Business Matters



Global business news, with live guests and contributions from Asia and the USA.


  • Twenty years since 9/11

    11/09/2021 Duration: 53min

    It's been twenty years since the terror attacks of 9/11. We'll hear from people who were there, and who felt the aftermath. We'll also hear about how 9/11 changed the way we live our lives, and the built environments around us. Also in the programme, we'll hear about how language learning has boomed during lockdown, and how a refugee-led language programme is connecting people all around the world. We'll also hear about how protracted lockdowns are affecting Australians, and how one Aussie staple - Victoria Bitter beer - is encouraging its customers to get vaccinated. All through the show we'll be joined by Peter Ryan, senior business correspondent at the ABC. (Image credit: Getty Images)

  • Vaccine mandates announced

    10/09/2021 Duration: 51min

    US President, Joe Biden, has announced that all federal workers have to be vaccinated against Covid-19. He's also instructing the Department of Labor to draft a rule mandating that all businesses with 100 or more employees require their workers to get vaccinated or face weekly testing. And as the BRICS leaders meet, is the loose alliance of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa working? We hear from Professor Miles Kahler, a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington DC. Facebook has been accused of breaking UK equality law in the way it handles job adverts. The campaign group Global Witness said the social network failed to prevent discriminatory targeting of ads, and its algorithm was biased in choosing who would see them, as Naomi Hirst from the organisation explains. Also in the programme, we find out why the issue of climate change has become such a dominant theme in the upcoming German federal elections. And the American car giant, Ford will stop production in India; we get

  • Bitcoin becomes legal tender in El Salvador

    08/09/2021 Duration: 51min

    El Salvador becomes the first country in the world to make Bitcoin legal tender - a move that sparked some small protests. We speak to John Dennehy, a journalist based in the capital San Salvador. Protonmail, an email provider which sold itself as a secure, private service, is under fire for handing police the IP address of a French activist - Eva Galperin of the Electronic Frontier Foundation discusses cybersecurity. Canada opens its borders to double-jabbed visitors, and we take a look at artificial intelligence: Kai Fu Lee, former CEO of Google China talks about the future of AI, and Kathryn Dill of the Wall Street Journal explains how one algorithm wasn't up to the job of sorting job applications. There's a bit of K-Pop to lighten the mood and throughout we're joined by Takara Small, technology reporter for the CBC and Timothy Martin of the Wall Street Journal. (Image: A protester wears a mask with the slogan "no to Bitcoin"/Credit: Reuters)

  • Mobility at the Munich motor show

    07/09/2021 Duration: 51min

    Mobility, not just motoring, is the theme of this year's Munich motor show, the IAA. The BBC's Theo Leggett is there and talks to us about the challenges facing the auto industry as it moves away from petrol and diesel. We hear from the EU Tax Observatory as they calculate European banks log $24billion a year in tax havens around the world. China's biggest property company Evergrande's creditors have called for immediate repayment of debts, could this be China's Lehman moment? Vivienne Nunis reports on the impact of Covid 19 on Kenya's economy, and the latest Marvel offering Shang Chi breaks records at the box office. All through the show we're joined by Peter Morici, economist at the University of Maryland and Rachel Cartland, writer and author who is based in Hong Kong. (Image: Two people inspect a new concept car at the Munich motor show/Credit: Getty Images)

  • US job growth starts to slow

    04/09/2021 Duration: 52min

    The US economy added 235,000 jobs in August, compared with 1.05 million in July. We hear how this is affecting businesses on a local level from Stephen Griffin, CEO of the Finger Lakes Economic Development Centre in upstate New York. Apple is to postpone the introduction of new software that would have detected pictures of child pornography and sex abuse on iPhones, following criticism by privacy campaigners. Our North America technology reporter James Clayton explains the situation. The Dutch Grand Prix returns this weekend after 36 years. The BBC’s Matthew Kenyon goes to Zandvoort to see why the F1 race is restarting after all these years. And US radio station Marketplace's Kai Ryssdal speaks to marketing professor Utpal Dholakia about the damage to brands when they are used by group such as the Taliban. Jamie Robertson is joined throughout the programme by Sinead Mangan, presenter of the ABC radio programme ‘Australia Wide’, from Perth. (Image: A 'Now Hiring' sign. Credit: Getty)

