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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Air Cargo Companies Brace for New Security Restrictions; Brazil Elects New President
Aired November 1, 2010 - 15:00:00 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: Safety first, air cargo companies brace for a wave of new restrictions.
Big shoes to fill Brazil's president elect promises to stamp out poverty.
And someone else to blame, why China is emerging as the biggest loser in the U.S. midterm campaigns.
I'm Max Foster in for Richard Quest. This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
Planes have been used as missiles, they have been targeted by suicide bombers, but this is a whole new dimension of danger. Tonight we explore how self-detonating cargo bombs are changing the security game and the business of freight. European governments are tightening up security in the wake of the latest terror plots. Germany is banning all flights from Yemen, the U.K. is suspending all flights from Yemen and Somalia until next month. And printing ink joins the long list of things you can't carry in your hand luggage at a U.K. airport.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THEREA MAY, HOME SECURITY, GREAT BRITAIN: From midnight tonight we will suspend the carriage of toner cartridges larger than 500 grams in passengers hand baggage on flights departing from U.K. airports. Also from midnight tonight, we will prohibit the carriage of these items by air cargo into, via, or from the U.K., unless they originate from a known consignor, a regular shipper with security arrangements approved by the Department for Transport. We intend that these final two measures will be in place initially for one month.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: The U.K. Home secretary there.
Well, despite those tough new measures, loopholes do remain. Most countries require parcels on passenger flights by international shipping companies to go through at least one check, and methods include, hand checks, sniffer dogs, X-rays machines, high tech devices that can find traces of explosives on paper or cloth swabs, and also, by using targeted intelligence. But there is no international security standard and no approved technology. Screening varies widely from country to country.
Well, passenger planes used extensively to transport freight, still, a lot of freight goes in the cargo hold underneath; 60 percent of air freight to the U.S. is transported in passenger planes. All cargo on U.S. passenger planes is screened though. Around 75 percent of cargo arriving in the U.S. on foreign jets is also screened. But only about half of the shipments arriving by cargo planes are screened.
This is what's happening in the skies above you today. This table shows you the airlines carrying the most freight between countries. It doesn't include cargo being flown within a country. Quite a few of those airlines are better known for passenger travel, rather than freight.
Now there are big profits to be made in cargo, that is why these airlines are in business. Freight businesses were $100 billion a year, according to "The Wall Street Journal". British Airways interim results show that cargo revenues soared nearly 40 percent, pulling that airline back into a profit, in fact. And Emirates beats that today with a 48 percent rise in revenues from cargo.
Well, Richard is on his way to an aviation security summit tonight. And I manage to pin him down before he left and ask him just how much money there is to be made in freight right now?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: The freight and cargo part of any airline is an extremely profitable bit of the business, unexpectedly so. Think about a plane. You have got all the human cargo on the main deck, but underneath, besides the fuel and the luggage and all that. You have go lots of space which the airlines not only sell themselves, but they sell to other companies to put goods on board.
FOSTER: And the costs of screening or scanning all of the cargo going around the world is impossible to keep up with isn't it? So, we're not talking about scanning everything?
QUEST: No, absolutely. Except cargo that goes on passenger planes. Now the sort of cargo that goes on a passenger plane tends to be either because the company doesn't fly there itself, the freight company. Or it is very high value. Often, fruit, flowers, vegetables, perishables, those sort of things. And those expensive envelopes from lawyers and bankers and documents going around the world. They would also go in the belly of a plane.
The larger cargo that goes on freight forwarders' own planes, very little of that is screened at the moment. Or at least they'll never tell us how much is screened. But that is going to be the area that people are now going to look at. We know that cargo on passenger planes should be screened. It is the rest that now becomes the fighting ground.
FOSTER: And how do you break that down? Do you break it down on where it is coming from? Where it is going to?
QUEST: It is probably unrealistic in the short-term to actually screen all the cargo onboard aircraft, and freight planes. So, instead, where the focus for security experts is know you customer; know the source of the stuff, know what is there. By doing it that way, they believe they can have a much greater-they can have greater integrity, in the information, than just screening it willy-nilly. The problem is, the problem becomes when you are talking about the courier companies dealing with on offs, with people they don't know, people who walk into the shop, and just simply say, I want to send this from A to B.
FOSTER: And the other problem, I guess, is that these scanners don't pick everything up. All the different types of explosives, anyway.
QUEST: Well, what this has shown is that when they scanned the printer, it looked like a printer. There was nothing in it to suggest otherwise. And that is a very serious development. Which shifts the emphasis once again, back to know the customer. Know what documents are being presented. The whole system is only as strong as the weakest link, and that weakest link is where the item tends to enter the supply chain. So that is what they are going to be looking at in the future. Strengthening the supply chain to the weakest link.
