Return to Transcripts main page
QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Cleaning Up Oil Spills; Apple Says:Reception On iPhone 4 Requires Right Grip; New Discoveries Means Mining Companies Want to Woo Mineral-Rich Afghanistan
Aired June 25, 2010 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MAX FOSTER, CNN INT'L. ANCHOR, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Apple says, get a grip. If you want a reception on your iPhone 4, you have to hold it right. But is Steve Jobs guilty of clumsy PR?
To spend, or to save, a transatlantic disagreement as world leaders get to grips with the economy.
And the great lithium rush. Mining companies set their sites on Afghanistan. We speak to the man who will sign off on those lucrative contracts.
I'm Max Foster in for Richard Quest. This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
Good evening to you.
It started off like any other Apple launch. People que for hours to get their new iPhone, but pretty soon afterwards a war of words has broken out between unhappy buyers and Apple's boss, Steve Jobs. Facing complaints of poor signal reception the message from Apple was, there's nothing wrong with the phone. In other words, it is not us, its you. You're not holding it right, would you believe? Well, we know there are a lot of disgruntled customers out there, so what exactly is the problem with Apple's latest gadget? Ayesha Durgahee has been finding out for us.
AYESHA DURGAHEE, CNN INT'L. CORRESPONDENT (voice over): They queued for hours, all day and night for Apple's latest offering the iPhone IV to find that it didn't quite work as it should.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So this conductor actually helps so the is all you should use, pretty much, I should think? So I've got all this on my right hand, then I don't have much of a problem with my left hand. But what happens is that you get antennae, and this antennae wi-fi, and the GSM on there (ph) and its interfering and the reception drops.
DURGAHEE: With news spreading fast on line Apple boss Steve Jobs offered a simple solution to one disgruntled customer, saying, just don't hold it that way. The problem is, Jobs is asking customers not to hold it in the way Apple's own ad suggests you could, with the left hand. There is a remedy, though, buying one of these, a bumper, that fits around the edge of the phone, protecting the antennae.
ASH MAHMOUD, IPHONE 4 CUSTOMER: Why not free? They should be giving people their money back, because if they're not, then unfortunately, its another 25 pounds that they're taking away from the customer, for a defect on the phone that should have been, you know, I think should have been resolved, at the design level.
DURGAHEE: Apple has not said it will recall the phones or that the bumpers will be given for free. Some customers, though, are understanding about teething (ph) problems with first generation products.
TOM LIND, IPHONE 4 CUSTOMER: I'm right handed, so don't often hold it in my left hand so I'm pretty safe there. I'm sure they'll fix it. I mean, even if they replace them. I mean, you get new ones (UNINTELLIGIBLE) you can always swap it out. I'm not too worried. I know it does sound a bit silly that you have to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) But, oh well.
DURGAHEE: And others still in the queue don't believe there could be a problem with the way you hold it.
ANDY, IPONE 4 CUSTOMER: I can't say if it is left hand and versus right hand, so I don't really believe it. I think it is a joke somebody is playing on you.
DURGAHEE: But even Apple admits, it is a reality. Despite glowing reviews prior to the launch, and scenes of Apple fans desperately queuing for their iPhones, the iPhone IV has had a mixed reception. Ayesha Durgahee, CNN, London.
FOSTER: Well, thanks to cleverly designed gadgets like the iPod, the iPhone and the iMac, Apple isn't just one of the world's best known brands, it probably one of the best loved. So, how badly could the fuss over the new iPhone be to Steve Jobs & Co.? Well, Lance Ulanoff is editor-in-chief of PCMag.com. He joins us from New York.
First of all, just tell us what you think of the phone. I know you like the basic functions, right?
LANCE ULANOFF, PCMAG.COM: Yes, I think it is actually a beautiful device. It is completely redesigned, it has that steel band around the outside, and used to be more of a curved design. It is faster. It has their own A4 chip inside it. It has a screen that is so high resolution that supposedly the human eye can't actually perceive it. It has some multitasking, it has a very need tool called face time, which lets you do video calling with friends, who also have iPhone 4. So, it has a lot to recommend it. It is really a kind of an amazing device. And then there is this issue, which turns out to be a real problem.
FOSTER: It is a real problem, because you can't use all of those wonderful functions if you hold it incorrectly. I mean, I just don't understand this. Explain this to us?
