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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.




China faces electricity shortages

There have been widespread power outages across China as the country lacks coal. James Mayger, China economy editor for Bloomberg in Beijing, explains the background to the problems. Veterinarian Dr Karen Emerson in Mississippi tells us how covid misinformation has her left and many other vets short of the animal de-wormer drug ivermectin, thought mistakenly by some to treat the coronavirus. Also in the programme, according to Anthony Wheeler, author of the book HR Without People, Human...


Power cuts hit north-east China

Residents in north-east China are experiencing unannounced power cuts, as an electricity shortage which initially hit factories spreads to homes. Philippe Benoit at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, explains why this is significant. Also in the programme, Germany's centre-left SPD party has claimed victory in the federal election. Parties will now try to form a coalition government, the BBC's Victoria Craig in Frankfurt assesses what the outcome of the vote means for...


Huawei's Meng Wanzhou released from house arrest

Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou is released after nearly three years under house arrest in Canada, the BBC’s Gordon Correra has the details. China’s central bank bans all cryptocurrency activity in the country, sending the price of Bitcoin tumbling – cryptocurrency author Glen Goodman tells us more. Marketplace’s Kai Rysdell talks toothpaste, deodorant and supply chain woes, and Victoria Craig is in Germany for the Bundestagwahl – the country’s general election. We discuss New...


Evergrande debt crisis continues

The embattled Chinese real estate firm Evergrande reaches the deadline for interest payments on its bonds – will Beijing step in to shore up the company? We speak to Sara Hsu, Associate Professor of Economics at the State University of New York. Erin Delmore is in Berlin to take us through the last days of campaigning in Germany’s general election, the vote will decide who replaces Angela Merkel after 16 years as Chancellor. Speakers at the UN General Assembly address the inequalities of...


President Biden pledges 500m more vaccines to developing world

President Joe Biden made the pledge at a virtual Covid-19 summit on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, promising an "arsenal of vaccines". The additional jabs will see the total US commitment on vaccine sharing exceed one billion jabs. We'll hear from Lily Caprani, head of Advocacy for Health at UNICEF, Peter Maybarduk at the not-for-profit consumer advocacy organisation Public Citizen, as well as Thomas Cueni, Director General at the International Federation of Pharmaceutical...


President Biden calls for unity in United Nations address

At the 76th General Assembly in New York, President Biden urged global cooperation to tackle the pandemic and climate change. He pledged to double US climate finance for developing countries by 2024, while China says it will stop financing coal plants abroad. But are these gestures, or real steps towards climate change? We ask Michael McFaul, professor of political science at Stanford University. There's been widespread fallout across Europe from rapidly rising energy prices. The BBC's Ed...


US lifts Covid travel ban for vaccinated passengers from the UK and EU

Travellers will be admitted into the US from November, subject to testing and contact tracing. The announcement comes after a year of tough restrictions. We speak to Todd Knoop, professor of business and economics at Cornell College in Iowa, about the significance of the change. The Dow Jones index fell 1.7% on Monday over fears that the Chinese property developer Evergrande is struggling to repay its debts, which could impact big banks. Our correspondent Michelle Fleury explains the story....


France is recalling its ambassadors from the US and Australia

France is recalling its ambassadors from the US and Australia for consultations in protest after Australia abruptly ended a submarine contract in order to sign a new deal with the US and UK. The security deal is widely seen as an effort to counter China's influence in the contested South China Sea. Also the Russian election gets underway Google and Apple have removed a tactical voting app. Opposition activists have accused the tech giants of bowing to pressure from the Kremlin. We get...


UN secretary general climate change warning

The UN secretary general has warned that greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is rising relentlessly after a short dip during the pandemic. Antonio Guterres said he was alarmed how far the world was off course in tackling climate change. We speak to Barbara Davidson from Carbon Tracker who published a report that found many companies do not include their climate impact in their financial statements. And the BBC's Fergus Nicoll explores the prospects for deep sea mining to access metals required...


Energy prices set to rise

Wholesale prices for gas and electricity have been rising sharply across Europe. That's likely to lead to significant cost increases for businesses and households, and we find out what's causing the issue from David Hunter, Director of Market Studies at Schneider Electric. Also in the programme, the world's first all-civilian mission to space, Inspiration4, has just taken off for a three day mission to orbit the Earth. The historic mission, operated by billionaire Elon Musk's firm SpaceX, is...


