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BP's Latest Effort to Stem Oil Flow Hits Snag; Interview with Robert Zoellick

Aired June 2, 2010 - 14:00:00   ET


RICHARD QUEST, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: The battle for the beaches. The oil disaster battles Gulf Coast tourism at the start of the holiday season.

The World Bank President Robert Zoellick tells me tonight, regulate, don't strangulate.

And don't blame Moody's. Warren Buffet says yes, credit rating agencies made the wrong call and so did he.

I'm Richard Quest and, yes, I mean business.

Good evening.

BP's efforts to stop the oil flow have once again been held up, this time by a saw that has become snagged on a mile beneath the waves. The current operation aims to cut and cap the ruptured oil well from the riser pipe. But it stalled when the saw blade making the cut got stuck in the pipe. Engineers are working to free the saw so it can carry on slicing through it, ready for the cap to be added.

At the same time the amount BP has spent since the crisis blew up, has past-let's count the zeros. There are nine of them, $1 billion. That's more than $22 million a day and to put it into perspective, though, so far that is how much they've spent. But BP made $14 billion last year in underlying profit. BP shares closed virtually unchanged in London after an absolute nosedive on Tuesday when they lost the best part of 13 percent. The stock prices you'll be aware is down 34 percent since that explosion destroyed Deepwater Horizon. Let us never forget 11 oil workers were killed on that, on April 20th.

Traders are weighing up whether the disaster could permanently mare BP's business in the U.S. A crucial market, 40 percent of BP's revenues come from the U.S. Authorities there have now launched a criminal probe into the accident. Some analysts even suggest that a $120 billion, BP, could yet be overtaken as a result of this incident.

Hala Gorani is in Grande Isle, Louisiana, not far from the place where BP oil first came ashore a month ago. Hala joins me.

There is much for us to get to grips with Hala. The question from this side of the Atlantic, it is quite hard for us to gauge exactly how much oil is coming ashore.

HALA GORANI, CNN INT'L. CORRESPONDENT: Well, it depends where you are. Where we are right now, for instance, they've laid down booms around some of the marsh islands and some of the islands where there is wildlife. So it is not like I can walk a few feet and actually put my hand in the water and that hand will come up soaked in oil. That is not the case yet, however, the oil has drifted into beaches on those barrier islands of Alabama and Mississippi. And there are reports that it has reached some of the sandy beaches in Florida, in tiny little patches. So this oil slick, this oil spill, is getting worse.

And here is the other problem that you mentioned briefly there at the top of the program. Is that the saw that they are using underwater to try and cut that rise pipe clean got wedged in the pipe and the thick metal of that pipe. Right now we don't have reports that they have been able to dislodge it and there is talk that they might have to actually send a second saw down there to try to make a clean cut. And as you mentioned, then it is a question of putting a cap on it, and being able to siphon off the oil onto a ship.

But let me tell you, I got a small taste of what the weather can be like when it becomes severe in this area. Just about 45-about an hour ago, right before we went on the air with the International Desk, I mean it was absolutely impossible to broadcast live. We are talking strong winds, horizontal rain. That kind of weather means that ships can't be out there for a very long period of time. And if that happens, and if a hurricane is headed the Gulf Coast's way, that ship that is designed to siphon the oil away from the riser pipe, will have to move. And that is one of the big issues.

QUEST: Hala, you have been covering business a good two years, so you'd be aware as anyone. The affect on BP is now starting to become serious. But in Florida, or in Louisiana, where you are is this just an attack against BP, or is it an attack against big oil?

GORANI: Really, it is focused on BP, especially in Louisiana. So much of the economy of this region relies on offshore drilling. Probably about half of the income generated in this part of the United States comes from the oil and gas industry. Nobody here is telling me I wish they would stop offshore drilling. What they are saying is I wish offshore drilling were safer. And what they are also saying is they don't feel they are getting the kind of respect from BP that they think they deserve.

One man, here, who is a fisher, who is a guide, who is a tourist guide, who takes people out to sea to fish, says, "You know, I don't want BP's money. I don't want BP's apology. I just want my way of life back." But you can tell there is anger there, that they-and this is the belief of some of the residents here-they, BP, did not take safety precautions in the way they should have, Richard.

QUEST: Hala Gorani, joining us from Louisiana.

Now, Hala has already indicated that some of the oil has now reached the coast of Florida. And the state's economy is likely to suffer. It is clear people are staying away because of the giant oil slick offshore. The tourism industry should be gearing up along the Gulf Coast, so it is not surprising that the authorities are doing everything they can to tell people it is still a great place to visit. If you know which places to avoid.

