Browse content similar to 01/12/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
This is Business Live
from BBC News with Susannah
Streeter and David Eades.
America edges closer
to massive tax reforms,
but will they really deliver
President Trump's promised boost
to the world's biggest economy?
Live from London, that's our top
story on Friday 1st December.
As the President lights
up the Christmas tree,
he's hoping Senators give him
the gift he wants -
but can the US really afford
the biggest tax changes
in a generation?
Also in the programme...
The world's largest lithium ion
battery gets up-and-running
in Australia, so will it spark
a global energy revolution?
And as always we will get
And as always we will get the latest
from the global markets, this is the
picture in Europe as the markets
And we'll be getting
the inside track on the bumpy ride
Uber have been on this week,
as well as Bitcoin's
rollercoaster ride, with our tech
guru Rory Cellan Jones.
December is finally upon us,
and this weekend is set
to the busiest for Christmas tree
sales here in the UK,
but amid warnings that
glittery decorations are bad
for the environment -
we want to know
if you use the same ones every
year or buy them new?
Let us know - just use
the hashtag #BBCBizLive.
Hello, and welcome
to Business Live.
The United States is on course
for it's largest tax reforms in more
than 30 years but hasn't quite
got there yet.
If last-minute disagreements can be
overcome, President Trump's big hope
is that the refrorms will boost
growth for the world's
And that could eventually make
the rest of the world richer, too.
Firstly, it will be very expensive -
costing the Government $1.5 trillion
over the next decade.
Some of that is expected to be
offset by higher economic growth,
but most would be added to the US
national debt - already
at $20 trillion.
That is what is still bothering
some in the Senate.
Who would benefit?
The big winners would be US firms,
who would see the corporation tax
rate slashed from 35% to around 20%.
The White House claims
the average American household
would also be better off
by between $4,000 and $9,000 a year.
But some critics say the plan really
favours the wealthy.
Others dispute the idea that
a handout to firms will trickle down
to the wider economy.
Not including the banks,
US companies are already sitting
on $1.9 trillion cash piles.
And some have said they'd use
tax cuts to give more
money to shareholders.
Pippa Malmgren used to be
an economic adviser
to President George W Bush
and founder of the business advisors
DRPM research group.
Thank you for joining us. There are
huge questions there, an awful lot
of money to spend effectively for
these tax cuts. How far, assuming
this all goes through, how far could
they weaken that through improved
Well, the Republican
view is that if you lower tax rates
you will increase business activity
and business investment. What is
interesting is businesses keep
saying, our intention is to do share
buy-backs, which is not so
productive for the economy. That is
the big companies, that does not
mean smaller companies won't benefit
and they will invest, but the
question is the magnitude of the
If share buy-backs
particularly a bad thing? The Dow
will have a field day for a few
months if that is the case but is
there any benefit economically?
There is another way of thinking
about it, not so much a benefit but
by stimulating the economy with more
capital you create more inflationary
conditions. We have a little
inflation, as it picks up, people
stay, I can't stay in cash, I need
to invest, because your money is
eroded when you sit in cash in an
inflationary environment so in that
case it stimulates but it is not the
ideal way to stimulate the economy.
There has been some pushback against
this deal, particularly over the
last 12 hours, and there is a lot of
concern that these are projections
for economic growth, there is no
guarantee that there will be a
boost, and we saw there the numbers,
how much it could cost as far as the
deficit is concerned.
The real issue
is that the economy is going well,
so people expect that it will go
better if you give it the stimulus.
The actual debate about the
substance of the bill is not so much
about the substance, frankly, it is
about fighting with Trump over what
he will be and will
not be allowed to do. Senator McCain
was annoyed with Donald Trump for
picking on him personally and said
he was not a real war hero, has said
this is not going to be the Trump
bill, it will be the McCain bill, so
he has taken it into the Senate and
takes control of the process, that
accounts for more than the
That will not wash with
Donald Trump if it goes through and
succeeds, this is his baby, he will
take the plaudits if you like?
will try, but the Senate can
absolutely put their fingerprint and
signature on this thing in a way
that will let them take a good deal
of the credit which, by the way,
they want going into the mid-term
Do you think the
discounts that the state currently
offers as far as tax bills are
concerned, do you think those will
be debated in the Senate? Will that
be a sticking point? What other
factors will they bring in to amend
What they will do in the
next 24, 48 hours is not so clear,
it is a very detail oriented
process, there are thousands of
pages involved in this kind of
legislation which, interestingly, no
single senator actually reads, only
their staff read the part relevant
to their state, so it is through
traditional messy process and we are
all going to have to wait to hear
what they come up with.
horse trading to come. People, thank
you very much indeed.
