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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.




Enron's collapse 20 years on

It has been 20 years since the spectacular collapse of what was the seventh biggest company in the USA - Enron. The demise of the US energy giant remains one of the most dramatic scandals in modern capitalism - but two decades on, we ask if we learned any lessons from the fall of a corporate giant. US market regulators announce the adoption of a rule allowing them to delist foreign companies from Wall Street exchanges if they fail to provide information to auditors, which is aimed primarily...


'Shelves will be stocked for the holidays'

President Biden seeks to reassure Americans that he is doing everything possible to ensure goods arrive in shops in time for the holidays. Sylvan Lane of The Hill explains the impact delays could have on inflation and Susan Schmidt of Aviva in Chicago explains the rocky impact on the markets. Also on the programme, the European Union has launched the Global Gateway, a global investment scheme to rival China's Belt and Road. Plus, the Women's Tennis Association suspends tennis tournaments in...


Inflation fears for the US

Is America heading for an inflation crisis? US Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, was in Washington DC on Tuesday, giving evidence at the US Senate's banking committee and said that the Omicron coronavirus variant poses increased uncertainty for inflation - we hear from Chris Low, Chief Economist at FHN Financial in New York. Plus, high street fashion giant Inditex has appointed the founder's daughter as its new chair. The firm owns brands including Zara and Massimo Dutti, and we find out...


More countries impose travel bans on Southern Africa

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the Omicron coronavirus variant poses a high risk of infection surges around the globe. The head of the organisation, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, renewed a call for a global push to get vaccines to poorer nations meanwhile in the US, workers in one of Amazon's warehouses in Alabama have been allowed to rerun a vote on whether they can join a union. Employees voted not to form a union in April, but the National Labor Relations Board found...


Covid cases soar in the US

Data suggests many more Americans have been travelling over the past few days than did this time last year, but there's been a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks. Scientists are warning the United States could be entering a fifth wave of infections and as hospitals are getting busier, we hear from Eric Topol, a physician scientist at Scripps Research in California. We discuss Apple's decision to alert some journalists and campaigners that their smartphones may have been hacked by a...


Samsung to build microchip factory in Texas

South Korea's Samsung has chosen Taylor, Texas for a new $17bn computer chip factory. The US is hoping to bring more such hi-tech manufacturing back on to American shores, and we explore the implications with Justin Sayers from the Austin Business Journal. And would you want to live to 150? With leaps in technology, science and medicine, it's becoming an increasingly realistic possibility; the BBC's Elizabeth Hotson reports on the science - and business - of longevity. Plus, at its annual...


US to release oil reserves in attempt to lower prices

The US has said it is releasing 50 million barrels of oil from its reserves in an attempt to bring down soaring energy and petrol prices. The move is being taken in parallel with other major oil-consuming nations, including China, India, Japan, South Korea and the UK. Also in the programme, you'd imagine winning the lottery and spending the winnings would be an incredible feeling. But not for a nursery in Southern Mexico. Parents say they are being threatened by a gang following their...


Jerome Powell nominated for a second term as Fed chair

Jerome Powell has been nominated for a second term as chair of the US Federal Reserve by President Joe Biden. Mr Powell is set to stay in the role, which includes managing inflation and regulating the financial system, for a further four years. El Salvador plans to build the world's first "Bitcoin City", funded initially by bitcoin-backed bonds. We hear from a key strategist of the plan, Samson Mow. Sasha Twining is joined throughout the programme by Mehmal Sarfraz, co-founder of The Current...


British Columbia hit by floods

Thousands are stranded by floods and mudslides in British Columbia in Canada – Chris Walker of CBC Radio One, who flew over the affected area on Thursday, joins us. In New York, Sotheby’s auctions a rare copy of the US Constitution, but a crowdfunding project has raised over $45m in cryptocurrency in an attempt to bring it into public ownership. We speak to one of the members behind the project, and to Matt Binder of Mashable. Elsewhere in the US, the House of Representatives looks set to...


Biden in Motor City

President Biden visits Motor City: Detroit, Michigan, where General Motors unveiled their new electric vehicle plant. Biden was there to talk up his infrastructure bill and to promote the transition to electric vehicles which he says will bring jobs to America. We hear from Steve Carmody, a reporter for Radio Michigan, and speak to Edward Alden at the Council on Foreign Relations about how the infrastructure bill could ruffle feathers in Canada and Mexico. In India, taxation on alcohol is...


