Business Daily

Business Daily Podcast

The daily drama of money and work from the BBC.

Kidnap in the Gulf of Guinea
Is there a new piracy crisis afflicting Africa's shipping lanes? And should the merchant ships in the region now be armed? Four men boarded a Turkish-crewed container ship out at sea in the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa on Saturday - they killed a crew member and took 15 hostages. Robert Peters, a senior analyst for west Africa at Ambrey, a company which boasts the largest number of maritime security personnel in ports across the globe, tells Ed Butler what happened. Ed also speaks to Munro Anderson, who wo...

Gorillas, guns and oil
Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is Africa’s oldest and largest wildlife park. Since 1925, it’s been home to some of the last mountain gorillas on earth. But it’s also home to armed militia groups and an ongoing battle for natural resources. The park’s rangers regularly put their lives on the line protecting the precious wildlife and the Congolese communities who live within the park’s boundaries. Two weeks ago, six rangers were killed. Emmanuel De Merode, the park’s director – ...

Covid: Rethinking wealth and fairness
How the Covid pandemic is changing the way we see wealth and economic fairness. The Covid pandemic has not only changed the way we work. It’s also exposed how little we value the kind of work that’s kept economies afloat amid lockdowns. We hear from a panel of guests about how that’s altered our view of the relationship between wealth and fairness - and ask whether it will lead to fundamental change. (Pic of carer with patient via Getty Images)....


Business Weekly
As Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th US president, business owners wondered what the new administration would do for them. We hear from some of them who tell us what they need from the President. We also look back at Donald Trump's economic legacy - will history look kindly upon his jobs and immigration policies? The director of hit Netflix series Lupin tells us why non-English language dramas are in vogue at the moment. Plus, why does honey taste different now compared to 60 years ago? Business Weekly is ...

Biden's $15 minimum wage
The new US president's plan to introduce a $15 minimum wage has sparked debate. Manuela Saragosa speaks to Allynn Umel, campaign director at the Fight for $15 campaign, about why a federal rise in wages is overdue. Jacob Vigdor, professor of public policy and governance at the University of Washington in Seattle, discusses the pros and cons of a wage hike during a pandemic with Jack Kelly, founder of recruitment firm WeCruitr. (Photo: Demonstrators participate in a protest calling for a $15 minimum wage ou...

The practicalities of Brexit
The UK is three weeks out of the European single market and there have already been some teething problems. We hear from wine importer, Daniel Lambert and David Lindars of the British Meat Processors Association. Victoria Prentiss gives the government's view and we cross over to Belgium to hear from flower importer Kaat Baertsoen. Meanwhile, Sally Jones, Brexit lead with the consultants Ernst and Young picks through the fine details of the EU/UK trade deal. (Picture of Scottish seafood lorry by Tolga Akmen...


Joe Biden vs climate change
How the US is set to return to the fight against global warming. Justin Rowlatt speaks to Todd Stern, the US special envoy for climate change under Barack Obama, and to Rache Kyte, dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University in the US, about plans to reverse the environmental policies of the Trump era. Christiana Figueres, who negotiated the Paris Agreement on climate change for the UN, tells us why she's excited by the return of the US to the global stage. (Photo: Wind turbines near Palm Springs, Cali...

Is Covid causing a shortage of medical oxygen?
Amidst rising Covid infection levels, we're looking at one alarming threat to health services from Brazil to Egypt - a lack of medical oxygen. Hospitals have been reporting running out altogether, with some critical care patients dying as a result. Where does medical oxygen come from and what is the problem with its supply? Ed Butler hears from Mike Grocott, professor of anaesthesia and critical care at the University of Southampton, as well as gas industry consultant John Raquet. Also in the programme, Pak...

When will a Covid-19 vaccine be available to you?
Covid-19 vaccine rollouts across the world demonstrate huge global health inequalities. Many countries in the global south are struggling to access one of the vaccines currently available around the world. That's despite a global facility called COVAX, set up under the auspices of the world health organisation, tasked with helping low and middle income countries access vaccines. While rich countries have accumulated extensive supply deals some countries may have to wait until 2022 or later before supplies a...


Business Weekly
It’s been a week in which the US president, Donald Trump, was suspended from his social media accounts and the social network Parler was taken offline. On Business Weekly, we explore the role these companies have in society and whether they facilitate free speech and cohesion, as they claim. Plus, the BBC’s Justin Rowlatt speaks to Tesla founder Elon Musk about money, electric cars and populating other planets. And it probably feels like a lifetime ago that any of us went to a cinema to watch a film, popcor...

Who owns colour?
Scientists, artists and some of the world’s biggest companies are carving up the visual spectrum, and claiming certain colours as their own, so who does have a right to use the colours of the rainbow? We explore the ongoing rift over the worlds “blackest black” Vantablack, which was created by engineering firm Surrey Nanosystems, and can only be used by the artist Anish Kapoor. Contemporary British artist Stuart Semple argues that creativity should not be limited by commercial agreements, while Surrey Nanos...

Trump: The corporate backlash
Will it last and why have stock markets been shrugging off political developments? A slew of companies have cut off all funding to political parties in the wake of Trump-supporting mobs storming Capitol Hill after the President and other Republican politicians claimed the US election had been stolen. The list of firms who’ve halted funding through their political action committees - or PACs as they’re known - is long. JP Morgan Chase, Citigorup, Facebook, Microsoft, American Express, Morgan Stanley, the che...