FOSTER: And Richard, on tomorrow's program, you are going to be live in Germany with a really detailed look at this?
QUEST: Yes, indeed. There is an aviation security conference being held by IATA, where anyone and everyone who is involved in the security industry is there. So we are going there tonight, and QUEST MEANS BUSINESS comes tomorrow night from the ASAT (ph) conference in Frankfurt.
FOSTER: Well, the package intercepted in the U.K., had been subjected to screening, but it slipped through the net. Later this hour we will hear about gadgets that are meant to detect hidden dangers in the cargo hold, from the man whose company supplies them.
Now, Yemen is also tightening up security tonight, it says cargo and luggage will be extensively searched. Yemen's finance ministers has been speaking to CNN's Becky Anderson. And he says what the country needs now is not isolation, but aid.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JALAL YAQOUB, YEMENI FINANCE MINISTER: It is not that we are saying, well, we don't know what to do, come and help us. No, we have, we have been saying, all along that we, you know, we have our plans on who to reduce these tensions, this to stabilize, and we have not only that, but we have been cooperating. It is not that we are saying, no, stay out. We have been cooperating with the U.S. and other countries on these areas.
The solutions to this problem have to take two parallel tracks. You cannot just keep, you know, targeting the security, security measures. It will take us forever to solve the problems of extremism via security measures alone. Security and development: So, of course, there are people, certain elements, that will not be convinced by development. But this is a thin layer in some of the Yemeni societies.
But the majority of people will respond to good communication, to development on the ground to job opportunities, and this is the path that we should all focus on. Security may be easy to handle, because it is immediate, but it is not sustainable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: The Yemeni Minister Jalal Yaqoub. And you can see Becky's full interview with Jalal Yaqoub in "CONNECT THE WORLD", later, as well as much more about Yemen and how it is dealing with its security concerns. That is at 9:00 p.m., in London, 10:00 p.m. in Central Europe.
Now, Brazil has picked its first female leader and she has got some big shoes to fill. We'll look at Brazil's soaring economy and what President-Elect Dilma Rousseff can do to keep it on the fast lane.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DILMA ROUSSEFF, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT-ELECT (through translator): I am here to assure you about my core commitment, the eradication of poverty and creating opportunities for all Brazilians.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Brazil's President-Elect Dilma Rousseff, after winning Sunday's run-off election. Ms. Dilma is set to take control of one of the world's fastest growing economies. Under the out-going president's business friendly government, Brazil's GDP growth is expected to be in access of 7.5 percent, this year. The country's strong currency is an ongoing concern, though. The real has gained 37 percent against the U.S. dollar, since the start of 2009. Brazil is also battling wide scale poverty. The "CIA World Fact Book" says that in 2008 more than one quarter of Brazilians were impoverished. Eradicating poverty was one of Ms. Dilma's main campaign policies.
CNN's Shasta Darlington has just returned from Brazil and she joins us now, live, from Havana, in Cuba. So, the economy is going to be the president's priority as it has been over the past few years?
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Max. This is what she went over and over again, during the campaign. And she has really set some high goals for herself. But there is reason to believe that she will be at least partly successful; 56 percent of the population, the voting population, voted for her. And those are people who believe that she can and will reduce poverty, following in the footsteps of the current president Louis Lula da Silva, with a mixture of socially responsible and market friendly policies.
And that is because, as you mentioned, during his two terms the economy was booming. In fact, more folks climbed out of poverty and into the lower and lower middle classes. And that means that people living in the shanty downs in Rio de Janeiro or San Paolo were able to buy microwaves and televisions. And maybe people in the impoverished northeast were able to build more substantial homes for themselves. These are the kind of people who for her and who want to see her follow along in those lines.
During her victory speech she was (AUDIO GAP) emphatic that in fact that is what she wants to do. So let's listen to a bit of her (AUDIO GAP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROUSSEFF (through translator): We cannot rest while there are hungry Brazilians, while there are families living on the streets, while poor children are abandoned to their fate. The eradication of poverty in the coming years is therefore a goal that I take. But for which I humbly ask the support of everyone who can help the country work to overcome the chasm that still separates us from being a developed nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DARLINGTON: Even before elections (AUDIO GAP) was on track to reduce the number of extremely poor by half. And that would mean that 50 million more Brazilians move out of poverty and into the lower, lower middle classes over the next (AUDIO GAP). Rousseff has argued that with her special mix of socially responsible policies that that could be even improved on, Max.
FOSTER: She studied economics, she certainly knows her economics, she is a former energy minister as well, I know. But she has some tough economic challenges, the former government, or the current government, has spent an awful lot of money. She has got to cut back on spending, hasn't she? But also, a lot of foreign money flooding into Brazil, because it is a very attractive country to invest in right now. Concerns about the real, she is going to have to address that, isn't she? Before it gets out of control?
