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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS

Stocks Sour on Italian Elections; Italian Election Gridlock; Italian Stocks Slump; Bernanke Warns Automatic Cuts Will Slow Economy; Wall Street Rebounds on Bernanke's Testimony; Dollar Up Against Pound, Euro; Tech Leaders on Working from Home; Mobile Wars

Aired February 26, 2013 - 14:00   ET

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


RICHARD QUEST, HOST: There has been a stock market rout after Italy's voters shouted no.

"So what?" says the chief executive of Italy's largest bank. Let the dust settle first.

Ben Bernanke warns automatic spending cuts will be a significant burden.

I'm Richard Quest, I mean business.

Good evening. Italy is ungovernable, and tonight stock markets are in disarray, and all because nobody won Italy's national elections. The clear loser was austerity, and investors fear months of uncertainty with inevitably more elections on the cards.

If you have any doubt about what took place today, then just join me in the library, and you'll see what I mean. We start with the main market in Italy, the Milan MIBTel, and the index was down almost 5 percent. Some banks within that index fell 10 percent.

And if you look closer, you will see the sharp drop happened right at the open, and that never recovered. It lost ground after Monday's polls showed there was decent support for Berlusconi, but not just support for Berlusconi.

Also, Grillo and the Movement party, that also showed -- that, of course, is the instability, which led the market lower, and as you can see -- a little slight rally here. But come right in and you'll see the way it tails off at the end of the session.

What happened in Milan was reflected widely elsewhere. Not as bad, but still reflected. Madrid off three and quarter, Paris down more than two and a half, Frankfurt off two and a quarter, even London down one and a third.

And the bank stocks were hit hard. SocGen and Credit Agricole both down 6 percent, Barclays in London down 5 percent. The fundamental fear is that Italy's indecision and disarray will transmit nervousness and volatility to other markets like Madrid and Paris, which seems to be what's happening.

The Italian government bond, borrowing rose, yields were up 40 basis points, the highest yield of the year. And not surprisingly, we also saw those higher yields in Spain and Portugal.

So, we know how the market reacted. The question is whether or not it's justified by the result that took place in Italy. Becky Anderson is in Rome, and that's core, Becky. Is it -- is there really quite so much disarray as it seems?

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes there is, Richard. It's really interesting to hear what you've just given the viewers a sense of why or how Italy is having an impact on the European and global markets. And lest we forget, this is the third-largest economy in the eurozone and the eight-largest economy in the world.

We always say if the US sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold, and to a certain extent, when a big European economy is in disarray and there's a sense of uncertainty surrounding it these days, the rest of the world catches that influenza, as it were.

There is a real sense of uncertainty here this evening. We have a hung parliament, no sense of stability as far as the government in Italy is concerned going forward, and the very, very -- wide possibility, the sense that there is the ultimate possibility here of another election.

And given that there's been 60 of those since the second World War, one could say that the electoral system here is dysfunctional. I think I'd probably suggest that tonight, but who am I to say that?

Let's just batten what we know at this point. There is a center-left here and a center-right. The center-left is run by Bersani, the center- right is run by Berlusconi who, let's face it, has done particularly well in the polls given that he was way back just five or six months ago.

Mario Monti, who has been running this country for the last 14 months on this ticket of austerity has done appallingly. He's melted down in the polls.

Center-left, center-right, neither of which can get a majority in the upper house, so you need a kingmaker. The kingmaker tonight is a man who, until recently, was considered the clown -- the clown of Italian politics. This is a man called Beppe Grillo who was, until recently, a satirist of Italian politics. He used to slag off those who've been running this country as a sort of cabal for years.

He is effectively in a position tonight to make things right, but he spoke to me earlier on, and he says with 25 percent of the vote, which is a protest vote tonight here in Italy, he says he's not prepared to do any deals. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEPPE GRILLO, ITALIAN FIVE STAR MOVEMENT (through translator): And for years we've come to be one of the main parties. It's a movement continued to spread around, and to go forward, these people have to get out. They have to step outward, and we're going walk in. And we will remake the country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: As we talk about the possible contenders for leadership here, there's a caveat to Beppe Grillo, Richard, which I know you know, but perhaps our viewers aren't aware of. He runs this movement, this party, called the Five Star Movement. He can't actually -- or said he won't run for leadership of the country if he were in a position to do it because he's actually got a manslaughter charge against him, from way back when.

And one of his tickets in this election was get rid of corruption and the sort of cabal that's been running Italy in the past, including Silvio Berlusconi. So he says he wouldn't even try to get the leadership of the country.