ULANOFF: Well, I will say that, you know that affects calls and data downloading basically. So it is what happens to your ATT network bars, you know, how do they go down, when you hold the phone in a certain way. And Apple made a very specific design choice here. Which initially everyone lauded them for because it was exciting, it was good looking. They took the antennas from the inside of the device and put them on the outside of the device. That seemed like a great idea. Except that when it come in contact with your hand in a certain way and if your hand is a little sweaty, you may watch those bars go down, which means your call quality could drop. Some of your data might stop going, but it isn't really going to affect your app experience, it isn't going to affect video editing, photography, video capture. It is not going to affect things like that.
And I'll tell you something. People don't spend as much time as you think making calls on these devices. And the iPhone has never been a great phone.
FOSTER: OK, well, I'm sorry to push you on this, but it is a luxury product for most people. It is very expensive. And it doesn't work.
ULANOFF: $199 for 16 gigabytes and $299 for 32 gigabytes.
FOSTER: OK. I-I-they should not have put this to market if it wasn't ready. And they shouldn't be telling people to hold it in a certain way, when really it should work, because it's a phone. You hold it in your hand.
ULANOFF: Well, I have to say that considering the amount of time that Apple does spend testing products, it is pretty startling that this has come up. And that it was held up as an improvement. That is the thing that surprises me the most. But I honestly-people-here's the thing. There's a lot of heat on this product right now. You know, thousands and thousands of people all went to get the exact same product on the exact same service provider, at the exact same time. That doesn't happen very often.
FOSTER: No, Apple knows that that happens. They know that that happens. It happens every time.
ULANOFF: They do but I think it also serving to amplify this problem. I want to see a month from now, how many people who are reporting poor call quality that goes beyond what they experience with the other iPhones. Or, do they have some better quality. Now, I've been living with an iPhone now for about 24 hours. I have seen the bars go down, but I have not experienced dropped calls. So, I'm still trying to figure out exactly how this really plays into the mix. Part of the problem is it is graphically illustrated. You know, watch the bars go down, and you assume that's got to have an impact.
FOSTER: Lance Ulanoff, thanks so much for joining us from New York you're your perspective on that story causing all kinds of controversy around the world.
Now, Apple is not the first company that has angered customers due to a design mistake. At least no one has been hurt by these iPhone antennae issues. But there have been plenty of faulty designs that proved to be positively dangerous as well as financially damaging. Now we're talking here about recalls. Obviously, Apple hasn't recalled the phone that we have been talking about today. But take Toyota, for example, they were forced to recall millions of cars. Eight models, including the Prius and the Corolla, have safety issues involving gas pedals sticking there.
In the U.S., 2.3 million cars were recalled, in Europe, 1.8 million. So a huge story for Toyota. That was relatively recently. Dell and other computer makers recalled millions of laptops you may remember. Concerns that the Sony batteries inside them would overheat and cause fires. McLaren (ph) recalled 1 million strollers, reports that at least 12 babies have lost fingers after getting them caught in the hinges. A the time they issued a free repair kits to make hinges safe. But all of these examples, really, are how companies may predict what may go wrong with new products.
Now, we'll be talking about some more grand designs in just a minute. World leaders are looking for the blueprint for prosperity no less, but will this weekend be the love in that cements recovery? Or will the age of austerity kill the buzz? We hear from our reporters from New York to Toronto, to Rome.
FOSTER: Those are the closing numbers on the European stock markets; losses across the board and that is the fourth day in a row we've had to tell you that. In the U.S. the Dow Jones industrials has pulled higher after falling earlier in the session. Only up a bit, one sector where shares are rising today are the banks. Stocks like JP Morgan and Bank of America are higher after Congress put an end to the uncertainty about how harshly the would crack down on the financial sector.
Agreement on financial reform came early on Friday after 21 hours of negotiations between the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. The bill will usher in the biggest changes to Wall Street regulation since the Great Depression. But critics say this may not be enough to guarantee against a future financial crisis. Maggie Lake is in New York.
You watched this very complicated stuff unfold. Was there a lot of compromise?
MAGGIE LAKE, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: There was a lot of negotiation, a lot of compromise. It was very tense. A real battle and it is sweeping in its scope. It is important to remember that. There isn't really an area of financial activity here in the U.S. that is not going to be impacted somehow from this bill, which may explain why there was so much negotiation over it.
