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Business Matters


Global business news, with live guests and contributions from Asia and the USA.

Global business news, with live guests and contributions from Asia and the USA.


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Global business news, with live guests and contributions from Asia and the USA.




John McAfee: Anti-virus creator dies in prison

Anti-virus software entrepreneur John McAfee has been found dead in a Barcelona prison cell hours after a Spanish court agreed to extradite him to the US to face tax evasion charges. We speak to Steve Morgan the Editor-in-Chief at Cybercrime Magazine who knew him well. Also in the programme, Wall Street bank Morgan Stanley's staff will be barred from entry unless Covid vaccinated. Geneva-based international trade lawyer Arthur Appleton considers the legal implications of the move. Meanwhile,...


Bitcoin falls below $30,000 on China crypto-crackdown

The cryptocurrency Bitcoin has fallen below $30,000 for the first time in five months, after China told its banks to stop supporting digital currency transactions. Winston Ma is the author of The Digital War: How China's Tech Power Shapes the Future of AI, Blockchain and Cyberspace, and brings us analysis. Around 5.2 people became millionaires last year, making up more than 1% of the world's population for the first time in history. That's according to a report from Credit Suisse. We speak...


US authorities open probe into SolarWinds' cyber breach

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has begun the inquiry into last December's cyber attack on the IT provider, media reports say. It will ask whether some companies failed to disclose they had been affected. Our technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones explains the story. As India offers its free vaccinations to all adults, human rights activist Manjula Pradeep of the Wayve Foundation in Ahmedabad offers an assessment of the country's vaccine rollout so far. And what is it...


Harry Potter publishers demand staff prove vaccination

A growing number of companies are making corona-vaccination mandatory for their employees. Can they do that? Turns out - in America they can, but it's much more complicated in Europe; we speak with US, EU and UK legal experts, including Dr Catherine Barnard, Professor of European Union and Labor Law at the University of Cambridge. Also, the BBC’s Mike Johnson assesses the impact of wealthy nations cutting back their overseas aid budgets. And if you're having problems hiring ... maybe you...


US Supreme Court rejects Trump-backed challenge to Obamacare

The US Supreme Court has rejected a Trump-backed challenge by Republican-led states to former President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul. Amy Lotven, a senior editor at, gives us the latest developments from the US. Also, we hear why a rejection by Nasa helped motivated China to build its own space station, with Dr Megan Argo, a Lecturer in Astrophysics at the University of Central Lancashire in northern England. Plus what happens when you go in for a sandwich and...


Russia-US summit in Geneva

Biden and Putin praise Geneva summit talks but discord remains. We hear about their separate media briefings - in which Mr Putin spoke first, followed by Mr Biden. Nina Jankovich of the Wilson Center in Washington picks out her highlight from each leader's remarks. Also in the show, Susan Schmidt of Aviva Investors in Chicago chats to us about unemployment and inflation in the US. We take a look at sexual harassment in the workplace and whether smart tech can help increase a victim's...


EU and US call trade truce

The US and the EU have agreed a truce in a 17-year trade dispute over subsidies for the aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus. We hear why they've chosen now to call a truce with Mary Lovely, Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Also on the programme, what to do with plastic before it ends up covering the planet? We meet a scientist who has found a micro-organism that can chomp its way through it and turn it into vanilla essence. Plus, the rise of Non...


Nato finds China its new 'challenge'

Nato says China is its latest priority as its defence technology gets more advanced. We hear about the global defence economy and if Nato is still relevant, with Dr Jacob Parakilas, an expert on transatlantic military strategy. WhatsApp has launched a campaign vowing to maintain privacy– or ‘end-to-end encryption’ – of messages sent on the app. Should employers be allowed to fire you if you have not had the coronavirus vaccine? We discuss with Bob Lian Junior, an employment lawyer at Akin...


Major countries outline vaccine donation plan

The group of seven industrialised nations are to donate one billion coronavirus vaccines to the rest of the world by the end of next year – we look at how realistic that aim is. One big US business says it paid cyber hackers a multi-million dollar ransom. But should companies pay up? Ireland's finance minister tells the BBC’s Rob Young why he'll be arguing to lower the global minimum corporate tax rate that world leaders recently agreed. Plus, we look at the international row over the name...


US Senate passes bill to counter China tech

The US Senate has approved a $250bn spending plan to boost tech research and production. It's aimed at countering China’s growing influence in the sector; Scott Kennedy, the senior advisor and trustee chair in Chinese business and economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, gives us more details. Also in the programme, the Nigerian government’s ban on the use of Twitter has run into widespread opposition in the country. Nicholas Ibekwe is head of investigations at...