You are looking at a campaign for the Mississippi Gulf Coast. An advert, a commercial, that they are running.

But now, if you come and join me over here, you'll see that it is more than just Louisiana, or Mississippi. It goes right the way around. Think about this. Think about how the Gulf Coast goes. It goes right the way around, across down to Florida. So Florida has launched this update, its web site to keep people informed. It does have a web cam and it shows you, for example, all the beaches that are open and what is available, and what is not. Now other areas are also very keen to show you, for example-by the way this, the Florida is using money, a million-dollar grant from BP to pay for the ad campaign.

Other areas, this web-this web cam comes to us from Pensacola Beach, also in Florida. You can tell it is real, it is eight minutes past 1:00 o'clock there, 88.7 degrees. And, again, onwards through to St. George Island, the message constantly trying to become the same, that the beaches are open. They are clear and they are available for business. Now how long this will last is anyone's guess. The Florida state governor, Charlie Crist has warned he is expecting to see oil and tar on beaches, in the Panhandle, within a day or two. And the governor is overseeing efforts to lay another 20,000 meters of boom to protect those beaches.

Now, I'm joined on line by Beth Carriere, the executive director at Mississippi West Coast Tourism Development Bureau.

Let's just talk about this for a moment. How much of your economy rests on tourism and how much is now under threat?

BETH CARRIERE, MISSISSIPPI TOURISM DEVELOPMENT BUREAU: I would say approximately 30 to 35 percent of our total coast wide economy depends on tourism and of course that is extended onto the businesses who are suppliers to the tourism industry businesses, on and on and on. For the most part, we are open. We are fishing. The beginning of the official shrimp season started Sunday with the Blessing of the Fleet. And within certain areas of the Gulf of Mexico that are approved and allowed, the shrimpers are out there catching beautiful pink shrimp.

QUEST: But, Beth, this is now turning into this economic battle between perception and reality, isn't it? And that, in many ways, is your biggest enemy.

CARRIERE: Well, you know, often times people say that perception is reality. In this case it is not. Our businesses are all open. Our businesses are all open, the beach is open, the waterways, the barrier islands, the seafood industry, the casino industry.

QUEST: How much do you fear that that could change and could change relatively quickly. Now we know how much oil is coming out. Or we think we-we know it is more than we thought. We know that the weather can shift things. So, how worried are you?

CARRIERE: Well, the weather today is beautiful here, but it can shift. This is our official hurricane season. And we're, of course, watching with baited breath, the tides, the winds.

QUEST: And, Beth, in terms of Mississippi West Coast Tourism, and the companies and the businesses, even the authorities, you will be looking, I suspect, along with many others, to BP for compensation for if and when there are losses.

CARRIERE: Well, BP has already volunteered compensation to four of the Gulf Coast states in order to try to salvage the summer season business with campaigns and we are working on that, have been for three weeks. The actual business loss potential out there is astronomical. But at this point we cannot register a catastrophe size of lost business. And hopefully we won't have to, but all of us are very much aware that it is very possible and we are watching everything very closely.

QUEST: Right. Beth, many thanks indeed, and we will talk to you in the days and weeks ahead as we follow, obviously very closely what's happening. Beth Carriere joining us from the Mississippi West Coast Tourism Development.

All this week on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS our theme, our topic, our consideration has been austerity as governments crack down. Portugal is now the latest European Union country to try and right its finances. We'll tell you how after the break.


QUEST: The evidence keeps on coming that Europe's free-spending governments are turning over a new leaf and presenting themselves as super savers. This week are focusing on the region's new mood of austerity. That has been the key word that we are following throughout the week. As the European states are forced to slash their bloated budgets, those austerity measures are being felt the length and breadth of Europe. And that promises to get worse in the weeks and months ahead, as the measures bite.

Let's talk of Greece, of course, over in the library here we can see that Greece is planning to partly privatize rail, water and postal services, aiming to raise another $3.7 billion over the three years. So it is a massive privatization. Some might arguably--some purists might arguably say why is it taking them so long? Portugal's parliament is voting on its own austerity measures and Wednesday. It is going to mean big cuts in the public sector; spending cuts of $2.7 billion this year. It will be the usual mix that we've seen elsewhere, a combination of pay freezes, job cuts, hiring freezes, and higher retirement ages as well.