Let's take a look at some of
the other stories making the news.
The Irish Foreign Minister has told
the BBC that it cannot be asked to
take a leap into the dark when it
comes to Brexit negotiations. He
said more progress needs to be made
on the solution of how the border
between Northern Ireland and the
republic works if there is to be
progress on trade talks.
Amazon has launched another version
of its voice controlled assistant
Alex for business, firms will be
able to use the smart speakers to
set up meetings with colleagues,
book conference rooms and do other
basic tasks as well. There have been
concerns raised for privacy in
meetings where sensitive information
is being discussed.
In the UK, the Royal Bank
of Scotland, which is still 72%
owned by the Government,
says its cutting almost 700 jubs
and closing more than 250 branches.
The lender is trying to reduce
costs as more customers
move to online banking.
Trade unions have raised
questions about the move.
The Japanese carmaker Nissan has
become the latest foreign company
to seek artibtration
against the Indian authorities.
The company believes
it is entitled to $770 million
as part of the agreements
it reached to set-up
a factory near Chennai.
Reports suggest there are more
than 20 similiar cases pending.
The Indian government
The world's largest lithium ion
battery has begun dispensing power
to the electricity grid
in South Australia.
It has been dogged by Tesla, best
known for its electric cars, which
aims to end the state's energy
Mariko Oi has more from Singapore.
They have created this thing and
done it ahead of schedule?
Indeed, and if you remember it all
started as a bet on Twitter. It was
actually an Australian software
entrepreneur who asked Elon Musk,
the boss of Tesla, if he was really
serious about helping south
Australia after the state suffered a
state-wide blackout. Elon Musk said
yes, he was, and if the battery was
not built within 100 days, the state
would get it for free. The countdown
started on the 30th of September,
after approval from regulators, and
Tesla managed to finish it in about
60 days, so I guess the state would
have to pay now, as, as I mentioned,
the plan started dispensing
electricity today, it is situated in
Jamestown, about fixing, just north
Let's check in with the financial
markets now. In Hong Kong, losses as
technology companies have offered
some games at energy companies, but
then the Hang Seng dropped back a
little, a choppy session for the
McKay as well. It finished the
session a little higher. The Dow is
continuing its epic climb, surging
above 24,000 for the first time as
the US Senate move towards proving
that massive tax-cut package. Oil
prices edged higher as Opec's
decision to extend production limits
The FTSE has opened lover, the Dax
in Frankfurt slightly higher, then
pack 40 slightly lower because of a
stronger Euro and stronger pound.
And Samira Hussain has
the details about what's ahead
on Wall Street Today.
It's finally Friday,
but it could be a very
busy end to the week.
The Dow Jones industrial average
crossed a milestone on Thursday,
24,000 points for the first time.
US markets are just downright
euphoric at the prospect
of major tax reform,
so we'll continue to watch
what happens in Washington
and how US markets react.
In other business news,
we see that light vehicle sales
will have fallen ever so slightly
compared to the month before.
We're seeing that construction
spending is going to be up by about
0.5% for the month of October.
Overall factory spending will have
dropped ever so slightly
from the previous month.
Joining us is Lucy MacDonald
from Allianz Global Investor.
Thanks for joining us. After
everything we have seen coming from
New York, Asia playing it very cool,
waiting, presumably, for this tax
reform bill to pass or not?
there is certainly some anticipation
of this bill. We have been waiting
now for months, and it looks very,
very close. It is better priced into
markets now, I think, so if it
passes there will be some positive
benefit, but if you look at the
Trump trade type stocks, the
cyclicals and industrials and
financials, they have been moving,
there it is also the domestics...
is interesting you say it is priced
in, many were saying before it
reached this point, the bill, that
actually the markets have priced all
of the tax changes in but still you
see this epic climb, don't you? Why
do you think the market is still
going forward and do you think when
it is passed, there won't be a
I think more of it is
priced in now is that the
probability of it getting through
has been priced in gradually and
that is why you have seen this, that
particular area of the market,
giving better, and at the same time
some other areas of the market,
technology, health care, slightly
coming back to fund some of those
areas, so more rotation in the
market. It is similar to what we saw
a year ago but not anywhere near as
drastic, and that makes sense, so it
seems to me it is priced quite
Just time to look at
what is happening with oil, prices
going up, Opec reaching a deal, the
Russians leading it, to keep
production down for another 12 plus
Guess, that has extended it
further, clearly that agreement so
far has stabilised the oil price and
we have seen it coming up and the
sector following close correlation
between the oil price and the sector
so we have seen that now for six
months and now that the Saudis and
Russians, who are 10% of the total
supply, agreed to extend, I would
have thought that should continue.