DARLINGTON: Absolutely, Max. And we have seen the current government sort of tackle that issue last month. (AUDIO GAP)
So much money has been pouring in, attracted to the high yields. And, of course, basically trying to get away from the negative scenarios (AUDIO GAP). So they have been throwing their money into Brazil that is really putting pressure on the real, and that is hurting exports. So that is something that she is going to have to keep an eye on, that she may need to actually take (AUDIO GAP) She mentioned that in her victory speech.
And, of course, she is going to have to keep the economy growing. Some huge problems ahead will be bottle necks in infrastructure that economists talk about over and over again. How to get all of these products that Brazil produces, whether it is iron ore, or soybeans, how to get them out of the country with all these bottlenecks.
Also education, most economist say that there will be growth, but if they want to (AUDIO GAP) pace, she is going to have to overcome a lot of obstacles, Max.
FOSTER: Shasta Darlington, thank you very much indeed. We held on to the picture for long, just about.
Now, later in the show we will be getting more analysis on Brazil's economic future, from Bertrand Delgado, the Senior Latin American Analysts for the Roubini Global Economics Organization. Next, though, more on Brazil and a greener future for one city there, from Richard.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: After the break, on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, we are in Curitiba, as we start looking at the Southern Brazilian city, with a plan.
FOSTER: On this edition of "Future Cities" we look at Curitiba, a city that has won accolades and awards for its sustainability. That is why Richard when there to focus on this "Future City".
QUEST (voice over): Curitiba, Brazil, it is not Rio or San Paolo, but this is a city that has made a name for itself all on its own. A free- flowing transit system, lush lawns, and those subtle hints of sustainability that are all over the city.
Curitiba is touted as a model of urban planning. Anticipating, innovating, it has managed to stay ahead of the curve, and this year, Curitiba won the 2010 Globe Sustainable City Award.
LUICIANO DUCCI, CURITIBA MAYOR (through translator): We work very hard to provide sustainable public transportation. Sustainable public buildings and to maintain our city environment-friendly, this is a history that has been built over the years and we are making sure that we give continuity (ph).
QUEST: The task of designing the city was first given to the French architect Alfred Agache, it brought the city large avenues, that remain today. But much of that plan was too expensive for the time.
JAIME LERNER, ARCHITECT: You can understand the city.
QUEST: So, Jaime Lerner, the architect and three-time mayor of Curitiba, and a former governor of Parana (ph) State, took over. Lerner was one of the main people in what became known as the master plan, created in the mid-1960s.
(On camera): The original plan for Curitiba, the idea of the boulevards, the idea of the-was an expensive plan that couldn't be implemented. But where does this history of planning here, come from?
LERNER: Every city has a design, a structure, it is a scenario that everyone understands and they understand it is desirable.
QUEST: So what was your scenario for Curitiba?
LERNER: Well, the which is-should have a good quality of life. A city which could provide opportunities, a city where everyone could have some of his dreams realized.
QUEST (voice over): Lerner's dreams live on throughout Curitiba. He travels to give other cities on advice on urban planning, emphasizing you must not only have a plan but you actually have to get things done.
LERNER: To do it fast, you have to have to avoid your own bureaucracy, you have to avoid things, the discussion is down, the political decision is down, you have to do it fast.
QUEST: Lerner took us to, perhaps, one of the best illustrations of this must-get-things done approach to planning, the Wire Opera House.
(MAN SINGING OPERA)
LERNER: That's terrible. Better I keep to design.
This theater was built in two months.
QUEST (on camera): Two months to build this?
LERNER: Yes, that is what I call this acupuncture. It is a small intervention, that can provide a new energy to the city.
QUEST (voice over): Under Lerner, Curitiba started many things. Pedestrian precincts, a bus system that functions like an above ground subway. A network of parks, and a slew of environmental programs. Initiatives from 30 years ago, that for the most part, they still translate today. Since the master plan the population here has practically tripled to 3.5 million people. It has put the city to the test. But the newest challenge being something near and dear to almost every Brazilian's heart, the World Cup. Curitiba is one of the host cities when The Cup comes to Brazil in 2014.
(On camera): In many ways the future is now uncomfortably close. This is the Arena de Bashada (ph), where at least three of the World Cup matches will be played in four-year's time. As you can see it needs total renovation to almost double its capacity.
(Voice over): A true test for a city, who has prided itself on planning. The World Cup would make or break Curitiba's future reputation.
DUCCI: We have to improve urban infrastructure. Not only the accessibility aspect, but the bicycle lanes, pavement, lighting, security, these are big challenges that we have. We understand that the World Cup is a big event, where thousands of people visit and get to know the city.
QUEST: What Jaime Lerner started here is an attitude to adapt. A desire to inspire. Where new generations will care enough about their city to plan for its future.