European day of action, the European Trade Union Confederation has called on affiliates to take the maximum possible degree of action against many of the stoppages. The stoppages will be demonstrations, they will be meeting with government ministers. And it is all designed to show the affects of these austerity measures. The question of austerity and whether or not governments are going too far in bringing this forward was I discussed with Robert Zoellick, the president of the World Bank. Having seen what happened with the euro crisis, I was keen to see whether the president had ever actually feared that the euro was about to collapse.


ROBERT ZOELLICK, PRESIDENT, THE WORLD BANK: I didn't fear the collapse of the euro. What I was concerned about was that you would have another spread of lack of confidence, that as you saw in the United States in 2008, paralyzed markets. And so that was what was important to avoid. But again, the key point is having done that, one can't say you've solved the problem. Because we haven't solved the problem.

QUEST: Europe is in deep trouble, isn't it?

ZOELLICK: Well, there is tremendous resources and assets in Europe. So, it is a question of, frankly, overcoming some of these problems we are talking about and getting back on track. I mean, just look, if you go around and you look at the income and the wealth and the possibilities of Europe, it is hard to believe that Europe can't get itself back in order. But it will be a political challenge.

QUEST: And that political challenge, to some, at the moment, European leaders-I'm not going to use the word "failing" in that respect, but I am going to say their response so far to their critics has been wanting.

ZOELLICK: The politics of Europe, as you know, are very complex. Because on the one hand people have to manage the national politics that elect them, on the other hand European integration has progress further than anywhere else. So the question is how will they also act at the European level?

QUEST: The governments were bounced into, perhaps, their exit strategies implementation sooner rather than they would have liked to. Is it a mistake, do you think, to introduce these measures now?

ZOELLICK: No, they have to tighten fiscally, because it is a natural result of a lot of the expansion that they use during the course of the crisis, that the spending would raise questions about their debt. So, what you have seen during the course of this year has been a repricing of sovereign credit. But my prime message has been this can't only be about the politics of austerity, it also has to be about policies for prosperity and growth.

QUEST: The two are in contradiction at the moment.

ZOELLICK: They don't need to be.

QUEST: But they are.

ZOELLICK: Well, I don't really think they are, Richard. I think it is a question of what you put as your policy mix. And you can cut spending. You can try to reduce some of your debt. But you can also take policies, for example, some policies to get rid of red tape, to allow enterprises to form, entrepreneurialism that help create jobs. And that is what this is about.

QUEST: Can you do that, at the same time as-I mean, you can certainly cut red tape, and you can certainly go for a deregulation policy. But ultimately the vast amount of austerity has to come from the cutting of spending and the raising of taxes.

ZOELLICK: There is-cutting of spending is definitely the case. If you are going to raise taxes, it is very important how you raise them. You don't want to create disincentives to work. You don't want to create disincentives for investment, because these are the creation of jobs. So it has been lost in a little bit of the discussion. It is not just how you can sort of crush people under the weight of those fiscal policies. But if you look at Asia, for example, what I saw at the end of last year was while Europeans were simply focusing on the dour (ph) and the negative, Asians who had gone through this in the `90s started to say, well, maybe we are going to have to open up some service sectors to competition to create expansion of growth.

QUEST: Is it more difficult to get those regulatory reform changes in the developed world at a time when financial regulation, justifiably, is being ramped up?

ZOELLICK: Well, again, all regulation isn't the same. And you don't want to make regulation into strangulation. So there is definitely a need to be able to reform the financial regulation. But does that mean you should have lack of competition of logistic services? Transportation services? Make it harder for people to create and start a business? Tax those that are trying to create wealth and generate in society? The two don't have to be in contradiction.

So, the point has been, that yes, there needs to be attention to dealing with budget problems. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't also have an agenda to try to open opportunities to grow at faster rates in the future.


QUEST: The president of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick, on the question of regulation, not strangulation.

Now, when we come back in a moment, some airline companies say premium passengers are making a comeback. We think we found some evidence bearing that out. We're going to be talking to the chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, who is launching a special flight to South Africa tonight. We'll explain in a moment.


QUEST: Just an hour and a half from now, England's 23-man squad for the World Cup will board a Virgin Atlantic Airbus A340 that will take them over night to South Africa; which, of course, is a perfect opportunity for us to speak to the chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, Steve Ridgway. He is at London airport now and he joins me.

Good evening, Steve. Firstly, you must be very pleased to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) you have beaten the flag carrier to carry the national team to South Africa.

