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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
China's Rate Rise Hits Raw Nerve in Europe; Squeezing Apple
Aired April 5, 2011 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: It is a case of taming the inflation tiger. China's rate rise hits a raw nerve in Europe.
Squeezing the Apple. Nasdaq takes action to slim down its biggest stock.
And taking a stand against human trafficking. The actress Julia Ormond is live, tonight, on her ethical fight for business.
I'm Richard Quest. We have an hour together. I mean business.
Throughout the down turn it was China's red hot growth rate that gave us hope. Now it is rising prices that gives us pause for concern. Tonight, China's central bank is pulling out all the stops trying to cool runaway price rises. Starting on Wednesday the People's Bank of China, will increase its one-year lending rate to 6.31 percent. It is the fourth rate hike in just six months.
This shows the situation, yellow for inflation, gray for interest rates. As recovery has picked up after, obviously, the crisis, China's consumer prices have risen almost 5 percent in the 12 months up until February.
Premier Wen Jiabao has likened that inflation to a tiger. He says once it gets free it is difficult to put back in the cage. The market has expected a rise in rates in China, but nonetheless, each time, whether indirectly through liquidity tightening, or directly by raising rates. It always sends a shiver through the world economy. CNN's Eunice Yoon is following the story from Beijing. The timing of this latest hike is quite telling.
EUNICE YOON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Chinese central bank has raised interest rates by 25 basis points. This is the fourth time since last October. And it is part of the ongoing campaign on the part of the government to rein in inflation. The one-year deposit rate will stand at 3.25 percent and the one-year lending rate at 6.31 percent.
Economists here weren't surprised by the move, but they were surprised by the timing of it. There is a holiday here in China, also next week inflation figures for March are going to be released. So that is leading many people here to believe that inflation figures could come in higher than most people had expected, because of rising fuel and food prices.
They believe that the government is taking a pre-emptive move. They also believe that the government is going to continue with its policy tightening campaign, perhaps with another interest rate hike in the first half of this year, as authorities here try to manage China's rapid economic growth. Eunice Yoon, CNN, Beijing.
QUEST: Now staying on the interest rate theme tonight. In Washington, just looking online at FederalReserve.gov, the Fed's latest interest rate announcement-or minutes of the last meeting has just been published. We'll be plying through those and apparently they suggest that ultra low interest rates will no longer continue for too much longer. We'll have Maggie Lake on that in just a moment.
This is the interest rate scenario at the moment, China, a one-year lending rate of 6.31 percent. But in the Fed minutes, which we are now just analyzing, the suggestion perhaps that those very low rates will not continue. And certainly there will be no renewal of the quantitative easing, QE2, that has perhaps kept the U.S. economy moving. Certainly, if you look at the jobs numbers things might just be turning around. But this is the one that we'll focus on, probably from today onwards. The ECB meets on Thursday.
And frankly, ever since Jean-Claude Trichet, said that he was strongly vigilant, "strong vigilance", I think is the exact phrase. Well, that was a bit like firing a gun, showing the dog to the rabbit and off they all went. Everyone expects that there will be a rate rise when the Fed meets this week.
Julian Callow is with me, chief European economist for Barclays Capital.
Do you expect a rate rise from the ECB?
JULIAN CALLOW, CHIEF EUROPEAN ECONOMIST, BARCLAYS CAPITAL: Definitely, yes. Yes, it will be a major surprise if they don't raise rates. What we'll be looking for of course is the language. There will be a press conference after the announcement by the ECB on Thursday. We'll be looking very carefully to see what is being said about the future path for interest rates. But you know, we have a lot of inflation coming through in terms of commodity prices, particularly energy, also food, inflation here. We're beginning to see a few things like clothing inflation pick up as well.
QUEST: Julian we're getting the Fed minutes, now-at the moment. And there they are, there is nine pages of them, so it is a little bit-they have literally come out only six minutes ago. So, we'll be plowing through them.
But the Fed is very much in this difficult position, isn't it? There is-inflation is not a worry at the moment, but they are still concerned not to keep these rates too low for too long.
CALLOW: Well, it is an interesting point. And as you say, we'll have to see a little bit more about what exactly the minutes are saying there, on that particular point, about how low rates can be for how long. But suddenly I think if you look at some of the recent communication you had the Fed Chairman Bernanke speaking, in fact, yesterday. You had the New York Fed President Bill Dudley speaking on Friday. These individuals seem to be suggesting that they are not so concerned about inflation. Whereas they are concerned still about the U.S. housing market and they are still concerned about very high unemployment.
QUEST: So, so-
CALLOW: So they want to keep rates low.
QUEST: And China?
