Business Daily-logo

Business Daily


The daily drama of money and work from the BBC.

The daily drama of money and work from the BBC.


United Kingdom




The daily drama of money and work from the BBC.




Brands boycott Facebook

Will the Stop Hate for Profit campaign change the social network's handling of "toxic" content? Big names like Ford, Starbucks and Unilever are pulling ads from Facebook starting this month. Ed Butler speaks to some of the companies involved: Damien Huang, president of outdoor clothing company Eddie Bauer, Mary Ellen Muckerman from tech firm Mozilla, and Ryan Gellert from Patagonia. As the campaign appears to gather momentum, how much will it hurt Facebook's business? Jordan Bucknell,...


Rethinking the future

The 2020s will be transformational for humanity, according to the tech prophet founders of RethinkX, Tony Seba and James Arbib talk to Justin Rowlatt about their prediction that a confluence of new technologies - in energy, transportation, and food and materials production - could wipe out poverty and solve climate change in the next 10-15 years, and usher in a new "Age of Freedom" for our species. But while it sounds utopian, they also warn in their new book Rethinking Humanity that it...


The billionaire and the pandemic

Mohamed Mansour is a household name in Egypt. The billionaire head of the multinational conglomerate Mansour Group has been involved in business and politics in Egypt and abroad for decades, as the BBC’s Mohamed El Aassar explains. Mansour himself sat down to speak with Manuela Saragosa about globalisation, the long-term impact of coronavirus and donating to the UK conservative party. (Picture: Mohamed Mansour. Picture credit: Mansour Group.)


Business Weekly

On Business Weekly we’ll be asking why the boss is often the least skilled person in the room? Are incompetent people put into middle management to get them out of the way - or are they just more confident than their more proficient peers? We’ll also be looking at the future of meat and asking whether china will turns its back on pork and embrace plant-based alternatives. And we’ll hear from the pilots who have swapped aviation for empathy. Presented by Lucy Burton, produced by Benjie Guy .


Does the WTO have a future?

With current World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevêdo due to leave his post later in the year, the race is on for a new DG. Abdel Hamid Mamdouh, a former diplomat and candidate for the top job, tells Manuela Saragosa how he imagines the WTO of the future, while the BBC’s Andrew Walker explains how US opposition under President Trump to a global multilateral trading system is putting the organisation’s future in doubt. (Picture: A shipping freighter with cargo containers....


Why your boss is incompetent

Why is it that the boss never seems to know what they’re doing? The famous “Dilbert principle” asserts that companies promote incompetent employees into middle management to get them out of the way. But Professor David Dunning, co-creator of the competing “Dunning–Kruger effect”, says there’s more to it than that, specifically that the more incompetent a person is, the more confident they can be. Meanwhile, Kelly Shue, Professor of Finance at Yale, says an even simpler idea, the “Peter...


Can we guarantee a job for everyone?

One of the long-run impacts of the coronavirus pandemic is dramatically worsened unemployment around the world, with millions of people suddenly unable to support themselves and their families. Aside from the obvious financial implications, Dr Stephen Blumenthal, a clinical psychologist in the UK tells Ed Butler about the tremendous impact this could have on mental health and human life. Meanwhile, some economists are discussing whether societies could, or indeed should, make sure everyone...


Lifting the lockdowns

Ever since governments first began trying to contain the coronavirus pandemic, economists and pundits around the world have debated the apparent trade-off between protecting public health, and minimising the economic harm that the containment measure would likely cause. But is the whole idea of health versus wealth wrongheaded? We hear from Jo Michell, associate professor in economics at the Bristol Business School, and from Laurence Boone, chief economist at the Organisation for Economic...


Will China embrace fake meat?

In today's programme, Elizabeth Hotson asks how supply chain issues in China’s pork industry could help home grown meat alternatives go mainstream. As pork prices rise and China looks to new forms of protein, we hear from David Yeung from Green Monday, the company behind popular mock-pork product, OmniPork. A rival for the synthetic pork crown, Vince Lu from Zhenmeat, tells us why he has high hopes that his meat free tenderloin will corner the hot pot market and Matilda Ho, founder of Bits x...


