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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS

Putin Slams Moscow Airport Officials; Interview With Estonia's Prime Minister

Aired December 29, 2010 - 14:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


RICHARD QUEST, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Stop whining. Start working. Vladimir Putin slams airport officials after long delays in Moscow.

They stand ready to help. Estonia's prime minister tells me tonight, his country's entry to the Euro Zone will strengthen the club.

And from Wall Street to Main Street, we ask New Yorkers how they feel about their economy

I'm Richard Quest. We are heading to the end of the year, and I still mean business.

Good evening.

From Moscow the Big Apple, and at points in between, tensions running high as passengers battle flight delays and cancellations where there seems to be no end. Tonight, on this program, we are going to take a look at the travel misery that has brought chaos to the airports, many of them near you.

And also, on this program tonight, the missteps, the misdeeds, and the mistakes of the tech world. What exactly when wrong during the course of the year? And why many of these gadgets had a less than overwhelming reception?

First, though, we need to begin with the freeze and the lack of ability to escape. Freezing weather has disrupted flights across the world and the situation is only just getting back to normal. It has left flyers with little else to do but look for someone to blame.

Now, if you come with me over here, you'll see exactly where the problems all began. Last week or just before Christmas it was LHR London, Heathrow. And there, of course, the chief executive of Heathrow's owner, BAA, lost his Christmas bonus over the mess that took place at the U.K.'s leading airport.

There were also problems, of course, in Frankfurt and in Paris. And then just a few days ago, it was Kennedy, Dulles, Boston Logan, and Newark. It was the turn of government officials in America to take the flak. New Jersey's governor has been on vacation at Disney World during the state of emergency. New York's Mayor Bloomberg insists complaining helps nothing.

Trans-Atlantic, so far, but now also problems over in Moscow's main airports, at least, the international airport. And the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, his message says, stop whining. But he's not talking to the public, he's coming down hard on transport officials. Passengers are even angrier. Attacking staff, storming passport control at Moscow's gridlocked airport. It is a sorry state of affairs in the travel world tonight.

Mr. Putin is on the warpath over the disruption. He told airport officials passengers didn't even get their flights, so you don't get vacation. I spoke to Matthew Chance in Moscow and asked him how bad the situation had been.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it was pretty bad. Certainly by the standards of Russia, which is well used to freezing weather, ice on the runways, ice on the aircraft, and snow and stuff like that. It should have been able to cope with this much better, but the fact is that at the weekend there was really unprecedented, unseasonable, freezing rain, which covered all the tarmac, all the airplanes with a layer of ice which literally was about an inch thick. It was quite incredible. It downed electricity cables. It lead to a complete cut off of the electricity to Moscow's main airport, Domodedovo. And it lead to a shortage of deicing fluid at both the airports, particularly at the other airport, Sheremetyevo. And led to hundreds of flights being canceled, thousands of passengers being left stranded in the terminals.

And they were given the kind of service and information that, you know, other airports in Europe and in the United States, that tend to give their stranded passengers. So that is the problem in the airports in Moscow.

QUEST: Or perhaps not give the information, if the U.K. airports are anything to go by, London Heathrow. Let's-so Putin comes along and he says at the cabinet meeting that no one is going on holiday until this is sorted out, and anyway, stop whining. For whom was that intended, internal, if you like, reception, or for the public?

CHANCE: Oh, definitely, definitely, for the public. I mean, the Kremlin, and Vladimir Putin, in particular, are always very, very sensitive to-I suppose we call them grassroots protests in other areas. But in this case there were protests at the airport, passengers, you know, hundreds of them, were banging on drums in front of the security officials, not paying any attention. There were reports in the official media of frustrated passengers attacking airlines staff and even storming passport control, at one point; which, of course, at any other airport would be considered a major security breach.

But that is what went on there. Vladimir Putin stepped in to try and, you know, still say, look, calm down. I am going to address this. We are going to have a full investigation and get to the bottom of who is responsible.

QUEST: So once again, Mr. Putin, it is the strong man image, which of course, dovetails into the way he portrays it, as being man of the people who stands up for their rights?

CHANCE: Absolutely. This is Vladimir Putin in his classic form, stepping in and saying, you know, I'm the public champion. I'm going to sort this out. Now, whether that means anything will actually be done, whether any measures will be taken to make sure this doesn't happen in the future. That is an entirely different question.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

QUEST: That's Matthew Chance in Moscow.