Beppe Grillo really is the kingmaker tonight, but as you heard from him when he was speaking to me earlier, he's not prepared to get into bed with anybody. So things --

QUEST: All right.

ANDERSON: -- are really muddied tonight.

QUEST: Becky Anderson, who's in Rome for us this evening, "Connect the World" coming from Rome.

Shares in the country's largest retail bank Intesa fell 9 percent. It was just one of a number of banks that were absolutely hammered. I spoke to the bank's chief exec, Enrico Tommasco Cucchiani, who said if the markets are tanking -- and this is the interesting bit, because I was all hot under the collar about what was clearly falling sharply -- the chief exec said so what?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ENRICO TOMMASCO CUCCHIANI, CEO, INTESA SANPAOLO: Frankly, I think there is a little bit of confusion, but I would not pass any judgment according to the markets. Yesterday, the financial -- Italian financials were going up by 7, 8 percent. Today, they are coming down. So what?

It's too early. Let the dust settle before we cast any final judgment. The fact is that the elections were a big surprise for everyone, including the politicians involved, and certainly this poses some challenges.

It also gives a clear signal that 50 percent of Italians do not approve what politicians have done over the past -- over the recent years. There is the 25 percent that voted for Grillo and the 25 percent that did not show up at the polls.

QUEST: Right, now --

CUCCHIANI: However --

(CROSSTALK)

QUEST: Now, now -- let me -- let me jump in here, because we need to take this bit by bit if we may, sir. On that point, that 50 percent has given a rousing thumbs down to the process and the policy of austerity, which, of course, the European Central Bank and the Commission say is necessary.

CUCCHIANI: Well, that is one school of thought. I believe that most people reacted to more immediate perceptions. The fact is that the economy hasn't been doing well over recent years. We've had a shrinking GDP, rising unemployment, and shrinking personal income. These are the facts that affect everybody -- in everybody's life.

And then there is an emotional reaction, perhaps. But the politicians need to fix the fundamental problems of the country.

QUEST: The finances are in order, but they're only in order because Monti started to put them in order, and he was roundly defeated, which leads the rest of Europe to say what is it the Italians want? The fiscal consolidation to continue or a completely pro-growth strategy?

CUCCHIANI: Well, I think that in order to have growth, you also have -- need to have finances in order, and I like to call it financial responsibility. But then you have to work on measures that stimulate the economy, and that means having important structural reforms.

Labor market reform, judicial reforms, but as well, we needed to privatize more and to reduce the layers of government and to reduce the bureaucracy that is actually slowing down investments these days.

QUEST: But that's the problem. You've just stated exactly the conundrum facing Italy. On the one hand, the economy needs all those things, but on the other hand, the population seems to have voted, at least in some measure, against the policies that bring that about.

CUCCHIANI: Well, I don't really think so. I think that it has been a cumulative effect. The fact is that over recent years, politicians have not dealt with the fundamental issues to make the economy more competitive. And frankly, it was not possible to do all of that in a year when basically you had a technocratic government supported by politicians and political parties with opposing views.

QUEST: But if it seems, as it seems likely tonight, that Italy will be back at the polls, whether it be a year or 18 months, there will be fresh elections at some point sooner rather than later? That leads to instability in markets and in the economy. We can agree on that, surely.

CUCCHIANI: Well, I would say that it would not do well to the markets, but in the end, the markets will correct the trends, and I think we have to wait a little bit longer and not judge according to the movements of the day.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

QUEST: That's the chief executive, Enrico Tommasco Cucchiani, who is the CEO of Italy's largest bank, the retail bank Intesa, speaking to me a short while ago on, of course, a very sharp fall in the market. If Europe is down --

(RINGS BELL)

QUEST: -- look at what's happening on the other side of the Atlantic. Gains of more than a ton, over a hundred on the Dow Jones Industrials, and you might be wondering why the Dow is having such a good session, especially since there are just three days until dramatic and drastic automatic spending cuts take effect in the United States.

After the break, Ben Bernanke makes his plea to Congress to turn back before it's too late.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: Ben Bernanke, head of the Fed, says the benefits of QE outweigh the risks. The chairman has been defending his stimulus efforts on Capitol Hill and said the Fed's bond-buying program will continue.