CALLOW: Well, the thing about China, is you know-I mean, you mentioned inflation on your chart. But also let's just think about nominal GDP. Nominal GDP is basically income growth in the economy, so it is the real activity plus inflation. And that is been growing at rates of 14 or 15 percent. So, an interest rate at still over 6 percent, is actually very low in relation to income growth in the entire economy.
So, let's just pull the strands together, if we can. China, we still expect there will be more tightening.
CALLOW: Absolutely, yes.
QUEST: That's right. The ECB we expect the first move, this week.
CALLOW: The first of several moves, yes.
QUEST: The first of several?
CALLOW: Yes, exactly. Yes.
QUEST: Excuse me.
The United States, probably for the rest of this year, on their hands?
CALLOW: Well, the thing that the U.S. is doing is a form of tightening, because the Fed is still involved in a program of purchasing very large amounts of U.S. government bonds.
QUEST: Which is going to stop?
CALLOW: And it is going to stop, it seems likely, in June. And simply by stopping, is a form of tightening.
QUEST: Right, right.
And, finally, the Bank of England? When do you expect the BOE to make their first move?
CALLOW: Look, people are going to be on tender hooks on Thursday. The Bank of England could act then. I think it is going to wait until May. The Bank of England has-
CALLOW: Yes, it has a quarterly assessment.
CALLOW: And you know there is a lot of tax changes going on, in the U.K. It ought to just wait and see a bit more about how this is really panning through into demand in the economy before it acts, I think.
QUEST: Julian, I need you to stay there. We are going to talk to Maggie Lake in New York, and might come back for just a second, or to-after that.
Maggie Lake has been sifting through those press minutes from the Fed. Maggie is with me now.
Maggie, what do you make-I mean, it is nine pages or so. I haven't had a chance but you have.
MAGGIE LAKE, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, of course, I have and those in those few minutes. Listen, the thing we all want to know about is quantitative easing. Is it going to be the end of cheap money over here? And we don't know that much more than we already started gleaning. Julian's referenced from comments coming from the Fed. And that is there seems to be a divide between them. There are certainly members who are hawkish. Who want to see that cheap money policy end. They want to start to normalize. And they want to do it rather quickly. In fact, some want to do it very quickly. But on the other hand, Bernanke and Bill Dudley very influential, important, the chairman and the New York Fed president don't seem to be in a hurry.
So in the minutes today they are saying, they are talking about-they are planning their eventual exit from accommodative policy. Could be this year, could be next year. So we don't have much more. When they talk about the economy, again, balancing it.
LAKE: Pointing to strengthening to positive. But once again mentioning housing, which means they are still a little worried about pulling out, you know the easy money too quickly.
QUEST: I'm going to jump in here, because the president is speaking at the moment. And he's talking about the budget. There is every possibility-well, I mean, you tell me, you are on the scene. You are on the site. What is the feeling now, about whether or not a government shut down will happen this week?
LAKE: Most people-and if you want to talk to-especially people putting money on it, say that it is not going to happen, that there will be an 11th hour deal. But clearly the pressure is building and the stakes are getting a little higher. Obama, just a few minutes ago, reiterated that he believes they are very close to a deal. But also warning that if there is a shut down it is the last thing, that kind of uncertainty, the last thing the economy needs. So already positioning the blame game, the leadership is going to be meeting again later today, we'll see if they can iron something out.
But the Republicans have been coming out swinging, Richard, saying the White House is forcing a shutdown.
QUEST: Maggie Lake in New York. We thank you for that. Maggie is in New York.
We just need to quickly look at the Dow Jones industrials to see exactly how they are trading. You can see obviously, a ticker continually on your screen, at the moment. But the Dow has been positive for most of the session. Now the Dow is up 18 points at 12,418.35.
Back to Julian Callow, here, to just talk with you.
Maggie Lake is there, saying, that the Fed talks in their minutes about the eventual easing of interest rates, of accommodative.
CALLOW: Yes, yes, yes.
QUEST: So we are still no closer to knowing when that will be.
CALLOW: I think what we are seeing is that the Fed is getting a little bit more concerned now about who inflation expectations have been moving higher in the United States. The Fed chairman was referring to that last night. I think the Fed is having to think more about its exit strategy here. But still in terms of actually raising interest rates, that is going to be a very big deal. And as I say, the first thing, for me, is going to be to stop the quantitative easing. Because every month is coming in and buying a very large quantity of assets.
QUEST: Will they continue to reinvest the existings?
CALLOW: No, I say think-
QUEST: If they mature?
CALLOW: They will let those-
QUEST: So that is a tightening of quite considerable.
CALLOW: Yes, but even for me, if they are no longer buying the assets, that is a form of tightening. Because they are taking up all the issues.
QUEST: Julian, many thanks, indeed.
CALLOW: Thank you.