  • Western Union to resume money transfer services to Afghanistan

    03/09/2021 Duration: 52min

    The money transfer firm Western Union is resuming services in Afghanistan - a rare piece of good news as the country's economy faces collapse. We speak to former Afghan finance minister Omar Zakhilwal on the current situation there. Ireland has imposed a record fine of $225 million on the messaging app Whatsapp for violating European data protection rules. We get more details and context from Ireland-based business journalist Iain Guider. Lockdowns in the Australian cities of Melbourne and Sydney – which had been due to end - have now been extended, as the country recorded its 1000th death from the pandemic. We find out how lockdowns are affecting business owners in those areas, and how the wider economy is faring. Rahul Tandon is joined throughout the programme by Alison Van Diggelen, host of the 'Fresh Dialogues' interview series, from Silicon Valley and by Jasper Kim of Ewha University in Seoul and author of the book '24 Hours with 24 Lawyers: Profiles of Traditional and Non-Traditional Careers’. (Image:

  • Purdue Pharma Is Dissolved

    02/09/2021 Duration: 53min

    A judge in America has approved a bankruptcy plan that effectively dissolves Purdue Pharma, maker of the highly addictive painkiller, OxyContin. The company owners, the wealthy Sackler family, will have to turn over billions of dollars to help combat the deadly opioid epidemic. But the agreement will absolve the Sacklers of any liability or future lawsuits, allowing them to remain one of the richest families in America. We hear from Patrick Radden Keefe who writes for the New Yorker and has published a book this year on the Sackler family. Scientists at the UN's World Meteorological Organization say the number of weather-related disasters around the globe has increased five-fold over the past 50 years. We hear from the WMO's secretary-general, Professor Petteri Taalas. And we're joined throughout the programme by Sushma Ramachandran a columnist with the tribune who is based in Delhi and Dante Disparte from the Risk Co-operative who is based in Washington DC (Image: prescription bottle via Getty Images).

  • Joe Biden defends US pull-out as Taliban claim victory

    01/09/2021 Duration: 52min

    President Joe Biden has defended his decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan - a move which led to Taliban militants returning to power. Also in the programme, Dan Cooper of tech site Engadget explains the significance of a new South Korean law requiring app stores such as those of Google and Apple to allow alternative payment methods. US climate envoy John Kerry flies to China for high-level talks ahead of COP26.The BBC's Rahul Tandon explores an increase in underaged girls in India being married off, which is linked to the pandemic and school closures. And Variety entertainment reporter Gene Maudaus explains why Tom Cruise and his Mission Impossible producers, are taking on the insurance industry. All through the show we'll be joined by Samson Ellis, Bloomberg's Taipei bureau chief, and Ann Dwyer, editor of Crain’s Chicago Business. (Image: Women shop in Kabul market, Credit: Hoshang Hashimi/Getty)

  • US military completes withdrawal from Afghanistan

    31/08/2021 Duration: 52min

    The US military completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan after two decades of war, leaving the Taliban in charge. We hear from BBC Chief International correspondent Lyse Doucet, who watched the last US military planes leave Kabul's airport. We also hear from Jonathan Schroden, Director of the CNA's Countering Threats and Challenges Program, about what this means for the US and its legacy. And the last country in the world to use leaded petrol has stopped selling the highly toxic fuel, putting an end to its use in cars. We speak to Rob De Jong, the head of the Sustainable Mobility Group at the United Nations, who led the efforts against the fuel. We will discuss this and more with our guests; Simon Littlewood, president of ACG Global in Singapore, business editor Hayley Woodin and the economist Peter Morici from the US. (Photo: US planes in Kabul, Credit: Getty)

  • Hurricane Ida heads for the US

    28/08/2021 Duration: 52min

    Two days ahead of Ida's expected arrival, President Biden has approved a request from the Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, to declare a state of emergency; we get analysis from Johnston Von Springer at WBRZ in Baton Rouge and Dakota Smith, a meteorologist and satellite data analyst at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere at Colorado State University. The head of the US Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, has addressed the virtual meeting of central bankers at Jackson Hole. We hear reaction from Chris Low at FHN Financial. And it's easy to get demoralised by the constant stream of bad news about climate change and teenagers have been particularly hard hit by this environmental anxiety; we hear from Kosi Amayo who's behind a new publishing company, Onwe Press, and the author of one of their forthcoming books, aimed at the young adult, market, Rab Ferguson, author of Landfill Mountains. And we're joined throughout the programme by Colin Peacock from Radio New Zealand. (Photo: storm over