So, we have an investigation as to what went wrong in Moscow. We have another one at Heathrow, in London. And now we have investigations that will be getting underway in North Eastern United States.

Passengers there have been literally stuck in the dark for hours. Sometimes waiting many hours, stuck on the tarmac to be let off flights; it has been a sorry situation. When they knew the snow was going to arrive and everything happened according to plan, except, the disaster recovery procedures.

What went wrong? I asked Susan Candiotti, at JFK, in New York, if the airport authorities, all things considered could have handled it better.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A lot of people are asking, obviously, those very same questions. And there seems to be a lot of different answers and a lot of things that weigh in here. Number one, the weather obviously created havoc. Also, not only on the airport but on the people that work at this airport. So, while no one will tell us this on camera, they are saying ground crews had trouble getting to work here, just as you heard about people who couldn't move the snow plows in New York City. So we had to deal with that, and the ability to service planes.

But they are also pointing the fingers in different directions. Saying it was up to the airlines to call ahead of time to make sure there was gate space available. On the other hand they are saying, well, we know the airlines are trying to do the best that they possibly can, but the fact is, once those planes take off and they're on their way here, air traffic controllers have to put them down somewhere.

And so it is not so easy, they said, to simply move those international flights to another gate, that might be open, that normally handles domestic flights. Why? Well, obviously, because they are not set up for customs. They did have customs personnel on duty, but they said we can't just plotz a plane somewhere, bring the passengers in to some other part of the airport, and then try t figure out how to get them to pass through customs. So you have a lot of different things at play here. But everyone agrees, Richard, they have to have-yes, more meetings to figure out how they might be able to avoid this, next go round.

And you know there is also that passenger bill of rights, that applies only to domestic flights in the United States, where you cannot keep passengers on board a plane for more than three hours. But it didn't apply to international flights. So, the U.S. Department of Transportation is saying we have long been considering adding that rule. We've been asking for public comment on it. There will be more rulemaking. And I'll be there will be plenty of talk about it.

QUEST: Right.

CANDIOTTI: Coming up very soon, in the next few months, Richard.

QUEST: As you look forward, and I mean, that literally, not figuratively, to the rest of winter, and whether it is Heathrow in London, Frankfurt in Germany, Kennedy/LaGuardia in Newark, in the U.S., everyone is saying, something has to be done.

CANDIOTTI: That is for sure. And of course, you also had a holiday on top of everything else. Perhaps people move more slowly during the holidays. Harder to get out. But you know, you always have to know how to work that snow plow, no matter what. There are several jobs, obviously, in this world that operate 24/7 no matter what. And clearly they have to work out how to handle Mother Nature. But clearly Mother Nature seemed to have the upper hand this go-round.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

QUEST: You can say that again. Susan Candiotti joining me from Kennedy Airport, earlier.

2010 was a terrible year for the Euro Zone in the eyes of many and yet, Estonia is about to give the euro club some much needed new year's cheer. Estonia becomes the latest member at the start of 2011. We'll explain. Back with the prime minister.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: Austerity, budgets, bailouts, and a record low for the euro; these countries have faced it all over the course of the past year. In its 12-year history, the Euro Zone is grappling with the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Now, despite the zone's terrible year, there is a country in the northern regions of the EU, that says it can't wait to join the single currency club. Come New Year's Day, the country will drop its old money, the kroon, and take up the euro. Estonia, and its 1.3 million people, vow to lend a hand to much larger partners in need.

The little Baltic state will soon be part of the loan negotiations for bailed out country Ireland. Dublin and Greece are both getting Euro Zone and IMF help to avoid bankruptcy. EU partners are also keeping an eye on Portugal and Spain, as they grapple with hefty debt burdens.

So, Estonia will join the club at a time of serious uncertainty. Despite this, the Estonian prime minister believes the common currency will bring more jobs and faster economic growth. We'll hear from Andrus Ansip himself, in just a moment. First, though, let's highlight some of the Baltic state's economic vital signs. And we can do that if you join me over in the library.

If you look at Estonia and the GDP third quarter, 5 percent year-on- year growth. It was largely helped by exports. Estonia points out it has the lowest public debt to GDP ratio of all Euro area members. At one point, 7 percent. It is a far cry from the double digits wracked up by other members, essentially both on budget deficit and on debt to GDP, Estonia is certainly near the top.

