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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS

Germany Votes to Help Greece; U.S. Economy Shows Signs of Improvement

Aired September 29, 2011 - 14:00   ET

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


NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN ANCHOR: It's a thumping yes from Germany. Merkel and Europe avoid a disaster.

A glimmer of growth, the U.S. economy did better than thought last quarter.

And Morgan Spurlock gives us the hard sell on his new movie.

Hello, I'm Nina Dos Santos in for Richard Quest. This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

Good evening.

Germany says yes to a bigger bailout fund for Europe and opens the door to even more measures to combat the debt crisis. Lawmakers approved a plan to beef up the fund, which is set to expand to $600 billion. Germany will contribute nearly half of that amount.

The Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel got her majority and kept her authority. In the end she won just enough support from the lawmakers within her own ruling coalition and that meant that she didn't need to rely on opposition votes to pass the bill as some had feared. However, many people are seeing this vote simply as a step towards a more comprehensive cure and that could involve a lot more money from here on.

Frederik Pleitgen is live from Berlin and joins us now.

Fred, the votes passed by a large majority. Is there a sense that this could just be paving the way to more hefty chunks of financial aid for countries like Greece and other struggling Eurozone nations?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INT'L. CORRESPONDENT: Well, that certainly is the indication, actually that some lawmakers did give during that parliamentary debate. It was a very interesting one, because it was actually quite matter of fact. It wasn't as emotional as a lot of people would have thought. But one of the things that a lot of people, especially from Angela Merkel's government coalition said, they said, is what we are doing now going to be enough? And many of them said, no, it is probably not. We're probably going to have to do more in the future. And yet, it is absolutely essential that we do this right now. And that was one of the reasons of course, why this vote passed with such a vast majority.

Of course, it was pretty clear that it was going to pass, from the outset, with the opposition parties saying that they were going to help the vote pass. However, as you said, the big question mark was going to be whether or not Angela Merkel was going to have her own governing coalition majority. So she would not need, actually the opposition to pass this measure. In the end, that is what happened. That did a lot to calm down the political landscape here in Berlin. And I can tell you, Angela Merkel must be breathing a sigh of relief this evening, having put this vote past her, Nina.

DOS SANTOS: Fred, we have also had some interesting comments from Wolfgang Schauble, the German finance minister. He has been very vocal during this process. What did he have to say today?

PLEITGEN: You know he certainly was. And one of the reasons was that there was a lot of dissent within the governing coalition leading up to this vote. There were a lot of rumors out there that were being propagated by many sides. That, in fact, there were already back room dealings going on somewhere within the German government to expand this fund, even shortly after the vote would have taken place, to use some sort of leverage tools to try and get more money out of the funds. That Germany would actually have to put up more taxpayer money than it actually will.

Wolfgang Schauble went into German parliament before the vote actually took place so that it was absolutely nonsense that that was going to happen. Also saying that the German government had at all times been transparent in the process leading up to the vote, and also said, that anyway that this fund is going to be used, that German taxpayer money is going to be use for this fund, will have to be approved by the German house of parliament. So he did a lot to dispel those rumors but I can tell you there was a lot of debating going on here, in Berlin, leading up to the vote.

If you remember, just the past couple of weeks, where people were talking about expanding the fund, to up to 2 trillion euros; of course, a lot of alarm bells were ringing. A lot of rumors were flying around Berlin, and obviously, Wolfgang Schauble did not take those rumors very well, as he usually doesn't, when rumors are out here in political Berlin, that he doesn't like, Nina.

DOS SANTOS: OK, Frederik Pleitgen, there, in Berlin. Many thanks.

In Greece, protestors are taking on the troika. Officials from the EU, the IMF, and also the European Central Bank, are back in town to check on Greek efforts to close the budget gap. Mutinous civil servants blocked the way to several public buildings, including Greece's own Ministry of Finance.

Our John Defterios is live in Athens on this developing story.

John, it seems to me as though blocking the entrances to the Greek Finance Ministry really isn't going to solve the problem here.

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: No, it is not. But it kind of gives you an indication of the frustration on the ground, Nina. That is one of six ministries that were blocked today, but we don't miss the irony, that the very ministry, the Finance Ministry, responsible for tax collection and enforcing what the troika wants right now, basically had the entrance blocked by about 200 employees. In fact, some of the employees had to find different buildings to work within. So, you can see the frustration level going up. We have many of the employees complaining about the 20 percent salary cuts and pension cuts of up to 40 percent. Here is the taste of one, after this latest round of austerity measures.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EVANGELOS SOUZAS, EMPLOYEE, GREEK FINANCE MINISTRY: All these, right now, are being put to a test. And on top of that the government announced that they are now planning to pass a certain bill of taxation, which is going to really reduce us to paupers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DEFTERIOS: That is the concern, paupers, because they are looking at some of the numbers that are coming out for next year, Nina, in terms of unemployment. The current rate is above 16 percent, 16.3 percent in the second quarter. There is a projection from the labor institute that this could climb, believe it or not, to 26 percent. If that is the case, we are going to be looking at not year three of the recession, but year four of the recession in 2012. Again, that is the reason people are pushing back. You can hear the music, there is another quiet rally, so to speak, in terms of no violence, just music, with state workers coming to Syntagma Square, to voice their opposition to the latest cuts.