You know, the aim of course, is to address some of the problems that we saw that sparked the global financial crisis and President Obama coming out and speaking today, believes it does do that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Reforms making their way through Congress will hold Wall Street accountable so we can help prevent another financial crisis like the one that we are still recovering from. We'll put in place the toughest consumer financial protections in our history, while creating an independent agency to enforce them. Through this agency, we'll combine under one roof the consumer protection functions that currently divided among half a dozen different agencies. Now there will be one agency whose sole job will be to look out for you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAKE: And that was really a huge part of this. Putting into place protections for consumers who were sold bad loans, who didn't understand what was going on, but as I said, this is very sweeping. Some of the other things, the other details that this bill tackles is establishing a financial stability board. It is aiming to end "too big to fail", giving regulators the power to unwind companies and shut them down rather than have to bail them out. Very important, we've been talking a lot about, derivative curbs. That big $600 trillion market that is currently not policed, going to move that onto exchanges and also provisions to curb hedge funds.
However, there are voice today, taking a look at this, saying, you know, we don't really know, on paper it is good. We don't really know if it is going to end that systemic risk that we all hope to address. For example, one comment we received from Motley Fool, Shannon Zimmerman from Motley Fool says exactly that: "The bill looks great on paper, but the rules that govern how its implemented will determine if it is a meaningful piece of reform legislation, or just a how to guide for toothless regulatory watchdogs."
So that is going to be determined.
FOSTER: Maggie, thank you so much indeed.
President Obama also taking in broader economic impacts as well, the global economy no less. He's been asking for togetherness, he and the leaders of the Group of 20 nations are getting together in Canada. The president says the meetings this weekend are key to economic recovery for everyone. CNN's White House Correspondent Dan Lothian is in Toronto for us. And he joins us now with more on the president's priorities.
Just explain for us, Dan, how on earth do you have an agenda where you'll talk about the global economy? What's on that agenda?
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, yes, that is a very tough agenda, but you can sort of put it under one big umbrella and that is this global economic crisis, trying to prevent it from sort of going into relapse. The president of the United States believing that the best way to do that is to continue pumping federal dollars, stimulus dollars into your economy in order to create jobs.
But there are a lot of world leaders out there who are a little hesitant to do that. They have seen what has happened with the Greek financial crisis. They are concerned about their own bulging budget deficits as well. And they are a little hesitant to want to pump out additional federal dollars. They want to sort of pull back a little bit. The president's message will be that we can't do that at all, because any pull back or sudden pull back could really stall this economic recovery.
Now, one of the questions I think that a lot of people will ask, sitting out there at home, is what can we really get from these kinds of events, the G8 summit, the G20 summit, which officially begins tomorrow afternoon? Well, we spoke to one former presidential advisor who says that there are a lot of important critical things that can come out of these summits. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID GERGEN, POLITICAL ANALYST: At the G20 you are going see increasing pressure on Germany, to consumer more. There is a real attempt at this G20 to move some of the exporting nations, like China, to be more consumption oriented, and move-the consumer nations like the United States to be more export oriented, to balance the world economy. And these meetings are important for that purpose.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LOTHIAN: The bottom line is that all of these different nations, the global, financial system all intertwined and so the sense is that if the global economy can be lifted, this will only mean more jobs for people in the United States, as well. And certainly in those countries, Max.
FOSTER: Dan, it is very difficult, isn't it? Is there a fundamental difference between Europe and America on this? Europe is making massive cuts. America is investing in the economy. So they are coming from two completely different stances on how to deal with the global depression, or recession.
LOTHIAN: You're right. You're right. And that is why you'd love to sort of be a fly on the wall during some of these conversations that will be taking place here. Certainly a lot of tough conversations in the larger groups, but in the bilateral meetings that is where a lot of this give and take, no doubt, will take place and will there be any grand agreements at the end of this-these summits? Probably not, but at least this-at least, what we are told by the administration officials and others, is that at least you get a chance to sit down, face to face, talk to each other, you are building relationships. And this is something that you can work on long after these summits are over.
FOSTER: Dan Lothian, in Canada. Thank you very much for joining us. We'll get updates from you throughout the weekend on that key meeting.
Now, Italy is one of several European countries with spending is being slashed, to bring the budget deficit under control. And unions there, responding as they have in other countries. A general strike this Friday brought tens of thousands of protestors onto the streets of major cities. And Atika Shubert has been there live, in Rome, watching all of this unfold.