He urged Congress to dodge the automatic spending cuts due to take effect on Friday or suffer the consequences.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEN BERNANKE, CHAIRMAN, US FEDERAL RESERVE: Given the still moderate underlying pace of economic growth, this additional near-term burden on the recovery is significant. Moreover, besides having adverse effects on jobs and incomes, a slower recovery would lead to less actual deficit reduction in the short run for any given set of fiscal actions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUEST: Maggie Lake's in New York. "Significant burdens" and problems. Well, it's getting quite tight for time on this, isn't it?

MAGGIE LAKE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT : Yes. No, it is, Richard. And Bernanke making a point of that. But it seemed like he had an easier time convincing investors than did politicians, as you might imagine.

Listen, this is the Senate. They're the upper statesmen of Congress, elder statesmen, if you'd like. So the tone was very civil. But Bernanke is, no doubt about it, really a lightning rod figure in Washington. He was on the defense again pretty much the entire testimony.

And to give you an indication, listen to this exchange between Tennessee senator Bob Corker and Bernanke.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: When the Fed decided it was going to stimulate a global currency war as it did, did you embark on that thinking, well, our country's in trouble and sort of the heck with everybody else? Or did you think it would leverage the wealth effect, if you will, if everybody had a race to the bottom?

BERNANKE: We're not engaged in a currency war, we're not targeting our currency. The G7 put out a statement, which was very clear, that it's entirely appropriate for countries to use monetary policy to address their domestic objectives, in our case, employment and price stability.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LAKE: Currency war sounds nicer with a Southern accent, doesn't it? Bernanke went on to say listen, our policies aren't just helping us, it's helping anyone who exports to us.

And he also pushed back hard on the idea that they're pursuing a faux wealth effect and the fact that Corker basically said "you're really easy on inflation, you're the most dove Fed chairman we've had since World War II," Bernanke saying "I've got the best inflation record of anyone since World War II."

So, it was polite, but still, that's the way it went. Same thing when they tried to push him on the budget, Richard. Listen, it's going to be even more pointed tomorrow. He faces members of the House, which we know can be a lot rowdier and a lot more critical.

QUEST: Now, as we've looked at what Bernanke said on the burden of the budget and the spending cuts and QE and the way it's been beaten up. At the same time, he has real live daily problems to deal with, and one of them is any spillover from Italy.

LAKE: Yes, that's right. And that did come up, and I wouldn't have said Europe was going to come up even a week ago, maybe cursory. But it did come up today, and Bernanke trying to be very careful here saying, "I am not an expert on Italian politics," and these are hypothetical hypotheticals.

But he basically said any sort of write-down of Italian debt was something that US financial institutions could handle in the hypothetical, he wasn't predicting it was going to happen. And that he said really the focus here isn't the nuances of Italian politics and how any party stands on austerity.

The issue is whether any country will leave the euro, and his understanding was that none of the parties were saying that. Those are my words, not his words, but that was the gist.

So, that's the focus from the US perspective and from the Fed: is anyone saying they're going to exit the euro? That's the bottom line the Fed's watching.

QUEST: I was about to say, they were Bernanke -- if we were using Bernanke's words, would probably still be going up until the top of the hour.

(LAUGHTER)

QUEST: So we are grateful in the extreme for the paraphrase. Maggie Lake is in New York. Maggie, your duties will be over the next few days quite clearly these automatic spending cuts as we get closer and closer and closer to exactly -- monitor them and tell us what they all mean. Maggie Lake is in New York.

Before we join Ken Polcari in New York at the Stock Exchange, a reminder of the big board and the market and what the Dow Jones is doing. The Dow is up more than 112 points, which you would, perhaps, be quite justified in saying why?

Think about it. You've got automatic spending cuts coming in in Washington, which could take a couple -- a percent or so out of the economy. You've already got slowdown taking place, and you've got Italy. Kenneth Polcari, why should the Dow be up over 100 when there's so much instability and European markets were down?

KENNETH POLCARI, DIRECTOR OF FLOOR OPERATIONS, O'NEIL SECURITIES: Because I think you could describe it as a dead cat bounce, right? Yesterday, you had this reaction, and it turned into an overreaction towards the end of the day. It fed on itself, and you could feel it. We got right down to 14,090, 14,087 on the S&P, which is a level where we should find some support.

And in fact, what today's proving is that we are finding temporarily, at leas, some support at that level. So, you've got this dead cat bounce, so the market kind of rallies after having that vicious kind of movement yesterday.

And I say vicious because it happened relatively quickly in the last couple of hours of the day where the market just rolled over --

QUEST: All right.

POLCARI: -- based on all the news coming out.