(On camera): What's your dream for this city?
LERNER: Keeping innovative, the more you mix urban features (ph), the more you incomes, the more you mix incomes, the more you religions, ages, the more human the city became. And that's-that's my dream for a city.
QUEST (voice over): In economic theory, the black swan stands as symbol for the completely improbable, the totally unexpected, and how appropriate that I find a black swan, at the University of the Environment. Because Curitiba has spent its entire history planning for what might happen. And even today it is a city that is truly planning for the future. Richard Quest, CNN, Curitiba, Brazil.
FOSTER: Next week, on "Future Cities" from Curitiba, will be talking about a transport revolution.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LERNER: We knew that we didn't have the money for a metro, or for a tube, and we realized why not on surface.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Be sure to look out for that on the same day, at the same time, next Monday, rather.
In a moment, they are screening for danger, preventing the next cargo terror plot to come down to technology. We'll talk to the man who is trying to stay one step ahead of the terrorists.
FOSTER: Welcome back. I'm Max Foster. You are watching QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. First the latest headlines.
FOSTER: Let's return now to our top story. The questions surrounding aviation security in the wake of the latest terror plot. The U.S. Transportation Safety Administration says the embargo on shipments from Yemen will continue until November the 8th. The TSA chief John Pistole explained the challenged faced by the security services.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN PISTOLE, ADMINISTRATOR, TSA: It is a challenge. The -- we know that the enemy we face is -- is creative in terms of -- of design and concealment, as we saw both on 12/25 and, of course, in this most recent incident; then, also, in the effectiveness of the device, that -- that if they operate it effectively, could have catastrophic consequences.
The challenge becomes, worldwide, that we don't have the same standards that we have in the U.S. or in certain Western countries, that the security, in terms of cargo passes -- packages -- is applied in -- in an even way. So that is our challenge, working with our international partners to address those issues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: And Richard will be speaking a bit more to the chief of the TSA in Frankfurt tomorrow. He'll be coming live from there on a security summit for the aviation industry.
Now, Stephen Phipson is the president of Smiths Detection Company, which supplies sophisticated equipment capable of detecting explosives.
And I asked him how effective we are at screening air freight.
STEPHEN PHIPSON CBE, PRESIDENT OF SMITHS DETECTION: In the U.S., they actually addressed this issue on August the 1st of this year by requiring 100 percent screening of cargo that goes onto passenger aircraft for explosives. The rest of the world is very patch and does very different things in different -- different countries. But in America, they extended what they're doing for checked baggage and used the same sorts of technologies and systems for exploring explosives in -- in cargo.
FOSTER: What about cargo beyond the passenger planes, the cargo planes?
PHIPSON : The regulations are less stringent. There are still sample checks on those aircraft, but they're not as stringent as 100 percent explosive checking that goes onto the passenger aircraft.
FOSTER: Because we understand that the explosive that was on this airplane -- these airplanes is very difficult to detect.
Would your kit have detected it?
PHIPSON : All explosives are difficult to detect. But for many years, we have been detecting PETN. So to claim that it's not possible to detect it is simply wrong.
FOSTER: But it was wrapped tightly, wasn't it?
PHIPSON : You -- but you still can detect it, yes.
FOSTER: OK, so the -- the equipment is there to detect...
PHIPSON : Absolutely.
FOSTER: -- all types of explosive?
PHIPSON : All -- all the types that we currently consider to be threats. So the government decides what that threat looks like and then we produce systems and technology that's able to find it.
FOSTER: And so your kit, if it was in all airports screening everything, would make the system pretty safe?
PHIPSON : It would certainly make it a lot better and safer than it is at the moment.
FOSTER: So what obstacles are you coming up with in terms of getting your kit into airports?
Is it just down to cuts -- )?
PHIPSON : It's just down to regulation, largely. So private operators -- so that the systems are different in different countries. In America, we have a government agency that's the regulator that buys the equipment and then operates it and that's the TSA. In Europe, we have a very different system. We have regulators which have passed government and private industry that has to invest.
And, of course, the challenge always is can you meet or exceed the requirements of the regulation?
And so regulation has to be set first. It creates the market and then you sell equipment and technology to be able to fulfill the regulations.
FOSTER: You -- you have to know how the whole industry works. So it sounds as though you're saying certain countries, certain areas are safe, others aren't.
So does that make the overall system unsafe, because you've got cargo moving through the different systems?
PHIPSON : The -- the most important thing we should do right now is have international agreements on these standards. The Americans have taken the lead in deploying the latest technology. We should have an international agreement that those kinds of standards are deployed across the world, effectively, to make sure there are no gaps in the system. And I think that's a problem that the terrorists exploit is gaps in the security system and that an agreement internationally would solve a lot of that.