Truth is, Atika, you know, the leaders of countries like Italy have got massive domestic problems. And they can't really respond to what America is doing, because they've got their own domestic issues.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INT'L. CORRESPONDENT: That's right. They do. And people here seem to realize that the government is deep in debt. Somebody has to pay. The big argument is who is going to foot the bill. And what we saw today was this nationwide strike in cities like Milan and Bologna, tens of thousands came out rallying against those government cuts saying it's just not fair to have the public sector workers either have their cuts-their jobs cut, or have their pay frozen. They say it is not fair.
Now the strike was really supposed to show sort of the public protests. It didn't quite stop the nation, but it certainly did slow some of it down. We did see here in Rome, the metro, for example, stopped. But what was interesting was that really, it was sort of life as usual here, in the sense that the trains were still running, the buses were still running. We spoke to one bus driver who said, you know, either way, he sort of gets hurt. Either the government cuts his pay or if he goes to strike, he looses money. So for him it wasn't even worth going on strike.
But overall, the feeling on the streets here is more resignation than anger. Here is what some people said to us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The workers have already paid for the crisis. And now they will be first to pay for coming out of the crisis.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is tax evasion. Tax evasion is the real problem.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is rather pointless to me, going around striking, we're in a crisis.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHUBERT: You heard that one woman saying tax evasion is the real problem. That it is interesting to note that many people here are really worried, because Italy does pay some of the European Union's highest taxes and they are at a point (ph) where it comes straight out of your income. But, of course, there are those who are those who are wealthier, entrepreneurs. There is a lot of tax evasion going on. And in fact, Italy is estimated to loose about a $160 billion in tax evasion. That is what the people really want to see the government cracking down on, Max.
FOSTER: OK, Atika, thank you very much for putting that domestic situation in just one of the countries involved in the G20 into context for us.
Now, back in Canada, at the G20 meetings security is adding $1 billion to the price tag for hosting the summit. Yes, $1 billion, it is unbelievable. Fionnuala Sweeney will have more on how Toronto is preparing for the protests, or for the possible protests. That is on "WORLD ONE" coming up in around 40 minutes from now.
Coming up next on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, a discovery that could have the power to revolutionize Afghanistan's economy, but who is waiting in the wings to exploit the country's new mineral wealth?
FOSTER: The new top military commander in Afghanistan has a lot to get his head around. General David Petraeus is in the job after Stanley McChrystal resigned this week following a damaging magazine article. One economic issue Petraeus will have to digest very quick is Afghanistan's newly discovered mineral wealth. Mineral deposits could be worth $3 trillion, would you believe? Triple the original U.S. estimate of $1 trillion.
The minerals there include iron, copper, cobalt, gold, critical industrial metals like lithium, as well, found in batches in everything we use, increasingly in demand. Cell phones, laptops, watches, calculators, they all use lithium and it is in Afghanistan. It could transform the war torn economy into a mining powerhouse. It could attract investments, create jobs. There are challenges though, they have to encourage the Taliban-they could encourage the Taliban, really, in a quest for authority. If they find that the money is there, they may get more aggressive in getting-trying to get power back. And there are fears it could lead to more corruption within government and local authorities as well.
Could it set up the U.S. against China, as well, for influence in the region? Both countries, probably, want to get involved in those crucial raw materials there. Well, earlier I spoke to the Afghan mining minister, Wahidullah Shahrani. I asked him, which countries were most interested in exploiting those minerals so far?
WAHIDULLAH SHAHRANI, AFGHAN MINING MINISTER: China and India, they have been the largest consumers of cooper and iron in the world right now, by taking into account the size (ph) of their economies and the economic traits (ph) of their countries. But today we had a very good opportunity to interact with some Australian companies, some big iron ore companies they operate from Australia. We had some very good information two days ago which offered (UNINTELLIGIBLE) which is the largest producer of steel in the world. And that is based in U.K. We had some good exchange of information with Indian countries. So the overall interactions have been very positive.
FOSTER: I'm just going to raise a few of the concerns here. There are one of the concerns is that if a huge deposit of some sort, is discovered in one region, then the local regional leaders are going to be fighting it out with Kabul and trying to get control of that. Can you reassure us that actually Kabul is in control of this and if a company invests they are not going to be-sort of caught between the regional tensions, which do exist.
SHAHRANI: The thing that we have got very clear provision in our constitution which says that all the mineral wealth will be belong-will belong to the state, to our central government, and to whatever we did, even if from the development of the mines, that would be, again, everything will got to the treasury account of the government. And the government will reallocate that money for the welfare of the people of Afghanistan. From constitutional and from a legal point of view there have not been any issue, or any concerns in managing the mineral deposits.
