Episodes
What will get the swing states swinging? That’s the question we ask on this edition of Business Weekly as we take an in-depth look at Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas and Ohio. We find out what business leaders, activists and environmentalists in these places want from their new leader and ask whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden can deliver. We hear from Puerto Ricans and Cubans in Florida, young people in Texas and a farmer in Ohio. Business Weekly is presented by Lucy Burton and produced by...
Published 09/26/20
How some of the world's biggest banks are helping criminals launder money through the UK capital. The BBC's Andy Verity describes what a major new leak of documents tells us about the flows of dirty money through financial centres. Dr Susan Hawley from the charity Spotlight on Corruption tells us why banks and regulators aren't doing enough to stop it, and Tom Burgis, author of a new book Kleptopia: How Dirty Money is Conquering the World, explains why money laundering is a threat to...
Published 09/25/20
Funding for African tech start-ups is booming. But only if you’re not African. Odunayo Eweniyi, is the co-founder of the first online savings and investment app in West Africa, Piggyvest. She tells Tamasin Ford about how hard it was to convince Western based Venture Capitalists to invest in them. Jesse Ghansah, the Ghanaian Founder of the Fintech company, Swipe says as an African founder he’s still judged differently. Iyinolowa Aboyeji, who’s from Nigeria, set up a financing initiative called...
Published 09/24/20
Making designer fashion more sustainable has been a cause célèbre for decades, so why hasn’t it happened yet? At the close of London Fashion Week, and just before the beginning of Paris, Tamasin Ford has been looking into why the industry hasn’t made the changes it needs. Kevin Bailey of the VF Corporation, one of the largest apparel and footwear retailers, says the industry has made great strides, while Roger Lee, of TAL apparel in Hong Kong, says a vague standards system for what counts as...
Published 09/23/20
Brewing, like many industries, has had to adapt during the coronavirus pandemic. And whilst this can be a logistical nightmare, the current crisis might also present some new opportunities. Elizabeth Hotson talks to beer writer, Pete Brown about the impact so far of coronavirus on craft beer. We take a socially distanced trip to East London to hear from Jon Swain, co-founder of Hackney Brewery and then cross over to Maryland in the US where Julie Verratti from Denizens Brewing explains how an...
Published 09/22/20
Nightclubs around the world are struggling to survive with social distancing guidelines. The social effect is palpable, especially for the younger generation who have grown up with club culture. BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ Jamz Supernova tells Ed Butler about everything she's missing from the club scene. Meanwhile, the UK's Night-time Industries Association Michael Kill says they and club owners are working to convince the government to help them open up. But how would that work? Lutz Leichsenring, an...
Published 09/21/20
There are less than two months to go until the presidential election in the United States. Both candidates and parties have framed it as something of an existential fight. So, on Business Weekly we look at the big issues framing the debate. We examine the economy, immigration and healthcare and find out what a Biden Presidency or a second-term of office for President Trump could mean for these key policy areas. Plus, as the Zimbabwean government hands back some land to some evicted farmers,...
Published 09/19/20
The West Coast wildfires have lifted climate change to the top of the campaign agenda, but will it actually shift any votes? It highlights one of sharpest policy contrasts between the two presidential candidates - with Donald Trump questioning whether global warming is even a threat, while Joe Biden has a detailed $2.5 trillion plan to decarbonise the economy. Justin Rowlatt speaks to David Banks, a former energy advisor to both President Trump and George W Bush, as well as Cheryl LaFleur,...
Published 09/18/20
Will the elections usher in a sea-change in economic thinking, after 40 years dominated by small government conservatism? Manuela Saragosa speaks to one small government conservative - Ramesh Ponnuru of the American Enterprise Institute - who says people like him no longer have a home in either of the main political parties. Economist James Galbraith says the scale of the economic challenge posed by the pandemic could compel a much greater role for the Federal government in reviving and...
Published 09/17/20
President Trump's crackdown on immigrants is popular with his core voters, but less so with corporate America. Manuela Saragosa asks whether this nation of immigrants is about to vote to close the door to the American Dream for millions of foreigners. Among them are Indian IT workers who have been left in limbo by the sudden suspension of H-1B visas, as relayed by immigration lawyer Poorvi Chotani of LawQuest. Theresa Cardinal Brown of the Bipartisan Policy Center says there is widespread...
Published 09/16/20
Voters will soon decide who will be the next President of the United States, with healthcare – both the Coronavirus response and health coverage in general - being one of the most important issues. We'll hear from one American cancer survivor who lost their coverage during the crisis, and the director of a Missouri hospital on the challenges they've faced during the pandemic. Then, Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News explains the current state of US healthcare and the differences between...
Published 09/15/20
Tensions with China have simmered for the past three years ever since President Trump initiated the so-called trade war. As Ed Butler hears from tech analyst Dan Wang, the trade war could prove a death sentence for Huawei, one of China's highest-profile firms. So what is likely to change after the US election, depending on who wins? Not much, says China analyst Rui Zhong, as Beijing's priorities under President Xi appear far more domestic. And Daniel Russel, former adviser on Asia to...
Published 09/14/20
Business Weekly hears from the industry that brings viruses back from the dead. The world of biotechnology is rapidly evolving - it recreates the stuff we can’t necessarily touch and feel, like smells and bacteria. Can it help contain future pandemics? Manuela Saragosa explores the risks and opportunities. We also head backstage at the theatre - many shows are having to come up with novel ways to perform productions, but are they able to sustain a business under social distancing rules? Rob...