DOS SANTOS: John, these protests are coming against the back drop of the vote in Germany. That, thankfully, went through. But we have also got the troika in town. It is hardly great publicity, is it? What's going on, on the streets of Athens, as people from elsewhere desperately try to help the Greek people resolve their financial situation?

DEFTERIOS: Well, it was the first full day for the troika on the ground. They came in Wednesday night, had meetings-I'm told, from finance officials-late this afternoon after Prime Minister Papandreou held his cabinet meeting to review what he did in Germany with Angela Merkel, and the preview to his meeting with President Sarkozy tomorrow.

The troika is trying to close the gap here, Nina. About a half a billion euros for 2011, they need to mop up that difference. And also perhaps rework the July 21 agreement of $160 billion and find another $14 billion for 2012, '13 and '14. So, again, controversy on the ground here after we have seen this latest round of austerity and the property tax. They are even talking about, believe it or not, Nina. I've never heard of such a thing, tracking the income with receipts for every euro earned, for every Greek citizen. I'm not sure how they would enforce that. Their suggesting if you make 30,000 to 50,000 euros, you have to account where you spent that money in each calendar year.

DOS SANTOS: Gosh, that is an about turn for things in Athens. Many thanks for that. John Defterios reporting there from the Greek capitol.

Now, let's move to Italy, because the European Central Bank reached beyond its normal monetary policy remit to demands that Italy make deep fiscal reforms. An Italian newspaper has just published a letter from the bank's current president, Jean-Claude Trichet and the incoming chief, Mario Draghi. It is addressed to Silvio Berlusconi, the prime minister of Italy and it was sent out, it seems, in August. In an unusually strong language, the letter, which was published in "Coreta De Lasare" (ph), an Italian newspaper today, demands a balanced budget by the year 2013, that is a year earlier than Mr. Berlusconi had been planning. It also says that public services should be opened up and labor laws overhauled.

It ends, quote, "We trust the government will take all the appropriate actions." Weeks later Italian lawmakers passed an austerity package which met some, but not all, of those kind of demands.

Well, traders took heart in the vote from Germany today. They are also some positive numbers coming out of the United States. And here is how the day ended in Europe. The FTSE 100 fell back when mining shares caved in. Metal prices down on this session. That on the back of concerns about future demands for raw materials. Also, financial stocks, on the other hand doing quite well in places like Paris and also Frankfurt, with all the main banks leading the gains in those markets. As you can see it is just the FTSE 100 that ended the day in the red. Down about half of 1 percent. The other markets up by about 1 percent.

Now, more upheaval at Nokia. We will show you why the mobile phone giant has to slim down or else face the consequences. That is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOS SANTOS: In a week that saw 3,000 workers loose their jobs at the defense giant, BEA Systems, more pink slips are being handed out. And this time it is at Nokia. The mobile phone makers' latest cuts follow thousands of job losses back in April. CNN's Jim Boulden show us why Nokia needs to get smaller to survive.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM BOULDEN, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It should come as no surprise that Nokia is cutting more jobs and closing another factory. Thursday's announcement of 3,500 job losses means some 7,000 job cuts have been announced this year, alone. And the closure of a big plant in Romania highlights a bit part of Nokia's strategy to recover, cut costs by moving more manufacturing to China.

As Nokia said in its press release it needs to build phones closer to its customers. And, quote, "Nokia's high volume Asian factories provide greater scale and proximity benefits."

STEPHEN ELOP, CEO, NOKIA: To the point now where Microsoft-

BOULDEN: Nokia has been undergoing a radical reconstruction lead by American-born CEO Stephen Elop. The former Microsoft executive was brought in last year as the company's first non-Finnish boss, to try to find ways to get a chunk of the rise of smart phones.

While Nokia lead the world in cheap handsets for some two decades, profit was based on shear volumes. But it is losing out on the high-margin smart phone revolution, lead by Apple and Blackberry, and phones using Google Android.

What's next? Elop has vowed to wring more than $1 billion of costs out of Nokia and has already said jobs will go in Hungary, Mexico, and in Finland next year.

What to look for now? In October Nokia promises to announce details of its first smart phone handsets, using Microsoft's Mobile 7 operating system. But with Nokia's share price cut in half since February and a fraction of what it was during the tech boom of years gone by. It is only risen lately on talk that Nokia can only be saved by being taken over. Analysts warn time is running out for Nokia to right itself and become relevant in a world full of iPhones and iPads.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DOS SANTOS: Well, Nokia is still the world's biggest mobile phone maker by volume. For more on its outlook Jim joins us now in our London studios.