FOSTER: Allegation of corruption, as well. Members of the government being accused of accepting bribes. You must be the biggest target of bribes right now in Afghanistan. You can open doors for huge amounts of money from commercial companies. Have you been offered bribes?
SHAHRANI: I tell you now, it has been my fifth month in the Ministry of Mines and we have not awarded a contract in nearly five months. But you have got to, you know, ensure the highest degree of transparency and clarity in managing our initial deposits. We have already agreed, you know, the government of Afghanistan has committed itself to extracting (UNINTELLIGIBLE) under which the details of all the contracts will be published and the information will be shared with all the relevant stakeholders like (UNINTELLIGIBLE), parliament, international organizations, international media. In addition to that we have already requested that the international advisory council to observe all of our mining operations and procedures from the beginning until the end, to ensure the highest degree, that we'll achieve that. That it will be
SHAHRANI: Again, on that our government has been very much committed and recently we have restructured the ministry. We have introduced a number of new reforms and initiatives to make sure that there will not be any vacuum in achieving that international best practices.
FOSTER: OK, and for the Afghan people, give us sense of when they will feel this money coming through? The economy being transformed by this, jobs for example, better infrastructure, when do you expect Afghans to feel this?
SHAHRANI: I developed a lot of good communication between the government and different communities where we have identified those deposits and there are a number of benefits that we have been predicting from managing, from developing our natural resources, our mineral resources, such as more revenue for the government, again the government will reallocate that money for the welfare of the people of Afghanistan who are living in different parts of the country. And of that possible benefit of potential benefit would be creating more job opportunities for the people of Afghanistan. And also developing the infrastructure which is the key for the sustainability of our economic growth in the future.
FOSTER: The Afghan mining minister speaking to me earlier.
Now, as oil continues to leak into the Gulf of Mexico, BP keeps burning through money. Up next, on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, why one British based company believes it holds the key to the clean up.
FOSTER: Welcome back.
I'm Max Foster in London.
More QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment.
But first, let's check on the main news headlines this hour.
The former head of the UN's atomic agency is joining the protests against police brutality in Egypt. Mohamed ElBaradei and thousands of other Egyptians are protesting the killing of an Egyptian man in Alexandria. Khaled Said died after police pulled him from an Internet cafe earlier this month.
Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao visited flood soaked Yangtze Province today. It was his second trip this week to the region, where heavy rain and flooding have killed more than 200 people and left some 100,000 people homeless. More rain is forecast for the next few days. Soldiers have been dispatched to assist in rescue operations.
Fans around the world are remembering the king of pop. Michael Jackson died one year ago today. Millions are gathering at candlelight vigils and tributes to celebrate the pop icon's life. Some fans even paid more than $1,000 to hold a sleepover at a Jackson exhibit in Japan.
A fresh blow to BP's stock. Shares of the oil giant plunged on Friday. At one point, they were down as much as 17 percent in London trading, touching a 14 year low. Speculation is growing that BP will have set aside more money than it first thought to mop up the Gulf of Mexico spill. The company says its response costs ballooned by more then $300 million in less than a week. BP's total bill so far, $2.3 billion.
Also affecting the share price, mounting concern that tropical storms will hamper cleanup operations in the Gulf of Mexico. Britain has mobilized a flotilla of small ships to help capture the oil. Leading the next trip is Ultra Green, a British-based environmental research and development country.
The CEO, David Weaver, once worked for BP.
He joins me here in our London studios.
I bet you're glad you don't work for them anymore.
DAVID WEAVER, CEO, CONSTANT GREEN: Well, I don't know. I've got mixed feelings.
WEAVER: I think we could help them to recover their reputation.
FOSTER: What do you think they're doing wrong?
Why are you stepping in?
WEAVER: Well, I think the problem with BP is not that they don't have the expertise. Obviously, they do. But it is the bureaucratic machine that is BP. They're very slow to respond. And they haven't really kept pace, I don't think, with the new technologies available. And this is one of the things that we want to offer to them.
FOSTER: Just explain. So you talked them into this flotilla of ships to the area...
FOSTER: You -- you're gathering up oil.
WEAVER: That's right. So it's a bit like Dunkirk again, isn't it?