FOSTER: And what about the cargo going from cargo planes into passenger planes, as it's moved around the world?
What system is there to deal with that?
It just has to all be taken off and put through scanners again?
PHIPSON : It -- it -- that's exactly what happens. But it -- the requirement is really about can you scan cargo when it's in the smaller packages before it gets consolidated up and assure its security at that point?
And I think that's where the regulators are focusing their attention.
FOSTER: And how do you convince your clients that it's not going to cause immense cues and backups in their airports?
PHIPSON : Well, obviously, I mean our job is to make -- make it as efficient as possible. We have good examples with the large freight carriers in the U.S. now of integrating this technology into their automatic sorting lines and sorting offices.
FOSTER: So it shouldn't add any more time?
PHIPSON : And it shouldn't -- it doesn't add more time, right.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
FOSTER: Very well.
Now, we're just a day away now from the U.S. mid-term elections. Politicians on both sides are being blamed for the state of the U.S. economy. Now candidates are pointing the fingers of blame toward China. We'll tell you why next.
FOSTER: The campaigning is nearly over. On Tuesday, U.S. voters will head to the polls in a mid-term election that could see the Republican Party regain control of Congress. High profile Democrats, including the former president, Bill Clinton, are making a final push for voters today. A CNN poll shows 51 percent of the public think that they'll lose their majority to the Republicans.
Jobs are always a hot topic during election time. This year, politicians on both sides are blaming the other for a loss of U.S. jobs. And some are using China now as a scapegoat.
From New York, CNN's Maggie Lake talked to one of "Time" magazine's main political reporters.
MAGGIE LAKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He calls it an American journey -- "Time" magazine reporter Joe Klein traveled the U.S. for 24 days in the run-up to the American mid-term election to gauge the key concerns of voters. One issue raised repeatedly -- the growing economic rivalry between the U.S. and China.
JOE KLEIN, "TIME" MAGAZINE: Well, the interesting thing is that I didn't bring China up. They did. It was one of the first things that they brought up. There was tremendous concern and anguish.
LAKE: This campaign season, politicians are taking notice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM CAMPAIGN AD)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've lost 91,000 jobs to China through unfair trade deals like NAFTA -- the kind of deals Gibbs wants more of. Ninety- one thousand jobs. As they say in China, Sheh-sheh -- ), Mr. Gibbs. Free trading, job killing Bob Gibbs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAKE (on camera): Now, we knew the economy was going to be central in this election. I'm sort of surprised to see free trade -- I mean trade isn't usually something that, you know, in American politics is -- is right at the top of the list.
KLEIN: Together, Wall Street and big government, over the last 30 years, has given us this free trade policy that has caused an awful lot of manufacturing jobs to go overseas. And people are beginning to wonder, maybe we should have paid $50 more for a DVD player.
LAKE: So who is benefiting from...
LAKE: Who's really benefiting from free trade is starting to be what the conversation is?
LAKE: OK, let's -- let's have a look at the next one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM CAMPAIGN AD, COURTESY FOX BUSINESS NEWS)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As part of the Obama-Pelosi team, Ray Hall voted for a bill that led to billions in tax breaks for foreign companies creating Chinese jobs. With skyrocketing unemployment, only a politician who has been in Washington 34 years would vote to help foreign companies create Chinese jobs making windmills.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAKE: Again, jobs, jobs, jobs.
Is this having an impact?
Is this resonating with voters?
KLEIN: I think it's -- it is resonating with voters.
LAKE: China is the only one we see here, but outsourcing isn't limited to...
KLEIN: Oh, yes, but Chin -- China has become an easy code word for all those other places.
KLEIN: What's interesting, how much, especially given how big an issue immigration is, you don't see very much about Mexico this year...
KLEIN: -- everything is about China, because people know China is growing very rapidly and it's a major economic challenge to us.
LAKE: I think we've got one more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But while Harry Reid is fighting for jobs, Sharron Angle supports tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, outsourcing to China and India.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAKE: What's striking about this is, is this is an issue that both sides are using. I mean, usually, we've sort of seen one side lined up against the other. The ads we just watched are from both sides of the party.
KLEIN: That's right. And that is because you have both parties in this same boat of having supported free trade, which makes both -- both parties vulnerable by people who -- who oppose it.
LAKE (voice-over): As politicians battle it out, Klein says China could resonate among voters way past election day.
KLEIN: China is a convenient symbol for a lot of things that are going wrong, for a lot of -- for -- for income that isn't there, for housing values that are diminishing.
LAKE (on camera): When you wrapped it all up, did you feel equally as worried and anxious and dismayed as a lot of the voters you talked to?
KLEIN: Well, I've been a congenital optimist and a wild-eyed American patriot. But I'm going to say, I'm really worried at this point. The feeling that we're stuck in a ditch, as the president says, is very much out there. There is an awful lot of despair. And there's a particular despair about the notion of whether our kids are going to live as well as we have.
