statement coming up in a
couple of months, we know the chart has gotten a tight fiscal envelope, as he likes to say to me quite often.
So there are things that the government can do in the short term that don't cost a lot -- planning reform, a grid that works, getting our businesses
trading again with our biggest trading partner; skills, apprenticeship, levy reform. There are things they can do. And that's what we're pushing
QUEST: It is good to see you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now to the Dow 30. They're on a frolic of their own because this is the general mood of the market, with Apple off 2.25 percent. Apple,
Honeywell; techs are down here. You saw that reflected very much in the Nasdaq earlier.
And really the banks in the middle are also somewhat unhappy at the moment. The market is just basically not very pleased with the way things are
looking. It's the old idea of higher for longer that's taking its toll.
After that dash for the bell, I'm Richard Quest. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead I hope you have a positive week and I hope it's profitable.