Business Daily



The daily drama of money and work from the BBC.


  • Who owns colour?

    Who owns colour?

    07/05/2021 Duração: 17min

    Scientists, artists and some of the world’s biggest companies are carving up the visual spectrum, and claiming certain colours as their own, so who does have a right to use the colours of the rainbow? We explore the ongoing rift over the worlds “blackest black” Vantablack, which was created by engineering firm Surrey Nanosystems, and can only be used by the artist Anish Kapoor. Contemporary British artist Stuart Semple argues that creativity should not be limited by commercial agreements, while Surrey Nanosystems executive Ben Jensen explains that the material is not suitable for general use. Author Kassia St Clair explores the meaning and history of colour, and we hear how interpretations of colour have changed from Julie Irish, an assistant professor specialising in colour, at the College of Design in Iowa. Note: Surrey NanoSystems has clarified their material Vantablack isn’t toxic, as described by one speaker in this programme, but can be an irritant. This programme is a repeat from January 2021. (Pict

  • Life after Jack Ma

    Life after Jack Ma

    06/05/2021 Duração: 17min

    What next for China's giant tech companies? Ed Butler speaks to China watcher Richard McGregor at the Lowy Institute in Sydney about why China's leaders have clipped the wings of Jack Ma, the country's most famous business leader and founder of the tech giant Alibaba. Chinese tech sector analyst Rui Ma argues that closer regulation of China's giant tech companies will be good for competition, while Rebecca Fannin, author of Tech Titans of China, worries about the impact on innovation. Eswar Prasad, economics and trade policy professor at Cornell University in the US, outlines the challenge China faces in balancing its desire for control over its tech entrepreneurs with its need for innovation and growth. (Photo: Jack Ma pictured in Paris in 2019, Credit: Getty Images)

  • Electric vehicles hit the big time

    Electric vehicles hit the big time

    05/05/2021 Duração: 17min

    The car industry is preparing to go fully electric sooner than you might imagine - and not just because of the climate crisis. Justin Rowlatt speaks to Bjorn Annwall, head of Volvo Cars in Europe, about why his company is one of a string of major carmakers to rush out plans in recent months to electrify their business. They intend to stop selling internal combustion engine cars as soon as 2030. What's driving it is the rapid improvement and collapsing cost of the batteries at their heart, according to Madeline Tyson of the clean energy technology research group RMI. But how willing will people be to give up the glamour and roar of their engines for the silent speed of electric vehicles? Norway-based researcher Schalk Cloete fears that despite the technical advances, their limited range remains a deal-killer for many families. But EV fanatic and former Top Gear presenter Quentin Willson says give people a couple of days' test drive and they will soon be won over. Producer: Laurence Knight (Picture: Electri

  • Will Covid decimate Indias middle class?

    Will Covid decimate India's middle class?

    04/05/2021 Duração: 17min

    Millions of Indians risk being knocked back into poverty by the current explosion in coronavirus infections. Rahul Tandon hears from Radhika, who abruptly lost her job in Mumbai when India went into lockdown last year, and has since struggled with thoughts of suicide. Newspaper columnist Sandip Roy discusses how Covid threatens to strip many self-identifying middle class of their sense of comfort and security. Meanwhile, many women who run their own businesses face ruin, according Renu Shah, who runs Shakti - an organisation that helps women entrepreneurs. We also hear opposing views on how big a setback the middle class faces from Covid from two leading Indian economists - Pravin Krishna of John Hopkins University, and Jayati Ghosh of Jawaharlal Nehru University. (Picture: A Covid-19 patient in Gurudwara, India; Credit: Naveen Sharma/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

  • Making multinationals pay

    Making multinationals pay

    03/05/2021 Duração: 17min

    It could be the biggest shake-up of corporate taxation in history. But can President Biden's push for a minimum global rate succeed? He wants multinational companies to pay a rate of at least 21%. The proposal is likely to face opposition from smaller economies. Tech consultant Pamela Newenham explains how Ireland's low tax regime has helped to transform the country's capital. Others say the proposal doesn't go far enough. We hear why from Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. We also hear from the man leading the charge for reform at the OECD, Pascal Saint-Amans, and Danny McCoy, head of Ireland's biggest business group. Picture: Stock photo of a yellow warning sign on a fence (Credit: Getty)

  • Business Weekly

    Business Weekly

    01/05/2021 Duração: 50min

    A “once in a generation investment” is what Joe Biden offered the American people this week. He presented his American Jobs plan and American Families Plan to Congress to mark his first 100 days in office. Can he deliver? Also, will business travel resume once the pandemic has ended? Airlines and hotels are dependent on business travel - but now that so many people have adapted to virtual meetings, will frequent fliers ever want to get back to the departure lounges? And why do cities change their names? And what are the costs involved? The South African city of Port Elizabeth has rejected the colonial overtones of its former moniker - and is now called Gqeberha. The Chief Executive of Bollinger Champagne tells us why he’s bought up a vineyard in the United States and how the brand first became associated with James Bond. Business Weekly is presented by Lucy Burton and produced by Matthew Davies.