QUEST: Much appreciate you coming in.
Now all the talk today is coming, as well, from a few blocks at the Nasdaq. And not for the first time, it is Apple that is making headlines. We will explain what it is all about after the break.
QUEST: The Nasdaq is cutting Apple down to size. The index is re- jigging the balance of stock used to calculate its value. And Apple's slice of the pie will almost half as a result. Now we won't just tell you the numbers. We can show you exactly what this means.
Firstly, you have to understand, rebalancing is nothing new. All markets rebalance at some particular point. That is not new. But the way the Nasdaq is rebalancing this time is really geared to account for Apple's share price has risen so sharply. This is the current situation, understand this. Apple is 20.5 of the Nasdaq. Move this way and you will see Google is just a mere 4.2, Microsoft is just a mere 3.4. That is the current scenario. Move on a bit and you see the difference. Let me just go backwards and forwards between the two. And you can see exactly, Apple gets considerably smaller. It drops to 12.3 percent. Microsoft rises to 8.3 and Google is 5.8.
Now why is this significant? Because fund traders and fund managers have to hold their shares in proportion to the stock in the index. So they've had to have 20 percent of it, four and three. Now they are going to have to have 12, eight and five. It is a major difference.
For Apple, of course, this is quite significant when you look at the share price. Look what has happened to Apple's share price. In 2007, we get a thumbing big jolt to Apple's share price, with the introduction of the iPhone. Look at the affect of that. Amazing. But then, we have, of course, like every stock, the financial crisis hits home hard. Apple continues its move, downwards and upwards, but it takes a real knock at the beginning of 2009. Why? Steve Jobs takes medical leave and has the transplant.
If all that wasn't enough for Apple, just look at what happens to the price now. It rises sharply and that is on the back of the iPad and the share price continues to rise even higher. It is the fact that Apple's share price is now up here, that has caused the big problem, and that has led to that rebalancing.
Let's go to Felicia Taylor at the Nasdaq.
Felicia, I've explained the reasons why, as you have just heard, but what does the market make of it?
FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, in all honesty, this rebalancing, like you said, is not that unusual. The last time the Nasdaq did this was back in 1998. So, because of what you just explained, it is not really meeting traders with that much surprise. What was a little unusual was that they announced this in the middle of the night. It was 3:00 o'clock in the morning when they issue the statement about the rebalancing. So that was a little odd.
And also this is right before the earnings season. So the timing is questionable. However, this isn't going to actually take place for another month. So the mutual funds, the ETFs, the exchange rated funds, have some time to rebalance their portfolios. Apple shares immediately sank about 3 percent. However, as you can see, they have pretty much come back. And now they are basically trading just down ever so slightly, fractionally.
You mentioned some of the other stocks. We have Microsoft and Google. Microsoft is up about 1.2 percent right now, because as you said it is going to increase to 8 percent of the weighting. Google is actually trading downward, but that is because of other news. Possible anti-trust problems there with its acquisition of a software company.
Intel is up. The interesting thing here is, QQQ, that is the ETF, the exchange traded fund, that basically carries the weight of 24 billion, is actually higher.
TAYLOR: That is the one that holds the top 10 of the stocks, in the Nasdaq.
QUEST: But if you look again at this Apple share price, Felicia, the ability of Apple to railroad up its share price with these new products, which is largely what is behind this move. Now, as long as that price continues to rise, and we don't know whether it will. Then Apple remains dominant-All right. I can see the hands going-
TAYLOR: Well, there is no question. I mean, a four-fold rise in two years. It is meteoric. And people are now saying that truthfully, if Apple stock does take a dip on this news. It is a buying opportunity. You can bet that Apple stock is going to continue to trade higher on this. Just because its weighing is a little bit different now. OK, granted it is about half where it was, you know, yesterday.
QUEST: Oh, oh!
TAYLOR: And when it comes to May 2nd. Oh, come on, you know that Apple stocks are going to continue to trade higher. Do you have an iPhone? Do you have an iPad? I bet you do?
QUEST: Conflict of interest there. Complete conflict of interest. All right. Many thanks, indeed.
QUEST: Felicia Taylor, who is at the Nasdaq for us tonight.
Traders are keeping an eye on the continued rise of oil prices. After moving over $120 a barrel, Brent added another $2 earlier today. However a survey of money managers by CNN.Money shows prices are expected to settle by the end of the year.
Now, the situation in Libya has helped drive up the price of oil. Today we saw signs that oil can still possibly leave the country. Lloyd's List says a tanker capable of carrying 130 tons of crude oil has docked, this time in the rebel controlled oil port of Tobruk, in eastern Libya. After the break, we'll have more of that.