European pipeline beset by new delays

Europe’s eastern borders are convulsing under the pressure of gas, military aggression and human migration. Germany suspends its approval of the long controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Polish forces use tear gas on migrants attempting to cross the Belarusian frontier into the country, while Ukraine worries Russian troops on its border threatens its own pipelines. We speak to Professor Sergey Radchenko from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies to pull the threads...


US and China leaders hold virtual summit

Joe Biden will speak to Xi Jinping over video call as the two leaders meet virtually to discuss US China relations – our correspondent in Beijing Stephen McDonnell gives us the latest, plus there’s analysis from Rui Zhong at the Wilson Centre in Washington DC. There’s a lockdown in Delhi, but this time it’s due to pollution; schools have closed and the authorities are considering imposing a city-wide curfew to keep people out of the smog. We hear from the BBC's Arunoday Mukherjee in the...


Belarus threatens to cut off gas to the EU

President Lukashenko of Belarus has threatened to cut off gas supplies to Europe if sanctions are imposed over an escalating migrant crisis at the country's border. Thousands of people are at the border with Poland, enduring freezing conditions in the hope of crossing into the European Union. We get analysis from James Waddell, senior global gas analyst at Energy Aspects. Indonesia’s council of religious leaders has forbidden the use of crypto assets as a currency for Muslims. The country's...


China and US agree to boost climate co-operation

China and the US have agreed to boost climate co-operation over the next decade, in a surprise announcement at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. The two countries released a joint declaration promising action. We get reaction from Jess Shankleman, an energy and environment specialist at Bloomberg. Afghanistan's ex-finance minister has blamed the government's fall on corrupt officials who invented "ghost soldiers" and took payment from the Taliban. We have an in-depth interview with Khalid...


General Electric to split in three

The US conglomerate General Electric is to split into three publicly listed companies. We find out what's behind the move from the BBC's Michelle Fleury in New York. Also in the programme, the aircraft engine maker Rolls Royce has secured funding to develop small modular nuclear reactors, aimed at producing green electricity. Tom Samson is chief executive of Rolls Royce SMR and explains the background, while South African energy analyst Chris Yelland is sceptical. Plus, German media giant...


Tesla shares fall after Elon Musk Twitter poll

Voters in a Twitter poll have urged Elon Musk to sell 10% of his stake in Tesla in order to pay tax. More than 3.5 million Twitter users voted in the poll, with nearly 58% voting in favour of the share sale. The vote could see him dispose of nearly $21bn of stock. Long term Tesla investor, Ross Gerber, President of Gerber Kawasaki Investments tells us what the poll is all about, and what investors like him make of it. Also on the programme, Delta airlines CEO Ed Bastian warns of the...


Biden sets Covid vaccine mandate for businesses

President Biden has set a mandate which says workers at firms with more than 100 employees must be double vaccinated by 4th January. We get reaction from our reporter Michelle Fleury in New York. As more and more of us shop online, many customers are choosing to 'buy now, pay later' with interest free credit options. But is this just tempting young shoppers to get into debt? Ed Butler has a special report. Also in the programme, from COP26 we hear from Jen Jenisch, chief executive of Swiss...


Fed winds up US stimulus package

The Federal Reserve begins its long-anticipated tapering of asset purchases, effectively ending the Covid stimulus package which started more than 18 months ago. The BBC’s Business Correspondent in New York Samira Hussain tells us what it means for the future of the American economy. On the third day of COP26 in Glasgow it’s the turn of the private sector to announce its plans for how to decarbonise the various industries – we talk to Paul Simpson of the Carbon Disclosure Project to find out...


Rich nations agree to fund South Africa's transition from coal

A partnership of developed nations and economies has agreed to give South Africa $8.5bn to help the country transition away from coal-powered energy. Our reporter Vumani Mkhize visits a village on the brink of a coal mine to assess the damage to the country and its people’s health caused by coal mining, and we speak to Mafalda Duarte of Climate Investment Funds, one of the organisations responsible for helping countries swap their coal energy capacity for renewables. Elsewhere at COP26, over...


COP26 kicks off

The 26th annual Conference of Parties, COP26, begins in Glasgow. World leaders met to rally each other into action against catastrophic climate change, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who urged developed economies to financially assist the developing economies to meet their emissions pledges. We speak to Aayushi Awasthy, a PhD scholar in Energy Economics at the University of East Anglia and Rishikesh Ram Bhandary, Assistant Director of the Global Economic Governance Initiative...