Jim, how did this company go so wrong? We obviously remember Nokia as being the dominant player in the market. It still is, but it has lost it touch.

BOULDEN: Yes, volumes but high volumes, low margins, that is the problem. They didn't move into smart phones fast enough and, you know, Apple obviously moved in and did very well.

I can remember Nokia having their own music systems. They had their own-they had apps, they did all of that, they just didn't have the buzz around it. Because I brought some of my old Nokia's here. You know I've got some of the ones that I've used for years. They are very reliable. We all know they are very reliable. You can drop them. They are really, really good.

Then I moved onto to a bigger one. And then, here is the N8, which is one that is trying to look a bit more like the Blackberry. But these aren't what people want. I don't even use a Nokia anymore. I use a Blackberry and I use an iPhone, because that is how the world has move on and left Nokia behind.

DOS SANTOS: So, lack of innovation, let's say. But then, again, they are going to be cutting a lot of workers, a lot of factories. Will that not, to a certain extent curtail innovation for the company?

BOULDEN: Well, that is why Stephen Elop says I can take $1 billion out, or we can move forward. He has got a huge task ahead. I mean, he was brought in for this, to save the company, let's be honest. That is exactly what he is there for. They thought, OK, let's get an American. Let's get someone who has worked at Microsoft. Come in-he says, of course, that this company is desperate. And he knows that and he has made it very clear that they have to make some very serious decisions and have to cut a lot of jobs.

And that is the process they are in now. There is hope that this idea, working closer with Microsoft, will do something. But Microsoft's operating system inside these phones-here's one-we should hear soon about Nokia doing-getting rid of its own operating system, which they have already announced, and using Windows operating system. We'll hear about that next months.

But so far it has not done that much for others who have gone with the Microsoft operating system. So it is a big gamble.

DOS SANTOS: And it is not just the smart phones, it was the clamshell phones, as well, where it all really went wrong.

BOULDEN: Yeah.

DOS SANTOS: And that was a number of years ago.

BOULDEN: It was. It was. And you know, they have gone through three CEOs that I can remember. And the one who was the one through all of this is now the chairman of the board. So he hasn't stepped away that far. It still has that culture of being a Finnish company that was so successful for so long, that you could see that the more nimble players came up and took-stole-and I should point out, in the Asian markets, the very cheap phones, they are being eaten from below, they are being eaten from above, as well.

DOS SANTOS: Now, this obviously is very bad news for policymakers across the Eurozone. Because we have got the unemployment rate quite high, persisting around about 10 percent, in the European Union. What is this going to mean in terms of future layoffs? Because this company has already cut thousands of workers?

BOULDEN: Yes, I mean, 7,000 announced this year. It's a company that, when I looked in April, had 140,000 employees. So, it does have operations around the world. And it is cutting some operations in the U.S. It is moving more to Asia, which is no surprise really. The closure of the plant in Romania is interesting because the idea was it was low cost Europe. And even that for Nokia, isn't low cost enough.

DOS SANTOS: Jim Boulden, not sure you are going to get this back by the end of the show. Many thanks for that. There you go. You have been enlightened, vis-a-vis Nokia.

Now he has taken movie marketing to the next level. Next, Morgan Spurlock tells us about his films funded entirely by product placement. Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOS SANTOS: He's known as the man behind the fast-food documentary, "Super Size Me". Now filmmaker Morgan Spurlock is rolling out his latest title, "Pom Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold". This time the documentary is about product placement and it was product placement that provided 100 percent of the films funding. Spurlock told me that his project has taught him quite a bit about the relationship between big business and film audiences.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MORGAN SPURLOCK, FILMMAKER: Well, I think that it can be a rewarding experience for them. And I think that it is even more misleading for an audience. So to me, I think there are two sides to this. One is I think that most of the time people don't know when they are being advertised to. And I think other times businesses don't realize an opportunity.

I called over 650 companies to sponsor this film. And only 15 said yes. More people called us after the film came out, realizing that they really did kind of miss the boat in being a part of the movie.

DOS SANTOS: I also want to get on to the topic of editorial independence.

SPURLOCK: Yes.

DOS SANTOS: But before we do that I want to show our viewers a little bit of a clip where you are pitching to a juice maker. Let's just take a look at that.

(BEGIN MOVIE CLIP)

SPURLOCK: The way that I want to see Pom, when we first see Pom in the movie, or find out you guys are on, is we get the call, you know, maybe you guys are going to be in, yes, we are going to do it. We want to be the official beverage. And so then every other beverage automatically in the movie is blurred out.

(LAUGHTER)

SPURLOCK: We will never see another beverage in the movie. Every other thing will start to become blurry, except for Pom.

(END MOVIE CLIP)

DOS SANTOS: So that was quite interesting, that clip of you pitching to Pom, the Pomegranate Juice.

SPURLOCK: Pom Wonderful, 100 percent pomegranate juice, yes.

DOS SANTOS: You had to put that across your jacket?