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QUEST: There is a brand new boss on the team tonight. Joining Michael Wu and Sarah Curran, we are joined by Steve Hindy. And we'll be staying with Steve as he negotiates the trials and tribulations of the top job.
That is Michael, that is Sarah, and that, our new boss. Let's learn a bit more about him.
Steve is a former journalist, who used to brew beer a home in his spare time. Now, he then went on to found the Brooklyn Brewery. A the height of the financial crisis in 1980s. More than 20 years on, well, the brewery is bigger, they're brewing more beer. And as I discovered when I went to Brooklyn, Brooklyn Brewery is a force to be reckoned with.
QUEST (voice over): Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a trendy home for young New Yorkers, with fashionable restaurants, glistening new riverside apartments, and a booming business in beer.
(On camera): I've come to New York, to Brooklyn, to meet our new boss, who runs a company that many people dream of owning, a brewery. And this brewery is a successful profitable business with a large international and growing presence. Steve Hindy is our boss and when he started this company he named it after the local area, The Brooklyn Brewery.
(voice over): Steve Hindy and is one-time partner Tom Potter, opened the brewery in 1988. For Steve this was as big a career change as they come, before he had worked as a journalist, in the Middle East.
I loved what I was doing as a war correspondent for AP, but my wife got fed up with the whole thing and said, I'm going back to New York, taking the kids, hope you join us. But if not, have a nice life.
QUEST: Back in the States, Steve had his big idea; to turn a pastime into a profession.
HINDY: I began to try to convince Tom that we should quit our jobs and start a brewery at a time when we both had mortgages, we both had young kids. It wasn't the greatest time to be quitting your job.
QUEST: The passage of time convinced Steve this was the right time to let loose, the spirit of adventure.
HINDY: I'm 39-years old, looking at the possibility of starting a brewery, which is like a magical quest, for anybody. You know, I thought if I don't do it now, I'm never going to do it.
QUEST: Williamsburg was a gritty and grimy place in the 1980s. Often dangerous, the manufacturing hub far from the chic destination it is today.
HINDY: We did raise $300,000, on a weekend, in October 1987. The next Monday was Black Monday, when the stock market crashed, 300 points down. Everyone freaked out. And we were dead in the water, but we had the $300,000 we needed to start. It took us another six months to raise the other $200,000.
QUEST: It took until 1994 to turn a profit. Now Brooklyn Beer has sales of some $30 million a year, and is sold in 17 countries. Steve and his company is in the midst of a bold new expansion. To get bottles into the hands of new customers worldwide.
HINDY: They are very happy.
QUEST: To reach that goal Steve has built this new $10-million facility, which will more than double production.
(On camera): How do you decide-how do you make that choice? When it is time to spend the money, to take the debt, to increase the investors?
HINDY: It's a big risk. I mean, basically you are always rolling the dice when you are building a new facility. We are very confident that our growth over the last couple of years is going to continue. Last year we grew 20 percent. It could have been 35 percent if we had had more capacity.
QUEST: These towering tanks are just part of the project.
HINDY: So, this is what that space looked like before.
QUEST: But there is even more space where beer will be brewed in the future.
HINDY: We'll be pouring concrete here in the next couple of weeks. As you see, we have much higher ceilings here than in the other space. So that wall is coming down. And there will be about 25 200-barrel tanks in this space.
QUEST: This is no longer micro brewery. You have now moved into brewing on an industrial scale.
HINDY: That is true. That is true.
QUEST: If you are going to brew at this level, you must sell on an industrial scale to justify the investment. Over the course of the next few months we will watch and see how successful Steve is in moving into new promising markets like India and China. And whether rising costs will eat into beer profits.
(On camera): This is grain.
HINDY: Yes, it is malted barley.
QUEST: Malted barley?
HINDY: Yes, from Scotland.
QUEST: How significant is the commodity issue for you?
HINDY: It is very significant. I mean, we were just talking to our malt suppliers last week and we are expecting a 50 to 100 percent increase in malt prices next January.
QUEST: So you can't use less. You can't water the beer. And you can't use cheap-or you won't use cheaper. Which only leaves one thing?
HINDY: Either we absorb it, or we raise the price. And right now I'd have to predict there are going to be price increases.
QUEST (voice over): It is one of the biggest challenges facing Brooklyn Brewery in the months ahead. A tough decision for the man forced to learn on the job how to be The Boss.
HINDY: When you are an entrepreneur, you do whatever it takes. You wake up any given day. You do whatever you have to do. And at a certain point you find yourself sitting in the office, talking to people, and there was a point where I realized, this is really my job now. I've got to get other people to do all the things that I used to myself. That is a difficult transition.
