Business Daily

Business Daily

United Kingdom

The daily drama of money and work from the BBC.


What Should Africa's Priorities Be?  

Can the continent seize its "demographic dividend" by investing in its youth, or is it at risk of being sunk by its old nemeses of corruption and collapsing commodity prices? South Africa's economy has ground to a halt as police fight students on the street. Iraj Abedian, chief economist at Pan-African Capital, tells presenter Ed Butler what has gone wrong in his country. Meanwhile the picture across much of the rest of Africa is far rosier than many assume, despite the end of the commodity super-cycle. That's the contention of Donald Kaberuka, former president of the African Development Bank. Also in the programme, Rahul Tandon reports on how the rising tensions between India and Pakistan have spilled over into Bollywood and TV soap operas. (Picture: South African students protest in Pretoria; Credit: Mujahid Safodien/AFP/Getty Images)

Discord on the Currency Markets  

As the British pound wilts and the price of imported guitars in London rises, should we all be fretting about the return of "currency wars"? Presenter Ed Butler speaks to one American hard money man, author Jim Rickards, who claims the world faces financial collapse if it does not return to some kind of gold-backed system. Meanwhile Edwin Lane reports from London's tin pan alley on how the street's musical instrument shops are being hit by the post-Brexit drop in sterling. Plus, mathematician Dr Murray Cantor explains why businesses could do a much better job of managing project time overruns if the managers would just listen to their developers. (Picture: Guitars hang in the Regents Sounds guitar shop on Denmark Street in London; Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A New Crisis in Congo?  

We look at how money could be inspiring a new decent into violence in Africa. The government in the Democratic Republic of Congo has postponed this year's elections by 18 months, saying the voters' register is not ready. The opposition and western donors suspect this is a power-grab by the president, and say it could draw the country into a new conflict. The DRC has already suffered years of war, largely fueled by its lucrative mineral resources. We hear from a government spokesman, an opposition presidential candidate, Emmanuel Weyi, and from Sasha Lezhnev, associate director of Policy at the Enough Project, a US-based atrocity-prevention policy group focused on Central and East Africa. It is publishing the report A Criminal State on the situation in DRC later this week, and believes that corruption within the international trade in minerals is a large factor behind the crisis. Also, Lucy Kellaway of the Financial Times reflects on the corporate addiction to the concept of creativity, something she says is massively over-rated in business. (Photo: Opposition supporter at a rally in Kinshasa. Credit: Eduardo Soteras/AFP/Getty Images)

Drug Resistant Diseases  

Is the growing resistance of many fatal infections to antibiotics and other medicines the biggest threat facing humanity? Presenter Ed Butler speaks to economist Jim O'Neill, who led a review into anti-microbial resistance over the past two years that culminated in a UN resolution last month to tackle the problem. He claims 10 million people a year could be dying from resistant diseases by mid-century. Ed also hears from businessmen hoping to offer some solutions. Don Straus explains how his firm First Light Biosciences is pioneering a way of better diagnosing infections in order to avoid overprescribing antibiotics. Meanwhile Shawn Iadonato of another biotech firm, Kineta, aims to guide the body's own immune system to attack these emerging killer strains. (Picture: A baby receives treatment for malaria in West Papua, Indonesia, where the disease is becoming resistant to anti-malaria medicines; Credit: Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)

US: Angry White Men  

Following the third and final US election debate, we're looking at the economic challenges dividing the candidates. White working class men, for example, are said to be siding with Trump. We hear from our economics correspondent, Andrew Walker, about why some of them are struggling despite an improving jobs market. We also hear from Angus Deaton, a Professor of Economics at Princeton University, about what he thinks the real economic problems are facing blue-collar Americans (it's not globalisation, he says). Also, our regular commentator James Srodes says: don't place too much faith in reports of a strong Clinton lead in the opinion polls. This year's volatile surveys indicate that, more than ever, the pollsters have lost track of the true sentiments of US voters. (Picture: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump at the end of the third presidential debate in Las Vegas; Credit: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

How To Be Uncertain  

These are uncertain times.The US presidential campaign has been divisive, there's disagreement over Brexit, jitters over China's economy and technology is disrupting traditional labour markets. What's the best way to weather all that uncertainty? We get advice from David Tuckett, professor and director of the Centre for the Study of Decision-Making Uncertainty at University College London, who trained in Economics, Medical Sociology and Psychoanalysis. David Spiegelhalter, Winton professor for the Public Understanding of Risk in the Statistical Laboratory, Centre for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge, explains the difference between risk and uncertainty, and Lt Col Steven Gventer of the US Army tells us how soldiers are trained to deal with uncertainty in war. Plus, Will Borrell, founder and owner of Vestal Vodka and the owner of the Ladies & Gents bar in London, recalls how his customers reacted on the evening after the UK voted to leave the European Union. (Photo: Gambling in Culver City, California. Credit: Getty Images)