SPURLOCK: Yes, like if you look at the jacket, as you can see, they actually did come on the film. They are the above the title sponsor, there they are in the middle of my coat right there.

DOS SANTOS: And they are not the only one. Did you have to make similar sacrifices for all these companies.

SPURLOCK: Well, that is the thing, like as you see in the film I'm interviewing Bret Ratner, the filmmaker, who basically says that very eloquently that once you start working with brands it does become about compromise. What are you willing to give up to get them in the film, to kind of help either make your budget, to get free products, whatever. And it really works for this film, because this film is about compromise.

DOS SANTOS: It seems that you made a few friends, but also quite a few enemies as well, pitching this kind of thing.

SPURLOCK: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

DOS SANTOS: Hollywood executives and brand managers are know for perhaps being a little bit fickle. Let's just listen to two executives and their treatment of you when you went to pitch to them.

(BEGIN MOVIE CLIP)

SPURLOCK: So, can you help me? I need help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can help you.

SPURLOCK: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good.

SPURLOCK: Good. Awesome.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got to figure out which brands.

SPURLOCK: Yeah.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the challenge.

SPURLOCK: When you look at like the people you deal with where it is-

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got some places we can go.

SPURLOCK: OK. OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Turn the camera off.

SPURLOCK (voice over): I thought turn the camera off meant let's have an off the record conversation. Turns out it really means we want nothing to do with your movie.

(END MOVIE CLIP)

DOS SANTOS: That was quite interesting, the last thing you said. Yeah, on the one hand when the cameras are rolling, yes, we can help you.

SPURLOCK: We love it. Sounds great. Love to be a part of this. But then the minute the cameras aren't there, different tune completely. And, you know, making this film when we first got the idea I said, who are the people that are going to help us? It is the advertising agencies, the agencies are the ones that have the keys to the kingdom. They are going to get us in touch with these brands, with these corporations. And it was the furthest thing from the truth. You know, they were so kind of protecting their own interests, that none of them. Only one company in the entire United States, of all the ad agencies, would even help us with this film.

DOS SANTOS: How much money did you make from this film then? Because if you got it financed?

SPURLOCK: Yes.

DOS SANTOS: Fully financed by these product placements, did you make any money from it?

SPURLOCK: We're trying. We're still there. The film just came out in the States in April. So we have yet to have any of that money come in. It is just now making its rollout around the world. You know the amazing thing about "The Greatest Movie Ever Sold" is that it was in profit from day one. You know, we raised the full budget, $1.8 million from sponsors, advertisers, you know, co-branded promotions. So it was in the black. So now it is just a question of as it rolls out around the world, TV, DVD, On Demand, you know, what will we get. So, you know, knock on wood, we'll get some money.

DOS SANTOS: This is the emerging model for financing films, big blockbuster films.

SPURLOCK: Yes.

DOS SANTOS: To a certain extent is that to the detriment to the moviegoer who spends half of their time watching placements about different adverts and gets taken off the script.

SPURLOCK: Yes, I think it can. You know that is why there has to be a balance. You know? For a big gigantic summer movie, like in "Ironman" or "Transformers", these movies cost $200 million. I think it would be very difficult for them to make movies without the involvement of big brands. The new James Bond film, $150 million, a third of that budget, $50 million is coming from product placement. It is different for a low-budget film like mine. But it was-this film is just as entertaining. You know? It may not have big explosions or robots, but it is a pretty fun movie.

DOS SANTOS: Now, you approached something like 650 companies.

SPURLOCK: Yeah.

DOS SANTOS: To try and help you fund this film, via product placement. You have about 15 on board. And that still fully funded the film.

SPURLOCK: That's right.

DOS SANTOS: Does that to a certain extent mean that there is no such thing as bad publicity? Because even if you are doing a documentary that isn't necessarily let's say flattering, product placement.

SPURLOCK: That's right.

DOS SANTOS: They are still willing to finance it?

SPURLOCK: Yeah, and what we got is we got a lot of brands that weren't kind of maybe the marquee brands. Like Coke said no. Pepsi said no. But Pom Wonderful said yes. Hyatt Hotels, which is probably one of the biggest hotels in the world, also came on board the film. So I think that they all realize there was an opportunity here. It is a noisy movie, you know? CNN is talking about it. This is an important film. We're here talking about this movie. So I think they saw that it was something that was going to be press worthy and buzz worthy. Hopefully now it will be ticket worthy.

DOS SANTOS: Will it really be "The Greatest Movie Ever Made" (sic)?

SPURLOCK: It is definitely "The Greatest Movie Ever Sold", we'll see about "made".

DOS SANTOS: OK.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DOS SANTOS: If you are watching in Europe you can see that movie, "The Greatest Movie Ever Made (sic)", as he calls it, in cinemas as of October the 14.

Up next, though, it is 99 against one, when these protestors say they will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of America's wealthiest (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOS SANTOS: Hello and welcome back. I'm Nina Dos Santos. You are watching CNN, the world's news leader.