QUEST: You will come to know Steve Hindy along with our other bosses. And if you need to catch up on previous episodes, you can find them on our Facebook page. It is Facebook.com/CNNQuest, Facebook.com/CNNQuest. You can leave us your comments. You can ask a question. I promise I do read them and will get back to you.
Now, when we come back in just a moment, the human cost of some of the products that we buy. This woman knows what it is like to be caught in the supply chain. How California is fighting to free others like her. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, good evening.
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QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
This is CNN. And on this network, the news always comes first.
So I need to tell you the U.N. special envoy to the Ivory Coast tells us that combat there is over and the terms of the self-declared president, Laurent Gbagbo's, surrender are being finalized. It's believed Gbagbo is being held up in the presidential palace in Abidjan surrounded by forces loyal to his rival, internationally recognized president, Alassane Ouattara.
The rebels in Libya are in retreat again. Moammar Gadhafi's forces are pushing them to the outskirts of El Brega. The key oil city has changed hands over and over in the war. That's despite new NATO air strikes against the Gadhafi army there.
Reports say at least six people have been killed in new clashes in Yemen. Officials telling CNN that the U.S. is trying to mediate an exit for President Ali Abdullah Saleh. A spokesman at the Pentagon said a negotiated transition is needed as quickly as possible.
To Japan now, where officials at the Fukushima nuclear plant say they are making progress in plugging a leak of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. A substance dubbed liquid glass has partially sealed a crack in a collection pit.
The Freedom Project -- tonight, we are looking at how companies can avoid supporting slavery. Now, it really is very straightforward. People don't want to do business with a company that supports slavery. And, frankly, no one wants to buy anything from them either.
After all, if I said to you, would you want to buy something from a company that you knew engaged in human trafficking?
Well, obviously, the answer is no.
Unfortunately, it was not so simple. Supply networks span the world, involve many middleman. It is not easy to spot a weak link in a labor chain. And that means goods and services do manage to slip through the net. Which is why in California, they've come up with a new solution. In California, they think they have the idea -- a new law that reveals what retailers and manufacturers are doing to stamp out slavery.
From January of next year, they will be required to say what they're doing to ensure their products aren't tainted by forced labor.
Not only that, it'll be an online disclosure, where consumers can see it.
CNN's Barbara Starr met one woman who knows what it's like to be caught up in the vicious, nasty, brutal slavery supply chain.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Richard, here in California, the beginning of a real effort to hold companies responsible and satisfy consumer demand for goods free from human trafficking.
FLOR MOLINA, TRAFFICKING VICTIM: I was an easy target.
STARR: (voice-over): Today, Flor Molina is on a mission. A decade ago in Mexico, she found herself in desperate circumstances and ended up becoming a victim of human trafficking.
MOLINA: After my baby passed away, I was really worried how to take care of my other children. I was working two jobs, cleaning houses and cooking in a restaurant.
STARR: A woman approached with an offer, she says, too good to pass up -- a job in the United States.
But Flor found herself in a Los Angeles sweatshop sewing and workers 17 hours a day, forced to live in the factory, she says, not allowed to speak to anyone.
MOLINA: If I didn't do what the person told me to do, I was -- I was punished. She pulled my hair out, slapped me, pinched me and pushed me.
STARR: One day, Flor was allowed to go to church and she never looked back.
State Senator Darrell Steinberg authored the law that goes into effect next year, trying to take a first step in shedding new light on the results of human trafficking.
DARRELL STEINBERG, CALIFORNIA STATE SENATOR: We are often so isolated here and we go about our daily lives and consumers don't often stop to think, what went into the making of the -- of the clothing that they're wearing or the good that they have purchased?
STARR (on camera): The law requires retailers and manufacturers who have $100 million in revenue and to business here in California to publicly disclose whether or not they have a plan to track the supply chain of the products they sell and make, to ensure that supply chain is free from trafficking or slave labor. If they don't publicly disclose it, they can face sanctions from the state attorney general.
(voice-over): Many retailers already disclose their plans. Clothing manufacturer Patagonia believes transparency on trafficking appeals to its customer base. It's been posting supply chain information on its Web site for years.
ROB BONDURANT, VP MARKETING, PATAGONIA: Part of our mission as a company is to lead an examined life. And that means understanding where your product comes from, not from the point of design, but from the point of manufacturing, from the stitch line, from the -- from the moment that we actually pull a sewing machine out all the way through to the point where a customer purchases that product.
STARR: (on camera): So whether it's this shirt right here, these jackets over here, some of your popular winter fleeces, what do you do to ensure the integrity, that trafficking is not involved in making these?
BONDURANT: Well, it all starts with our own internal audits. And we have a social and environmental responsibility team that sits right with our production department. And they have full veto power of whether a product goes into production or not.
STARR: (voice-over): Non-profit organizations who help trafficking victims say it's their experiences that have really helped push progress on the issue.