LAKE (voice-over): An American journey, a worried electorate, as voters head to the polls this election day, China's growing economic might and its effect on America's future is front and center in the national debate.
Maggie Lake, CNN, New York.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
FOSTER: Well, mid-term election week could prove to be a huge run for the U.S. economy.
Let's check in with Alison Kosik at the New York Stock Exchange -- Alison, what are investors really focused on this Monday?
ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi. You know, it's all about elections, it's all about what the Fed is going to do. You know, as -- as one trader put it, he said, "It's show time," you know, time for the market to put an end to two months of speculation about the election results and the Fed's new stimulus plan. The market widely expects the Republican Party to take control of at least one of the two chambers of Congress, which could create legislative gridlock with President Obama.
And then on Wednesday, of course, the Fed is expected to announce its plan to buy up U.S. Treasury bonds to stimulate the economy.
Now, the big question remains, how much will the Fed send in?
Will it be enough to satisfy investors, who have been bidding up stock prices, anticipating a big new stimulus program?
And to top all this off, Friday, we get the government's monthly jobs report. The high unemployment rate, of course, is the most important issue for many voters and economists.
Of course, all the action begins Tuesday.
In the meantime, the Dow has given up a triple digit gain from earlier in the session and we are on track to finish slightly lower -- Max.
FOSTER: And, Alison, what sort of stimulus figures are they looking at for this one -- this Wednesday?
What sort of predictions are they making?
KOSIK: Well, you know, the widespread consensus at this point is for the Fed to buy up at least $500 billion in Treasuries over the next six months. The Fed also is expected to leave that open-ended, giving itself maximum flexibility to go ahead and buy more as time goes on.
But a lot of doubt about that number has really been creeping into the market in the past week or so. It's leading some to say it could be less than $500 billion and more like $200 billion or $300 billion.
But the central bank knows at this point to do too little could really prompt a sharply negative response on the stock market. Stocks are up about 10 percent since Chairman Ben Bernanke seemed to make QE2 a relative certainty. He did that at the end of August.
Now, given that run-up, it may take a real surprise to get stocks to move much higher. Once the plan is actually announced on Wednesday, either more than $500 billion in stimulus or perhaps a change in the language and the overall economic outlook could make stocks sharply rise that day.
One thing is certain right now, this waiting game is almost, finally, over, something that investors really want to see -- Max.
FOSTER: OK, Alison, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us in the Stock Exchange.
FOSTER: Now, unemployment is a key issue in this week's mid-term elections in the U.S. The official jobless rate is almost 10 percent. Job hunters are looking for any edge they can find right now.
As Alina Cho found out, it could all come down to good manners.
PATRICIA FITZPATRICK, NEW YORK SCHOOL OF ETIQUETTE: It's four steps. Let me show you. One, two -- quietly, three.
ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What does this have to do...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I leaned over a little bit, is that OK?
FITZPATRICK: You can tilt.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
CHO: -- with getting a job?
FITZPATRICK: OK. That's a big bite, Sarah -- ).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I couldn't break it any smaller.
CHO: Would you believe etiquette counts for a lot?
FITZPATRICK: Eighty-five percent of success in life and getting a job is people skills. Fifteen percent is technical skills or what you know.
CHO: So how do you improve your people skills?
By taking a class.
FITZPATRICK: Welcome to outclass the competition. This is etiquette.
CHO: In just a year, Patricia Fitzpatrick says her business has doubled. And she charges $200 per person for a two-hour group session.
JODI R. R. SMITH, MANNERSMITH ETIQUETTE CONSULTING: One, two, three shakes is OK. Four is getting strange and five is creepy.
CHO: Other etiquette classes are going gang busters.
FITZPATRICK: Go ahead.
CHO: And the students are younger -- twenty-somethings just out of school looking for a job and an edge.
LINDSAY YUHASZ, ETIQUETTE SCHOOL STUDENT: I want to be the person that they're like, this girl is great. When she came in, she smiled. She was confident. She shook my hand well. I want to be that person.
CHO: Which is why these young women are learning how to properly dine, communicate and network -- all the little things that can show a potential employer you're up for the job.
FITZPATRICK: First of all, you don't go to events to eat, OK?
You're not there to eat. So eat something before you go.
CHO: Make eye contact in the area Fitzpatrick calls the triangle. Anything lower is too personal. Once you get the job, know how to eat. There's always a business lunch. Number one rule -- eat with the backside of your fork, cross your utensils while you rest and leave them parallel, at 10:20, like a clock, when you're done.
So many details.
Does it really matter?
Anna Post is the great, great granddaughter of Emily Post, the woman who literally wrote the book on etiquette.