But unfortunately, unemployment up 15.5 percent, is nearly 50 percent higher than the EU average at 10.1 percent. Lower than Spain's than a lot higher than say, Germany's. And Estonia's central bank expects growth in 2011 to be 3.9 percent.

It is an interesting dichotomy for the Estonia economy. It is strong and independent at the moment, but perhaps only because it is backed by European partners.

A short time ago I spoke to Estonia's Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, about his country's big project, living successfully within the Euro Zone.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDRUS ANSIP, PRIME MINISTER, ESTONIA: For Estonia, any time to join the Euro Zone is a really good time. Practically the euro is in use in Estonia already. We are using the currency, both systems, in Estonia, and we didn't change the exchange rate during the last 18 years in Estonia.

But our banknotes, they are really beautiful banknotes, but unfortunately investors they cannot trust those beautiful banknotes so much as they can trust the euro; 70 percent of our exports, they are based upon euros. They are going to other Euro Zone member states, and the euro will make Estonia more attractive for foreign investments also.

QUEST: But all the arguments of stability, strength, liquidity. All those very strong arguments, you must agree they were weakened, surely, this year with the turbulence of the euro.

ANSIP: Our question is to be inside all the club, to be among the decision makers or to stay outside of the club. We prefer to belong to the club. We prefer to act as decision makers.

QUEST: Your club membership comes at a high price. It is estimated 800 million will be your percentage share, that you'll have to pay to the stability fund. Now, Estonians are going to say from day one, well, that is a hefty whack that we have to come up with to join this club.

ANSIP: In Estonia we were prepared for this crisis, because we collected quite remarkable reserves to our country during those really good years. During the years 2002, 2007. And now we still have approximately 10 percent from all GDP, as government sector reserves, and the level of government sector debts in Estonia is the lowest one in the European Union at 7.2 percent, only. So financing is not a big issue for Estonia.

QUEST: But Estonians will now be part of that pot-will be almost penalized for the good way you have run your economy, with low deficits, low debt to GDP, but you are now part of the transference of wealth, from those countries from the north, to those countries in the south.

ANSIP: The rate of Estonian crown was fixed to the German mark. And now it is fixed to euro according to law. And we didn't change exchange rates during the last 18 years in Estonia. Practically we didn't have our own monetary policy, but we have quite conservative, prudent fiscal policy in Estonia. And it is important for Estonia to go on with a very sound fiscal policy anyway.

QUEST: Estonia, as long as you were part of ERM II, you were shadowing the euro. You didn't have to provide money. Now you are in the position where you are either going to provide bilateral help, or you are going to have to take part in the stability facility. You are actually going to have to take your cash and give it to those countries that need bailing out.

ANSIP: In Estonia we got huge support from different Western European countries, from the United States of America, from Canada, when this support was really needed for Estonia. And now, when we are able to help others, we would like to do that. Of course, some Estonian people they also worried about quite complicated situation in some Euro Zone member states.

QUEST: My final question is: An economist in Tallinn has said-and you may be familiar with this quote-that you were invited to a wedding and you have turned up and it is a funeral, in terms of the euro. You thought you were coming to this great party of this magnificent currency, you have arrived and people are talking about, is it over? Is it dead? Is it buried? It is not exactly a happy state of affairs.

ANSIP: I don't think we will have some kind of funeral ceremony in connection with the euro. I'm not some old guy, but I remember at least 10 times those rumors about possible collapse of U.S. dollars. But as we know, positions of the euro, as a world reserve currency, used even to improve during this international financial crisis. I am absolutely sure the euro will have a really good future.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

QUEST: That is the prime minister of Estonia, talking to me earlier. Estonia joins the euro on January 1st. But of course it has been part of the ERM II and it has been shadowing the euro as the prime minister made clear, since 2004, and before then.

Value your staff, give yourself a break, advice from the minds behind some multi-million dollar companies. Tonight we are in London and Hong Kong, and it is "The Boss".

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: Throughout this week we been rejoining and enjoying again the insider's view of the pressure and pleasures of running a company. It is part of our series, "The Boss." Tonight, our bosses talk about keeping self doubt at bay. As we travel from the United Kingdom to Hong Kong, we learn that being the boss is about having the competence, but not the arrogance to know what is right.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Previously on "The Boss":

Michael Wu laid out his strategy for China.