STEVE RIDGWAY, CEO, VIRGIN ATLANTIC AIRLINES: Well, we have, Richard, but sadly events are a little bit overshadowed today, aren't they, by the tragic events in Cambria. But nonetheless, this is the aircraft that the England World Cup squad are going down to South Africa on. The World Cup is huge. We know that everybody is behind the team and we are very proud to be taking them down tonight and they'll be off, as you say, in about an hour and a half's time.

QUEST: Steve, it is a good opportunity for you and I to have a chat about what you are seeing at the moment in the industry. We know there is a recovery there, but are you seeing that yet in your premium traffic that you need?

RIDGWAY: Richard, we have seen that. We've seen the traffic coming back. I think that the sort of volume started improving through last winter into the spring. And the planes are much fuller now. There is a long way to go in terms of the fairs and the yields, because clearly they were hammered last year. And we had, of course, last month, or in April the volcanic ash incident, which threw everyone off the rails and that was a disaster really.

QUEST: If you look, I mean, you must be benefiting from the BA strike, this rolling series of strikes by British Airways?

RIDGWAY: Well, I think we are, we have seen passengers coming across. I mean our flights are very full anyway. We are in half term now, the flights were always very full. I think BA are managing (ph) a large part of their long-haul program, as they are saying, but clearly overall it is not good for the industry, but equally we are seeing the planes very full, and fuller than they would have been.

QUEST: Steve, we have seen reports suggesting that if BA and American do get their anti-trust immunity. You have BA then, with Iberia, that it is possible that Virgin Atlantic could be sold. There is nothing on the cards that I've heard or now of, is there anything you need to tell us?

RIDGWAY: Well, Richard, there is a huge amount of change going on in the industry, especially after the terrible recession that we have been through. We can see that all around the world. We are very realistic about the fact that there is consolidation going on. And we have said, quite often, that we may well be part of that. I think that the only thing that we believe is that there is good consolidation and bad consolidation. And we will fight what we believe is bad consolidation, where people are trying to become too dominant. It is not in the interest of consumers. But equally, we may want to become, and may have to become stronger, by consolidating ourselves, which ever way it goes. And it is a moving piece all the time, and it is probably moving faster now than it has for many years.

QUEST: But is there anything on the cards, at the moment?

RIDGWAY: Not immediately. We are still firmly in recovery mode. We are a very strong, independent airline. We have a great business here at Heathrow, and we're making sure that all the hard-won gains from last year are being put into effect. We just started a new route to acquire (ph), and indeed, we went back to Chicago, just a few days ago. So, it is definitely an improved situation on where we all were a year ago.

QUEST: Steve, my viewers, of course, from many countries, will have their own supporters for which team they wish to win. But I think they will forgive me if I say that you and I maybe have a little bit of hope that glimmers that A340 tonight. Steve Ridgway-yes, go ahead? Thank you very much. Steve Ridgway joining me from Heathrow airport.

Now Warren Buffet doesn't accept every invitation he gets. Only one of the richest men in the world. That is understandable. He needed persuading in the form of a subpoena to go to New York and meet federal investigators. They go him there in the end. What did the Oracle of Omaha, the sage, have to say about movies.


QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, this is CNN, where the news always comes first.


QUEST: Warren Buffett had a date today with the U.S. committee investigating the causes of the financial crisis. It was looking this time at the role of the rating agencies. Politicians and some investors have criticized Moody's, Standard & Poor's, and the other agencies for giving a misleadingly rosy picture, branding many securities as sound when they proved to be anything but.

Now, Mr. Buffett was not a willing witness. He resisted testifying until a subpoena forced him to appear. The hearing is a case study in the action of but on firm, that's Moody's. Buffett is the rating agency's biggest shareholder. That goes to explain why he was called on to attend. The chairman of Moody's was also questioned.

Mr. Buffett said the firm made mistakes, but so did many others in the financial world.


WARREN BUFFETT, CEO, BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY: They made the wrong call. I mean, they basically believed, as most of the American public did, and you couldn't have had this size bubble without overwhelming. And the Cassandras were there, but who is going to listen to John Paulson in 2005, or 2006, or Michael Bureem (ph)?

And it -- it didn't mean anything. And, you know, and I -- look at me. I mean I -- I was wrong on it, too. I recognized that something pretty dramatic was going on in housing, but I -- I actually called it, in the annual meeting, when I got a question on it, a bubblette. Well, that was a -- that was a terrible term to use. It was a -- it was a four star bubble.