ANNA POST, THE EMILY POST INSTITUTE: This will put you apart from the crowd. There are so many qualified resumes. This is a way to show that the boss can send you out and have absolute confidence that you won't embarrass them in front of a client, bottom line.
FOSTER: As if there isn't enough to worry about when you're going for a job. It's never too late to make a first impression, it seems.
Alina Cho reporting there.
Now, up next, Nissan's new green promise -- we talk to the CEO about the company's new electric car called the Leaf.
FOSTER: There are glimmers of green in the auto industry. General election -- General Electric has announced the mass purchase of electric cars in what its CEO says will be the largest of its kind. Ford has five new electric cars in the pipeline and has launched an educational Web site to help explain them and boost consumer interest, as well.
Governments around the globe are helping to plant the seeds of eco- friendly cars, with tax cuts for new purchases. Up to $8,000 in tax will be docked from the price in the U.K. and the U.S., plus the perks, from parking privileges to car pool lanes.
Well, Nissan is one of the auto companies positioning itself in the electric car market.
CEO Carlos Ghosn is leading the green offensive with Leaf. That's the park and plug car, which will be hitting the streets next month now.
Our Jim Boulden caught up with the CEO at the company's London design studio.
CARLOS GHOSN, CEO, NISSAN: Our hopes is that the Leaf, as the first affordable mass marketed zero emission cars is going to really make the public familiar with electric cars, because today, people do not have an idea about what zero emission cars would be in terms of the driving experience.
This is a powerful car.
JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
GHOSN: People have in mind...
BOULDEN: A small car.
GHOSN: -- an electric car is going to be something, you know, a little bit tedious to drive.
BOULDEN: Is it?
GHOSN: No, it is powerful, a powerful car.
GHOSN: It's very fun -- fun to drive.
BOULDEN: What is the cost?
What is the cost of electric versus petrol?
What is the -- what is -- look, how are they going to plug it in and how many miles...
GHOSN: For the consumer...
BOULDEN: -- would it go?
GHOSN: -- for the consumer today, the price of this car, they -- particularly in the United States, take into consideration the incentive paid by the federal government, you know, it's about the same than the equivalent car with a gasoline engine.
GHOSN: It's about the same. Now, in some states, it's going to be even better because -- in California, for example...
GHOSN: -- you have an additional incentive coming from the state, OK?
Now, on top of the fact that the price you are paying is about the same than what you would be paying for a normal car, what you're going to pay for electricity to gas it is going to be cheaper, because the price of electricity today is much cheaper, for the mile that you're going to drive, much cheaper than gasoline.
Now, there is another point which is important, is why do I -- where do I charge your car, OK?
And you're going to charge it at home, because -- with the regular plug or you're going to be using a fast charger. And the fast chargers are going to be installed, you know, in different places or at Nissan dealers, in the case of Japan...
BOULDEN: Oh, OK. GHOSN: Yes, we're going to put it at the Nissan dealer.
BOULDEN: OK. You can drive out to the dealer and plug it in?
GHOSN: Exactly. Yes, and plug it -- and plug it in (INAUDIBLE).
BOULDEN: And that won't cost them anything?
GHOSN: No. No, because we are using the cost of the fast charger.
BOULDEN: Four doors, four seats, five seats.
GHOSN: Yes. Yes.
BOULDEN: This is not how people think of an electric car.
GHOSN: No. This is a five-seater. You know, you have the -- the whole family. That's what we wanted from the beginning, you know. You know, not to give the impression that the electric car is a car that's not going to be comfortable, where you're not going to have space, where you're not going to have power.
No, we want it to be a normal family car. It's a very modern design. And particularly, you know, no noise.
BOULDEN: So give me a -- a number. Give me a number six months.
How many of these cars will be on the road being sold -- being driven by people, whether it's governments or whether it's individuals?
GHOSN: Well, let me -- every single car produced will be on the road.
BOULDEN: Every one.
GHOSN: And today we are in a situation where we can't take more orders because the first year of production is already booked.
So this means that within the six months, we're you're to have 20,000 cars that are being driven and we're going to divide them in ways where we have cars everywhere in the world so people can get familiar...
BOULDEN: Oh, I see.
GHOSN: Yes, exactly.
GHOSN: People can get familiar with it.
GHOSN: We want to have, you know, we said 500 cars in the U.K. Obviously, we have an order for more than 500 cars in the U.K., but we cannot afford to allocate more cars. But when these 500 cars in the U.K. do come, so people can see the car on the street...
GHOSN: -- can drive it with some cars at rental companies or if, you know...
GHOSN: -- I cannot get the car...
GHOSN: -- at least I can get the feeling...
GHOSN: -- about what it is.
BOULDEN: So I'll be able to get one at a rental car company...
BOULDEN: -- even if I don't buy one?