And it is still an area of the
market where you can find some
value, it is not necessarily the
highest growth or the highest
quality market but there is still
some value and yield there and yield
is still something we are looking
Absolutely, Lucy, thank you
very much indeed.
Still to come...
Bube's bumpy ride and bitcoin's
roller-coaster, we catch up on
another big of technology news.
You're with Business
Live from BBC News.
A jump in online sales has helped
Fortnum and Mason announce a 23%
rise in pre-tax profits
to £7.6 million.
Online sales rose by 17% over
the past year, with rising demand
from Asia helping to boost
the upmarket department
store's bottom line.
Fortnum recently opened a new store
in South Korea, and operates
in 160 countries globally.
Joining us now to discuss
these results, is the CEO
of Fortnum and Mason,
Thank you for joining us. Pretty
impressive figures, is that mostly
down to growth abroad?
There is a
substantial element of that but over
50% of our growth last year came
from the rising demand from UK and
domestic consumers, which is exactly
what we wanted to happen, we are
very happy about that, and I believe
part of that success story is that
so much of what we sell in our
business is actually produced here
in the United Kingdom, over 80% of
our products are manufactured in the
UK, so every pound spent with
Fortnum 's is 82p spent with art
producers across the UK.
surprise you that there is still
growing demand for luxury goods at a
time, particularly in the UK, where
people are really feeling poorer
because of austerity or the economy?
Or losing jobs?
My experience tells
me that when there are periods of
uncertainty and Times are tough,
people turn to brands that the
trust, brands great the great
authenticity, great heritage, great
story, and I think the British at
the moment like a great cup of tea
and a proper English biscuit!
calm and carry on! You are tapping
into that trend?!
It would appear
that way, but the rest of the world
is also engaging with us, whether
they are coming to London, and
undoubtedly the drop in the value of
the pound has helped to drive more
tourism into London, but also
through the website, we are reaching
out across the world more than ever.
Thanks very much indeed, cup of tea
and a biscuit, my biscuit does not
always come from Fortnum and Mason,
I have to say!
Lets see what else is happening on
the business pages. RBS is
decimating its branch network. That
comes from Unite, the union that
says the bank is betraying
communities with the closure of 259
branches and the loss of many jobs.
You're watching Business Live -
our top story...
The United States Senate is edging
closer to delivering the huge tax
reforms President Trump wants.
Voting is due to resume in a few
hours time amid concerns over
whether the country can afford them.
A quick look at how
markets are faring....
The Dow Jones reached another epic
point, above the 24,000 mark. The
DAX is down, as is the DAX and CAC,
not sharing the same amount of
enthusiasm for those tax cut plans
in the US.
And now let's get the inside track
on another big week of tech news.
It's seen the ride hailing app Uber
suffer a string of setbacks
and the crypto-currency Bitcoin
suffer a roller-coaster ride
that was just as tumultuous as it
reached new heights.
The poems keep on coming!
Our Techology Correspondent
is Rory Cellan-Jones is here.
Let's start with Uber.
What a week
for Uber, every week seems to bring
more drama. This company that has
grown into one of the most powerful
in the world, still privately held,
having all sorts of disasters. We
had them accused of hiring ex-CIA
agents to spy on rivals. A trial
which is supposed to be getting
underway where they are accused of
industrial espionage against
Google's self driving car division.
That has been delayed?
of new information. A dramatic day
in court with a former Uber employee
coming in and spilling the beans
about their use of covert
surveillance on their rivals.
Rumbling on in the background is all
of this app fallout from the hack.
Yes, we heard here in the UK, 2.7
million UK users probably had their
information exposed during that hack
13 months ago, which we are just
learning about now! Surprise
surprise. And more bad news on the
actual numbers. They are trying to
close this deal with Softbank to
take a share in the company, but
they had to share information of
Uber are in the
firing line, people are out to look
for stories. Issues like industrial
espionage, isn't that a case of
loads of businesses do it, just
don't get caught doing it, isn't
that the reality?
I think... A lot
of people would be offended by that.
The extent of bad behaviour by Uber
by their own admission, not
revealing a hack for 13 months,
allegedly stealing all sorts of
industrial secrets and hiring people
to do that.