The Cost of Curing Disease  

About half of all drug research is paid for by charitable foundations and public bodies. Rob Young examines the life-saving work done by those who don't chase profits. Jim Smith, research director at the Francis Crick Institute, gives us a tour of their brand new building and explains why public funding is vital for medical research. Malaria researcher Phumla Sinxadi tells us about her work and the importance of funding from the Gates Foundation. The Wellcome Trust's science director, Mike Turner, discusses why philanthropic funding pays for research that pharmaceutical companies won't. And Scott Kennedy talks to us about the tragedy that led him to co-found the New York-based charity Solving Kids Cancer. (Photo: Researchers at work at the Francis Crick Institute, London. Credit: Getty Images)

Education in Liberia  

War and the Ebola epidemic have crushed Liberia's education system and the government has now called in private firms to fix it, among them Bridge International Academies, the largest operator of low-cost private schools in Africa. We hear from Pauline Vata, executive director of Kenyan NGO Hakiijamii which campaigns for economic, social and cultural rights, who disagrees with Liberia's move. And, we speak to Shannon May, co-founder of Bridge International Academies. Also, Mark Prensky, founder and executive director of the Global Future Education Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes alternative ways of learning, argues school curricula around the world are not doing enough to prepare children for a digital future. Plus, Lucy Kellaway of the Financial Times explains how not to say sorry if you are a business. (Photo: Pupils attend a class in a school in Monrovia. Credit: Getty Images)

BRICS: Still Solid?  

They were the five emerging economies set to reshape the world order: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Collectively, they became known as the BRICS. The BBC's Sameer Hashmi reports from Goa, where BRICS leaders are set to meet amid the hard reality of slowing world economic growth and political turmoil, while Jim O'Neill, the former chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and a former Conservative government minister who coined the BRIC acronym, tells us why he still thinks these countries have potential. Plus, the BBC's Rahul Tandon reports from Kolkata about the growing pressure on India's 315 million students. (Picture: Flags of the five BRICS nations; Credit: Gil-Design/Thinkstock)

Hispanic in Texas  

San Antonio is now a majority Hispanic city, and this area of Texas is home to many entrepreneurial success stories. Joe Miller asks why Hispanic representation in big business has lagged. He speaks to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce where he hears how many Mexican Americans are asserting their economic power, and hears from Rosa Santana, a Mexican-born San Antonio resident who is now a big deal in the automotive sector. (Picture: Hispanic man stands next to his drink and ice cream carts in Texas; Credit: Jensen Walker/Getty Images)

London After Brexit  

Will this great international capital be harmed by the UK's decision to leave the EU? Ed Butler hits the city streets to find out. Fionnuala Earley of estate agents Hamptons International explains why Brexit may actually make top end London property more attractive. Journalist Ben Judah explains how foreign workers - and dirty foreign money - have transformed his hometown out of recognition. Ed heads to London's financial centre, the City of London, where Gary Campkin of financial services lobbying group TheCityUK puts a brave face on his industry's future. And across town in Bloomsbury, David Phillips of the Institute of Fiscal Studies tells Ed why the rest of the UK may no longer be able to rely on pro-European London to foot such a large share of the national tax bill. (Picture: London skyline; Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Nigeria's Crisis  

Is Nigeria on the brink of a full-blown banking crisis? One analyst, Jaap Meijer of the Gulf-based financial analysis firm Arqaam Capital, believes it is - unless the central bank moves to bail out at least two private banks. But we also speak to a former deputy central bank governor, Dr Obadaiah Mailafia, who says talk of a crisis is exaggerated. Also, a leading Nigerian businesswoman, Dr Amy Jadesimi, managing director of Ladol, the offshore logistics & ship building hub in Lagos Harbour, is much more optimistic. She says the government's recent moves to stamp out corruption, and to sort out the country's security problems, is paving the way for a more balanced economy. She also believes its acceptance that the private sector should take the lead in infrastructure development ought to pave the way for a less corrupt and oil-dependent economy. Also in the programme, we hear from our regular commentator, Jeremy Wagstaff of Reuters, who considers the grindingly slow evolution of the so-called "Internet of Things". He says the process by which we hook up all our gadgets and hardware online is happening much more slowly, and in a much more low-tech way than we'd previously imagined. (Photo: Nigerian bank notes in Lagos, Credit: Getty Images)

Brexit: Hard or Soft?  

Guntram Wolff, the director of the Bruegel Institute in Brussels, speaks about Britain's declared plans to leave the EU by March 2019. Markets in London and Frankfurt seem to be betting on a so-called Hard Brexit - Britain not so much bowing out as being kicked out onto the pavement. Is that for real, and will we all lose if that's what happens? And how much do you love your dog? British woman, Laura Jakes, loved hers so much, she splashed out $100,000 to have it cloned - yes cloned. A perfect biological replica produced via a South Korean lab. Is this taking love for man's best friend a bit far and what are the wider implications? Finally: our enduring love for appetite for the short-term, pointless and trivial. Lucy Kellaway reflects on why - arguably - company results might benefit from having more pictures of fluffy cats in them. (Photo: Theresa May speaks at the Conservative party conference, Credit: Getty Images)

Mexico vs Trump on Trade  

One key foundation of the UK Brexit debate, European nationalists, and the US presidential candidate, Donald Trump, is the argument that free trade has, in many ways, failed ordinary working people. We hear the anti-trade sentiment from the Rust Belt former manufacturing region of rural Pennsylvania. Many there feel that free trade deals like NAFTA have allowed Mexico and other Latin American countries to steal US jobs. The former Mexican President, Felipe Calderon, tells us that's a lie. And in a detailed one-to-one interview, he attacks Donald Trump for spreading racist views about Mexicans. We also hear about Republican efforts to persuade the very conservative Christian Amish community, to cast their ballots for Donald Trump. (Picture: An American flag flies at the U.S.-Mexico border near Sonoita, Arizona. Credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

Is Globalisation Wilting or Blooming?  