(END VIDEO TAPE)
FOSTER: Was he angling for a car there, one wonders.
Guillermo is at the World Weather Center with all the latest from there.
What's your outlook -- Guillermo?
GUILLERMO ARDUINO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I have to tell you that what we have in here, in the northern parts of Britain, is some bad weather, but London appears to be fine. So I think that Tuesday and Wednesday are going to be OK here for the south. But you see, these are systems that come and go and they bring bad weather here. We are seeing right now in Scotland, I think the worst is over, because the coastal parts have some severe storms here and they are moving away. Again, the southern parts looking fine -- the English Channel, Northern France, the Low Countries looking OK. It's going to be breezy. You need to know that.
Also, bad weather here in Italy once again. Nice here, from Greece into the Middle East, Turkey, the Black Sea, parts of Ukraine, Armenia, looking fine. The central part of Europe a little bit toward the east is where we have the problem. You see it's some strong winds, heavy rain and also see that some other warnings pop up here in the north.
So let's see what we have in terms of temperatures. Looking fine. I think that, you know what, Max, in North America is where we have some cold conditions. This is nothing. This is a piece of cake.
London -- fine. Let's see, Dublin with winds; Amsterdam with some rain showers; London, the rain showers, but I think Tuesday and Wednesday are going to be OK.
Then Copenhagen, some rain showers; and Rome, all the way to the south, especially in the southeast, where we have the bad weather and into Croatia, too.
In Asia, we see improving conditions for Japan, you know, but it's cold. So we still have some winds there, some winds in Seoul and in Taipei. But we have temperatures that are pretty cold right now. It's 4:00 in the morning, almost, in Beijing. If you're waking up, it's cold out there. It's one degree. And later on today, Tuesday, it's going to be all the way to 14.
And Japan not bad at all, 20 in Tokyo. We had a storm -- an awful storm before. Well, when it comes to cold weather, Washington, D.C. and the vicinity here, Baltimore in Maryland, also parts of Virginia, parts of Pennsylvania and Philly and parts of New York with a cooling trend that gets all the way down to the south.
You see we'll see some storms here popping up in the southern parts of Louisiana, but that's about it.
Let's see if we have some temps to share with you, too, and also here, B.C. Vancouver, Washington State, Oregon with some storms, some rain moving in. The temperatures are OK, even though it's 12:54 midday in that -- in Portland, Oregon now. Eight in New York only; 22 in Atlanta.
You see the division, what I was telling you about?
If you are flying into Montreal, it's going to be cold. So anywhere from here, Virginia, Washington, D.C. included, there are frost advisories and also freeze warnings in place. This is no joke. In Canada, all the way up here in Ontario, it's also quite cold.
But look at Houston, 32 degrees reporting right now. And New Orleans, 27 degrees.
So this is the forecast for Tuesday. High of Montreal 6 degrees; high of New York of 11 degrees; Chicago, 12 degrees. So you see you have to get ready.
Why don't you go to Miami, though?
It's 31 degrees.
That sounds like a great idea, right?
And also cold in Winnipeg.
But you know what, a couple of months from now, this is going to change so dramatically, because we see those extremely cold temperatures in Winnipeg -- back to you.
FOSTER: Guillermo, thank you very much, indeed.
ARDUINO: Thank you.
FOSTER: We'll hear more from you later.
Just a reminder, we will be getting much deeper into the issue of cargo and freight security in tomorrow's show. Richard live at the Aviation Security Conference in Frankfurt. Don't forget to tune in at the same time on Tuesday.
Right now, this is a picture of the U.S. markets. We'll be live, though, for the closing bell after this short break.
FOSTER: The closing bell on Wall Street then just a few moments away.
But first, let's see how the European stock markets started the week. There were modest gains on all the major indices, at least. Mining shares were the top performers because metal prices were up. And the DAX up 3.72 percent.
Now, Xetra was up 3.72 percent in London. Also Locatel up 1.8 percent in Paris, the DAX, as you can see. Go figure there.
Now, in Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei closed lower for a third straight session.
In Sydney, the ASX 200 gained almost 4/5 of a percent, as mining shares really soared there.
Stocks in Shanghai and Hong Kong both jumped around 2.5 percent. Some good economic data helped there. September's figure for Chinese manufacturing output rose at the quickest rate in six months, which affected things there.
Now, trade at the New York Stock Exchange is coming to an end, very much focused on the mid-term elections this week.
What will that mean for the economy?
Also, on Wednesday, we're expecting confirmation of some more monetary easing from the Fed.
Let's see how the markets is stepping down as we get the closing bell. The Marcus Brothers, chairman and president of the Marcus Corporation, ringing the bell. It hardly moved. It was up slightly, (INAUDIBLE) .04 percent.
That is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
I'm Max Foster in London.
"WORLD ONE" starts right now.