MICHAEL WU, CEO, MAXIM'S GROUP: Change is quite easy for us. It is in our blood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Sarah Curran told us why it is important to hire the best people.

SARAH CURRAN, CEO, MY-WARDROBE.COM: It is really important to surround yourself with experts.

We're in Nottingham, which is two hours away from London. This is where we have our operational part of the business. So we have our customer service team, finance, development. And this is also where we do the order fulfillments. And so I'll take you through.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sarah Curran moved her operations to Nottingham in 2006. At the time she managed three employees. Today she is leading a team of 90.

CURRAN: When we started, obviously, you know it would trickle from an order a day, to five, to 12 and now, we handle between 250 and 300 orders a day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This warehouse is Sarah's home. It represents everything she's worked for.

CURRAN: This is where we receive the goods in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was her start as a leader. It was here that she developed her managerial skills. She had to work at it.

CURRAN: I think these are really key brands.

When we launched originally in 2006, you know, at that time there were no seminars on e-tailing. There was no handbook. There was no instruction. We literally learned as we went along.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the orders have grown, so has Sarah's role. But being a chief executive has not come naturally. She has had to learn on the job.

CURRAN: There is not really one part of this business that I haven't done myself. Obviously when we started in 2006, I would do everything from obviously the buying, to then receiving the goods in, and I do remember my first order. It took me an hour to pack. Because it was-there was tissue paper everywhere, and I just wanted it to look perfect.

This is the wrapping and packing department.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like very self-made CEO, Sarah knows the business inside out.

CURRAN: It just arrived, yeah? And you have just packed it up and you quality controlled it?

What has she ordered?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today she appears at ease in her role. And she acknowledges her growth as a chief executive.

CURRAN: If you were to see the person, even the person that I've become over the past 12 months I think I have changed. I've become a lot more confident in my decisions. When you have got 90 people in the business, and you know, they are all looking for one person to lead the ship, you know, you need to have the confidence to stand up and be that person.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Day by day, Sarah is changing the course of My- Wardrobe. She is the boss, confidently leading the way.

Michael Wu may be plotting his campaign to enter China, but this week he is turning his attention to matters closer to home, recognizing his staff.

WU (SPEAKING CHINESE): Good morning, Cakes Department. How is everyone?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No matter where he takes the company Michael knows its success has to be a team effort. And just like Sarah, he knows too well the importance of valuing his staff.

WU (SPEAKING CHINESE): We have sold out of the Mooncakes from Hong Kong. Thank you all for your effort. We have sold more than what we've set for our target.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the some 150 employees this is an opportunity to hear directly from their boss.

WU: I like to join these meetings because it gives me an opportunity to tell them about the company's direction. To encourage them, to congratulate them on their good job, and really any message I want to deliver to them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For Michael it is an opportunity to celebrate their performance. And reward them publicly for their efforts.

WU: I think recognition is a key element of motivation. Just a very simple recognition, just for those staff to be appreciated that we know that they have done a good job. Just a simple pat on the back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By rewarding his staff, Michael engages his team. He knows that is key to creating motivation and retaining great employees.

WU (SPEAKING CHINESE): I want to encourage you all. You've done a great job. But we shouldn't look down on our competitors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the boss Michael knows he can be respected and also feared. So he encourages staff to write to him, anonymously. It is an interesting philosophy.

WU: I encourage them to write anonymously. They are free to say and write what they really feel. Once they put a name onto that they will be afraid that I will investigate and they will be revealed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With the correct communication and staff Michael has his army ready to attack.

WU (SPEAKING CHINESE): I have news to share. I have created a new product.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

QUEST: And of course, you can follow "The Boss" throughout 2011, as we keep up to date with our bosses in Hong Kong, London and in New York. And next year we will be adding new bosses to our roster. So stay and watch for those.

Now, whether you are the boss or a trader, if you are walking on Wall Street or Main Street, there has been something to smile about when it comes to equities in 2010. The driven recovery, we need to get the view from the trading floor in just a moment. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, good evening.

(DESK BELL CHIMES)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

This is CNN. And on this network, at any time of the year, the news always comes first.

New Yorkers are digging out and speaking up about what many consider to be rampant failure by the city government to adequately respond to the snow blizzard. The snow has stopped, but many streets are still blocked. Airports are still clogged with stranded travelers and airlines are still struggling to deal with a backlog of flights.