We explore some of the forces now putting a brake on international commerce. Not everyone is enthusiastic about globalisation. From Donald Trump to Marine Le Pen, more and more politicians are saying a loud "Non", "No" or "Get lost" to globalisation. And it seems many voters are buying onto the message. Do they have a point? Who are the winners and losers of ever freer trade in products and services? We hear from Kenya where views are divided on the impact of better access to global markets. And then we debate the issues with two economists: Andrew Lilico, executive director of the UK think tank Europe Economics, and Steven Weisman, vice president for publications and communications at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington DC. (Picture: A worker at the Rymie flower farm in Kenya; Credit: Simon Maina/AFP/Getty Images)

India's Boom Economy  

Today our spotlight is on India - a land of opportunity, says the Prime Minister. He's inviting foreign companies to invest big in the country, and he's boasting the highest growth rate of any major economy in the world. We hear a report from Tamil Nadu in India's south, nicknamed 'Asia's Detroit' for its booming car manufacturing industry. Yogita Limaye reports from one car plant. We also hear from Rahul Tandon in Kolkatta who reflects on India's entrepreneurial spirit and we hear from Ajit Ranade, the Chief Economist of the Indian conglomerate, Aditya Birla Group, on India's prospects for maintaining its current growth rate and whether the perceived benefits of globalisation are actually reaching the country's vast rural poor population. Has globalisation left them behind? (Photo: Indian car-worker Sujitha Rajendrababu. Credit: BBC)

Living on the Border  

In the US there are communities living without access to proper sewerage systems, running water and electricity. They are in many ways modern day slums and they're called colonias. Mainly clustered around the Texas-Mexico border, these communities of mainly second generation Mexican Americans have some of the worst poverty rates in the whole country. Many of them don't have bank accounts, and exploitation by payday lenders and property developers has led to colonia residents in inescapable debt cycles. Joe Miller meets those still living in these conditions today, and those who grew up in colonias and who are now shaping policy to eradicate them in the future. Joe asks why colonias still exist, and how financial education can play a better role and encourage entrepreneurship in this often forgotten part of the US. (Photo:A colonia on the Texas-Mexico border, Credit: BBC)

Deutsche Bank in Trouble  

Could the world be heading towards a new banking crisis? A massive fine facing Germany's Deutsche Bank might, some argue, be just the tip of the iceberg for the world's big banks, already struggling amidst tighter regulation and low interest rates. Stress tests have shown a number of banks still struggling to build sufficiently robust balances if and when a new economic crisis were to strike. But surely it couldn't all happen again, could it? We get the view of former Deutsche Bank chief economist, Thomas Meyer, and from Peter Hahn of the London Institute of Banking and Finance. Also, the BBC's Katy Watson reports on how the prospect of a Trump presidency is already causing the Mexican currency to struggle, and Lucy Kellaway reflects on the latest public relations battles facing the US' best-known female CEO, Marissa Meyer of Yahoo! To what extent are her woes made worse by her gender? (Photo: by Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images)

Future in Review: Meet the Entrepreneurs  

Hyperloop transport, medical diagnostics, modular satellites - it's all happening at this year's FiRe tech conference in Utah. Presenter Ed Butler speaks to Bibop Gresta, chairman of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, about the company's contracts to build this futuristic near-sonic speed transport system in Slovakia and in another yet-to-be-disclosed country. Caitlin Cameron, head of OtoNexus, explains why their gadget for diagnosing ear infections can help reduce antibiotic overprescription and potentially boost kids' immune systems. Ed also meets Talbot Jaeger, founder of NovaWurks, who wants to further the ambitions of his fellow entrepreneurs with a Lego-like system of "smartphones for space on steroids". (Picture: Bibop Gresta presenting the Hyperloop; Credit: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images)

Future in Review: The Importance of "Flow"  

The big new buzzword at the annual futurist technology conference in Utah is "flow" - but what does it mean, and what are the practical implications for data and for our lives? In the first of two programmes from this year's FiRe shindig, presenter Ed Butler speaks to one of the joint hosts, economic forecaster Mark Anderson, as well as Prof Pai-Ling Yin of the University of Southern California, about why gigantic data flows are so important. Keynote speaker Bill Ribaudo of accountancy firm Deloitte explains a new way of valuing companies and entire countries. And could the data flow analysis also revolutionise medical diagnostics? Prof Ben Smarr of the University of California in Berkeley seems to think so. (Picture: Conceptual image depicting data flow; Credit: agsandrew/Thinkstock)

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