KAY BUCK, COALITION TO ABOLISH SLAVERY AND TRAFFICKING: The most important thing about the Supply Chain bill in California is that it was very much informed by the survivors that we serve.
STARR: As one of those survivors, Flor remains determined to speak out and never live in fear again, even though, she says, her trafficker is still threatening her family.
MOLINA: For me, it's a commandment. It's something that I have to do, because as I said before, there are a lot of people who are more afraid than I am.
STARR: (on camera): Advocacy groups here in California say they hope the next stop is a federal law, although they acknowledge it could take years to make that happen.
Barbara Starr, CNN, Los Angeles.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
QUEST: The actress, Julia Ormond, known for her roles in "Legends of the Fall" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," has been an activist against human trafficking since the 1990s.
Julia was instrumental in getting this law passed.
And she joins me from Los Angeles.
Laws getting passed are one thing. And even, Julia, if all -- even if everything goes according to plan, why are you optimistic, though, that it will have a real effect?
JULIA ORMOND, ACTRESS: I'm optimistic about it having a real effect because the way that the law is designed is it will provide the first moment for the consumer to actually purchase according to guiding best practices.
This is a -- this is a law that we don't need to wait for attorney general enforcement, even, for it to start taking effect.
QUEST: Right. But -- but...
ORMOND: And it...
QUEST: -- but does that...
ORMOND: -- the consumer...
QUEST: -- but does that -- but just...
QUEST: Sorry. Sorry, forgive me, the delay, of course, between Los Angeles and London doesn't make -- it makes me sound like I'm interrupting.
Forgive me, but is there evidence that consumers want that information and if it is provided, will use it?
ORMOND: Yes, there absolutely is. There are studies that have been done. Fair Trade is a fairly recognized label. In -- in Europe, it's been going for a much longer time than here. But Fair Trade products that to side-by-side with a cheaper product actually sell better. If they're sold at the same price, the research shows that they get more people buying it. If the price goes up, even more people buy it, because they think -- they believe it's more authentic.
QUEST: The human trafficking and slavery industry, for that is what it is, a multi-billion dollar industry, is consistently ignored, isn't it, by consumers?
We don't want to know.
ORMOND: Well, we had -- we, as the NGO community, have to provide the solution for the consumer. It's not easy for the consumer to engage. We, as an NGO, The Alliance to Stop Slavery and End Trafficking, what we found was even the companies doing great work don't want to step up and talk about it, because they, then, have to expose the slavery and trafficking and forced labor that has been in their supply chain.
I also -- I also think it's really important that the consumer acknowledges how challenging this is for business. I think it's important that we understand it as this is like a virus...
ORMOND: -- that affects the supply chain. And business needs to come to -- it's not like business is going out there and looking for slavery. The environment that the supply chain is in enables slavery.
ORMOND: So it's really like creating the circumstances where you can deal with it.
QUEST: And on that point, it is easy, is it not, for -- and I'm going to be crude here and say do-gooders to bash business.
But it is the point you've made, even the best business with the best ideals, because supply chain from Africa, Latin America, from Southeast Asia, the multiplicity of parts makes it very challenging.
ORMOND: It makes it very challenging. But it's also, we need business mentality at the table to finding solutions. It's not the NGO's role to work out what's the best solution for that industry. They know their supply chain intimately.
So they, if they don't engage, they are sitting on the solution.
The NGO community needs the map.
ORMOND: The supply chain is a map. So we need industry to participate with us and go all the way down the supply chain, because they don't actually, at this point, really know what their supply chain is.
QUEST: Julia, we thank you.
And you and I, CNN, as you know, follows this for the next 12 months. You and I certainly will talk again about this important issue.
Julia Ormond joining me from Los Angeles.
On Wednesday, 24 hours from now, we go right back to the roots. This time, we're going to be going to the chocolate industry. The cocoa bean plantation (ph). Now, a documentary filmmaker went to film people at work on what is the starting point of your chocolate bar. When you think of farm laborers, you don't expect -- well, I certainly don't expect them to look like this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We come across four little boys and a man. They all come from Burkina Faso. They don't seem to be on vacation.
The plantation worker says the children are age 10 to 12. None of the children goes to school or can speak the local language.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
QUEST: Well, we're talking to the man who made that film. It's tomorrow on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
Now, in just a moment, we'll be keeping our eye on India. An Indian motor may sound like a strange concept. We'll take you to the city they're calling the new Detroit.
QUEST: All this month, we have our eye on India, its business, its culture and its future. Last night, we told you about the country's growing love for planes. Tonight, from planes to cars. Well, automobiles. If you've ever stood on the streets of an Indian city like this, well, you take your life in your hands. There's no shortage of cars beeping their horns.