  • Central bankers gather virtually in Jackson Hole

    27/08/2021 Duration: 50min

    Central bankers from around the world are about to meet - virtually - to discuss challenging issues like inflation. We hear from Mohamed el-Erian, former chief executive of bond fund Pimco, about where we are in the global recovery. And a new study involving very young children in Mali and Burkina Faso suggests that a new vaccine combination developed by the UK-based pharma company GSK could reduce deaths and illness from malaria by 70% and millions of lives could be saved every year. We hear more from Dr Daniel Chandramohan, Professor of Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; he co-authored the report on the trials. Plus, Canadians go to the polls soon to give their verdict on the last six years of minority government by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party; we look at the issues at stake. And the English city of Liverpool lost its UNESCO World Heritage designation after 17 years; the BBC's Victoria Craig takes a look at why. And we're joined throughout the progra

  • Kamala Harris pledges cooperation with Vietnam

    26/08/2021 Duration: 52min

    As many around the world ask questions of the USA's foreign policy, the White House looks towards partners in Asia to reaffirm them of America's commitment to the region, and at the same time, to counter China's growing assertion. We'll hear from an employment lawyer as to why US firms will increasingly mandate workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Plus, why in Nigeria the search to secure a house isn't just a financial challenge, it's a cultural one too. We'll discuss this and more with our guests Ralph Silva, a broadcaster based in Toronto and Stefanie Yuen Thio a Singapore based lawyer with the firm TSMP.

  • US: 'We will meet Afghanistan withdrawal deadline'

    25/08/2021 Duration: 52min

    As people look to leave Afghanistan, we speak with the International Refugee Committee about measures to help those still in the country, whilst the chief executive of Airbnb, Brian Chesky, tells us about the firms efforts to house Afghan refugees who do manage to flee the country. In Japan, the Paralympics has its opening ceremony. But the seats are all empty and the pandemic looms large over the city - we'll be asking if the government was right to go ahead with the Games. Shipping giant Maersk announces a move in to green fuel – our expert tells us how the move will change the nature of geopolitical power as we know it. Plus, the new Spiderman film from Marvel has been leaked – we look at the history of lucrative films and how one leak changed everything. We discuss all this with guests Andy Uhler from Texas, and in Tokyo, Yoko Ishikura, Professor Emeritus, at Hitotsubashi University.

  • On the ground in Afghanistan

    24/08/2021 Duration: 51min

    What does the Taliban rule mean for Afghanistan's economy, and the surrounding region? The group says foreign military - including the US, France and Germany - must complete their evacuations and leave the country by 31 August. We hear from Rahmatullah Amiri, a socio-political analyst based in Kabul. who tells us what conditions are like in the capital. Authorities in the US have approved Pfizer's two-dose vaccine for over-16s. But some states are now seeing a surge in cases of the Delta variant. Florida has one of the highest rates, and we speak to Mary Mayhew, president and CEO of the Florida Hospital Association. And John Lydon - better known as Johnny Rotten - has lost a legal battle to stop music by his former band, the Sex Pistols, from being used in a new TV drama. Music journalist Eamonn Forde explains the case. Jamie Robertson is joined throughout the programme by Jeanette Rodrigues, South Asia managing editor for Bloomberg News in Mumbai, and by Peter Morici, economist at the University of Maryland

  • What now for Afghanistan's media?

    21/08/2021 Duration: 52min

    In the wake of the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan we consider the future of its media. We get the perspective of Saad Mohseni, chairman of Moby Media Group, which owns the most-watched network in Afghanistan, Tolo TV. Also in the programme, clampdowns on tech companies have investors questioning the prospects for the Chinese market, as around $560bn is wiped in one week. Chris Low of FHN Financial breaks it down for us. Sophie Haigney reports on the black market of pre-publication copies of books by popular authors such as Stephen King, J.K. Rowling and Sally Rooney. Plus, the BBC's Elizabeth Hotson reports on the impact of time on our work lives, and gets tips on making better use of it. (Picture: A female Afghan news presenter. Picture credit: Getty Images.)