QUEST: And you'll be able to see an interview with -- with Warren Buffett on in the hours ahead and, of course, on this network.

Investors on Wall Street are bargain hunting. The energy sector is very much in vogue a day after BP's shares fell nearly 15 percent.

One reason the Dow is up triple digits, Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange -- good afternoon, Alison.

We're having a -- a good strong session.

The question is whether it's a...


QUEST: -- whether it's a bounce or whether there's actually some legs to it.

KOSIK: You know, we've -- we've got some legs to this. As you said, stocks are snapping back from that tumble that they took on Tuesday. What investors are doing, they're focusing on the U.S. economy and they're kind of putting those European debt problems on the back burner.

We got a positive report on pending home sales. The report topped expectations. That's why you're seeing this reaction in the stock market.

Also, the euro is holding its own above the four year low that it hit yesterday. Everybody is watching the euro, of course, because it's seen as a reading of confidence in Europe's ability...

QUEST: Right.

KOSIK: -- to get a handle on its debt crisis. So that's why we're seeing this jump today.

We are off our highs of the day, but stocks definitely holding their own.

QUEST: I'm fascinated by these auto numbers that we keep seeing. Now, I know we're coming off a low base. But even so, we're just about starting to compare Cash for Clunkers with one year versus the next.

So what is explaining -- Chrysler had absolutely blistering numbers today.

KOSIK: Yes, I mean you talk about Chrysler, Chrysler's sales surged 33 percent. In fact, this is the first month in more than two years that this -- this automaker sold more than 100,000 vehicles. I mean what you're seeing here is even though the stock market is down 8 percent, that we've seen lately, consumers are still feeling like that they can buy these cars, even though we're not getting many incentives. These automakers are not giving many incentives.

Still, these -- you know, consumers are feeling good about the market, enough to go out there and buy cars and -- and sort of trade up. They're kind of putting away their old ones and buying new.

It is kind of an anomaly, when you think about it, Richard.

QUEST: It is, when you bear in mind the clear worries that there are still unemployment at 9.7, 9.8 percent.

Alison, many thanks.

Alison Kosik joining us from New York.

Many thanks for that.

European stock markets ended at the day -- it was a downbeat note for the Europe bourses. Bank stocks lost ground as the European debt crisis remind -- remained -- reminded, even, on traders' minds. Look at those numbers. London's FTSE -- I mean, well, it's not often you see the Xetra DAX didn't budge. In fact, I'm not going to waste too much time talking about it. It was a recovery from the low points of the sessions -- little comfort from the strong U.S. home sales.

When we return, they live, sleep and work at enormous manufacturing complexes. A rash of suicides has turned the spotlight on one of the world's biggest makers of electronics.

John Vause will talk to the family of Foxconn employee who apparently took his own life in just a moment.


QUEST: The Apple head, Steve Jobs, has spoken publicly for the first time about a spate of suicides at a factory in China that makes the iPad and the iPhone. Mr. Jobs said he found the situation troubling and that Apple are trying to understand the situation and find, in his words, a solution.

He said one thing he could say for sure was that the factory is not, in his words, a sweatshop. The plant makes electronic products for a wide range of famous names, as well as Apple, including Nokia, Dell and Hewlett Packard. All the companies have launched their own investigation.

Ten people have taken their lives -- their own lives -- at the Foxconn plant this year.

The factory is in Shenzhen. It employs more than 400,000 workers, many of them young from rural areas. They live and sleep in the factory complex, often putting in long hours on assembly lines.

Our correspondent, John Vause, spoke with one family still grieving at the loss of a son who took his own life in January.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ma Xiangqian worked at the giant electronics maker, Foxconn, for just 73 days before he was found dead. Local police say he died falling from a building -- considered the first of 10 suicides at the sprawling complex just this year. Almost six months since his death, his father still can't accept his 18-year-old son went off to work and never came back.

"The more we think about it, the more regretful we are, the more painful, the more difficult it becomes for us to carry on," he told me.

She says Xiangqian was excited to get a job at Foxconn with relatively good pay -- almost $300 U.S. a month with overtime, working at a factory where products are made for Apple, Dell, Hewlett Packard and others. His older sister worked on the assembly lines, as well. She told me about long 12 hour days and high stress because of the precision involved in assembling electronic components.

"We would have to work to the second," she says. "There would be supervisors there with stopwatches. At work, we were not allowed to talk or look around."