And this is where they are built, in cities like Chennai, where the auto industry is doing so well. It's pushing even Detroit for the capital and the title of car capital of the world.
CNN's Mallika Kapur now on the new Motown India.
MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ford is here, as are Nissan, Hyundai, Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi, BMW -- the list goes on.
MICHAEL BONEHAM, FORD INDIA: I couldn't think of a better place to be right now.
KAPUR: The place, Chennai, South India. Ford India's top man says it's a traffic place to make cars. It's close to a port, the local state government is industry friendly and the population well-educated. So Ford and other auto manufacturers are investing millions of dollars here, turning Chennai into a global manufacturing hub.
Last year, it produced around 1.5 million cars, more than any one state in the United States. Some call it the new Detroit for a new era.
BONEHAM: Chennai is the small car capital of the globe. Seventy percent of all growth in the next 10 years, in the next decade, is going to be in Asia-Pacific and Africa, mainly China and India, right?
And of that 70 percent, it's also going to be in small cars.
KAPUR (on camera): The world's top car makers say India is a great place not only to make cars, but to sell them. Most of the cars made here in and around Chennai are for the booming domestic market growing at about 30 percent a year.
(voice-over): Auto sales in India hit a record high in January this year. What's good for car makers is good for suppliers, too. A French company that makes plastic pieces for cars cancels plans to set up a plant in Pune, West India. It opened its doors last year, just down the road from the Ford factory in Chennai.
B.S. RAO, MECAPLAST INDIA: Our growth is, of course, directly dependent on our customers' growth and the other car companies. Like if the Ford does well, we do well. Being here, we are very near to Ford. We are near -- very near to Renault-Nissan and Hyundai, Daimler and so on.
KAPUR: To feed the auto business, a number of ancillary units are popping up in and around Chennai, changing the face of the city of five million people. Local business is booming. Employment is up. People have jobs and a new confidence.
Lata joined Ford just a year ago.
LATA, FORD EMPLOYEE: I'm proud of the culture and the diversity, the (INAUDIBLE) nature. You know, they are making equally to the (INAUDIBLE). So it's very challenging.
KAPUR: A challenge Lata thrives on. The auto sector is changing her city, she says. Chennai is not what it used to be. It's now a city of opportunity.
Mallika Kapur, CNN, Chennai.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
QUEST: And in India, we will continue all this week on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. And we'll give you an in-depth look at what's driving one of the world's fastest growing economies.
The weather forecast now.
It's very stormy weather. And I don't mean in Europe.
Jenny Harrison is at the World Weather Center.
What's the cause of all this blowing wind?
JENNY HARRISON, CNN METEOROLOGIST: An area of low pressure, Richard, to the north of the U.S. and a very long, vigorous trailing front coming down from that. It was not a good night Monday night. In fact, it was a deadly night across some portions of the south, in particular, Mississippi, across into Kentucky and also parts of Georgia.
Have a look at some of the images. These was -- this is the result of these storms. This is in Kentucky. There were, in fact, 23 tornadoes reported on Monday evening and over 600 reports of wind damage. As you can see, this is the result in just one part of one of the states across the South.
Now, in the last few hours, the storms have begun to really ease off and push out across the Atlantic. I can show you on the radar. There we go. You can see, as well, that the -- the boxes, of course, will be removed as those storms are pushing out.
There's still quite a bit of a wintry mix up into the far northeast. And there's more winter weather on the way out toward the west. You can see that an absolute swatch of damage was caused as this front swept through the southeast.
Now, the system is continuing to work its way eastward. Still quite a bit of energy in and around that area of low pressure up to the north. And, of course, with the cold air in place, that's probably seeing some snow as well as some rain showers.
The next 48 hours, with that cold air in place, you're going to see quite a bit of snow pushing down across the mountains out west. Elsewhere, it's a fairly quiet picture, which is a good thing. And, of course, the temperatures also are beginning to rebound, as well, once that cold air has pushed offshore.
Right now, we've got temperatures in Atlanta of 13 degrees Celsius, 19 in Dallas. But the high temperature by Wednesday once again it will go back up to 21 and 28 in Salas.
And then in Europe, you've suddenly got your fair share of windy and wet conditions in the northwest. In fact, the UK has seen some very heavy rain showers and thunderstorms in the last 12 hours or so. Now, continuing to impact these western facing coastal areas. And this is because we've got this area of low pressure to the north. And, of course, this time of year, we also have the jet stream further to the north. This is why we get these April showers. So throughout the winter months, you've got the jet stream and those low pressure systems traveling further to the south. And we head into the spring months, April, this is what we tend to see, one after the other of those systems much further to the northwest.