Should Trump be banned from social media?
President Trump's ban from various social media raises the question of their regulation. Are they right to ban him, and what are the implications? We ask Nancy Mace, a newly elected Republican representative of South Carolina. Cory Doctorow, blogger, author and activist in favour of liberalising copyright laws, says that Apple and Google can't blame inadequate moderation for their banning of social network Parler on their platforms. And we hear from Professor Shoshana Zuboff, author of a book The age of sur...

Forced labour in supply chains
China is forcing hundreds of thousands of Uighurs and other minorities into hard, manual labour in the vast cotton fields of its western region of Xinjiang, according to BBC reports. As a result, apparel companies are facing mounting pressure to withdraw from economic ties with the region, and certainly to stop buying cotton from there. Chloe Cranston of UK-based Anti-Slavery International lays out the case for why companies need to avoid Xinjiang. But as we’ll hear from Andrew Morgan of veteran thread supp...

Choosing a career: Don't follow your passion?
When it comes to choosing a career, should you do what you love or learn to love whatever you do? A clip of Professor Scott Galloway of NYU Stern Business School saying "don't follow your passion" recently went viral. He tells us why you're better off finding something you're good at - and getting very good at it. Someone who did just that is Farid Gasanov. Instead of becoming a professional pianist and composer, he chose accountancy. But he now has his own firm and has time to compose pieces, and play them...


Business Weekly
In the week when a mob stormed the US Congress, Business Weekly examines the enormous task now facing President-elect Joe Biden. How will he unite the country and how will the new balance of power in Congress affect his economic agenda? Mr Biden’s campaign slogan was “Build Back Better” - we’ll ask whether the world will rise to the task of creating more equal societies once the pandemic is over. Nobel Prize winner Sir Angus Deaton says it’s possible. We’ll also get the secret to a good night’s sleep and h...

What makes Elon Musk tick?
Elon Musk, the space pioneer and electric car guru, now ranks as one of the world's richest men, thanks to a surge in the value of shares in his company Tesla. In an interview from 2014, he tells the BBC's chief environment correspondent Justin Rowlatt what drives him to take on some of the world's most technologically challenging projects, and how he feels about the wealth he's accumulated over the years....

Can the Democrats make economic change?
The Democrats and President-elect Biden have won control of the US Congress after results came in from two elections in Georgia. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff defeated Republican incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue respectively. Mr Biden will have a much better chance now of pushing through his legislative agenda. We'll hear from former President Obama's top economic adviser Jason Furman, about how this might shape the country's economic future, while Chris Low of FHN Financial in New York gives us ...


Predicting the future of retail
With much of the world going back into stringent lockdowns and people warned away, or even outright banned, from physical stores and malls, some observers are suggesting this might be the moment online retail takes the dominant position. Others, however, say this is just the last of a long line of challenges for high street retail, and they’re not giving up without a fight. We’ll hear from branding consultant and futurist Karinna Nobbs as well as the self-styled “Retail Prophet” Doug Stephens. (Image credi...

“Remote working” in the Indian Ocean
Pip Hare is currently sailing solo round the world in the Vendee Globe race, one of only a handful of women to attempt it. She speaks to the BBC’s Zoe Kleinman from the middle of the Indian Ocean, while preparing for a storm. We’ll hear about coping with isolation, the challenges of sleeping in 30 minute bursts, and why Pip was so committed to her teenage dream of becoming a professional sailor. (Picture credit: Pip Hare)...

Thinking global, acting local
Lessons in rethinking the climate emergency from Sierra Leone and the US. We hear from mayor of Freetown Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr on her plans to plant a million trees, and make climate change relevant to the citizens of the rapidly urbanising capital city. Harvard’s Rebecca Henderson argues that capitalism can provide at least part of the solution, and companies need to price in climate damage, making them financially accountable. (Image credit: Getty Images)...


Business Weekly
The UK has given the green light to the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid19 vaccine. It’s cheaper and easier to store than some of the alternatives - and the hope is that will make it easier to distribute globally. However, there are worries that production capacity and an unwillingness to share intellectual data might mean the poorest in the world won’t get the immunisation. We speak to Anna Marriott of Oxfam. Also on the show we’ll be mulling over the Brexit deal. We get the view from businesses both sides of the ...

UK completes separation from European Union
A new era has begun for the United Kingdom after it completed its formal separation from the European Union. The UK stopped following EU rules, as replacement arrangements for travel, trade, immigration and security co-operation came into force. On today's programme, we'll hear how we got to this point with Marie Keyworth, and then Vivienne Nunis will tell us what's happening today. Then, Dr Anna Jerzewska, Director of the trade consultancy Trade and Borders and Allie Renison with the Institute of Directors...

Millennial money management
What are the realities and responsibilities of young people when it comes to financial planning in a pandemic? Elizabeth Hotson talks to millennials who are trying to manage their money in one of the toughest economic periods since the financial crisis. We hear from Gaby Dunn, host of the Bad with Money podcast; journalist Ebony-Renee Baker who’s planning for herself and her family and Nick Hatter, a life coach who says younger people are far more fiscally responsible than they’re given credit for. (Picture...


Casual dining in a pandemic
Necessity is the mother of invention and Elizabeth Hotson finds out how restaurants and other food outlets - some of the most obvious casualties of the pandemic - have adapted to survive in 2020. We hear from Michael Ward, managing director of Harrods department store on how it’s looking to a domestic clientele to make up for the lack of overseas tourists, whilst JP Then, co-founder of Crosstown Doughnuts tells us how companies are incentivising their workers with his sweet treats. Briony Raven, Pret’s UK ...