In Northern Ireland, people have been lining up in the cold not to catch flights home, but more basically to bring home liters of water. Some 40,000 people have been without running water for as long as 11 days after freezing temperatures burst pipes. Water is being shipped in on lorries from Scotland and top government officials will now hold emergency talks on Thursday.

Australia's prime minister is promising to help all the towns that have been affected by record flooding in the northeast of the country. Half of Queensland has been declared a disaster zone. About 20 communities have been evacuated so far. And the floodwaters are quickly moving downstream, threatening thousands more homes.

Officials in Denmark have announced the arrest of four people in connection with an alleged plot to attack a Danish newspaper. The authorities said the target may have been the paper that, in 2005, published cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. The cartoons spark angry protests by Muslims in several countries.

The markets that are open and doing business at this hour, well, the Dow is barely up. It's up 40 points. That's nearly .04 of a percent, 11616 -- very thin volumes, as you would expect in this week between Christmas and new year.

But we need to stay with Wall Street, because this week, we're taking an in-depth look at how the world's major markets did over the past 12 months. And tonight, we are going to focus on the United States.

Come over to the library and you'll see, the Dow Jones, in 2010, of all the three main markets -- this is based on yesterday's number, 11600 -- up 11 percent for the year, barring a mishap between now and December the 31st.

Interestingly, this is the highest point since the financial crisis began in 2008. We talk about before Lehman and after Lehman, well, the Dow is well -- is now above its before Lehman level.

Caterpillar, DuPont had the biggest percentage gains. H.P. and Cisco were two of the worst performers on the Dow.

The Nasdaq, which, of course, looks more like the Swiss Alps or a roller coaster, depending on your point of view, not only has it eight -- has it beaten its pre-Lehman level, it's now at its highest level since this time in 2007, up more than 17 percent for the year.

And the S&P, the broader market, gives us a much better representation. That is up 12.8 percent, 1261.

Netflix, a huge gain there, up more than 230 percent.

The S&P 500 is also higher than pre-Lehman levels.

Sam Stovall joins me from the trading floor of the investment -- chief investment strategist at S&P Equity Research.

Sam, lovely to have you with us tonight.

I didn't think, frankly, when we went into 2010, that the gains would be double digit. But this last few weeks has turned that around.

SAM STOVALL, S&P EQUITY RESEARCH: It certainly has. Yes. Heading into 2010, I thought it was going to be an up year. But because we had just gone through such a horrendous mega meltdown or bear market in excess of 40 percent, I thought that investors would be very skittish about entering back into equities.

But certainly what's happened is that we did have our more traditional mid-term election year bottom that took place. But then since then, we've seen a tremendous run, up more than 23 percent on the S&P 500. And I think investors are basically saying they like what they see, in terms of economic projections.

QUEST: You see that's really interesting. My numbers didn't quite bring out the clarity of that from -- from trough to peak of the year. You're talking about that 23 percent gain.

But you had to be very selective, didn't you?

It wasn't like the, quote, good old days, where the rising tide lifted all stocks?

STOVALL: Well, actually, it was a very good year, because whether you look at large, mid or small cap stocks and whether you look at any of the 10 sectors, in each one of those three benchmarks or even the three different -- the two different styles, growth and value, all of those asset classes rose in 2010, albeit health care and utilities were up by low single digits and we had consumer discretionary energy stocks in the small cap space...

QUEST: Right.

STOVALL: -- up close to 40 percent. But across the board, a lot of people are smiling.

QUEST: So we had the DAX in -- in Germany, which is the best of all the major markets on transatlantic, basically, up 17 percent. We've got the FTSE up about 10. The S&P up 12, 14 percent, 13 percent, for the year.

The -- the core question -- I can hear the viewers at home saying, fine, Richard, that's what happened last year. Ask Sam Stovall what happens next.

STOVALL: Right. Thanks for telling me what I just missed out on.

What do I have to look forward to?

Well, I think what we have to look forward to is a good year but not a great year. History would say that it could be very good because it -- we are in the third year of a president's term in office. And since World War II, the market has never declined and the average price advance has been 17 percent.

But we are also in what I call a half speed economic recovery, where instead of getting a 6 percent growth in the first year, we only got a 3 percent growth and our expectation is for a sub 3 percent GDP advance for all of 2011.

So while history is sort of pushing us forward, I think that our economic growth projections might hold us back a bit.