FBI app lures criminals into police hands

Hundreds of suspected criminals have been arrested after using an FBI-run messaging app. The joint operation with 16 law enforcement agencies worldwide was an effort to crack down on serious organised crime. Professor Robert Chesney the Chair of The University of Texas's school of law, tells us how the sting operation worked. Plus, the BBC's Samira Hussain reports from New York on the challenges young people are experiencing with finding jobs. And one of the world's largest fast food...


Google fined $267m in France

Search giant Google is to pay a $267m fine in France because of its advertising dominance. Katrin Schallenberg is an antitrust expert with Clifford Chance, and explains the background to the case. As some companies turn to anthropology to balance the insights of algorithms and AI, should all businesses now have an anthropologist on their books? We hear from Gillian Tett the author of Anthro-Vision: A New Way to See in Business and Life. Production of the luxury jet plane Learjet is set to...


G7 nations 'millimetre away' from tax deal for tech companies

France and Germany's finance ministers said an agreement on a global minimum tax rate was very close. We have a round-up of the latest news from the G7 summit, and hear from Tove Maria Ryding from European Network on Debt and Development for her take on the plans. Also in the programme, the BBC's Mike Johnson takes an extended look at the issue of where our plastic recycling waste really ends up. Plus, we speak to the CEO of Boom Supersonic, Kathy Savitt, on the return of supersonic...


G7 finance ministers prepare to meet

Finance ministers from the G7 are meeting on Friday and Saturday in the UK - a week ahead of the full G7 Summit. Top of the agenda is global corporation tax reform, as we hear from Richard Partington, the Guardian's economics correspondent. Thursday has been a day of prolonged argument over foreign travel in the UK. Portugal has been removed from the government's so called 'green list'. The Canary Islands, the Spanish territory off the coast of north-west Africa, was hoping to be added to...


Sinking ship sparks environmental concerns

Sri Lanka faces an environmental crisis after a ship that caught fire off the coastline sinks – Lloyd’s List editor Richard Meade tells us the economic and financial implications. Online retailer Etsy has bought second-hand shopping app Depop for $1.6 billion. We get the reaction of Elizabeth Paton, consumer business correspondent at the New York Times. Huawei has launched its own mobile operating system in a bid to break away from reliance on Google's Android. We hear more from Ian Sherr of...


Are inflation worries justified?

What's behind the rise in inflation across the US and Eurozone? We hear from Jason Furman, the Aetna Professor of Economic Policy at both Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard University. Are the economy and racism linked? That's the focus of a conference this week in the US - we hear from the president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, Neel Kashkari. And Ebay has partially severed its ties to Paypal. The changes mean that while eBay buyers can still pay with PayPal, sellers will be paid...


China allows three children in major policy change

China will allow families with three children after a sharp fall in birth rates. Stuart Gietel-Basten is a professor of social science and public policy at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and explains why the policy is needed. In the US cold case murder, sexual assaults and unidentified person cases that were once thought unsolvable are being cracked thanks to public genetic databases. But with this success come deep worries for our DNA data. The BBC's Ivana Davidovic has...


Biden unveils $6 trillion budget plan

US President Joe Biden has unveiled a $6 trillion budget plan. The BBC's North America business correspondent Michelle Fleury explains what he wants to spend it on, and how he going to pay for it. Police trying to halt illegal mining in Brazil's Amazon have allegedly been attacked by miners – who then went on to set indigenous homes on fire. We get the latest from of Ana Carolina Alfinito Vieira of Amazon Watch Brazil. Also in the programme, we have an in depth report on a water dispute...


US banks accused of failing the public

Big US banks have been criticised for not doing enough to help ordinary people during the pandemic. The bosses of JP Morgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs were grilled during an appearance before US lawmakers. Also in the programme, following the deaths of more than 315,000 people from coronavirus, India could fast track the clearance of some foreign vaccines in a bid to speed up vaccination in the country. The BBC's Rahul Tandon has an extended report on how the...


Court orders oil giant Shell to cut emissions

A Dutch court ruled that Royal Dutch Shell should reduce carbon emissions by 45% by 2030. We hear from Harry Brekelmans, the Projects and Technology Director at Royal Dutch Shell. Sara Shaw from environmental campaign group Friends of the Earth, which is one of the organisations that brought the case, discusses the background. MGM has just been bought by the web giant Amazon for just under $8.5 billion. Brad Stone, the author of Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global...