QUEST: Which are you more worried about, automatic spending cuts or Italy's election? Which is it? One of the other.

POLCARI: Well, yesterday -- today I'm more worried about our automatic spending cuts. Yesterday, I think the tone was absolutely about what was going on in Italy because the sense was, every time you turned on the news, there was another negative, a real negative story coming out of Europe and Italy and what it meant.

But today, that's really calmed down a little bit, and now the focus here is right back on Washington and the sequester cuts that are coming.

QUEST: Are you optimistic that by the time those cuts come in, they will be alleviated or abandoned?

POLCARI: No, I think what's going to happen is -- a week ago, I would've told you I thought they would have come together in the final hour and then to come to a deal and get it done. It does not feel like that anymore. It does, in fact, feel like we are going to go over with these cuts.

And I have to tell you something. I'm not necessarily sure that the cuts are going to be all that bad or all as bad as the Democrats are making it out to be. They're almost being alarmist in this country, creating all this anxiety. I don't nearly think it's going to be that bad.

Do I think they should reconsider it? Do I think they should make cuts in different places? Absolutely. But I think that's what's going to happen after we actually go over it. They're going to sit back for a minute and look, and they're going to decide how they can create cuts in other places and not let the kids suffer and the teachers suffer.

QUEST: Our very own deficit hawk who might be masquerading as a dove who can't decide whether he's a sheep in wolf's clothing or a wolf in sheep's clothing or whatever that phrase is. It's Ken Polcari anyway on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Good to see you, we'll talk more about that with Ken as well. Very busy times at the moment, whether it's on the European side of the Atlantic or on the United States' side.

Time for tonight's Currency Conundrum. A few lines of a music score are replicated on the back of the Swiss 20 franc bank note. What composition is it? Is it Arthur Honegger's Pacific 231 Symphony, Alberich Zwyssig's Swiss Psalm, or Ernest Bloch's Helvetica?

Which notes are on the back of the Swiss 20? I do like this one. We'll even play it for you later when we give you the Conundrum answer.

As to the rates, Bernanke's comments pushed the dollar against the pound and the euro, down against the yen. Those are the rates --

(RINGS BELL)

QUEST: -- this is the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: Now, of course, you were aware, because you were here last night, we told you about how Yahoo is about to ban employees from working from home, according to the leaked memo. Well, the industry's top execs are at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona in Spain and Kristie Lu Stout, having heard what they were planning to do at Yahoo asked the Barcelonians at the Congress what they thought.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DENNIS CROWLEY, CEO, FOURSQUARE: You're more productive when people are all together, but I think you need to have a little bit of flexibility. And we use things like Google Hangout to do a lot of video conferencing at Foursquare, so we're able to make it work.

DAVID MARCUS, PRESIDENT, PAYPAL: This is not a black and white -- or white answer. It's -- generally, if teams are together, they're definitely more efficient and more productive. But that being said, you also need to cater to moms that need to go and pick up the kids at school. And so you need to find the right balance. And I think we have a pretty good balance at PayPal.

MITCHELL BAKER, CHAIRWOMAN, MOZILLA: Telecommuting is a key aspect in business today. Telecommuting could be everything from conference calls and meeting people to people actually working at home.

I think it's a mixed solution. There are sometimes where you really want everyone together, and we're gathering people together for a week or two weeks of a session is the really best way to get things done.

We also find sometimes people work better alone for some sets of things, and so we have developers and actually people across all organizations that really need time to think and to be alone and to process. And so for those people, telecommuting is a great alternative, especially telecommuting part time.

GREG SULLIVAN, DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT MARKETING, MICROSOFT: I think it's -- it's a tremendous opportunity. I think one of the things that technology does is provide us ways to do more and be more efficient and more productive in ways that are less impactful on the environment and ways that are -- allow us to have better balance in our lives.

We have to be vigilant in making sure that technology doesn't let work kind of overtake us, but I think one of the things that's been enabled by this is the ability to do -- to kind of have it all.

I was at my daughter's soccer game not long ago and I was waiting for an e-mail from a very important person at Microsoft named Steve, and I didn't have to stay at home and wait for that e-mail. I could go to my daughter's soccer game and see on my phone that the e-mail came in. So, I kind of had a win-win situation. I think that's the kind of thing technology can do for us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUEST: And the Steve that he is referring to, of course, is Steve Palmer, the chief executive. Well, I assume that's the very important Steve. It begs the question whether Steve should expect his exec to read that e-mail while he's at the soccer game with his daughter, but that's an argument for another week.