  • Men and cosmetic surgery

    Men and cosmetic surgery

    30/04/2021 Duração: 18min

    More men have considered cosmetic treatments during the pandemic. Has spending more time at home staring at ourselves in video conferencing made us more worried about our appearance, and have the pressures of ageism in the workplace also had an impact. Ed Butler speaks to psychologist Helena Lewis Smith, and Past President of the American Association of Plastic Surgeons Dr Alan Matarasso about just what’s motivating men to make more changes. Plus, he tries a treatment for himself. (PHOTO: Ed Butler checking out his frown lines at a cosmetic clinic in London, Credit: BBC)

  • Bidens trillions

    Biden's trillions

    29/04/2021 Duração: 18min

    The US president announces a massive spending plan for the US economy, with trillions of dollars earmarked for jobs and infrastructure. But is it too ambitious for Republicans to support? Ed Butler speaks to Ryan Heath, senior editor at Politico, and Gordon Hanson, professor of urban policy at Harvard Kennedy School. Hundreds of billions of dollars are also planned for the US's creaking healthcare system. Carer Sharon Tosten and democrat Debbie Dingell explain why it's needed. (Photo: US President Joe Biden outlines his spending plans to Congress, Credit: Getty Images)

  • Changing a citys name

    Changing a city's name

    28/04/2021 Duração: 17min

    What’s in a name? It’s something that Shakespeare’s Juliet pondered. But what’s in the name of a city? And what are the economic and social costs for a city which opts to change it’s name? Lots have done so down the years – New Amsterdam became New York City and Istanbul became Contantinople. Last year, the residents of Asbestos in Canada choose a new name for their city. And back in February, the South African city of Port Elizabeth became Gqeberha. Matthew Davies speaks to Christian Martin an activist who pushed for that name change, as well as local mayor, Nqaba Bhanga, who strongly resisted it. Business owner, David Stopforth, tells Business Daily that he’s been left counting the cost of the name change to his small print firm. Meanwhile, Andy Marchant from Tom Tom says changing place names is not an altogether easy process for the satellite navigation companies. And Tirthankar Roy, professor of economic history at the London School of Economics, ponders whether part of the essence of a city’s past is los

  • Does business travel have a future?

    Does business travel have a future?

    27/04/2021 Duração: 18min

    Why fly when you can videoconference? After a year of Covid lockdowns, that's the question many business executives are asking themselves. Manuela Saragosa speaks to one frequent flyer, Juliette Kayyem, who says that after a year of being grounded, she now thinks more about time with her kids, not to mention the carbon footprint of all her air miles. And she's not the only one - business travel consultant Scott Gillespie says corporate travel managers across the planet are now using the opportunity to reassess the financial and climate cost of their entire corporate travel policy. So should the airlines and travel agencies be afraid? After all, business clients pay the fattest profit margins. We ask Jeffrey Goh, chief executive of the world's biggest airline grouping, the Star Alliance, plus Evan Konwiser of American Express' global business travel agency. Producer: Laurence Knight (Picture: A woman with a suitcase at the Madrid airport; Credit: Alejandro Martinez Velez/Europa Press via Getty Images)

  • Covid in paradise

    Covid in paradise

    26/04/2021 Duração: 18min

    How are small island tourist destinations like the Caribbean island state of Antigua and Barbuda coping with the shutdown of global travel? Manuela Saragosa speaks to the Antiguan Minister of Tourism Charles Fernandez about the innovative steps his country took to continue welcoming holidaymakers from North America and Europe last year, while keeping them safely contained within their own beachside bubbles. The pandemic has been devastating for the travel industry more generally, according to Helen McDermott of Oxford Economics. Among those hardest hit are aircrew. Former pilot Matthew Wilson tells how he ended up relocating halfway across the planet to become a gardener after his airline went into liquidation. Meanwhile Jeffrey Goh of the Star Alliance global grouping of major airlines says they urgently need world governments to agree the conditions under which restrictions on travel can finally be lifted. Producer: Laurence Knight (Picture: Mother, child in face masks have fun on sea beach; Credit: Bi

  • Business Weekly

    Business Weekly

    24/04/2021 Duração: 50min

    As India battles a surge in Covid cases and hospital beds become scarce, Business Weekly hears how social media is helping connect patients with medical help. Several areas of the country have gone back into lockdown. We get reaction from businesses. In Denmark, the authorities have introduced a Corona Pass, which lets the vaccinated attend various events. Our reporter looks at how well it’s working. We look at the online advertising industry as several big companies scale back their digital marketing spend. The suggestion is that they aren’t seeing the returns on investment they perhaps should be, and that data doesn’t always give an accurate idea of success. Could a bubble be about to burst? And is your boss clueless? We hear about a new piece of research from Microsoft which suggests managers aren’t aware of how lockdown has affected their workers. Business Weekly is presented by Lucy Burton and produced by Matthew Davies.