US inflation shows signs of cooling

Inflation in the US is running at 5.3%, slightly down on July's year-on-year figure. Robert Reich is a Professor of Public Policy at the University of California Berkeley and a Secretary of Labour under President Clinton, and he talks us through the latest data. The plane maker Boeing says it expects that it will take another two and a half years for global aviation to return to pre-pandemic levels; we hear from its Chief Strategy Officer, Marc Allen. Also in the programme, there are...


Democrats unveil plans to raise US taxes

Leading Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have outlined plans for a substantial roll-back of former President Donald Trump's tax cuts, including raising the top tax rate on corporations to 26.5% from 21%. Democrats on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee will debate legislation this week that would achieve the changes as part of their broader, $3.5 trillion domestic investment plan. James Politi, the Washington bureau chief for the Financial Times Newspaper, explains the...


Twenty years since 9/11

It's been twenty years since the terror attacks of 9/11. We'll hear from people who were there, and who felt the aftermath. We'll also hear about how 9/11 changed the way we live our lives, and the built environments around us. Also in the programme, we'll hear about how language learning has boomed during lockdown, and how a refugee-led language programme is connecting people all around the world. We'll also hear about how protracted lockdowns are affecting Australians, and how one Aussie...


Vaccine mandates announced

US President, Joe Biden, has announced that all federal workers have to be vaccinated against Covid-19. He's also instructing the Department of Labor to draft a rule mandating that all businesses with 100 or more employees require their workers to get vaccinated or face weekly testing. And as the BRICS leaders meet, is the loose alliance of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa working? We hear from Professor Miles Kahler, a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in...


Bitcoin becomes legal tender in El Salvador

El Salvador becomes the first country in the world to make Bitcoin legal tender - a move that sparked some small protests. We speak to John Dennehy, a journalist based in the capital San Salvador. Protonmail, an email provider which sold itself as a secure, private service, is under fire for handing police the IP address of a French activist - Eva Galperin of the Electronic Frontier Foundation discusses cybersecurity. Canada opens its borders to double-jabbed visitors, and we take a look at...


Mobility at the Munich motor show

Mobility, not just motoring, is the theme of this year's Munich motor show, the IAA. The BBC's Theo Leggett is there and talks to us about the challenges facing the auto industry as it moves away from petrol and diesel. We hear from the EU Tax Observatory as they calculate European banks log $24billion a year in tax havens around the world. China's biggest property company Evergrande's creditors have called for immediate repayment of debts, could this be China's Lehman moment? Vivienne Nunis...


US job growth starts to slow

The US economy added 235,000 jobs in August, compared with 1.05 million in July. We hear how this is affecting businesses on a local level from Stephen Griffin, CEO of the Finger Lakes Economic Development Centre in upstate New York. Apple is to postpone the introduction of new software that would have detected pictures of child pornography and sex abuse on iPhones, following criticism by privacy campaigners. Our North America technology reporter James Clayton explains the situation. The...


Western Union to resume money transfer services to Afghanistan

The money transfer firm Western Union is resuming services in Afghanistan - a rare piece of good news as the country's economy faces collapse. We speak to former Afghan finance minister Omar Zakhilwal on the current situation there. Ireland has imposed a record fine of $225 million on the messaging app Whatsapp for violating European data protection rules. We get more details and context from Ireland-based business journalist Iain Guider. Lockdowns in the Australian cities of Melbourne and...


Purdue Pharma Is Dissolved

A judge in America has approved a bankruptcy plan that effectively dissolves Purdue Pharma, maker of the highly addictive painkiller, OxyContin. The company owners, the wealthy Sackler family, will have to turn over billions of dollars to help combat the deadly opioid epidemic. But the agreement will absolve the Sacklers of any liability or future lawsuits, allowing them to remain one of the richest families in America. We hear from Patrick Radden Keefe who writes for the New Yorker and has...


Joe Biden defends US pull-out as Taliban claim victory

President Joe Biden has defended his decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan - a move which led to Taliban militants returning to power. Also in the programme, Dan Cooper of tech site Engadget explains the significance of a new South Korean law requiring app stores such as those of Google and Apple to allow alternative payment methods. US climate envoy John Kerry flies to China for high-level talks ahead of COP26.The BBC's Rahul Tandon explores an increase in underaged girls in India...