QUEST: Sam, we'll revisit this as the year goes on.

Whatever the year brings I wish you a Happy New Year.

Sam Stovall joining us from Standard & Poor's.

There's no one better than Sam to give us that Wall Street view on the health of the economy and the markets.

But the disparity between Wall Street and Main Street, for that, we have to go a long way, perhaps, from Wall Street.

And that, of course, is exactly what Felicia Taylor decided to do when she traveled recently to suburban New York.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here we are in Mamaroneck, a quaint American town, once known for its farming and fishing, is now a prime suburban residential community, economically and ethnically diverse, perhaps the perfect place to ask local citizens what they think about the recent tax cuts, the looming deficit and the job market.

Let's find out.

What have things been like in the last year, in terms of the economy, for you, in terms of business?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's been -- it's been, actually, I would say, in the past 12 months, it has been a little bit better than the previous couple of years. The economy seems to be coming back somewhat. I'm a general contractor, so I see some improvements in the work end.

TAYLOR: It took a while, but finally the administration has approved those tax cuts that we've been talking about for the last few weeks.

What do you think about that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: at the end of the day, yes, sure. Every -- every little bit helps. But, again, it's only a little. It's -- I don't think it's going to be enough to really make that much of a difference.

TAYLOR: Tell me how difficult it's been to find a job.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, it's been extremely difficult. I've been looking for work for about two years and I've had plenty of opportunity to interview, but employers don't seem to be willing to pull the trigger. At least that's been my experience.

TAYLOR: The part of the -- the extension of the tax cuts also means that it's going to add to the deficit.

How much of a concern is this burgeoning deficit that's reached into the trillions now?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, it's a concern for the future. I worry about how my children are going to fare and what's going to be, you know, going on in the next 15, 20 years; you know, even shorter-term than that.

TAYLOR: We also wanted to get a gauge of small businesses and how they're doing here on Main Street. This is the Den of Antiquity. It's one of three shops that the owner has. And he has been here since something like 1956. Come on in.

Eliot (ph), how has business been in the last year or so?

ELIOT: Business, I would guess, is off 30 to 50 percent the last five years, unfortunately, because antiques are a luxury business, a lux -- a luxury item. So people spend their money on food and they don't come in to buy the antiques as much. And it's all over Europe the same thing. I'm not getting my European dealers coming in like they used to all the time.

TAYLOR: So now, we found this little pasta shop. This shop has been here in Mamaroneck for the last 30 years. We're going to speak to one of the owners now. His name is John.

John, what you are most concerned about right now?

JOHN: Ooh, boy. I'm concerned about the future. I'm concerned that people doesn't have the same -- usually the American people are very generous, basically. And if they have money, they do spend it. They do hit the shops.

Now you see, you know, lately, the money is not there like it used to be. And so, therefore, everybody is tightening up a little bit, even in the food stores.

TAYLOR: A small snapshot of what life is like in a small town. And certainly things feel like they've begun to improve. The economic climate is a little bit better.

But there is a lingering uncertainty about what lies ahead in the future.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

TAYLOR: So one of the biggest problems, of course, is whether or not people are going to be able to find jobs in 2011; if they do have a job, whether or not they're going to be able to keep it; if they're in a temporary job, if that will become permanent.

The other main issue of concern, Richard, is home prices. We saw disappointing numbers yesterday and home prices continue to fall across the country. So whether or not home prices are going to be able to recover -- that's certainly one of the largest assets for most Americans in this country -- Richard.

QUEST: Felicia, many thanks for your trip down Main Street.

We'll talk about that next year.

Coming up in a moment, chances are you're probably not watching QUEST MEANS BUSINESS on a 3-D television. After a lukewarm launch, it's not been the success it was chalked up to be. There have been other 2010 tech flops, in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: There have been plenty of technological leaps this year -- the tablet, gaming systems that let us play videogames without a controller. They were the successes.

What of those tech products that failed to live up to the hype or actually flopped?

Jim Boulden has the 10 biggest tech failures and missteps of 2010 as listed on CNN.com.

JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes.

QUEST: You're taking your life in your hands, I'll tell you what.

BOULDEN: And I'm using technology to make this point...

QUEST: You're using technology.

BOULDEN: -- so let's see if it works.

Now, of course, this is -- everybody has their own idea of what worked and what didn't work in 2010. So this is done by our tech gurus at CNN.com.