Microsoft -- the Steve in the balm -- you see how all this is coming together rather nicely -- says it's turned the corner in the world of SmartPhones after Bill Gates himself said mistakes had been made.

Now, Bill Gates was talking about it and said in the most unlikely of places in Barcelona. The Microsoft founder and chairman had publicly criticized his own company. He had told CBS last week that the early mobile strategy -- not the later one -- was clearly a mistake.

Ad this week in Barcelona, Microsoft's head of marketing -- well, you can't be too rude about Mr. Gates. But clearly he said the company had moved on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SULLIVAN: I think Bill was referring to our strategy from the early 2000s, which is a million years ago, in terms of the mobile business now.

The market has changed tremendously, and I think one -- the silver lining of this for us is that we kind of reapproached this space and said the SmartPhone experience should be more personal. It should be about the things that you care about, not what someone else decided was interesting.

And so, that's when we built Windows Phone to really focus on that idea of making the most personal SmartPhone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUEST: And that's Windows Phone. If only it was just Windows, Microsoft, and Nokia that were all in contention at the moment. Other mobile companies are also squaring off in Barcelona.

BlackBerry has rubbish claims that Android's phones are more secure than theirs. That's a very serious allegation. Indeed, if you take a look at the phones. Also, Samsung has just announced new security measures for its Android handset. BlackBerry says they're still number one.

But of course, when you talk about rivals, whether it be Microsoft, BlackBerry, and Android, it doesn't get much bigger than those two: Apple and Samsung. They have sued each other time and time again over the iPhone and the Galaxy.

This year, Samsung's copied Apple by deciding not to release its new version of the Galaxy in Barcelona. Apple is waiting until March the 14th in New York instead.

Still to come, as we continue on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, political uncertainty in Italy. It's rocking global markets. We'll get the reaction from the (inaudible).

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. There is more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment. This is CNN and, on this network, the news always comes first.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QUEST (voice-over): The former comedian, Beppe Grillo, is the man of the hour in Italy. His anti-establishment movement took 25 percent of the vote in the parliamentary elections, more than any other single party. No one won the necessary majority in either house.

And that's raised fears in the political gridlock in the Eurozone's third largest economy, which ultimately might mean (inaudible) fresh elections.

Egyptian investigators have been searching a field near Luxor where a sightseeing balloon crashed and burned on Tuesday, killing 19 tourists from Asia and Europe. A witness says the pilot was trying to land when the balloon suddenly rose and burst into flames. It's the deadliest balloon accident in 20 years.

The Vatican says once the pope steps down on Thursday, he will retain the name Benedict XVI. His title will, however, change to pontiff emeritus.

The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has been meeting with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov in Berlin. Before the meeting, Mr. Kerry said he hoped to bridge differences with Russia on the Syrian crisis. Mr. Kerry's set to attend a conference on the conflict in Syria later this week in Rome.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUEST: So there is only really one talking point in the markets and in the global economy today, and it really does concern Italy. The election, which has left confusion and chaos and the country's poised for political deadlock after there was no clear winner.

Markets were shaken; the Mid fell in Milan down 5 percent. Investors are prepared for what could be months of uncertainty in the E.U.'s third largest economy.

The chief executive of the Italian bank Banca IFIS joined me; Giovanni Bossi says the markets have overreacted.

GIOVANNI BOSSI, CEO, BANCA IFIS: They are exaggerating in this moment. In any case, the institution is very dangerous, of course. But the amount of losses the markets are taking into consideration at the moment, in my opinion, is too high.

QUEST: You -- but you agree it's a dangerous situation, and the danger seems to be that the policies of fiscal consolidation, the policies of austerity, because perhaps up to 50 percent of the electorate no longer want it, will eventually be reversed.

BOSSI: Well, the -- I mean dangerous because there -- because we need it. In this moment, we need to (inaudible) moment, we need to have roots. We need to have government that is in the condition to give reforms, the correct reforms, the right reforms to the country.

And in this moment, with the -- what we see in this moment in Italy is that, as you remember, 55 percent of the country is voting against the polity -- the (inaudible).

(CROSSTALK)

QUEST: Right. But you can't -- you see, the problem is, you can't have it both ways. You can't have an election and then when you get the result, say, well, we let that -- you know, they voted for that. But never mind. The people have spoken. They don't like the austerity.