  • Afghanistan's finances in disarray

    20/08/2021 Duration: 49min

    Afghanistan's finances are in a disastrous state, with assets abroad frozen and international payments suspended. The Taliban has already been raising millions in taxes - we'll hear how effective they've been at it, with an update from our correspondent in Kabul. Plus, we speak with Ian Fritz, who spent hundreds of hours eavesdropping on Taliban fighters. The website and app OnlyFans has banned sexual content; for stars on the site, it presents a serious dent to their lucrative incomes - we speak with Monica Huldt, who says she makes about $60,000 a month on the site. Plus, we discuss a controversial news Alzheimer's drug in an extended report from the BBC's Ivana Davidovic. We discuss all this live with guests Dimuthu Attanayake in Colombo and Lori Ann Larocco in New York. (Image: A Taliban fighter on the road in Afghanistan. Credit: EPA)

  • IMF suspends payments to Afghanistan

    19/08/2021 Duration: 53min

    The International Monetary Fund has said it will withhold funds to Afghanistan, which were due to be handed over within days. The decision was made due to the lack of "clarity within the international community regarding recognition of a government in Afghanistan." We also hear from Aisha Wahab, council member in Haywood City in California. She was the 1st Afghan American Woman Elected to Public Office in the United States. Also in the programme, in a bid to clamp down on nationwide protests Cuba introduces a new law restricting use of social media. Canadian court hearings to determine whether the senior executive of the Chinese tech giant, Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, should be extradited to the United States have ended after two and half years. The Canadian government prosecutor said the court should have no difficulty in finding Ms Wanzhou guilty of commiting fraud, and so should be handed over to the Americans. Plus, the BBC's Elizabeth Hotson reports on how whilst it's still only August, many retailers

  • Exiled Taliban leaders return to take charge

    18/08/2021 Duration: 52min

    Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has returned to Afghanistan from Qatar, where he has spent months leading negotiations about the US troop withdrawal. Not much more than 24 hours after the Taliban gained control of Afghanistan's capital Kabul, they held their first press conference. In front of the world's media they claimed they did not want revenge, that the country would not be used as a base for terrorism and that women would enjoy rights according to sharia [Islamic law]. BBC's Sana Safi from the Afghan Service gives us her reaction. We also hear from the head of Afghanistan's central bank Ajmal Ahmady, who fled the capital on Sunday evening as the Taliban took control. Also in the programme, nearly 6,500 workers at the General Motors plant in Mexico are taking part in a vote that could change the way they bargain over pay, and also affect trade relations with the US. The vote is whether to reject the existing collective bargaining agreement implemented by the Miguel Trujillo Lopez union

  • President Biden defends US withdrawal from Afghanistan

    17/08/2021 Duration: 51min

    Biden said there was never a good time to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan, but the situation has "unfolded quicker than expected". Dr Kamran Bokhari, director of analytical development at the Newlines Institute in Washington DC tells us that a lack of effective political and economic governance led the Afghan National Army to melt away and let the Taliban re-take the country. Plus, Daniel Arango, Disaster Management Coordinator at International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, gives us the latest on the situation in Haiti, where tropical storm Grace is making landfall, only days after a deadly earthquake hit the country. Also in the show, extra countries have been added to the service expected to be provided by the new 2Africa undersea internet cable being laid between Europe and two dozen African nations. The BBC's Zoe Kleinman explains why the new cable is needed. Plus, our regular workplace commentator Peter Morgan examines the lessons learned from an experiment in Iceland to offer

  • Taliban advance in Afghanistan

    14/08/2021 Duration: 53min

    In Afghanistan, the Taliban have seized half of the country's provincial capitals, and with the capital Kabul now in its grasp, we hear from Zuhal, a student who fears that women's rights will be at stake if the Taliban return to power. Also in the programme, China's third busiest port, Ningbo-Zhoushan has been partially shut down, due to a worker being infected with coronavirus. Nick Sevidies is editor of the shipping magazine Loadstar, and tells us how it might impact the global shipping industry. And in Scotland, Edinburgh officials tackling antisocial behaviour and housing shortages have taken the first step towards a crackdown on Airbnbs and other short-term rentals. Plus, the BBC's Frey Lindsay reports on how tensions are rising, as the European Union and Turkey try to negotiate renewed funding for a migration deal made at the height of the migrant crisis in 2016, which limited the number of asylum seekers arriving on EU shores. We talk to football finance expert Kieran Maguire about the financial diffi

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