We'll start with the first one. Now, you see the iPhone here and you're thinking, wait a minute, the iPhone is usually successful. But just remember what happened. It was the tech launch of the iPhone that was a big flop. You remember Antennagate, where people said if they put their hands around the sides, it didn't work very well. Apple first said it's not a problem, then admitted there was a problem and gave you a bumper and then pulled the bumper off the market, didn't give it to you for free anymore.

It doesn't seem to be a problem now, but certainly that was probably the most memorable glitch for Apple in many years.

Let's move on to H.D. -- to -- to 3-D TV, as Richard was talking about earlier. 3-D TV, a lot of people thought maybe, maybe, maybe this was the year when it would take off, the way H.D. TV took off. But let's not forget, H.D. took 10 years to really become big. And, yes, we had "Avatar," yes, we had a few Disney films that were 3-D, but then it's so expensive, it's going to have to take a couple of years, I think, until you get it. The price is coming down and the number of offerings going up.

Number three was actual a phone called the Google Nexus. Now, very interesting here, Google Nexus. I couldn't even remember it myself. It was a phone that came out earlier this year. The idea was to use the popular Android phone operating system on Google's own phone.

Well, not many people seemed to have bought that.

You also had the Microsoft Kin, which was a phone for teenagers and for young people. That was also in the top four. That didn't do very well and seems to have disappeared very quickly in 2010.

Now, here's Facebook. Now, it's not about Facebook not being successful, but he's, of course, the QUEST MEANS BUSINESS site. This was all about privacy -- absolutely problems with privacy, people very upset when it comes to privacy issue on here. And we have, of course, put this story here, as well. We've had a couple of viewers' comments.

If you want to see this full top 10 list, it's there, Richard. Some viewers have said, hey, wait a minute. One of them said -- wrote on our Facebook page: "The number one glitch this year, of course, was the U.S. government's inability to hold its own documents secret."

QUEST: You beat me to it.

(LAUGHTER)

QUEST: You...

(LAUGHTER)

QUEST: You beat me to it. I was just about to -- but I -- I was suddenly overcome when you put our Facebook page up and then talked about tech failures.

BOULDEN: Not about that (INAUDIBLE).

QUEST: One viewer has written to me and said that he disagrees with the CNN.com. He said he bought one, two and three, he bought all three and "they've changed the way I work and play," says Onialf (ph).

BOULDEN: Yes, I mean the idea of like the iPhone, as I said, it -- it's about the -- the launch of it. The 3-D TV, it could get there in some time.

But look at something like Google Buzz, which was number six on the list -- Google Buzz, remember, that was also about a failure of privacy, where Google said, hey, if you have Gmail, we're going to opt in all your friends onto your site and it's going to be really lots of fun. And a lot of people said, oh, wait a minute, that's a step too far.

QUEST: All right, many thanks.

BOULDEN: You bet.

QUEST: Jim Boulden with the tech failures...

BOULDEN: And it worked.

QUEST: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

QUEST: I have to get it right next time. Pull the plug sooner.

Still ahead, almost every job has its ups and downs, sweet moments and painful times, you might say. That's especially true of the job we're featuring today in our World At Work.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: Welcome back.

We continue our look now and celebrate your World At Work.

Today, it's a job that holds some sweet rewards for those with steady nerves and lots of patience. But the unique stress of this profession quite literally can sting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE BENBOW, THE LONDON HONEY COMPANY: I've been a beekeeper about 15 years in London, as an urban beekeeper. But I've been keeping bees since I was a small child. Urban beekeeping requires a -- a lot of sort of good dedication and you have to be very, very considerate and very, very professional in the way that you're going to see those bees.

We only harvest the honey here at Fortnum's once a year. It's incredibly hard work. Each box weighs up to 25 kilos and is incredibly valuable, of course. And we have to take great care over that.

And the flavor can taste differently from year to year and from burrow to burrow. It depends what the bees have been foraging on. They really love some of the trees in London, lime tress, sycamore trees, hawthorn, blackthorn. They love it all. And, but, predominantly this year, it's been lime that they've been foraging on in June.

I think urban beekeeping has become very popular because I think people are wanting to know where their -- their food source is coming from.

Urban honey is fantastic. It really differs from burrow to burrow, street to street. It's really quite amazing.

So this year, we've had a fantastic summer and the honey here on the real Fortnum is a lime honey. It's very sort of delicate but -- at first and then it's got a really lovely after taste.