Lockdown lunches
How have our eating habits changed during a year when lockdowns have seen more of us cooking from home and fewer of us sharing meals out with colleagues? And can Zoom calls replace the networking coffee or dinner? Elizabeth Hotson speaks to one-time office workers for whom eating out was just part and parcel of life. Justin Urqhuart-Stuart, co-founder of Regionally casts doubt on the ability of remote working to replicate a true deal-making environment and Dominic Allport, an insight director at the NPD gro...

What’s next for China?
China is bucking a global trend and its economy is growing again. We hear from Wuhan and Shanghai, where restrictions have been lifted and companies are back in business. But the scars left by Covid-19 are still evident. We’ll also ask how ready China is for the challenges of 2021. The world’s second biggest economy is spending huge amounts on green technologies and clean power. Presenter Fergus Nicoll talks to Dr Sha Yu, Co-Director of the China Programme at the University of Maryland’s Centre for Global S...


Business Weekly
This week the roads running to the ports in the South East of England turned into a lorry park when continental Europe blocked arrivals from the UK– so Business Weekly takes look at trade and the travails of the global shipping industry. How has this vital sector fared during the pandemic? As France bans discrimination against regional accents we’ll ask whether the way you talk really affects your job pospects. The Chief Executive of the Royal Albert Hall tells us how this historical London venue is coping ...

Will cities ever be the same?
This year has seen our cities coming under pressure as they struggled to withstand the impact of the coronavirus. City centres were deserted as shops shut and people stayed away. But in some city streets there was a new community spirit as people faced the pandemic together and supported neighbours they'd never met before. In this programme, Tamasin Ford investigates what the future could be for our cities, and asks how they need to change if they are to survive, and even flourish. We hear from architect Si...

Brexit talks continue ahead of likely deal
Talks between the UK and the EU on a post-Brexit trade agreement continued during the night, but a deal is expected to be unveiled on Thursday. Negotiators in Brussels are said to be trying to finalise details on fishing quotas, which have proved an obstacle to an agreement during months of talks. On the programme we'll hear from Sally Jones, Brexit lead at Ernst and Young, Charles Grant at the Centre for European Reform, as well as the BBC's Political Correspondent Rob Watson. (Picture credit: Reuters)...


Cargo shipping in the pandemic
How the shipping industry has fared in 2020. Ed Butler speaks to Lars Jensen from SeaIntelligence Consulting about the ups and downs of the shipping industry during the pandemic, in a year that has seen a collapse in economic activity, but a boom in online shopping. And Bridget Rosewell, commissioner for the independent National Infrastructure Commission in the UK, explains why disruption to supply chains could cause businesses to rethink the way they ship goods around the world. (Photo: A cargo ship is u...

Has the time come for a 4-day working week?
Unilever in New Zealand is the latest firm to trial a 4-day week without cutting pay. Manuela Saragosa speaks to Paddy Gamble, the CEO of Perpetual Guardian which manages trusts, wills and estate planning. A couple of years ago they put their 240 staff on a four-day week but paid them for five. He says productivity has gone up since they introduced it. Charlotte Lockhart runs a global campaign for a 4-day week and she says its easy to do and its doesn't cost very much. But Marc Effron, president of The Tal...

Selling Christmas in 2020
How do brands strike the right tone in their Christmas adverts when many consumers have taken a financial hit? Elizabeth Hotson goes on an advertising odyssey and talks to Sarah Traverso, Group Director of Integrated Marketing and Content for Coca-Cola in the US, a company so central to Christmas advertising that some think Coca Cola invented Santa Claus. A myth quickly debunked by Ann Christine Diaz, the creativity editor at Advertising Age. What is the secret behind a successful Christmas campaign? A ques...


Business Weekly
On Business Weekly this week, we examine the potential big trouble for Big Tech. Regulatory bodies around the world are looking to tighten the rules that govern the digital world. Concerned by issues relating to both the web content and the business conduct of some of the big technology companies, legislators from the US to the EU are trying to re-write the digital laws. We look at what this could mean in practice for Silicon Valley. We also look at dry ice – how it works and the important role it will carr...

Cannabis in the USA: An illegal tax-paying business
America’s cannabis industry is worth tens of billions of dollar and it generates tax revenues and jobs. But it is barred from accessing most financial services. This is because, while legal in an increasing number US states, cannabis remains illegal at a federal level. We hear what it’s like running a cannabis business from Ken Churchill of the West Coast Cannabis Club in California. Emily Dufton, author of Grass Roots: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Marijuana in America, explains how the US went from "Just ...

The monopoly case against Facebook
Why US regulators want to break up the social media giant. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and dozens of US states are arguing that Facebook is a monopoly that harms consumers. Ed Butler speaks to tech and anti-trust researcher Dina Srinivasan about why data privacy is at the centre of the arguments over Facebook's monopoly power. Former FTC chairman Bill Kovacic explains why breaking up the social media giant is still a distant possibility. And the BBC's technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones dis...


Meeting in the virtual world
Could virtual offices provide an alternative to endless Zoom calls? Ed Bulter speaks to Jeremy Bailenson, director of Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab, about the phenomenon of 'Zoom fatigue', and why virtual reality could provide a solution. Phillip Wang, CEO of the startup Gather, shows us round his virtual office platform that combines video conferencing with old-school video game graphics. Ed tries out a meeting in virtual reality with Anand Agarawala, CEO of the VR platform Spatial. A...

Trusting the algorithm
Artificial intelligence is increasingly part of our daily lives - in health, in transport, entertainment and much more - but how many of us actually trust the algorithms that drive it? Rolls-Royce says it’s now developed a system, called the Aletheia framework, that gives IT engineers in any sector a way of testing whether their AI systems are making decisions that are safe and trustworthy. The aerospace company says it's making the framework available for free to all. Manuela Saragosa speaks to Caroline Go...

Still no Brexit trade deal
Negotiators from the UK and EU are to begin a new push to reach agreement on post-Brexit trade after both sides agreed "to go the extra mile". A UK source said the "process still has some legs" but Boris Johnson has warned a no-deal is the "most likely" outcome. Sophie Pornschlegel, a senior policy analyst at the European Policy Centre, explains how much room there may be in Brussels' position, while the BBC's Rob Watson talks through what will be needed to get any deal over the line in the UK parliament be...


Business Weekly
On this edition of Business Weekly, we ask whether Covid vaccines are the shot in the arm the pharmaceutical industry needs to rescue its reputation? Plus, as the world looks ahead to life after the pandemic will our transportation systems be there to help us get around? There’s a financial crisis in New York’s mass transit system. What does that mean for the city it supports? Airbnb finally packs it bags and heads to the stock market. The holiday accommodation company’s shares boomed on its first day of tr...

Can post-Brexit Britain ban live animal exports?
Britain is looking to ban the export of live animals for slaughter and fattening after its existing trade arrangement with the European Union lapse at the end of this year. Natasha Smith of Compassion in World Farming, who have campaigned on this for decades, explains why they’re against the practice. Meanwhile UK minister Craig Mackinlay says leaving the EU’s trade rules after Brexit is key to getting the ban implemented. But will the ban run afoul of WTO free trade rules? Emily Rees of consultancy Trade ...

Brexit: 'Large gaps' remain after trade talks
Boris Johnson's dinner with EU chief Ursula von der Leyen - aimed at breaking the Brexit trade deadlock - has ended without agreement. The BBC's Laura Kuenssberg said the evening had "plainly gone badly" and the chances of the UK leaving the post-Brexit transition period at the end of the year without a firm arrangement was a "big step closer". What would that mean for the UK, and the rest of the world? Joining the programme live will be BBC World Service political correspondent Rob Watson, and Dr Anna Jerz...


Big Pharma: Vaccine Heroes or Profiteers?
A UK grandmother became the world’s first recipient of the Pfizer Covid vaccine this week. What does this mean for the pharmaceutical industry? This could be seen as a moment of victory for the industry, which has received a lot of bad press in the last few years. But the prices set by the vaccine makers could also provoke accusations of profiteering. We’ll hear from former Pfizer executive John Lamattina, Thomas Cueni of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers, Tahir Amin of the Initia...

Is Boeing's 737 Max fit to fly?
It was grounded worldwide after two tragic accidents. Now, regulators in the US have given it permission to fly again – but will it really be safe? Theo Leggett speaks to Mark Pegram whose son Sam was killed aboard the flight which crashed after take-off from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in March last year. He also spoke to Ed Pierson, a former senior manager on the 737 production line at Boeing’s Renton factory, just outside Seattle, who gave testimony to the House of Representatives saying how months...

The end of the line for commuters?
How passenger fears and remote working are prompting a crisis in public transport. Manuela Saragosa speaks to Pat Foye, chairman of New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is facing a multi-billion-dollar hole in its finances. Mohamed Mezghani, secretary general of the International Association of Public Transport, describes the challenge of getting commuters back onto trains and subways. Nicole Gelinas, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, explains why transport systems like New York's...


Business Weekly
On this edition of Business Weekly, we analyse the court battle between Shell and the environmental groups which claim the oil giant remains too focused on fossil fuels. We look at a different approach to tackle deforestation, and hear how an economic argument could help the Amazon rainforest. We also get an expert view on floundering UK clothing stores, doubly hit by the pandemic and our changing shopping habits. Could in-store cafes and leisure concessions be just the therapy the retail industry needs? We...

The rise and rise of Instagram
Sarah Frier, author of No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram, talks about the corporate drama behind the app. The photo sharing app Instagram has transformed business, culture and even our everyday lives. Manuela Saragosa finds out why Instagram sold out to Facebook, and how Kevin Systrom (one of the founders of Instagram) found his values soon collided with those of Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. (Picture credit: Getty Creative)...

Is the Hyperloop coming of age?
In November Virgin Hyperloop trialled its first ever journey with passengers, in the desert of Nevada. The futuristic transport concept involves pods inside vacuum tubes carrying passengers at high speeds. So with this proof of concept, are certified Hyperloop transport systems on the horizon? On today’s programme, we’ll hear from Mars Geuze, Chief Commercial Officer of Hardt Hyperloop, who have raised $10m to develop the technology in Europe, as well as Bibop Gresta, founder of Hyperloop Italia, who hints ...


Are we giving suits the boot?
Is the era of the suited office worker at an end? Is the era of the suited office worker at an end?With so many people working from home because of the pandemic, there is far less demand for formal work attire. This is impacting those that make it all over the world, as we learn from Richard Anderson, a tailor on Savile Row - the street in London synonymous with suits - and Raja Fashions in Hong Kong, whose tailors usually travel the globe fitting their clients. We hear that while some office workers can't ...

The EU's latest row
A showdown looms between Hungary and Poland and the rest of the EU over the bloc's latest budget, which includes a Covid economic recovery fund worth nearly $900bn. Hungary and Poland blocked approval of the budget earlier in the month over a clause that ties funding with adherence to the rule of law in the bloc, something both countries have been accused of undermining. With the fate of businesses and livelihoods hanging in the balance, the two sides will meet in mid-December at a summit to discuss how the...

Saving the Amazon rainforest with economics
Economics has a solution to halt rapid deforestation but can it be implemented? This year has seen some of the worst-ever fires destroy vast tracts of the Amazon rainforest as land there is cleared for farming. We hear how the field of economics may have come up with a solution to halt the Amazon’s rate of deforestation - and what’s needed to set that in motion. Manuela Saragosa speaks to Michael Greenstone, Professor of economics at the University of Chicago and to Professor Luciana Gatti, a researcher at ...


Business Weekly
On this edition of Business Weekly, we look at the third Covid vaccine and ask whether the jabs will be the shot in the arm the global economy needs. We hear the story of a 30-year old man evicted by his parents from the family home after he didn’t pay towards his upkeep. But we also ask what happens when parents rely on their children for money. Plus, we hear from the musicians who want more money when we stream their songs. Business Weekly is presented by Lucy Burton and produced by Matthew Davies....

Preppers: Apocalypse, now
How prepping or survivalism has gone mainstream, with Silicon Valley leading the way. Tech entrepreneur Julie Fredrickson tells Manuela Saragosa how she became a prepper after the electricity went out for days in New York after hurricane Sandy hit back in 2012. She also speaks to serial entrepreneur John Ramey, founder of an online community called The Prepared who told her it's the failure of our institutions that has led so many more people to become preppers. And to Bradley Garratt, a social geographer ...

The fight for compensation
Are NFL players being denied compensation because of racial-norming? Thousands of former American footballers claim they suffered brain injury as players, but are being denied compensation on racial grounds. Ed Butler speaks to Roxanne Gordon, the wife of Amon Gordon, once of the Cleveland Browns, who is one of hundreds of ex-players now claiming compensation from the NFL for brain injury sustained on the field of play. She says that race-norming was used in the testing of his concussion settlement. New Yor...


What it takes to vaccinate the world
With Covid-19 vaccinations preparing to roll out, how do we make sure everyone gets it? John Johnson, a vaccine programme co-ordinator for Doctors without Borders, outlines just how much is involved in getting vaccines, by truck, motorbike and even foot, to every town and village in the developing world. The Covid-19 vaccine, like others, needs to be transported below a certain temperature, adding an extra layer of complexity, as Toby Peters from the University of Birmingham explains. But David Elliot, of D...

Rich countries line up for Covid-19 vaccine
After Pfizer and Moderna vaccines earlier in the month, a third arrives from the University of Oxford. The question now becomes when the vaccines will be distributed and to whom. We’ll hear from Bruce Y Lee, professor at CUNY Graduate School of Public Health, about just how daunting a task a global inoculation programme will be. Meanwhile, Alex de Jonquieres, the head of the Vaccine Alliance Gavi, explains how they’re trying to make sure every country can afford enough of the vaccine to protect their countr...

What children owe their parents
Is it up to children to support their parents financially? Manuela Saragosa hears from Lamees Wajahat in Canada, who has been supporting her parents to pay the bills since she had her first part-time job. But is it the duty of the family, or the state to provide? Manuela speaks to Professor Sarah Harper of Oxford University, who argues that opportunities for younger generations are better than ever before, and that family obligations have always been a part of life. (Pic of piggy bank via Getty Images)....


Business Weekly
In this edition of Business Weekly, we look at Britain’s drive to go green, and how effective the proposed ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars might be. The Chief Operating Officer of the electric vehicle maker Polestar tells us what help the automotive industry needs from the government to persuade people to buy electric. Plus, we meet the first British Royal Air Force officer to openly transition from male to female and chat to her about transgender rights in the workplace. We also look at the digi...

How Africa's economies are withstanding Coronavirus
Many African countries have been praised for waging effective campaigns against coronavirus, and the region has a relatively low case count compared to Europe and the US. African economies have likewise been hit less hard, and Amandla Ooko-Ombaka of McKinsey and Company explains how a mix of a youthful population, hot climate and swift government response helped many of these economies stay resilient. But Lisa Owino, of the Kenyan human rights organisation KELIN, says in some cases government intervention o...

Can Fintech fuel Africa’s Covid recovery?
2019 was a landmark year for investment into digital financial services, or Fintech, across Africa. Despite the pandemic, the Fintech scene is not only still thriving; it’s poised to play a key role in Africa’s economic recovery. Uzoma Dozie, the head of Nigerian startup Sparkle, says with Covid limiting our ability to handle cash, the cashless revolution in Africa is moving along rapidly. But Viola Llewellyn, president of Ovamba Solutions, which helps finance small businesses across Africa, says some secto...


Your digital legacy
The companies managing your online life after death. Ed Butler speaks to Tom Ainsworth, CEO of Memories, an online memorial service that provides messages from beyond the grave, and to Rikard Steiber, founder of startup GoodTrust, which aims to help people take control of their digital legacies. Pyschologist Dr Elaine Kasket discusses the phenomenon of online death in the age of the pandemic, and why online legacies may be less permanent than we think. (Photo: A funeral is livestreamed in Austria earlier ...

Varoufakis: My alternative to capitalism
With Covid rampaging and many economies on life-support, some say we need to look beyond capitalism. A blue-sky thinker, the outspoken former Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, gives his thoughts on a radical alternative to standard market economics, including making all employees shareholders in corporations. And Miatta Fahnbulleh, chief executive of the New Economics Foundation, imagines how this might ever be seriously attempted in practice....

The Pink Frontline
A lack of legal protection in many parts of the world leaves many transgender employees vulnerable. Few countries offer legal protection against discrimination of transgender people. This week is transgender awareness week - what role do companies play in the rights of transgender people? Manuela Saragosa speaks to Caroline Paige, joint chief executive of a UK pressure group called Fighting with Pride. In 1999 she became the first transgender officer to transition openly while serving in the UK Armed Forces...


Business Weekly
Excitement and hope this week as the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said it believed that its Covid-19 vaccine is 90% effective. On this edition of Business Weekly we’ll look at the logistical challenges of rolling it out. How will it be transported? Who will get access to it - and how much will it cost? Also at a high level climate change conference in London our correspondent chats to chief executives who say capitalism can help the planet - but will they put their money where their mouth is? Plus, what, if ...

The problem with polling
Is the polling industry the real loser in the American presidential elections? Pollsters have come in for criticism that they misjudged President-elect Biden’s support, and did even worse in the state senate elections. Andrew Gelman, professor of statistics and political science at Columbia University explains why some of the errors were made. Zeynep Tufekci, associate professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, argues that polling can have a distorting effect on democracy itself, changing h...

Does 'Green Finance' offer a solution to climate change?
Ahead of the 2021 Climate Change Conference, big names in the world of finance are banding together to create ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With new improved carbon offset markets, monitoring and standardisation of emissions goals and an emphasis on channelling capital to projects based on renewable energy, evangelists of so-called 'Green Finance' believe capitalism can reinvent itself to the benefit of the planet. Rhian-Mari Thomas, chief executive of the Green Finance Institute and convenor of ...


Ukraine’s fight against corruption
Ukraine is in the midst of a constitutional crisis. The President Volodymyr Zelensky says the judiciary are blocking anti-corruption reform. The top judges won't budge and can't be sacked. So what do we know about the President's reform credentials? In this episode, we hear from the former central bank governor Valeria Gontareva who says she’s been a victim of a campaign of harassment that has left her fearing for her life, ever since she introduced anti-corruption reforms. Former economy minister Tymofiy ...

The 'milestone' vaccine is already having an effect
Stock markets have rocketed on hopes of a Covid-19 vaccine breakthrough. The BBC's Business Editor Simon Jack explains who the winners and losers have been on the markets so far, and what this could mean for future stimulus packages and inflation. The drugmakers responsible for the vaccine claim it can prevent more than 90% of people from getting Covid-19. We'll hear from Mikael Dolsten, Global Research Chief for one of the drugmakers Pfizer. And epidemiologist Peter Horby of the University of Oxford expres...

US Elections: How will Biden approach the economy?
US President-elect Joe Biden is to make tackling the coronavirus pandemic his top priority following his win over Donald Trump, his team says. Larry Summers, former director of the National Economic Council under President Obama says the country can’t have a healthy economy without a healthy population. But before the President-elect can get to work, he and his team have a slew of legal challenges from President Trump to fend off. Barry Richard, veteran Florida lawyer who represented then candidate George ...


Business Weekly
After a nail-biting week, the Oval Office is within Joe Biden’s grasp - on this edition of business weekly we’ll ask what this means for US economic policy. We’ll find out why the markets rallied and ask a former climate negotiator what a Biden presidency could mean for the environment. We’ll also hear from the sailors stuck at sea thanks to covid restrictions. There are concerns that that the plight of the 400,000 sailors unable to go ashore and home could become a humanitarian catastrophe. Plus, we take a...

Uber and Lyft's big win
When they cast their votes for US president, Californians also approved a change to the law allowing gig economy companies like Uber and Lyft to keep treating their drivers as contractors, not employees. The move could have major consequences for the gig economy. Manuela Saragosa speaks to Geoff Vetter from the Yes to 22 campaign, which fought for the law change, and to Veena Dubal, law professor at the University of California, who argues the vote is a disaster for workers' rights. Dave Lee, Silicon Valley...

What does this all mean for the US economy?
Vote counting continues in a handful of key battleground states which will determine the outcome of the US presidential election. Democratic candidate Joe Biden has been projected to win Michigan and Wisconsin. He also holds narrow leads in Nevada and Arizona. If he's able to hang on in all these states as final votes are counted, Mr Biden will be almost certain to win. We take a look at what this means for the US economy. International economics policy analyst Pippa Malmgren joins the show to get us up to...


The billionaires' pandemic
The world's richest people have become even richer this year, despite an economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Manuela Saragosa speaks to John Matthews, chairman of private jet company AirX, about the surprising resiliance of the private aviation industry despite global travel restrictions. Chuck Collins from the Institute for Policy Studies - a think tank in Washington DC - explains how the richest people in the world have added to their wealth in the pandemic, and what it reveals about i...

Lessons from the homeless
Manuela Saragosa finds out what happened when fifty homeless people were gifted thousands of dollars each. The gifts were part of a social project in Canada and the results were unveiled this month. The results were described as ‘beautifully surprising’ by the project’s leaders. (Pic of pregnant homeless woman on the corner of a busy street in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada by Creative Touch Imaging Ltd via Getty Images)....

Business Weekly
The new Japanese prime minister has pledged to make his country carbon neutral by 2050. On this edition of Business Weekly we ask how he’s planning to do it. We also take a closer look at nuclear energy to find out whether mass production of smaller reactors could be the way forward for the industry. And what can be done to get more medical grade oxygen to the countries that desperately need it? Plus, as the coronavirus pandemic forces Hollywood to delay the release of big budget movies, how are cinemas bei...


What do parents owe adult children?
We speak to those who argue parents should give their children money long into adulthood - and others who say the whole of society should be responsible, not just parents. Raphael Samuel is a 28 year old businessman in India who tried to sue his parents for giving birth to him - without his consent. An Indian court threw out the case on grounds of absurdity, but Raphael isn’t giving up. He’s now filed a case demanding that all parents prove - before they give birth - that they have the ability to give the...

How Dharavi coped with coronavirus
Has one the biggest slums in India escaped the worst of Covid-19? Dharavi is one of the biggest slums in India, if not the whole of Asia. Ed Butler hears from Dharavi residents about life in the slums back in April, and now. Radhika Kapoor, a Delhi economist who's been focussed on the Government response to the crisis, says efforts to protect ordinary workers have been very limited. But the Government rejects that argument. Sanjeev Sanyal, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's chief economic advisor, says the ...

The nuclear industry dreams small
Could the future of nuclear power be the mass production of cheap small modular reactors? Justin Rowlatt visits a UK-based consortium led by Rolls Royce that is trying to develop these factory-produced miniature power stations. But how much funding does their chief executive Tom Samson think they need from the UK government to get started, and how long will it take them to deliver their first reactor? Nuclear power has long had its sceptics. Greenpeace chief scientist Doug Parr explains why they continue ...


Cinemas: Open, but nothing to show
Delays to Hollywood blockbusters are prompting a crisis in the cinema industry. Movie studios are putting their biggest releases on hold while the pandemic is still affecting audience numbers. Mooky Greidinger, boss of cinema giant Cineworld, tells us why this has forced him to close all his screens in the UK and US. Shawn Robbins, senior analyst at BoxOffice Pro, explains why the global success of Christopher Nolan's Tenet wasn't enough to convince the studios to take the risk. And Penn Ketchum, founder o...

How to spot fake news
A former CIA analyst shares her tips on separating what’s true from what’s false. There’s been a lot of nervousness about the role of social media in the run up to next week’s US presidential elections with concerns over voting interference and disinformation campaigns from foreign actors. Cindy Otis was an analyst at the CIA for ten years and her job was to filter through information and weed out fake and misleading news. She has now written a book aimed at young adults called True or False: A CIA Analyst'...

Business Weekly
How successful has President Trump's America First policy been? On Business Weekly we assess the legacy of his first term and ask what the world wants from the next resident of the White House. We take a look at how effective Covid-19 tracing apps are in tracking and stopping the spread of the disease. Could technology like this be the silver bullet the world is waiting for? As the Hindu festival of Durga Puja begins, we consider how those businesses that rely on the celebrations for the income will cope th...


Why BP is betting against oil
Is the fossil fuel industry being too complacent about the speed at which renewable energy will disrupt their business in the next three decades? That's the contention of Spencer Dale, chief economist at BP. In an extended interview with Justin Rowlatt, he explains the thinking behind his company's plan to cut its own oil and gas production by 40% before the end of this decade. And it's not just about heading off the threat of catastrophic climate change. As Spencer explains, even in their business-as-usu...

Contact tracing apps: Worth the hype?
Why contact tracing technology has been slow to make an impact. Ed Butler speaks to Jenny Wanger from the Linux Foundation Public Health in the US where many states are only now rolling out contact tracing apps, months after many countries around the world. We hear from Colm Harte, technical director at NearForm, the company behind Ireland's app, which has been downloaded by about a quarter of the population. Chan Cheow Hoe, the chief digital technology officer for the Singapore government, talks about the ...

Google hit by competition lawsuit
The US government has filed charges against Google, accusing the company of violating competition law to preserve its monopoly over internet searches and online advertising. As the Department of Justice sues the search engine google for being a monopoly, could all tech giants be under threat? We hear from Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google and Jack Poulsen, a software engineer and former Google employee. We also get the view of Sally Hubbard, a former New York anti-trust attorney and current director of...


Trading with the USA
When President Trump came to power in 2016 he vowed he would scrap the international trade agreements he believed had cost a huge number of US jobs, and declared his intent to tip the trade balance back in America's favour. He wanted to take on China and what he saw as its dominance in the global marketplace. How has this 'America First' policy worked out in the ensuing four years, and what has it meant for the US's trading partners? As part of our look at the US elections 2020: and What the World Want...

Biotech: Guilt-free palm oil?
A commodity associated with the destruction of tropical rainforest in South East Asia may soon have a synthetic replacement. But can it match palm oil's magic properties? Will consumers accept it in their food? And what will it mean for the farmers whose livelihoods depend on palm oil plantations? Manuela Saragosa speaks to Shara Ticku, co-founder of the biotech firm C16 Biosciences, which is pioneering the new plantation-free product, as well as Anita Neville of Indonesia's largest privately owned palm o...

Business Weekly
Golden passports and cash for citizenship - a legitimate way to for countries to get investment or a scheme open to abuse and corruption? That’s the big question we’ll be looking at on this episode of Business Weekly. We look at why the wealthy want to acquire them. We also hear from Cyprus where a passport corruption scandal has rocked the nation. Meanwhile, the winner of this year’s Nobel Prize for Economics tells us about the unusual way in which he discovered he'd won, and of course, about the game theo...


Brexit - ready or not
As talks between the EU and the UK enter their final stretch, what sort of Brexit are businesses preparing for? Manuela Saragosa speaks to Chayenne Wiskerke of the Dutch onion growing company Wiskerke Onions which exports to the UK. She also speaks to Martin Bysh the founder of Huboo, a UK fulfilment company which works mostly with the e-commerce industry and exports all over the world. They tell her how they've been coping with the years of uncertainty around the Brexit negotiations. (Picture credit: Getty...

Africa's animation scene: Ready for takeoff
It’s been a tough year for much of the entertainment industry, with the pandemic causing production to be halted on all but a few projects. Filming bubbles and closed sets have been costly and time consuming. But one sector is booming – animation – especially in Africa. We hear from animators and producers across the continent about why demand for their work has never been higher. Vivienne Nunis speaks to Chris Morgan of Fundi Films, which recently produced the animation series My Better World. She's also j...

Over 50 and out of work
What's it like for older people losing their job during the Covid pandemic? Tamasin Ford speaks to 59 year old lighting crew chief Michael Heggett. He's worked on events like Princess Diana’s funeral, the London’s Olympic games and Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday concert. He had a fantastic career until Covid hit and he lost all his work. He fears he might never be employed again. Patrick Button, an assistant economics professor at Tulane University in the USA says his research shows that older workers are ...


Sexism in African investment
Why do female entrepreneurs in Africa not get the investment capital they need? When women are navigating the male dominated finance and start-up scene in Africa, sexism can be a daily occurence. Efe Ukala is the founder of Impact Her - an organisation to help female entrepreneurs in Africa get access to finance. She says at one meeting she went to she was the only woman in the room and when one man joined them he went round the table to introduce himself to everyone except her. Mélanie Keita is the co-foun...

The future of Hong Kong
Can Hong Kong retain its position as Asia's financial capital? The National Security Law passed in Hong Kong saw violent protests in the middle of 2020. The BBC’s Karishma Vaswani takes us through how businesses have changed the way they work to avoid getting in to trouble with Beijing. Edward Yau, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce says the new law won’t change the basic pillars of Hong Kong’s society, and that it will continue to attract big corporate names to hold on to its place as a key financial hub. ...

Business Weekly
Are big technology companies the modern versions of monopolistic oil barons or simply innovative companies that provide a service to enthusiastic consumers? That's the question we'll be looking at on this edition of Business Weekly as Democratic lawmakers in the US release a report detailing uncompetitive behaviour. We also look at the allegations made by a former Facebook employee who says she feels she has blood on her hands because the company failed to adequately act on political misinformation and prop...


The end of the oil era
How will the energy transition transform geopolitics? Which countries will be the winners and losers? The answers may not be as obvious as you might think - not at least according to Jason Bordoff, a former energy advisor to President Obama, and director of Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy. In a long interview with Manuela Saragosa, he explains why the future may not be so bleak for oil producers, how the transition could be bumpy and last decades, and why even once the world has fina...

The end of the line for cruise ships?
Can the cruise ship industry survive? Once a lucrative market, with giant vessels boasting 100% occupancy, cruises have been all but wiped out since the coronavirus. Manuela Saragosa hears from reporter Vivienne Nunis in Venice. Pre-covid, Venice was the poster city for over-tourism. Cruise ships towered over the city’s fragile, historic buildings, filling the air with their exhaust fumes. Many campaigners wished to see the back of them. The pandemic has granted those campaigners their wish. But it’s come ...

Does big tech need a reboot?
A leading Silicon Valley boss says big tech companies need more empathy and diversity. Maelle Gavet, is a French-born tech entrepreneur with experience in building firms in her native France, India, Russia, South Africa, and now as chief operating officer of online real-estate broker, Compass.Inc. She's been listed as one of the most influential women in US tech. In her new book 'Trampled by Unicorns' she critiques what she sees as the cultural deficits of Silicon Valley and says that these companies cannot...


Is Facebook bad for democracy?
How the social media platform is poisoning politics around the world. A former Facebook employee says she has "blood on my hands" after struggling to contain the misinformation and manipulation conducted through the platform. Azerbaijani journalist Arzu Geybulla describes the coordinated Facebook campaigns against activists and politicians in her country. Berhan Taye, Africa policy manager at digital rights group Access Now, tells us why Facebook isn't doing enough to prevent the spread of hate speech in ...

Is it time to rethink the electricity grid?
Are our century-old grids fit for the era of solar and wind power, or is a completely new kind of electricity transmission needed? Justin Rowlatt looks at the mess in California, where President Trump has blamed rolling blackouts on the state's rush to embrace renewable energy. But former regulator Cheryl LaFleur says one big reason is California's poor integration with neighbouring electricity grids. A US government report recommended linking all the nation's grids together, but then the report mysterious...

Business Weekly
This week saw the rather unedifying spectacle of the first 2020 US presidential debate. Did either of the candidates offer solid policies on the economy or the environment? As further investigations shed more light on Donald Trump’s financial affairs we’ll ask why he has been so reluctant to make them public. We’ll also find out why Facebook is threatening to ban all news on its Australian sites and ask whether clubbing can survive during a pandemic. Business Weekly is presented by Lucy Burton and produc...


Final countdown for a Brexit trade deal
Why state aid may be the sticking point for a Brexit trade deal (Image: Two boxing gloves punching each other, one with the UK flag, one with the EU flag. Credit: Getty Images Stock)...

Trump's taxes
What can the New York Times' revelations can tell us about the President's financial affairs? President Trump paid only $750 in tax federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017, and paid none in 10 of the past 15 years. That's according to an investigation by The New York Times earlier this week. The President says its all fake news. He's for years refused to publish his income tax returns. David Cay Johnstone, an investigative journalist and editor with DCReport.org, says the Times revelations show why he's keep...