  • Big Data, conspiracy theories and ‘Magical Thinking’

    Big Data, conspiracy theories and ‘Magical Thinking’

    23/04/2021 Duração: 17min

    Filmmaker Adam Curtis questions the value of Big Data in society. In his latest BBC series, 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head', Curtis explores "Love, power, money, ghosts of empire, conspiracies, artificial intelligence – and You." Curtis spoke to Business Daily's Ed Butler about how the rise of artificial intelligence, Big Data and targeted advertising have come to shape the way we see our world and caused us to feel helpless within it. He also explains that the psychological experiments which underpin our faith in the effectiveness of such technologies might not be as reliable as once thought, which Curtis says gives us some cause for hope. Producer: Frey Lindsay. (Picture credit: Adam Curtis/BBC)

  • Is the digital ad market overvalued?

    Is the digital ad market overvalued?

    22/04/2021 Duração: 17min

    Large companies have slashed their digital marketing budget. Airbnb and Procter & Gamble made such a cut in recent years, after coming to believe the cost doesn’t necessarily translate to increased sales. They follow in the footsteps of eBay who, in 2013, announced it would cease paying for ad sponsorship on Google. Economics professor Steve Tadelis, who led eBay’s research into this, explains how they came to conclude advertising wasn’t worth it. Also in the programme, brand safety advocate and co-founder of Check My Ads Nandini Jammi explains how the modern digital ad market works, and where some doubts lay about its effectiveness. Luke Smith of marketing consultancy Croud says companies need to be clearer in what they want from digital marketing, in order to get the most out of it. But what if the market is overvalued as a whole? Former Google employee Tim Hwang, author of ‘Subprime Attention Crisis’ says we might be looking at an inflated market that could threaten a financial crash online. Producer: Fre

  • Can Biden woo the world on climate change?

    Can Biden woo the world on climate change?

    21/04/2021 Duração: 17min

    President Biden hosts a virtual summit this week as the US seeks global climate action. But can he convince the rest of the world to go further and faster on cutting carbon emissions when the country has been out of the game for the past four years? Justin Rowlatt asks former US climate envoy Todd Stern and Isabel Hilton, founder of China dialogue. And, in a world where some countries are rolling back protections, can consensus still be found? We hear from the heart of the Brazilian rainforest, where the environmental police say they are losing the war against the loggers. Lisa Viscidi, director of the energy and climate change programme at the Inter-American Dialogue think-tank, says the summit provides an opportunity for Latin American countries. Photo: Climate protestors in Lyon, France hold up a sign saying 'SOS' (Credit: Getty).

  • Demille and the gig economy

    Demille and the gig economy

    20/04/2021 Duração: 18min

    In 2016 when producer Georgia first met him, Demille was a cycle courier in his early twenties, taking his company to a tribunal over better working conditions. He was fired-up, political, and excited about a case he would go on to win. For the past five years, Georgia and Demille have been meeting and recording. Demille’s story is one of being young and trying to stay afloat in the gig economy; of resilience and hope and trying to find control over his city and life.

  • Meeting expectations

    Meeting expectations

    19/04/2021 Duração: 18min

    Every day 55 million meetings take place in the United States. But just how effective are they at actually getting stuff done? British comedian David Mitchell has been investigating how the meeting evolved and the "meeting-isation" of society. (Picture: a man boring colleagues during a meeting. Credit: Getty Images.)

  • Business Weekly

    Business Weekly

    17/04/2021 Duração: 49min

    The US is making overtures to China about working together to save the planet. On Business Weekly, we hear what concessions each side would like the other to make as they try to put aside their diplomatic differences for the sake of the environment. We also hear from climate activist Greta Thunberg, who tells us what her vision for the future is and what she’d like to see politicians doing. As the cargo ship Ever Given remains in the Suez Canal - this time impounded by the Egyptian authorities - we take a close look at the huge vessels in the shipping industry. At what point do companies have to start thinking about reducing the size of these mega ships? And drone racing is increasing in popularity. One pilot tells us what it’s like to fly drones competitively and whether you can make a living from it. Business Weekly is presented by Lucy Burton and produced by Matthew Davies.

  • A part-time return to the office?

    A part-time return to the office?

    16/04/2021 Duração: 17min

    A hybrid model mixing home working with office time is being favoured by major companies. But critics worry it will create divisions in the workplace. Small business owner and columnist Gene Marks explains why managing remote workers presents such a challenge, and Darren Murph from GitLab, a tech firm of 1,300 employees and no office, tells us why having a mix of home and office work could be the worst of both worlds. Economist Nicholas Bloom discusses the risk of discriminating between workers who choose to spend more or less time in the office, and remote working expert Kate Lister tells us why companies will have to offer flexible working to attract employees in the future. (Photo: A man works at home on his bed, Credit: Getty Images)

  • President Biden and his strategy for China

    President Biden and his strategy for China

    15/04/2021 Duração: 17min

    Will the US President continue with an increasingly hostile attitude towards China? Or does economic common sense demand that Washington should back off from Beijing? Ed Butler asks Diana Choyleva of Enodo Economics, and he chairs a debate between David Sacks of the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington DC and Kishore Mahbubani, a distinguished fellow at the National University of Singapore. (Picture: US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Credit: Getty Images.)

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