(NEWSBREAK)

DOS SANTOS: China is heading for the final frontier. As we've been reporting, Beijing's unmanned space lab, called Heavenly Palace, was as good as its name, blasting toward the heavens earlier on Thursday. In Beijing, CNN's Eunice Yoon said China is now paving the way for a new space station.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

EUNICE YOON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: China has successfully launched its unmanned space lab. The Tiangong-1 or Heavenly Palace, in Chinese, is now in low Earth orbit. It's moving about 350 kilometers above the ground. And eventually, over the next several weeks, this unmanned space lab is supposed to dock with an unmanned space craft. And this is really going to be the true test of the mission, because the Chinese want to master the techniques of rendezvousing and docking, which is really seen as a crucial step for any advanced space program and particularly for any country that wants to build their own manned space station, as the Chinese do, by 2020.

Now a lot of people have been asking why the Chinese want to have their own space station. And a lot of experts say the reasons are both practical as well as political. The Chinese really want to make sure that they benefit from any homegrown technologies and expertise. And they also want to be able to, for political reasons, shore up national pride. In fact, the authorities have already been calling on the public to come up with some suggested names for the space station. The space station would, of course, be just the next step in China's ambition to become the next space superpower in the same league as the United States.

Eunice Yoon, CNN, Beijing.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

DOS SANTOS: Well it turns out that America's growth isn't quite as sluggish as we had originally thought. Government data out today shows that GDP rose 1.3 percent in the second quarter. And that is slightly better than the 1 percent estimate we got last month. The reading gave Wall Street a bit of a boost in early trading. It seems as though we're shedding some of those gains.

Carter Evans joins us now live from the New York Stock Exchange.

So things seem to be turning negative -- Carter.

CARTER EVANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. The Dow barely holding onto gains right now. The NASDAQ down almost 2 percent and the S&P 500 about .3 of 1 percent right now.

Tech shares are definitely pulling things lower right now. We're also seeing declines in retail shares.

Earlier gains today, though, the momentum there had a lot to do with news over in Europe, particularly Germany's vote to approve those reforms, but that GDP number that you mentioned and also the weekly unemployment claims. You know, we haven't fallen below that 400,000 mark. Well, we've only fallen below that 400,000 mark two times in the last five months. The 400,000 mark is important because we need to be consistently below that to affect the unemployment number. And we came below that today, down 40,000.

So that, combined with the GDP number, signified that, yes, the economy is moving along very slowly, but at least it's not in recession mode. So that's kind of what people were going on earlier today, although it appears that some of that optimism is fading now.

DOS SANTOS: And as we head toward the end of the week, Carter, any sign that this volatility we've seen in the last couple of months may finally be over?

EVANS: You know, it would sure be nice to be able to say yes, but I don't see any indication that the volatility is coming to an end. You know, this is an emotional market that we've been dealing with for the last couple of months. And in many cases, as we saw around the debt -- debt ceiling debate here in the U.S., it made a lot of irrational moves.

So the optimism is here today. People are feeling good about Europe. They're feeling a little bit better about how things are going in this country. But, you know, it really just doesn't take much to turn things around. That optimism is really fragile.

DOS SANTOS: OK, Carter Evans, as always, many thanks there, from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Next, making Chicago cool as the climate heats up -- we'll take a look at how Chicago's planners are going green to make it a future city.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOS SANTOS: Chicago, nicknamed the Windy City, even though Chicago is known for its bitterly cold winters, with temperatures hitting the minus 20s, it is, however getting warmer. As the city's climate changes, so, too, must its infrastructure. By 2020, Chicago's Climate Action Plan aims to make it resilient to rising temperatures and also storm waters.

It's part of Chicago's plan to make sure that it's ready to weather the future.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICHARD QUEST, HOST, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" (voice over): Asphalt and alleyways, a city paved over. Trapping the Earth's elements in this concrete jungle, Chicago is feeling the heat of the future. Like most cities, this one is experiencing what's called the Urban Heat Island Effect, where the lack of greenery and the surface of solid ground results in higher temperatures and limited places for rainwater to flow. So now, Chicago, normally known for brutally cold winters, is facing the reality of climate change.

City planners were told they can expect their days to get warmer and wetter, with summers feeling more like those in the Southern states of America.

KAREN WEIGERT, CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER, CITY OF CHICAGO: I think, you know, one of the great selling points of Chicago is this quality of life. It is one of the things that we all loved when we lived here. And it's one of the things that when people come to visit, they often notice.

QUEST: In 2006, the city took steps to maintain this quality of life by forming the Chicago Climate Action Plan.

WEIGERT: We've got an awful lot of enthusiasm for our city. And we look for all kinds of ways to make that happen. And thinking long-term, proactively, about what could happen in the climate, what we can do to prevent the worst effects of that and then what we can do to make sure the investments we are making will last even if there are some changes. That's just how we like to do business.