But the family insists Xiangqian wouldn't commit suicide and believe there may have been foul play, pointing to unusual marks on his body.

"My child wouldn't go and commit suicide. If you beat him to death, even if he was beaten, he would just bear it," his mother says.

Foxconn stresses all the deaths have been investigated by police and none are considered suspicious.

"We've checked their work records and couldn't find any direct link between the working conditions and the suicides," says this company spokesman.

(on camera): Ma's parents are refusing to have their son's body cremated. They have appealed to district prosecutors for another investigation. It's probably their last option. A decision on whether or not that will happen is due within two months.

(voice-over): In the meantime, the chairman of Foxconn has made a rare public apology for the spate of suicides and says his employees are treated well and also the company is now doing everything it can to prevent more deaths among the 300,000 workers at this one factory.

John Vause, CNN, Shenzhen, China.


QUEST: And now the weather forecast.

Guillermo is at the CNN World Weather Center -- and good evening, Guillermo.


QUEST: The humble pie is being eaten on this studio.


QUEST: You promised me -- well, you -- go on. All right, have your moment of glory.

ARDUINO: I love it. And I think it's going to stay. It's going to stay look, like for three days. You see, there is a pocket here of high pressure that is bringing nice conditions into London. So it's going to be nice. And in general, throughout Europe, we are going to see warm conditions.

Of course, you know, it's the arrival of the summer, right?

So the east, though, still affected by this low pressure center, so we are concerned about the flooding. Munich is going to see some -- a lot of clouds. So that area of Germany, you know, it's going to be with bad weather, with especially clouds. But then into Belarus and Ukraine and also parts of Italy. It's all associated with the same system is where we see the bad weather.

But -- B-U-T -- we have here -- OK, nice conditions for Britain. You see, I'm happy to report on that. And then I love it when I can make our viewers happy and especially you, Richard.

So look at temps very soon after this. I have the airport delays. But we will not see much apart from Munich, as you see. And Zurich and Vienna, the east, basically, a little bit breezy in Dublin. But most cities are going to be OK. Berlin also with some winds.

So these are the highs that we expect for Thursday. You see, 29 in Kiev, 22 in London -- beautiful, great. That's my favorite temperature. Thirty in Madrid.

Well, let me tell you about the east, especially nice high pressure here in the East Med and into Turkey, Cyprus and Greece.

Now, Richard, I want you to pay attention to a newly, just released video from Haiti.

Remember the earthquake?

The moment it hit, we are looking -- and let's listen in and I'll tell you what it is.


ARDUINO: This is the presidential palace. A security officer there, obviously running away as the earthquake happened. These are security cameras from the presidential palace. Look at this. This guy's feeling it -- boom, running away.

You're going to see like a wave of dust coming, also. I don't know if it's the same person or not, but you see the shock as this is happening. Obviously, they must not have known what was going on. But I was surprised that some of these people actually made it out.

The next phase of the video, it's compelling. There you go. Ooh. Now, look at this. Again, this is security cameras from a Haiti presidential palace as the earthquake was taking place, just released, and we got them here at CNN. OK, compare -- I mean there is -- there are no words. I wanted to run the whole thing, Richard, because I think it is -- it is an extraordinary video to share with our viewers -- back to you.

QUEST: And we thank you for that.

Guillermo, absolutely extraordinary video. And let us never forget the hundreds of thousands who died in the earthquake.

Guillermo at the World Weather Center.

We shall now pause for tonight's Profitable Moment.

So, we heard on this program the president of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick. As more countries join the austerity brigade, the president of the World Bank tonight warned us that cutting spending and raising taxes would inevitably reduce deficits. But Mr. Zoellick warned it wouldn't do much to get economies moving again.

He said -- Robert Zoellick said, he had warned recovering countries needed to introduce policies that would promote growth, not just slash spending. And he uses the phrase "regulation, not strangulation."

There are many policies that can be introduced. He lists a raft of rules and regulations -- for example, cutting red tape, opening up new markets, deregulating economies that would all stimulate economic growth. And he says -- Robert Zoellick says adopting these policies is one reason Asian countries were able to bounce back so strongly after their collapse in the 1990s.

Mr. Zoellick is probably right. It is difficult to see that his views will be adopted in the highly charged atmosphere of cutbacks and job worries. The long-term benefits will get lost in the need to protect national interests.

And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight.

I'm Richard Quest.

Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable.