Business Daily

Business Daily

United Kingdom

The daily drama of money and work from the BBC.


The World Held to Ransom?  

From the hacking of the US and French elections, to the WannaCry ransomware attack - we assess cyber threats. Garry Kasparov, the former chess world champion turned Russian opposition political activist, explains the Kremlin's motivation in interfering in other countries' democracies, and what he thinks the West should do about it. Meanwhile cyber-security entrepreneurs James Chappell of Digital Shadows and Poppy Gustafsson of Darktrace explain why they are offering businesses entirely new lines of defence against online infiltration by criminals. And hacking expert Professor Alan Woodward of Surrey University explains what lessons should be drawn from the recent WannaCry attack. (Picture: The screen of a computer infected by ransomware ; Credit: Damian Meyer/AFP/Getty Images)

Industrial Decline and Europe's Left  

With rising inequality, stagnant wages and the disappearance of traditional working class jobs - why are Europe's left-wing parties doing so badly? Edwin Lane reports from Ebbw Vale, a former steel town in Wales where people feel left behind and voted heavily for Brexit. Many working class voters there blame immigration. We hear from Professor Thom Brooks of Durham University - himself an American immigrant living in a strongly pro-Leave part of the UK. Ebbw Vale has for decades been a heartland for Britain's left-wing opposition Labour Party. Yet despite their voters' hardship, many are turning away from the party. It is a pattern replicated in many other former industrial regions of Europe. Presenter Ed Butler speaks to political scientist Simon Hix of the London School of Economics to make sense of this seeming paradox. (Picture: A woman passes a derelict site in Ebbw Vale; Credit: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Rise of the Sex Robots  

Could robots designed for sex and companionship really substitute human relationships? Jane Wakefield visits a sex robot factory in California where creator Matt McMullen introduces his sex robot, Harmony, and explains why his product might help people struggling to form relationships in real life. International robotics expert Noel Sharkey and robot ethicist Kathleen Richardson discuss the ethical questions this new technology throws up, and ask whether we need international rules on how robots are developed and used. (Photo: Sex robot heads being manufactured at the Abyss Creations factory in California, Credit: BBC)

Slaves To The Algorithm?  

Think about that last book or holiday you bought on-line, did you really choose it? Or did software do it for you? Manuela Saragosa explores the extent to which algorithms rule our lives and asks if they are fit for purpose. Author of 'Sensemaking' Christian Madsbjerg, explains why human intelligence is still a vital component in analysing all our data. JP Kloppers explains how his small software firm in Cape Town BrandsEye correctly predicted both the Brexit vote in the UK and the election of Donald Trump where others failed. And director of The Share Foundation, Vladar Joler reveals how companies like Facebook analyse and use the information we give them. (Picture: Data Offbeat Exhibition Somerset House, Credit: Getty Images)

One Belt One Road  

As some 30 heads of state gathered in Beijing on Sunday, is President's Xi's initiative a meaningful bid by China to lead the world economy or just a glorified investment splurge? Presenter Manuela Saragosa gets the views of Linda Yueh. Also in the programme, Rob Young asks whether we should fear technology, while Lucy Kellaway of the Financial Times lays into almost every word of a management job advert. (Picture: Chinese President Xi Jinping makes a toast during the welcoming banquet for the Belt and Road Forum at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing; Credit: Damir Sagolj/Getty Images)

A 'Golden Opportunity' for Somalia?  

Despite drought and an Islamist insurgency, with the election of a new president, is Somalia's beleaguered economy finally set to turn the corner? Abdirashid Duale, head of the remittances company Dahabshiil, tells presenter Manuela Saragosa why the mood at a conference on Somalia in London this week was tinged with optimism. Also in the programme, why are so many of Africa's most innovative companies run by women? Tamasin Ford reports from Ivory Coast on one such fast-growing business, producing intravenous fluid. (Picture: A young boy waits next to his donkey-cart in Baidoa, Somalia; Credit: Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images)

Should Rivers Have Rights?  

The Whanganui in New Zealand and the Ganges in India have both been declared legal persons - but to what end? Presenter Manuela Saragosa asks David Rivers of the campaigning group International Rivers whether it isn't a little odd to give legal rights to a natural resource, and what they hope will come of it. Meanwhile Rahul Tandon reports from India's holiest river, and Nick Thorpe from Europe's Danube, on some of the challenges facing these waterways. (Picture: Maori boat on the Whanganui River; Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Hormones: Vitamin D  

This hormone is vital for strong bones and muscles. But do our indoor work lives mean many of us are not getting the sunlight that our bodies need to produce it? Presenter Justin Rowlatt heads to a hospital in India where Dr Ambrish Mithal explains why vitamin D deficiency - including rickets in children - is still commonplace in such a sunny country. Back in the UK, endocrinologist Maralyn Druce explains why vitamin D is indeed a hormone. Plus the BBC's Laurence Knight reports on one indoor profession where deficiency poses a serious risk of injury - ballet dancing. (Picture: Elisha Willis as Swanilda and Joseph Caley as Franz in the Birmingham Royal Ballet's production of Coppelia; Credit: Andrew Ross/Birmingham Royal Ballet)

Ireland, Brexit and the Border  

How will the imminent departure of the UK from the European Union affect cross-border trade in Ireland? Laurence Knight reports from an island that fears it will be divided once again - this time by customs and immigration controls - as Northern Ireland is pulled out of the EU. Aidan Gough of cross-border government agency InterTradeIreland spells out the uncertainties now facing thousands of businesses that have grown used to a border with no controls at all over the last two decades. Author Garrett Carr describes the nostalgia evoked when he walked the entire length of the border last year, including memories of smuggling - a problem he fears could now return. Laurence also speaks to two businesses either side of the frontier - Peter Richardson of engineering firm McAree in the Irish Republic, and Northern Irish dairy farmer William Irvine - who both hope that the UK and EU can avoid reimposing trade tariffs when they negotiate Brexit over the next two years. (Picture: "Border communities against Brexit" sign by a road leading to the border in County Monaghan, Ireland)

Macron Wins French Presidential Election  

Emmanuel Macron has beaten Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Front party to take the French Presidency. He received over 66% of the vote, but how much real support does he actually have in the country? And how will he tackle France's economic woes? Theo Leggett speaks to Brigitte Granville, Professor of International Economics and Economic Policy at Queen Mary University of London and by Olivier Tonneau, lecturer in modern languages at Homerton College Cambridge and member of the hard-left movement 'La France Insoumise'. They say it's lonely at the top, but what happens when stress turns into burnout? Our regular commentator Lucy Kellaway takes a look at the pitfalls of pressure in the workplace. (Picture: Emmanuel Macron, Credit: Getty Images)

Brexit: A Warning to London  

Goldman Sachs boss Lloyd Blankfein tells the BBC his bank is already contingency planning to relocate staff depending on the terms of the UK's exit deal with the European Union. Presenter Manuela Saragosa asks the BBC's Economics Editor Kamal Ahmed what this means for the efficiency of Europe's financial markets. Plus, with the rise and rise of digital marketing, do we even realise when we are being targeted by adverts? Manuela speaks to Bill Fisher of marketing research company eMarketer, as well as to blogger and "influence marketer" Janice Croze. (Picture: London skyline; Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Mining in Congo: Knee-Deep in Corruption?  

Are gold and other minerals still hotbeds of banditry, theft and bribery in the DR Congo? And is it getting worse as the country's postponed presidential election looms? Presenter Ed Butler hears the allegations of Congolese gold mine owner and presidential candidate Emmanuel Weyi. He also speaks to Sophia Pickles of the NGO Global Witness, who says she has been threatened with arrest because of her work uncovering a guns-for-gold deal in the country. Plus, the BBC's Laurence Knight reports on weaknesses in the systems supposed to control the sourcing of another mineral in Congo - the obscure metal tantalum. (Picture: Man stands in a pool of water in a gold mine in north eastern Congo; Credit: Lionel Healing/AFP/Getty Images)

Hormone: Testosterone  

In the first in a new series of programmes about hormones, Justin Rowlatt asks whether testosterone is responsible for causing stock market bubbles, and for offering false hope to American men of a certain age. Neuroscientist and former Wall St trader John Coates explains why he thinks this chemical may be behind hubris, and particularly the irrational animal spirits of male traders. Endocrinology professor Maralyn Druce of St Bartholomew's Hospital discusses how testosterone puts hair on your chest, and causes all her children - boys and girls - to act up at about the age of eight. Plus researcher Adriane Fugh-Berman retells how she debunked the claims of some US pharmaceutical companies that ageing men could regain their youthful vigour by using testosterone gel. (Picture: The word 'Manly' displayed on the trunks of a member of the Manly Surf Life Saving Club near Sydney, Australia; Credit: Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images)

Could China Shut Down North Korea?  

Military tensions between the United States and North Korea seem to rise on an almost daily basis. But how important are economic factors in putting pressure on the North Korean state? Could China, with its close trading relationship, choose to shut down North Korea - putting pressure on the leadership there? The BBC's Danny Vincent travels to the border between China and North Korea to look at some of the trade passing between the two nations. And Ed Butler talks to Korea Expert Aidan Foster-Carter and asks him whether China could shut down North Korea if it chose to do so? Also, our veteran commentator Lucy Kellaway admits that she does not always learn from experience. (Picture: A North Korean man standing at a border fence next to the Yalu river, opposite the Chinese border city of Dandong. Credit: JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)

Japan's Exploited Foreign Workers  

Japan's workforce is shrinking due to an ageing population and a policy of very low immigration. But though the world's third largest economy needs workers, the government isn't keen on immigration when it comes to filling lower-skilled jobs. A loophole in the rules, however, means every year about 200,000 labourers from overseas go to Japan on its guest worker trainee scheme. Arranged through a network of brokers in countries such as China and Vietnam, workers often find themselves underpaid, and the US State Department categorises the scheme as human trafficking, and points to mass exploitation. Edwin Lane investigates in Tokyo and Gifu, meeting workers from China who are stuck in Japan fighting for their wages, and to lawyers and politicians about what can be done, and asks why Japan is so hesitant to open its borders to more foreigners. (Image: Tokyo's Akihabara district.Credit: Chris McGrath/ Getty Images)

Trump's 100-Day Report Card  

How much has Trump achieved economically at this traditional milestone in a new US president's tenure? And are his supporters still on board the Trump train? In West Virginia - a bastion of Trump support in the elections - Emily Unia meets several unwavering fans, along with a few who are feeling a bit disillusioned. Trump advisor Diana Furchtgott-Roth goes head-to-head with Democrat think tanker Dean Baker over how many promises Mr Trump has reneged on. And the BBC's New York correspondent, Nick Bryant, gives presenter Ed Butler some historic perspective on Trump's performance. (Picture: Donald Trump campaign bumper sticker in the back of a car; Credit: Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Bluefin Tuna: Loved to Death?  

Could Japan's craving for this fish end up wiping out what is a favourite sushi staple? Ed Butler examines a classic case of overfishing, and asks whether fish farming is the answer. Dr David Agnew, science and standards director at the Marine Stewardship Council, explains why it's not just this prized melt-in-the-mouth delicacy that is being hunted towards extinction - around 90% of the world's fish stocks of all species are now fully or overfished. Meanwhile Edwin Lane reports from Japan's Wakayama prefecture where one man is confident he can create a reliable and sustainable bluefin supply. Also in the programme, is China getting fat? We hear from food tech venture capitalist Matilda Ho, who hopes to meet the bloating appetites of the country's 1.3 billion stomachs, whilst delivering a healthy balanced diet. Is the solution to eat worms? (Picture: Bluefin tuna; Credit: Kinda University)

A Basic Income for All?  

Social scientists, technologists, and politicians from across the political spectrum think they have a potential solution to the unemployment that automation and artificial intelligence are expected to create. It's called a universal basic income. And it involves getting the state to pay a fixed sum to all of its citizens, whether or not they have a job. The Canadian province of Ontario has become the latest to announce a trial - for 4,000 households. We hear from Finland where a basic income pilot project is already underway. And Manuela Saragosa talks to Guy Standing, co- founder and co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network - who is advising a number of pilot projects around the world. (Picture: Five pound sterling note, London 2017. Credit: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Machine Learning  

Machines are about to get a lot smarter and machine learning will transform our lives. So says a report by the Royal Society in the UK, a fellowship of many of the world's most eminent scientists. Machine learning is a form of artificial intelligence that's already being used to tag people in photos, to interpret voice commands and to help internet retailers to make recommendations. Manuela Saragosa hears about a new technology that's set to revolutionise computing, developed by a UK company called Graphcore. Manuela talks to Graphcore's chief executive Nigel Toon, who's taking on the AI giants. And Manuela hears how we are 'bleeding data' all the time. Dr Joanna Bryson from the University of Bath and Professor Amanda Chessell, an IBM Distinguished Engineer and Master Inventor, explain how our data is being used. (Picture: A robot pours popcorn from a cooking pot into a bowl at the Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI) of the University of Bremen, Germany. March 2017. Credit: INGO WAGNER/AFP/Getty Images)

French Election: Macron Versus Le Pen  

Centrist Emmanuel Macron will face Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election. Is it now a straight choice between globalism and protectionism? Joe Miller reports from a Macron election party in the French city of Lille, where supporters say the success of their candidate is a success for Europe. Suzanna Streeter discusses Macron's prospects against Le Pen in the final vote in two weeks' time from Paris. And Anna Stupnytska, global economist at fund managers Fidelity International, is in the studio to explain why the financial markets are so happy. Plus regular commentator Lucy Kellaway on why chatting in the office has gone out of fashion. (Photo: Emmanuel Macron, Credit: Getty Images)

Video player is in betaClose