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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.




A massacre divides America

Protests have been held in Texas after another deadly shooting claimed the lives of more than 20 pupils and teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde. Across the state, in Houston, the NRA - America's largest pro-gun group - is holding its annual meeting. Our first guest on the programme, NPR journalist Andy Uhler, joins us from Texas where divisions appear to be widening. We're also joined by author and expert on Hong Kong affairs Rachel Cartland. After years of seemingly unstoppable...


US outlines strategy to counter Beijing

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has outlined America's strategy to counter what he says is China's threat to the international order. In a major speech, he said the US is not seeking a 'cold war' with Beijing - only to ensure that international rules are followed. We also hear about Russia's central bank's cut to interest rates. Elsewhere, Apple has increased pay for its retail staff amid cost of living increases and a tight labour market. Sam Fenwick is joined by Diane Brady,...


The economics of America's gun culture

Following the fatal mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, we discuss the economics of America's gun culture. The US Vice President, Kamala Harris, is calling for the country to pass "reasonable" gun laws after the attack which left 19 children and two teachers dead. We reflect on the impact of George Floyd's death, two years on from his murder at the hands of police in Minneapolis. We also discuss Pfizer's announcement to sell all of its patented drugs and vaccines at...


Children killed in Texas school shooting

More than a dozen pupils have been killed in a shooting at a school in Texas. It happened at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. The 18-year-old suspect is dead, believed to have been killed by police officers. US President Joe Biden has ordered the US flag to be flown at half-mast until sunset on Saturday 28th May following the mass shooting. Elsewhere, the commodities giant Glencore has agreed to plead guilty to corruption charges in the United States and the UK. It will pay more than $1...


Ukraine takes centre stage in Davos

In three months, conflict in Ukraine has destroyed parts of the country, hurt Russia's economy, and sent shockwaves across the globe. Countries are experiencing never-before-seen inflation, and a critical lack of supplies is forecast to worsen. Then there's the matter of who should pay for the colossal damage inflicted on towns and cities in Ukraine. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, world leaders are trying to solve the problem. A former Ukranian Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko, gives...


Australia goes to the polls

Millions of Australians decide whether or not to vote back in the Conservatives after nine years under the party's rule. BBC's Katie Silver and Australian economist Tim Harcourt tell us more. Rising fuel prices have led food delivery drivers to strike for days in the United Arab Emirates, where industrial action is banned. BBC's Sameer Hashmi explains their struggle from Dubai. Adi Imsirovic from the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies gives us his views on the former German chancellor...


Russia accused of weaponising food in Ukraine war

Vivienne Nunis is joined by Alexander Kaufman from the Huff Post in New York, and Jeanette Rodrigues from Bloomberg in Mumbai. We start with the war in Ukraine and the ripple effects it's having on global food supplies. Plus we look at Indonesia resuming palm oil exports next week - one of the world's most important commodities. The leader of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi again warns that the US will not support a bilateral free trade agreement if the UK does anything to...


Will billions of dollars solve global hunger?

Could tens of billions of dollars stop the world’s poorest going hungry? The World Bank is hoping cash will help those hardest hit by global food shortages. But with Ukraine and other conflicts creating a squeeze on exports of key commodities, the UN is calling for a political solution. A landmark deal in the US means women and men will be paid the same for competing in international football tournaments; and we hear about the man taking American fast food giants to court over the size of...


Elon Musk takes aim at bots

Anonymous, fake accounts online are a nuisance at best, and at worst, a threat to safety and democracy. Elon Musk wants to crack down on them in his planned takeover of Twitter, but says he doesn't trust the platform's own assessment of the problem. We hear from one of his personal friends about what it could mean for the deal. Mass inflation continues to cause problems across the globe, from shortages in shops to job losses for farmers in Asia and beyond. Ahead of the upcoming G7 summit,...


McDonald's pulls out of Russia

The fast food giant McDonald's has ceased its operations in Russia, two months after temporarily closing 850 branches across the country. The company said Russia's 'humanitarian crisis' in Ukraine, as well as unstable market conditions triggered by the conflict, are behind its decision to stop selling hamburgers there. The first McDonald's in Russia was opened in Moscow in 1990, and was widely seen as a symbol of western democracy.