At this time of year, we look to taking the honey off and then the colony starts to slow down for the winter. And the queen isn't laying as many eggs a day and she starts to slow down for the winter. And then I probably only come out once a month.

But I'm not frightened of my bees. They don't really trouble me. I think they can sense when you get frightened or when you're nervous sometimes.

You try and control your bees as much as possible. It's called manipulation. You try and manipulate your bees to do certain things. So sometimes Mother Nature takes over and you can't always prevent your bees from -- from swarming.

It's a little bit stressful today because we're getting honey off and it requires a -- you know, a lot of speed to the work, really, so that the bees don't start robbing honey. As you can see here, they're starting to get on it already. So I've got to get this off of this (INAUDIBLE).

And sometimes I don't bother wearing a suit. I always wear a veil. I think that's really important. And I often don't wear gloves. It's really important to feel the bees. They're very sort of tactile. You can be very gentle with them so you don't squash any. You have to be incredibly considerate and you have to work really long hours. You have to work when -- when the bees tell you, or else they'll abscond or they'll just die. You have to be -- you have to put in a lot of dedication into this job to - - to get it to -- really, for it to work.

I absolutely love my job. It's just something that I've created and I've -- and I -- and I've built up myself. I love being on rooftops in London. I would love to be in the countryside, so I bring the countryside to London and I bring all that -- all these bees into the global environment.

This is what it's all about, this beautiful golden jar of honey produced on the roof here in the middle of London at Fortnum & Mason.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUEST: We're a long way off honey making time of the year. Well, I suppose somebody will write to me and tell me that, actually, you can make honey in the winter. But you get the point I'm making.

Guillermo Arduino is at the CNN World Weather Center this evening.

It's not warming up, I don't think.

GUILLERMO ARDUINO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: No, but things are changing -- and for the better. I'm happy to see here, Europe is being invaded by warmer conditions, especially in the west.

Russia -- and we anticipated, Moscow, problems on the weekend. Russia is getting the cold air there and the low pressure that is going to bring all the problems and all the snow.

But the jet now is obsessed with the east. And it has left the west alone, finally.

So this is what's going to happen, Richard. I was checking out operations at airports right now. And, of course, without thinking -- taking into account the backlog, we see excessive delays at London Heathrow, Luton, Southampton and Manchester.

But they're not that excessive. I was checking out, 25 minutes in the last hour. This is in the last hour.

Then moderate delays in Cologne, Charles de Gaulle, Gatwick and Geneva -- 15 minute delays.

And significant delays in Dusseldorf and Bath. So maybe 30 -- 25, 30, 15 minutes. So it's not that bad. No more snow, only rain. No more snow, only rain in France. You see, it's all clear now. Airport -- this is a beautiful picture, nothing going on. No weather induced -- did you hear that -- induced -- weather induced delays. Backlog, you know, forget about that.

Munich and Frankfurt still dealing with some snow and that's about it.

I'm going to leave you with some pictures of Brooklyn, thanks to Brian, who sent us these. So the snow is still there. These pictures are a day-and-a-half old -- mountains of snow. And things at the airports are going back to normal.

And, too, I was checking out friend delay program in Newark, JFK and Chicago, which means that the planes do not leave from point of origin because of bad weather in New York -- back to you.

QUEST: many thanks, Guillermo, at the World Weather Center.

ARDUINO: You're welcome.

QUEST: And when we come back, I'll have a Profitable Moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: Tonight's Profitable Moment.

This time last year, I stood exactly here and I said I believed we would be surprised. 2010 would perform better than expected.

Hmmm, maybe I was naive, or perhaps it was simple wishful thinking, because 2010 turned into one long, hard slog up the hill. Investments had to be nurtured. Portfolios required rebalancing -- bonds, stocks, gold -- they all played their part.

Thankfully, though, at the end of the year, in the event, some equity markets were able to eke out double digit gains.

As we head into 2011, I predict again next year will be the year we see good, broad-based gains, because, after all, if I predict it often enough, well, it will come true. And that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight.

And since I'm away next year, this is my last show with you in 2010.

Let me take this moment to thank you for joining me each evening and thank you for giving us your time and for taking part.

I'm Richard Quest in London.

Whatever you're up to in the year ahead, I hope it's profitable 2011.

I'll see you in the new year.

END