BOSSI: Right. They don't like the austerity. They don't like the austerity in the way the actual government delivered the austerity to the country, the right move in the probably wrong time. And this is the point, in my opinion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUEST: A story we'll watch over the hours ahead as Italy continues to work out what sort of government and the markets give their reaction.

Public support for one prominent figure is through the roof in Naples. Look at this; it's Diego Maradona, returned on Monday to the city where he became a football legend over his Napoli. He received the proverbial hero's welcome.

He won't be reprising past glories; he's there to take on the Italian tax authorities, who said he owes more than $50 million in tax. Maradona says the case makes no sense.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DIEGO MARADONA, FORMER NAPOLI MIDFIELDER (through translator): I can't understand why the Italian justice system is asking me for 40 million euros. If I today had 40 million euros, we wouldn't be here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUEST: Maradona's thought to have built up a tax bill most of which is interest since 1984, when he joined the other clubs for which he played.

After the break, two women, a multitude of skills and many decades of experience, from the board room to the billboard. (Inaudible).

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

QUEST: A lesson in adapting in order to succeed. It is the most important of all skills perhaps for those who aspire to top office. And tonight, we'll get it from two leading women, Angeliki Frangou left a Wall Street job and returned to the world of shipping, where she steered the Greek Navios Maritime Group through financial crisis and paid dividends all the way.

And at the same time, Brazil's Daniela Mercury has survived decades in the music business. And it's all thanks to a diverse portfolio of talents.

Tonight, Becky Anderson and Felicia Taylor speak to these mothers of reinvention.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): Angeliki Frangou's path to success in maritime shipping was inspired by a family history in the business, dating back to her great-grandfather.

From her base just outside Athens, she heads the Navios Group, four shipping companies that transport goods to all over the world.

ANGELIKI FRANGOU, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, NAVIOS GROUP: As people learned by night (ph), I mean, (inaudible) start to development.

So they need steel. They need iron ore and coal that is then turned to steel, to bridges, to buildings, to cement. And then, of course, you have oil for powering these cities that we, again, transport. And then we take the finished products that they produce; take it back to the West.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Though the Greek economy has been battered, Frangou says her company is strong. In her business, she says, it pays to think ahead.

FRANGOU: Shipping is a notoriously cyclical business. You have to have the ability to change and adapt to the new situations. If you don't do that, you will have problems.

Look at this beautiful (inaudible).

ANDERSON (voice-over): Frangou is not all business. She's got a passion for the arts inherited from her mother, who taught classical studies. She took me to the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens to show me an exhibit of antiquities about women.

FRANGOU: The history from all around the (inaudible) which, at that time, was very important.

ANDERSON: And what's amazing is that, you know, times are hard in Greece at the moment. I wouldn't be surprised if our viewers were surprised to see an exhibition of this quality at this time.

And yet it's here.

FRANGOU: I think this is amazing. This (inaudible) the optimism that we need.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Optimism seems to be part of her call, and so is sharing her lessons learned with those she mentors. She recalls one incident.

FRANGOU: (Inaudible). I spent time on that. But I missed the most important issue, which was time. So now the one thing I can say to everyone is forget about the prospectus (ph). Give me the -- to be a B (ph). You don't need an A plus (ph). But you need to be very correct on the timing. So monitor the timing.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Wise words from this award-winning executive, mother and cultural enthusiast who plans to keep forging ahead.

FRANGOU: Yes, I feel I'm very young. My father is 87 and is still working. So I can say I have another easy 40 years to work.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): I'm Felicia Taylor.

Daniela Mercury is still at the top of her game. The Latin music star began her career as a teenager. She counts winning a Latin Grammy award in 2007 among her many achievements. But she admits success and fame have come at a price.

TAYLOR: What were some of the hardest choices that you've had to make over the last couple of decades of being in this career?

DANIELA MERCURY, SINGER AND PERFORMER: Everything sacrifice. I did a lot of sacrifice. What was hard to me was to travel and to leave my children at home.

TAYLOR (voice-over): We spent time with Mercury at her home in Bahia on the Brazilian coast, visible everywhere, signs of her love of family and her long career.

MERCURY: My first group with me was a carnival in 1993.

TAYLOR (voice-over): Performing at carnivals has always been a highlight for Mercury and so is samba music.

In Sao Paolo, we see how Mercury brings a bit of happiness. Here, she gives an impromptu music lesson to some youngsters at a foundation run by her friend and former footballer, Cafu.

TAYLOR: Tell me what it's about and why you wanted to get involved.