The cryptocurrency collapse

Cryptocurrency markets are being rocked after a popular token lost 99% of its value. We get the latest analysis from Anita Ramaswamy of the TechCrunch website. Oil giant Saudi Aramco has overtaken Apple to become the world's most valuable company. Indrajit Sen of the Middle East Economic Digest in Dubai discusses the significance of the shift. Russian shipping company Sovcomflot is reportedly selling off a third of its fleet to pay off some European debts before an EU sanctions deadline...


US inflation slows for the first time in months

Inflation in the US was up 8.3% in April, down from a growth rate of 8.5% in March, hinting that the peak of inflation could be over. We get analysis from our business correspondent Michelle Fleury in New York. Shanghai is introducing new lockdown measures to try and halt the spread of coronavirus. Don Weinland is China business editor for The Economist, and describes the latest restrictions. Also in the programme, the BBC's Rahul Tandon reports on what happens to a country such as Ukraine...


Overturning Roe v Wade 'devastating' to economy, says Yellen

The US Treasury Secretary has said that overturning Roe v Wade, the landmark case protecting abortion access in the country, would have lasting negative effects on the economy. She was speaking to a Congressional Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs when she made the remarks. We speak to Professor Caitlin Myers, an economist from Middlebury College, Vermont, who specialises in reproductive policies. Staying in the USA, President Biden announced tackling inflation would be his...


Philippines Election: Dictator's son heads for landslide win

Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the son of the country's ruler during most of the 1970s, is heading for a landslide victory in the race to replace the current strongman Rodrigo Duterte. Why did voters flock back to the Marcos family, whose reign in the 20th century was so controversial? We speak to Josh Kurlantzick at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, DC. There's been further unrest on the streets of Colombo as the economic crisis in Sri Lanka grows deeper. The Prime Minister has resigned...


Why has the Nasdaq had its worst day in years?

There are warnings inflation will continue to soar around the world, despite the US and UK increasing interest rates. Stock markets have reacted by falling - the Nasdaq has had its worst day for two years. The Philippines are gearing up for hotly contested elections this weekend - we get analysis from our correspondent in the Philippines, Karishma Vaswami. A special report from Sam Fenwick examines how the war in Ukraine has impacted tourism all around the globe. Rahul Tandon is joined...


US makes biggest interest rate rise for 22 years

The US central bank, the Federal Reserve, has raised interest rates by 0.5% in a bid to combat rising inflation, which is currently running at 8.5%. We get analysis from our north America business correspondent Michelle Fleury. And Mitchell Hartmann of the Marketplace programme on American Public Media asks whether we might see a repeat of the 'wage-price spiral' of the 1980s. The European Union has proposed a ban on imports of Russian oil and refined fuel products. Richard Bronze is head of...


Calls for energy windfall tax grow as BP profits soar

Oil giant BP booked bumper underlying profits despite a big loss on its exit from Russia. We explore whether oil firms are likely to face windfall taxes on their profits, after Italy increased such a tax, with Dr Sandy Hager, a political economist at City, University of London. Leaked documents in the US have suggested the Supreme Court could be heading towards revoking the historic Roe vs Wade judgement from the 1970s that legalised abortion in the country. Just prior to that news and the...


EU divided over how to step away from Russian energy

The EU is attempting to agree on a harmonised approach to the continuing issue of oil and gas imports from Russia. Member states' energy ministers have held an emergency meeting. Suzanne Lynch, a reporter for Politico in Brussels, tells us what was on their agenda. The European Commission has accused Apple of abusing it's market position for contactless smartphone payments. Apple denies the charge and has promised to engage with the Commission. We hear more about the the accusations from the...


Amazon shares fall sharply

Amazon has announced its first loss since 2015 due to slowing sales and rising costs; we hear more from James Clayton, the BBC's North America tech reporter. Economic activity in the US contracted unexpectedly in the first three months of 2022. The Harvard economist Professor Ken Rogoff tells us whether it signals a possible recession. Indonesia is the world's biggest producer of palm oil and it's a staple of cooking there but prices there have soared and that has led to street protests so...


China lockdowns hit global shipping

With global supply chains still reeling in the wake of Covid-19 and the Ukraine war, recent lockdowns in China have compounded the situation. Backlogs have become common place on the USA’s west coast, but how has trade there recovered? We get the latest from Josh Brazil of supply chain specialists project44. Plus, the BBC’s North America Business Correspondent Samira Hussain reports from Michigan on Ford’s iconic F-150 pickup getting a fully electric makeover. After Chinese company DJI, the...