Published 09/12/20
Can spider silk and grasshopper rubber, brewed by vats of genetically modified microbes, wean us off our addiction to oil-based plastics? Manuela Saragosa explores what sounds like an environmentalist sci-fi utopia. She speaks to Daniel Meyer, head of corporate planning at Spiber, a Japanese company that is already trying to commercialise clothes and car parts made of synthetic spider silk. Meanwhile Christophe Schilling, chief executive of California-based Genomatica, is using a similar...
Published 09/11/20
Genetically modified microbes could herald a new industrial revolution - but the technology also poses new dangers. Manuela Saragosa speaks to someone who used it to recreate the horsepox virus - a close cousin of smallpox - from scratch three years ago. Virologist David Evans explains why he did it, and what aspects of this rapidly evolving technology worry him most. One of the companies on the cutting edge is Boston-based Ginkgo Bioworks. It redesigns the DNA of bacteria and yeast in...
Published 09/10/20
After several countries banned alcohol as part of their lockdown measures, we ask if prohibition ever works? Ed Butler reports from South Africa, where a recent ban on alcohol was welcomed by some healthcare professionals and those fighting violence in the country. Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron and University of California criminologist Emily Owens discuss whether limits on alcohol are ever really effective. (Photo: A man takes beers from a fridge inside a liquor shop in Soweto,...
Published 09/09/20
Journalist Peter Geoghegan describes the many ways in which private money is corrupting democratic politics, encouraging chaos and fuelling public cynicism. In an extended interview with the BBC's Ed Butler, the Irish author and broadcaster explains a Brexit campaign advert that he happened to come across in a local newspaper while visiting the city of Sunderland in the north of England led him to investigate where the money funding the Leave campaign was coming from. It led him to explore...
Published 09/08/20
Many women feel they are ignored by the larger economy after they reach a certain age, and some of them aren't willing to accept that. Tamasin Ford speaks to Bonnie Marcus, host of the Badass Women at Any Age podcast, who explains how women over 60 can deal with the double-whammy of sexism and ageism in business. Meanwhile, Tricia Cusden tells us about how she started up the cosmetics retailer Look Fabulous Forever - a business run by and for women in their older years. And Ruth Saunders,...
Published 09/07/20
As evidence mounts that Chinese authorities are continuing to incarcerate Uighur Muslims in work camps in the North West of the country we discuss the steps foreign companies should be taking to ensure their businesses don’t benefit from enforced labour. We also have a report on what could be the most severe housing crisis in the recent history of the US. In yet another consequence of the coronavirus pandemic; tenants are struggling to keep up rental payments and risk eviction. As lessons...
Published 09/05/20
Many Africans are buying Chinese-made smartphones that steal their information. Investigations have shown that the cheap devices are pre-installed with a kind of malware that drains the data allowance and in some cases signs the user up to subscription services without their knowledge. Nathan Collier, from security firm Malwarebytes explains how it works. But David Li of Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab says he's not convinced Chinese manufacturers are to blame for the problem. Meanwhile, with...
Published 09/04/20
China is accused of detaining millions of people from the Uighur ethnic minority and forcing them to work in factories. Pressure is mounting on foreign businesses to ensure material they source from China does not benefit from that forced labour. Alison Killing, an architect and investigator has found that 268 detention facilities have been built in the Xinjiang province in North-West China in just the last few years. Supply chain expert Kate Larsen says companies are often more at risk of...
Published 09/03/20
Some universities fear they have become too financially dependent on fee-paying Chinese students - and thanks to Covid-19, many of them are staying away this year. Salvatore Babones, an associate professor at the University of Sydney, says Australia is particularly vulnerable to this, while Vivienne Stern of Universities UK says it’s just one of a number of serious concerns for UK and US universities. We also hear from Chinese students already in the UK about whether they think it’s worth...
Published 09/02/20
Catering and hospitality are among the sectors worst hit by the global coronavirus pandemic, with many governments banning in-house dining. Manuela Saragosa speaks to New York Chef Anna Klinger, who owns and manages Al Di La, a Trattoria in Brooklyn. Ka Yi Ong who runs Mini Star, a Singapore eatery that specialises in stinky tofu tells us about its new and very successful delivery service. Michelin-starred chef Kevin Meehan of Kali restaurant in Hollywood explains how a creative make-over for...
Published 09/01/20
Why being bored might be good for us. Ed Butler speaks to Kate Greene, a science writer who experienced months of isolation as part of a project to test how astronauts might cope with the boredom of a long trip to Mars. John Eastwood from the Boredom Lab at York University in Toronto and Erin Westgate from the University of Florida discuss the impact boredom can have on our ability to work. Dr Sandi Mann, author of The Upside of Downtime argues that boredom can be the secret to creative...
Published 08/31/20
Two ancient and archeologically priceless rock shelters in Western Australia were destroyed earlier this year by the mining company Rio Tinto. On this episode of Business Weekly we ask whether the punitive measures imposed on senior executives this week are tough enough. Could biotechnology transform the way we eat and the way we treat animals? We investigate the future of food and find out how a cat food made from mouse meat could be made without harming any mice. As workers in the UK are...
Published 08/29/20