MERCURY: I worked in the social (inaudible) for years. I'm a -- I'm a -- I'm a daughter of a social worker. And my sister is a social worker, too. And I think there was very little I had (inaudible) example in home. My home always was open to receive people that needed some food and some help.

MERCURY: (Speaking foreign language).

TAYLOR (voice-over): She sees her efforts to help and inspire those in need in her country as part of her legacy.

MERCURY: I'm using this power to (inaudible) to help everyone and to be our life better here in Brazil and in the other parts of the world.

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TAYLOR (voice-over): And nothing says more about Mercury than her music, a pop star who is always looking ahead.

MERCURY: They don't have any (inaudible) because what I did, I did. If I have the chance to come back after this life, I want to come back as a -- as a woman and because I love to be a woman, because I have more challenges. It's more fun.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUEST: Right.

Jenny Harrison is at the World Weather Center for us this evening.

Jenny, Poland was cold. London is cold. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

JENNY HARRISON, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Normally (inaudible), but you know what, it's all about the change. In fact, it's a pretty quite picture (inaudible) a quiet picture (inaudible) --

QUEST: Can I say that tonight? Take that to the bank?

HARRISON: Take it to the bank? You can. Absolutely. Definitely. Yes.

But of course, where it's not, I'm going to start out with another region, Richard, where we have seen yet more snow. It is across the Central Plains, the Midwest, heading up to the Northeast. I know, it's just round after round of snow. This is the radar in the last few hours. You can see where the snow is.

You can see the rain and of course all of this weather is heading up to some fairly major destinations. So that does mean you need to be prepared for long delays at some of these airports.

Now look at some of the numbers. It's actually quite staggering, 17 centimeters of snow in Wichita, Kansas, in 24 hours. So far in February, 53 centimeters of snow. And that is an all-time monthly record. It didn't even stop snowing until the 20th of February. And, in fact, it breaks a record that goes back 100 years.

And really, in Texas, similar sort of story; it's the snowiest February there in history. But then across the South, we've had a lot of rain. So look at that, Tallahassee, 300 millimeters just since Friday. The average just over 120 millimeters. And so lots of pictures like this coming in from our iReporters.

Now the warnings that are in place, that storm system heading up towards the Midwest and again, D.C., New York, Boston, all of those cities in the line of fire. And then we've got the rain to contend with across the South, heavy totals here, again in the last 24 hours.

So we've got flood watches and warnings in place across this area as well. So it's all going on right now, a ground stop in Chicago O'Hare. Last time I checked, it was a 21/2-hour delay. So now it's gone to a ground stop.

And this is why. This is the storm system coming through, very heavy amounts of snow, very wet, heavy snow. And it really is going to add up. You can see in Chicago, over 20 centimeters in the next 48 hours.

But look at Toronto in Canada, 46 centimeters. So do be prepared for all of that. You can see the storm system wraps back around on itself and very heavy amounts of snow and cold as well, 1 Celsius in Chicago, 15 in Atlanta.

Meanwhile, across in Europe, as I say, this is a fairly quiet picture; not much going on on the radar in the last few hours. However, there has been some very heavy snow in southern France. Have a look at this, in the Cote d'Azur. It really has caused all sorts of problems, numerous accidents and, my goodness, the traffic just backed up as you can see.

A region that's not used to seeing snow, certainly not quite like this. So certainly this is caused all the problems. But look at this, let's end on a positive note, because you can see here that basically it's a quiet picture for the next couple of days. And it will also get milder across the northwest. So Richard, it should feel a bit nicer for the next couple of days.

QUEST: Jenny Harrison, we thank you. You've always struck me, Ms. Harrison, as the sort of woman who likes to shake it about on the dance floor a bit.

HARRISON: (Inaudible)? Is that right? I have no idea what I've done to make you think that. I'm not going to comment.

QUEST: Well, I don't know. No, we're thankful you're not going to give us an example, either.

Jenny Harrison, thank you.

Now coming up on the program, my Atlanta colleagues, Ms. Harrison excepted, have some explaining to do.

You'll have seen this sort of thing.

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QUEST (voice-over): Where is Ms. Harrison when you need her to help you with the Harlem Shake? Incredibly, people are making money out of it. The story of dancing and dollars, as QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, and we're keeping it all in sync.

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QUEST (voice-over): The answer to our "Currency Conundrum," which music score is on the back of the Swiss 20-franc note? The answer is a fragment of Arthur Honegger's "Pacific 231" symphony. It can be found on the note, along with his portrait.