But, yes, we've come across -- almost by accident, we've come across a membrane that we use in -- in our (INAUDIBLE) oil operation that we run in America. One of our scientists thought one day, well, this worked so well here, let's test it on the Gulf oil.
So we did. We built a test rig and it works very well. We...
FOSTER: You soak it up?
WEAVER: Yes. Just like...
FOSTER: And you gather it?
WEAVER: If you like, it's a constant band of something like super blotting paper. And it's a fairly simple solution.
But aren't the simple solutions the best?
FOSTER: And you can reuse it as oil?
WEAVER: All the time. Yes. It's -- it really closes the energy loop. It recovers a very scarce, valuable energy commodity, the oil on the surface. We can recover it, squeeze it out of the membrane. The membrane can be used time and time again and we can recover the oil, clean it and put it back into service.
FOSTER: Are you giving it back to BP?
WEAVER: We want to sell it. We need to recover our costs (INAUDIBLE)...
FOSTER: So that covers the costs?
You -- you...
WEAVER: Well, we...
FOSTER: -- resell the oil?
WEAVER: We -- we are funding the operation ourselves at the moment. But, you know, we're not a massive company like BP, so we can't continue to do so. We need help. But we'll put the first boats in the water on our own dollar. But somehow, we need to get some help to keep this going and (INAUDIBLE)...
FOSTER: So it's a profitable business?
WEAVER: It's not a profitable business. We need to recover our costs. But what I want to do is to save the beaches of the Gulf and the very, very delicate environmental balance in the Gulf and also feed some of that oil revenue back to the people what's affected, the -- the shrimp boat owners and the fishermen and the people like that. I want them to join forces with us, which they are doing, by the way.
FOSTER: How -- but how much are you expecting to gather?
WEAVER: Well, each boat, we calculated, will gather 25,000 gallons a day. And we've targeted 168 boats. And if you do the math, which I'm not going to do it off the top of my head here, that means that the oil lying on the surface at the moment, not counting the new oil coming to the surface, it takes about six weeks to collect. But we start nearest the beach and push it back, a little bit like pushing back a marauding enemy.
FOSTER: How much of the total do you think you can gather?
WEAVER: In this first operation, it depends on the finances. If we can get all 168 boats in the water -- and the fishermen who have pledged those boats to us already -- then we could make a big dent in that surface oil...
FOSTER: (INAUDIBLE) rise of proportion?
WEAVER: Seventy-five, 80 percent of...
FOSTER: It makes you wonder why BP aren't in touch.
WEAVER: I wish they would be.
FOSTER: They may be after this.
WEAVER: Well, they should be. Bob Dudley is in charge down there. And I know Bob well. He's a man of integrity. So, yes, I hope Bob gives me a call. I want to help BP save themselves. And we can do that...
WEAVER: -- if they'll just give me a call.
FOSTER: David Weaver, thank you very much, indeed.
WEAVER: Thank you.
FOSTER: Now, a major weather system is brewing in the Western Caribbean. And experts say there is a 70 percent chance it will push into the Gulf of Mexico some time in the next few days, having clear implications for the leak in the Gulf.
Guillermo can give us more on that and the likelihood of more problems.
GUILLERMO ARDUINO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I'm going to show you, also, that we have 4,000 platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Regardless, we have a lot of refineries on the coast. So if there were any impact whatsoever of a system in these areas like we see in hurricane season, this year seems to be a very active season in store, we would have to deal with a lot of shutting down operations here because of weather.
But back to reality a little bit. We have a tropical system in the making, let's call it. And the National Hurricane Center is talking about like 80 percent chances of development of this system.
But where is it?
Where it's going and do we think that it's going to get close to the Louisiana area at all?
I think that the answer is no for the third. So we see here the system that it's not a tropical depression, which is the lowest ranked tropical cyclone. But it is likely to become within 48 hours. It's here. The numerical models, that is to say, computer models that estimate everything with the data that they gather and they think that it's going to make a direct impact into the Yucatan Peninsula. And then history tells us that once they make it into the Peninsula, of course, it weakens because of the interaction with the land. And then very unlikely will it go toward the area in question right now. But probably it's going to re-emerging into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. That's why the concern.
That's one aspect. Then, we have another system here, only 20 percent chance of development on the other side that is bringing misery -- that will be bringing more rain into the Haiti region. We have to take that into account, as well.
So the conditions on the Gulf are conducive for development. We do not think that the cyclone is going to take a direct hit toward the Louisiana section. But it is the beginning of a very active hurricane season. So very likely we're going to see some action within hurricane season this year in the area -- Max.