This comes at a time
when Lift, the US rival in the
states has released great numbers,
revenue more than tripled. There are
contenders to the Uber throne.
Certainly in the US. They face fewer
challenges overseas but they are
running up against regulators. In
London they are fighting a potential
ban. And Israel ruled against this
week and stopped operating there.
The trouble is carry on.
roller-coaster ride as well for
Bitcoin, that is a huge story.
Hundreds of thousands of people
trying to jump in on the act.
in obsessed... I keep meaning to
sell it, but the roller-coaster ride
is ridiculous. I'm looking at what
has happened in the last 24-hour. It
reached $10,500, went as low as
$9,200 and has picked up a bit since
then. There are real signs of strain
in the system, one of the biggest
wallets where people store their
Bitcoin, inaccessible for many, and
inaccessible right now.
It is those
who create Bitcoin who are
responsible for maintaining
The other huge
concern, the really interesting
story we are looking up at the
moment is the energy use around
Bitcoin. Actually, as it gets bigger
and bigger, it requires more and
more computer processing power. The
figure came out this week, more
energy used by Bitcoin each year
than the whole country of Ireland in
a year and that is continuing to
Very briefly, I think even the
Goldman Sachs pass that this is a
vehicle for fraudsters. But one day,
once regulated, crypto currency will
be the way of the future?
what the believers say. And there is
huge belief in the technology
underlying it. A lot of people
plumping that. There is a frenzy
around it, anything around crypto
currencies has got people
potentially losing their minds.
Thank you very much indeed.
And if you want more of the latest
tech news you can catch Rory's
'Tech Tent' programme on BBC
World Service radio at 1500gmt,
and if you miss it you can download
the podcast from our website,
just search for BBC Tech Tent.
That is just an allegation. Have to
watch it and see for yourself.
You find them in almost every cafe
and bar in the world.
They're used by the
billions every year.
We're talking about the drinking
straw and it's the latest
in our Million Dollar Idea Series.
Here's Aaron Heslehurst.
It's drinking straws. However did we
slurp our drinks without them? We
used pieces of real straw. Then one
day in 1888, this man, Marvin Stone
of Washington, was sipping his
whiskey. His straw with getting
soggy, leaving gunk in his class, so
he took on paper, wrapped it around
a pencil to make it tube and
fastened the end with glue. The
first straw. Fast forward to 1936,
Joseph Freeman from San Francisco.
His young daughter couldn't drink
your milkshake, she is too small to
reach the top of the straw. If only
the straw would work if you bent it.
So Joseph took a screw, put it
inside the straw and then wrapped
dental floss around to make a spiral
indentation. Hey presto, it's the
world's first bendy straw. Nowadays
the world goes through billions of
dollars of drinking straws each
year, most of them plastic.
Americans won't go through 500
billion of these every single year.
That's 2 million tonnes of discarded
plastic. Can't we use anything?
I bought some wooden straws.
That's a start, well done.
Let's see what other
stories are being talked
about on social media.
Lucy McDonald, first of all, a story
in the Daily Telegraph, African
finance minister of the year is
facing jail for telling his
country's politicians to trim their
perks. This comes at a time when the
EU Africa summit is winding up. That
is aimed at trying to boost Africa's
growth and economic development.
That is also to do with cutting
corruption. What has happened here?
It is, Africa is a great growth area
that hasn't really delivered. If you
look at population growth, that is
where all the population growth is
going to come in the next 50 years.
We have seen some improvement in
overall economic growth but
corruption is the big problem. There
has been a lot of work done to help
this issue, but it seems very
difficult to completely eradicate it
and this feeds into the same story
1.2 million dollars worth,
not an insignificant amount of money
and it is their allowances. I
suppose that would be their
argument. It is more the manner in
which you respond, seeking arrests.
It seems beyond bizarre structure
exactly. And as I say, it just
really taps into the big concern
that all investors
investing in the region.
OK, it is
finally the start of December, the
green light by many to put up their
Christmas decorations. There is a
warning all that glitter is not good
for the environment. Apparently it
is very difficult and get stuck in
filtration systems. It is plastic.
Are you a fan of glitter or a
decorating fan, a Christmas fan?
Christmas plan definitely. This is
the concern about the oceans. Fish
versus fun. The micro beads
legislation that's been talked about
here and is being put in place in
the US is tapping into that.
bring in some tweets. Old-fashioned
comedy says I'm afraid I don't have
Christmas decorations, but we always
used to have a real treat.
What is wrong with wire coat hangers
and tinsel? Nothing, go for it!
have had some for 25