Now "Pacific 231" is the Swiss composer's most famous work. It sounds like this:

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QUEST: It was inspired by the locomotive of the same name, a little movie trivia for you during this Oscar week.

Arthur Honegger wrote the score for the 1934 version -- French version -- of "Les Miserables" and is on the Swiss franc. Let's stick with this idea, this whole question of music, whether on the back of a franc note or at the Oscars, global music sales are up for the first time this century, all 13 years. Well, digitally, of course, things have been going down.

People have been copying when they should have been paying. Well, now the industry has recorded an increase in revenues for the first time since 1999, after years blighted by the rise of the Web, as you can see here. It's revenues up to $16.5 billion, just up a third of 1 percent. And digital revenues now account for 34 percent of that.

Adele's "21" was the best selling global album, 8.3 million copies. And seven in 10 of Twitter's most followed are actually music artists, not actors or actresses or even myself. Justin Bieber has 35 million followers and Lady Gaga 34 million.

Ninety percent of YouTube's most popular clips -- quite -- are music videos. There by "Gangnam Style," which has been viewed by more than 1.2 billion times. Well, now there is a new viral video dance taking craze from "Gangnam Style." It's called the "Harlem Shake," and thanks to advertising, it's a cash making machine. Felicia Taylor reports.

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TAYLOR (voice-over): The University of Georgia's swim team grooves to it underwater. The students of Colorado College broke every library code in the book for their version.

The "Harlem Shake" has even caught fire among firefighters. And employees at San Antonio's SeaWorld. This is the video that started it all, four guys in crazy outfits, busting a move to the "Harlem Shake" on a YouTube posting last month. Now Baauer, the song's creator, is poised to hit it big. He gets a piece of the ad revenue every time someone clicks on a "Harlem Shake" video.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is going to be a meaningful revenue stream, if you figure a couple dollars per thousand streams and you multiple that by millions, you start to see that this is real money.

TAYLOR (voice-over): Real money indeed, as of last week, 100,000 "Harlem Shake" videos had been viewed about 400 million times on YouTube, and that's boosting record sales. The "Harlem Shake" was the top song download on iTunes U.S. last week, and one of the top downloads in iTunes Europe. Baauer isn't the only artist riding the viral video wave.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

TAYLOR (voice-over): South Korean artist PSY hit paydirt last year with YouTube phenomenon "Gangnam Style," with more than a billion hits.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Billboard" has reported that PSY made upwards of $2 million just from the streams of "Gangnam Style." That was without selling a single track.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

TAYLOR (voice-over): And YouTube versions of Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" helped boost sales of that song. Some may have been surprised they were viral video participants.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My year's high number, so call me baby.

TAYLOR (voice-over): Corporate America sees a financial opportunity in all this. Pepsi has now promoted soda with its very own "Harlem Shake."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) are great for the music industry. I mean, people are having fun with music again. And that's probably the most important thing.

TAYLOR: So we thought we'd leave you with our very own version of the "Harlem Shake."

As you can see behind me, even the bulls on Wall Street want in on the action as the viral video craze shakes up the music industry -- Felicia Taylor, CNN, New York.

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QUEST: In what has been a very busy day, I'm going to leave you tonight with a "Profitable Moment" that is more about numbers than anything else. It is the way the markets look. This is the way Europe (inaudible) are, down very heavily on the back of Italy. And this is the way New York is tonight, up sharply because of a dead cat bounce.

And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight. I'm Richard Quest. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable.

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QUEST (voice-over): The news headlines: former comedian, Beppe Grillo, is the man of the hour in Italy. His anti-establishment movement took 25 percent of the vote in elections, more than any single party.

No one won a majority in either house. And that now has fears of political gridlock in Italy.

Egypt's investigators are searching fields in Luxor where a sightseeing balloon crashed and burned, killing 19 tourists. A witness says the pilot was trying to land when the balloon suddenly rose and burst into flames.

The Vatican says the pope will retain his name, Benedict XVI, once he steps down on Thursday. The title will change to pontiff emeritus. And after his departure, His Holiness plans to visit the papal seaside retreat (inaudible) south of Rome until his successor is chosen.

Secretary of State John Kerry has been meeting with his Russian counterpart in Berlin. Kerry said he hoped to bridge differences with Russia on the Syrian crisis. Mr. Kerry's set to attend a conference on Syria, which will be held in Rome later this week.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUEST: You are up to date with the stories that we are following. Now, "AMANPOUR."

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END