QUEST: The plan has already received more than $142 million -- an investment the city says will save money in the end, by cutting energy costs and having more efficient city infrastructure.

The goal is simple -- move a sustainable agenda forward to proper for the future.

WEIGERT: Chicago integrated the Climate Action Plan, I think, into achievable goals. So there's a lot of different pieces of it and it's -- there are -- if you read what the goals are, you can see that it's, you know, cooling that Urban Heat Island Effect and planting more trees and having more natural open space. And those are things that meet other quality of life goals, as well. So it isn't some wild pie in the sky plan, it's realistic and based on things that people are desirous of anyway.

QUEST: It's a strategy that includes basics like bike lanes to more innovative solutions. They're attacking it from the bottom all the way literally to the top.

(on camera): If the predictions are right, Chicago's seasons are going to get much more extreme. Which makes this educational center all the more important. It showcases the use that can be made of solar panels and how we can cultivate the growth of roof lawns.

(voice-over): Roof lawns and gardens high above the city, they're making a real impact, cooling down buildings while soaking up storm water. The largest green roof sits atop city hall -- 6,000 square meters.

WEIGERT: So we are standing right now on top of city hall. This is our green roof. We are on top of the 11th floor. So we're up a few feet now. But it does look like we're out in a prairie, because these are native species. And it's a way that we think about keeping the city resilient. These kinds of gardens really do help buildings cooler. They really do help with storm water. And when you're in an urban environment and so much of it is paved, you want to retain that storm water and not have it running into our sewer systems. And these are a beautiful job at both of those.

QUEST: As pretty as all the plants may be, Chicago is still sitting on top of mostly solid ground. The alleyways alone account for 25 percent of the cover. So here, they had to find a more significant way to get the storm water directly back into the earth.

(on camera): Chicago is replacing much of the asphalt in the alleyways with these permeable pavers. They're designed to allow 70 to 80 percent of the storm water to seep through into the ground, thus taking the pressure off the city's overworked sewage system.

WEIGERT: So we've started installing permeable pavers and permeable pavements on some of these surfaces so that when the rains come, they don't run off, they go through. And so it makes for a very, very easy way to experience an alley, because this looks like a regular alley, in many ways. So you can find them throughout Chicago.

QUEST: The Climate Action Plan has set a citywide example for adoption, hoping communities will follow along.

WEIGERT: In a sense, we really have to help people. I mean this is - - this is part of the vision of folks who live throughout Chicago and the companies that are based in Chicago and the strong non-profit organizations that are anchored here. You know, this plan really came out of that kind of collaboration.

QUEST: Chicago's Center for Green Technology is acting as a bridge between city and community -- a perfect example of the impact of simple solutions.

WEIGERT: And if you just do it on your own and say we're going to have the city of Chicago Climate Plan without integrating the community, it's probably unachievable. But, instead, here, everyone was part of the process.

We, as a city, are long-term holders of our assets. So we want to make sure that the next generations have this amazing city to take advantage of, just like we do today. And the fact that we could really help protect and preserve that for the future generations is a lot of what drives us.

So it's very much about the Chicago that we love today, strengthening it and preserving it.

QUEST: Ahead of the game, Chicago is anticipating and adapting to its future climate, determined to keep this city everyone loves comfortable in all weathers.

Richard Quest, CNN, Chicago.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOS SANTOS: You're watching QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

In New York, about 4.3 million people ride the city's subways each day. Right now, they currently have no mobile phone service once they venture underground. But that's about to change, as Adriana Hauser shows us how to wire a subway system.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ADRIANA HAUSER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Waiting for the train in some subway stations in New York City will now more productive, or at least more entertaining. And this will be a thing of the past.

CARMEN BIANCO, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, MTA: Starting right here and at four stations nearby, AT&T and T-Mobile customers will be able to place or receive calls, text messages and check e-mails all the while waiting for their trains below ground.

WILLIAM A. BAYNE, JR, CEO, TRANSIT WIRELESS: But for the first time they will also have 911 emergency service, a very nice complement to the public safety efforts here in the city.

HAUSER: MTA President Carmen Bianco explains that the agency's objective is to expand the service to 30 new stations in the next year and to all 271 stations by 2016. He added that negotiations are taking place to include other carriers.

This initiative was announced in 2007, but delayed due to financing issues. In Capitol Hill is a company called Transit Wireless.

(on camera): Transit Wireless and the carriers, AT&T and T-Mobile are financing the $200 million project. Transit Wireless will split the revenue and receipts from the carriers with the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

(voice-over): The company estimates that once the project is completed, revenue will surpass $300 million a year. With this initiative, New York joins cities like San Francisco, Boston and Washington, DC, which, for several years, have provided wireless coverage underground.