So this is just the first instance that we have to deal with.
FOSTER: Guillermo, thank you so much for that.
ARDUINO: Thank you.
FOSTER: We're going to keep an eye on those storms, of course. They could have a terrible impact. Hopefully, it won't be too bad, though.
We're going to bring you an image -- eight of the most powerful people on the planet, in fact, the G8 meeting underway this weekend. This is new video for you as they gather there for their class photo, in good humor despite all the splits on how to deal with the financial crisis.
David Cameron there for his first G8 of the UK; President Medvedev, who's been in Washington with President Obama recently; and there's the host leader, the leader of Canada; and Mr. Sarkozy of France. There they are getting ready for business tomorrow.
Brazil and Portugal fought out in a scoreless draw today at the World Cup, meanwhile. A lot of people are more focused on that.
But here, we're all about the Economic World Cup.
We draw the lines of battle when we come back.
FOSTER: In a moment, the Economic World Cup.
But first, the action on the pitch. Only one group remains unresolved after the final games in the -- in Group G a few hours ago. Brazil met Portugal and both teams had their moments, but it ended in a 0-0 draw. Brazil wound up as the Group G winners and Portugal, in second place, will also advance, to the pleasure of the producer of this program.
The tournament is over for Ivory Coast and North Korea, though. In their final group match, Ivory Coast scored two early goals and went on to win 3-0.
It's time for QUEST MEANS BUSINESS' Economic World Cup.
Jim is the star of this particular segment of the program. And you're going to compare for us Brazil and Portugal...
JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
FOSTER: -- because that's the -- the match we were all gripped to in the newsroom today.
BOULDEN: We were, but it was a very boring match, wasn't it, unfortunately?
But I would have to say, when it comes to economies -- sorry for the pun -- Brazil definitely not boring. The world's eighth largest economy. You were just talking about the G8 and I can see why Brazil wants to join the club. They're in the G20, but by some reckonings, the eighth largest. Not a bad unemployment rate at all, 7.5 percent. The growth this year is supposed to be 6.5 percent, which is fantastic.
FOSTER: Wow! Steaming ahead.
BOULDEN: And you're talking about oil. You're talking about the future, as well. It's a -- you know, the potential here is limitless.
Portugal one of the smaller countries in Western Europe, one of the smaller economies, 37th. The jobless rate more than 10.5 percent. Portugal will be very happy with a little bit of growth this year.
BOULDEN: And, of course, it's sitting next to Spain, that has even more problems. So I would have to say from the economic side of things, Brazil...
FOSTER: It's got to be Brazil.
BOULDEN: -- has (INAUDIBLE)...
FOSTER: They're steaming ahead.
FOSTER: And Portugal has got (INAUDIBLE)...
BOULDEN: Despite (INAUDIBLE) today.
FOSTER: OK. OK. And the performance on the pitch is pretty equal, so it's not a good reflector.
BOULDEN: No, not at all. No. No.
FOSTER: OK. You're looking at the -- at the other matches, as well...
BOULDEN: Sure. Well...
FOSTER: -- you've got a few lined up.
BOULDEN: Well, this is what's happening right now, obviously -- Chile, Spain, Switzerland and Honduras. No surprise, really, that people would be focusing very much on Chile-Spain. You know, Chile is the first country we've done three times now in the QUEST Economic World Cup. So I'm getting used to Chile.
Certainly, a smaller economy -- sort of economy in the world. However, when you look at something like Spain's unemployment, 20 percent...
BOULDEN: If you look at problems with the banks, you look at the growth problems, the huge budget deficit, Chile...
FOSTER: Another Portugal. And Chile is another Brazil.
BOULDEN: It is. And Chile had to raise interest rates recently, commodities; of course, they had the earthquake. But as we've said twice before, it's recovering faster than some economists had predicted. The Chileans are -- are coming back and they're buying, they're shopping to repair things. And so right now, the Chilean economy is doing extremely well.
FOSTER: OK, Jim, thank you so much.
FOSTER: With you throughout the result of the tournament.
And bringing you up to date with the games that started around 15 minutes ago, Chile nil and Spain nil; Honduras nil and Switzerland nil. So not much of an update for you. There's a lot to play for in those matches. Keep tuned to it. CNN is covering it, of course.
This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, though.
I'm Max Foster in London.
"MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST" is next.