The winds are still pretty strong. There have been various delays at some of the major airports and we'll say fairly brisk, too, over the next couple of days across much of Northern Europe. Mostly rain coming in. One or two snow flurries still to the far north.
When it comes to delays on Wednesday, still those winds impacting Glasgow and also, you can see there, Athens seeing some fairly long delays, but temperatures are not too bad at all, beginning to feel very nice again in Paris at 22 and 19 in London -- Richard, under sunny skies.
QUEST: Jenny, well, we did always used to talk about April showers and hopefully you and I will talk about them again.
That's Jenny Harrison at the World Weather Center.
Now, you might think Libya would have the "closed" sign hanging on the door right now. Someone, it seems, is still doing business with the war- torn country. And it is oil that's being bought, in a moment.
QUEST: As the civil war rages in Libya, rebels in the east of the country are taking control of the country's most valuable, monetarily, at least, resource.
Join me in the library and you will see what I mean.
Lloyd's Intelligence says that a Greek-owned tanker has docked in the port of Tubruq or Tubruq. It could be the first shipment of oil since the conflict began.
Now, we need to know a bit more about what's been happening and who -- who's done that.
Well, I -- we need to know, for example, who has chartered the vessel. The traders and tanker staff don't know. The vessel can carry a million barrels of oil. Now at today's prices, over $120, that's worth around $125 million at least. The mystery buyer -- the European Union has confirmed, of course, that sanctions remain in place. But those sanctions are targeted toward Gadhafi. The rebels are free to trade the oil so long as the revenue doesn't reach Gadhafi or his henchmen.
Oil on the move -- Reza Sayah joins us on the line from Benghazi.
This -- this oil that we know is -- is being loaded up, what do you know about it?
REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we -- we know very little. Even the opposition officials are reluctant to confirm that it's pulled up into the port of Tubruq because of security reasons. I was just talking to an opposition official. He told me, look, the Gadhafi regime still has some means to (INAUDIBLE) we don't want to put anything in jeopardy that's pulling up to the -- the port of Tubruq.
But ever -- ever since (AUDIO GAP) Eastern Libya and this oil rich region starting to feel a little bit more secure. The opposition started talking about exporting oil again. And today was the first step, according to the shipping news daily, "Lloyd's List." A ship did pull up to Tubruq today and picked up a million barrels of oil. : "Lloyd's List" says a Libyan oil company that supports the opposition has cut a deal to sale the oil to Qatar. Now, Qatar is, of course, one of the first countries to recognize the opposition as the legitimate government of Libya. And the last time a tanker hauled away oil from Libya was March 18th. That was one day before the no-fly zone, if I'm not mistaken.
SAYAH: So this is a signal by the opposition to the world that they're an economically viable alternative to the Gadhafi regime.
QUEST: Yes, but...
QUEST: -- Reza...
SAYAH: -- and, of course, the Gadhafi regime made a lot of money with African nations, Southern European nations. This is the opposition saying you can make money with us. But they certainly have a long way to go -- Richard.
QUEST: All right. So -- so the money is paid. They have to ensure it doesn't get to Gadhafi. There has to be payment mechanisms and transfers, which we believe the Qataris are helping to facilitate.
Is that correct?
SAYAH: That is correct. Based on the information we have, this is a deal cut with the country of Qatar. This is crude oil. We're not quite sure where it's going beyond Qatar and we're not quite sure what this oil company, which was a subsidy of the Libyan national oil company, is going to do with -- with this money, whether it's going to go to the opposition. Of course, the opposition needs a lot of money for everything from weapons to rebranding the infrastructure...
QUEST: All right...
SAYAH: All of that is unclear.
QUEST: Reza Sayah, who is in Benghazi for us tonight on the -- the mystery of the floating oil.
Now, when we come back in just a moment, it'll be a Profitable Moment.
QUEST: I was just making a note here about the question of interest rates and how things are very much on the move, the countries and the regions that are now starting to change.
For instance, China, the central bank, where rates will increase or they have increased to 6.31 percent -- a cooling of the Chinese economy sends a cold chill across the manufacturing basis and the supply chains in the rest of the world.
And then you have in Europe, where on Thursday of this week, the European Central Bank, having said that they are strongly vigilant -- and we know what that means -- having said that, a .25 point rate rise is expected. That will turn the heat up on countries like Greece and Ireland and euro countries like Portugal, where the interest rate that they are now having to pay on their debt is already 10 percent. It is painful.
And into all of this, the Federal Reserve has said tonight, the U.S. economy is gaining traction and that quantitative easing probably -- well, we interpret -- will not be renewed.
Interest rates, they are rising sooner, probably, rather than later. The times, they are a changing.
And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight.
I'm Richard Quest in London.
Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable.
"PIERS MORGAN" is after the headlines.