Most New Yorkers we spoke to applaud this new convenience.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's long overdue. But I don't know how, I'm a fan of the (INAUDIBLE), you know, I don't know if I'm a fan of being able to talk, because everybody will be talking all the time like when you're on the bus. But I do enjoy the fact that you can check your e-mail, especially on the long commute.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's great for emergency situations to have a cell phone working down in the subway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a step in the right direction. I think that this is something we should have always had regardless, you know, as a First World country.

HAUSER (on camera): Would it bother you if people are being really loud, having long conversations next to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not -- not any more so than people with loud music. It's the same difference to me.

HAUSER: And we asked our producer to send us a text to see if this is already working. Indeed, it is.

Adriana Hauser, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

DOS SANTOS: Well, speaking of the Big Apple, for almost two weeks, protesters have been demonstrating against greed and corruption in New York's Financial District.

Susan Candiotti is there and she joins us now live from the scene -- Susan, I was going to ask you who these people are and what their beef was, but I gather you're actually with one of the protesters?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, it's been difficult for these people to try to get more people, but they hope as time goes on, they will get more people to join their movement.

We're in a square that is near Wall Street. And the main message that they're still trying to formulate is that corporations should not be serving at the, as they put it, let's see, the government should not be working for corporations. The main message is to fight corporate greed and to try to get more democracy back in the hands of the people.

Now, "Occupy Wall Street" started this particular protest 13 days ago. Since then, there have been only about 100 arrests. They've been very peacefully gathering here. For the most part, those arrests have been for disorderly conduct.

But even they admit, as they're getting this group together, that it's very hard to get a unified message together.

Yet, they feel very strongly about why they're here today, because they think it's an important step to take, to try to formulate a message to get across to, as you say, corporate America.

Josh Nelson came here all the way from Denver.

And talk about what you think this will help accomplish, not only in the United States, but possibly overseas, as well.

JOSH NELSON, PROTESTER: Well, I think what this movement is trying to -- at least in my opinion, why I'm here is to try and bring a voice to the people. When we have the 99 percent of the population that really is lacking representation in Washington, we have no other recourse but to gather in public spaces across the country and across the globe and try and bring attention to our concerns.

CANDIOTTI: What do you think the solution is?

What is a solution?

NELSON: Well, I think that the problems that we're facing are a little to broad to -- to suggest that there would be one solution. I believe that we need to begin a dialogue between people that have felt left -- left out of the political process for so long and the people who actually run the political process.

A good start would be to focus on corporate greed, but that's only the beginning of it.

CANDIOTTI: All right, thank you.

And so I think many people here believe -- thank you, Josh -- that this is the beginning of something.

The key question is, of course, Nina, is how big it can be.

How fast can it grow?

And back to you.

DOS SANTOS: OK, Susan Candiotti there live on the scene in New York City.

Turning to the weather now, it has shaped up to be an historic end to the month of September for many parts of Europe, record heat and sunny skies. I can attest to that here in London. It's something like 20 degrees Celsius.

Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now live from the CNN International Weather Center to explain just how long all this is expected to last.

Give me some good news.

In London, it's been great weather.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You don't -- yes, you said you think it was 20 degrees. I think you have to get back outside, Nina. A little warmer than that, even, across parts of London, at least the past few hours in the early afternoon and the evening hours there.

We've had temperature reports closing in on almost 30 degrees in a few spots. And we'll talk about that momentarily. But you take a look at the satellite imagery, and not too often, you look at your calendar, you see that it is the late portion of September. And you see cloudless conditions across much of -- of areas for the continent of Europe there. And we're looking at clear skies across the board, all the way into areas of, say, France and to Germany. You're going to get generally clear skies and nearly all of the U.K. looking at clear skies, with the exception of parts of Scotland right now.

But take a look at the high temperatures coming in on Thursday -- 27 degrees just coming in out of London there. The average temperature for this time of year, 17 degrees. Brussels, they shot up to 25. Amsterdam, 24. Dublin, how about that, a 24 degree afternoon. And we're on the final day tomorrow of the month of September. Incredible stuff is taking place here, as a broad area of high pressure sits in place.

And those suburbs of London there, Northolt comes in with a temperature of 28.3 degrees. Now, according to the U.K. Met Office, this is the warmest 29th of September temperature in over 100 years. Absolutely incredible. And, again, the question is, how long is all this going to last?

At least a few more days.

Look at this, Westcliff-on-the-Sea there, across the southern coast of the U.K., working your way across the English Channel, you bet. Any time you get a chance to dip into the waters this time of year, you've got to take advantage of it.

And the forecast looks absolutely gorgeous, 26 degrees just across the board there the next couple of days. A little bit of a cooling trend on Sunday. And then we transition back toward much cooler temperatures Monday and eventually on Tuesday.

So you've got a few more days to enjoy in. Paris, even, looking at very similar conditions across that area, as well. The average temperature about 19 degrees and sunny skies in their forecast.

So very nice conditions across much of Europe. It looks like it's going to last a few more days.

In Asia, the same can't be said right now. We're tracking what's left of Typhoon Nesat right now. The winds about 120 kilometers per hour. This is the strength the storm was when it made landfall, about six or so hours ago across portions of Hainan. We know Hong Kong receiving some damage there, with some incredible winds coming out of that area associated with the storm system, 115 kilometers per hour, right on the entrance to Victoria Harbor. And the Hong Kong airport, even having wind reports over over 108 kilometers per hour in the past few hours.

But the storm system is moving away from Hong Kong. Hanoi in North Vietnam going to be the -- the next area of interest that we're going to watch carefully, as strong winds possible and heavy rain possible in the next couple of days.

And then beyond that, it's like yet another typhoon lined up. This is Typhoon Nalgae. And we think North Luzon, Nina, is going to be another area, once again, to get impacted with heavy rainfall and the storm system in the coming days, this -- this coming weekend.

DOS SANTOS: OK. It's not often that I get told to go out more often, Pedram. But given your optimistic weather forecast, I think I'll just take your advice there.

Thanks very much.

JAVAHERI: OK.

DOS SANTOS: Pedram Javaheri, as always, many thanks for that.

Now, CNN's ongoing Freedom Project is trying to shine a light on the practice of human trafficking. It's the world's third biggest criminal industry, according to the United Nations, with profits reaching a staggering $32 billion. Today, The Body Shop joined forces with anti-child exploitation groups to take a stand.

CNN's Erin McLaughlin explains from Geneva.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: 7,044,278 -- that is the number of signatures brought forward today to the Human Rights Council on a petition. It's part of a three year long initiative to protect children against child trafficking.

We had the opportunity to speak to the president of this Council today.

And this is what she had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAURA DUPUY LASSERRE, PRESIDENT, U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL: We would like to -- to call on all these governments that they should really consider joining efforts in -- in this combat against sex -- child trafficking.

MCLAUGHLIN: This is the entrance to the U.N. Human Rights Council. It's in this very room that some of the greatest challenges facing the world in the area of human rights are discussed. And right next to it is The Body Shop's ECPAT Exhibit.

And Christopher Davis has largely spearheaded this campaign on behalf of The Body Shop.

Chris, what did it take for you to get here today?

CHRISTOPHER DAVIS, INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGNS DIRECTOR, THE BODY SHOP: It's taken a lot of hard work. Principally, it has taken the passion and belief of The Body Shop staff in 65 countries all over the world who have inspired over seven million people to sign campaign petitions calling on governments around the world to take action to do more to protect these vulnerable kids.

MCLAUGHLIN: And what are the next steps now that this petition has been presented?

What more needs to be done?

DAVIS: Well, I think the first thing to say is that we have achieved a lot. Fourteen countries around the world have responded to the petition and have already taken action.

But as you say, there is a lot more to do. The Body Shop, with ECPAT, will continue to quest governments, work with governments until they've really taken legislation and responded to these petitions and made the world a safer place for children and young people.

MCLAUGHLIN: So much more work needs to be done around the world to protect children from trafficking.

Erin McLaughlin, CNN, Geneva, Switzerland.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

DOS SANTOS: And that's a story we'll continue to follow here on CNN. We'll be speaking to, in fact, the CEO of the company next week on this very show.

Now, do stay with us here on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

I'll be back with a full recap of the stock market action after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOS SANTOS: The U.S. markets are entering their final hour of trading for Thursday.

Here's how the numbers look at the moment.

As you can see, the Dow Jones Industrial Average up about 14 to 15 points at the moment, about .1 of 1 percent. Plenty of economic news here for investors to cheer. U.S. GDP for the second quarter of the year coming in slightly better than expected.

We also had a smaller than expected drop in pending home sales for the United States and weekly jobless claims, those figures also coming in below 400,000, one of the reasons why the Dow is still in positive territory, but pretty modest gains, as you can see.

Now, most of the major markets in Europe ended the day with some solid gains a few hours ago. Only the FTSE 100, as you can see, spoiled the picture there, teetering into the red, down about .5 of 1 percent at the end. This was largely thanks to the fact that heavyweight mining stocks dragged the index further into the red. That was on the back of concerns about demand for commodities. On the other hand, in Frankfurt, we had the likes of Commerce Bank being the biggest gainer, up more than 4.5 percent. The French banks also doing well for the day, with Soc Gen up 5.8 percent at the close. And the three indices, between Frankfurt, Paris and Zurich, up about 1 percent on the day.

Now, if I said that I'd sell you one million pounds for $100,000, you'd think it was a pretty good deal, right?

But, of course, as you'd imagine, there's a catch here.

It's a $1 million pound bank note that is no longer valid. As you can see, it's actually stamped "canceled." But it is a collector's item. And it was auctioned off in London today for more than $120,000. Nine of these million pound notes were issued after the World War II in connection with the Marshall Plan. And this is one of only two that actually survived. So a bit of a relic there for that final story here on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

And that's it for QUEST MEANS BUSINESS here on CNN.

I'm Nina dos Santos in London.

But the news continues on CNN.

END