Business Weekly

On Business Weekly we ask how international businesses based in Hong Kong are reacting to China’s new security laws. It is finally illegal to discriminate against LGBTQ people in the workplace in the United States, so, we hear from the man who took his case all the way to the Supreme Court. As the World Bank predicts that remittances will fall by 20% this year, we look at how that will affect communities in the developing world and speak to expat workers who send their wages home. Two big...


#BLM: Are brands cashing in?

Companies are pledging support and money to the Black Lives Matter movement, and an end to systemic racism. Do they mean it? Ed Butler asks Pepper Miller, a market researcher who has campaigned for over 20 years for companies to realise the value of African-American consumers. One business that already has a long history of supporting black equality and other social justice movements is the ice cream brand Ben & Jerry's. But the company is based in Vermont, the second whitest state in...


Hong Kong's last gasp?

China's plan to impose its new so-called security law in Hong Kong may flout the territories legal independence. Some say it may jeopardise Hong Kong's status as Asia's largest financial hub. Hedge fund manager Edward Chin tells Ed Butler that the new law will mean an end to the principle of "one country, two systems" and may lead to companies leaving the territory. Victor Shih, an expert in Chinese banking and finance based at the University of San Diego, says it could have a much more...


China's debt relief for Africa

China has been one of the biggest financiers of infrastructure projects in Africa, but many African economies have been hit hard by the Covid 19 pandemic. So will China prove to be a generous and understanding creditor? Can it even afford to be? In the edition of the programme we hear from Zhengli Huang, a freelance researcher in Nairobi, on what’s likely to happen to Chinese-financed projects in Africa. Deborah Brautigam, director of the China Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins...


How batteries are powering ahead

Tesla's Elon Musk plans to make some big announcements about batteries that could transform cars, electricity and the fight against climate change. Justin Rowlatt gets the inside scoop from Seth Weinbaum, journalist at the electric vehicles news-site Electrek. Meanwhile, battery chemist Paul Shearing of University College London and the Faraday Institution explains how lithium-ion batteries made the smartphone possible, and are now set to revolutionise transport. But electrifying the world's...


A conversation with Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

The Nigerian economist and former World Bank managing director talks about Africa, Covid-19, boardroom diversity, and her hopes to lead the World Trade Organisation. She is one of several candidates vying for the position, after the current managing director unexpectedly resigned a year early. But at a time when trade is suffering from the ravages of a sceptical Trump administration and a pandemic, is the job something of a poisoned chalice? And what would it mean for an African woman to...


Business Weekly

Business Weekly continues the conversation around race and racism sparked by the death of George Floyd. We’ll be asking whether African Americans should be paid reparations for their ancestors' enslavement. We’ll hear from Bob Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television. Mae Jamison, the first woman of colour in space, gives us her thoughts on how today’s protesters differ from those in the 1960s when she was a young girl in Chicago. Plus, the Coronavirus pandemic has changed the...


Greece: Will the tourists come?

As Greece prepares to reopen its beaches, tavernas and ancient monuments for the summer season, the country is anxious that few tourists will turn up, and those that do could bring the coronavirus back with them. Manuela Saragosa asks tourism minister Harry Theoharis whether his country is being reckless in opening up so quickly, having so successfully contained the virus within its own borders. Meanwhile Florian Schmitz reports from the island of Thassos, where many restaurants and cafes...


Russia's covid crisis

Russia is ending its lockdown as officials congratulate citizens on a shared victory. But with infection rates still sky-high, some say it's premature, and that it's more to do with politics than the best interests of the nation. What's at stake for Russia and its strongman, Vladimir Putin? On this edition of the programme, we hear from Dmitry Nechaev who runs a bicycle workshop in Moscow on his fears for the future. Economist Sergei Guriev talks about the economic impact of the pandemic on...


Reparations for African-Americans

This is an old idea gaining new currency amidst the latest Black Lives Matter protests. Should billions of dollars in damages now be paid to descendents of African-American slaves for the sins of the past. How would this happen? Why? And would modern white America ever agree to it? One man who's long thought so is Bob Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television and RLJ technologies and who became the first US African-American billionaire in the 1990s. Ed Butler also speaks to...


Bill Gates: the ‘voodoo doll’ of Covid conspiracies

Why are there so many conspiracy theories swirling in the online world about billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates? Jane Wakefield explores why people might seek conspiracy theories, and asks if they are just part of the online rumour-mill, or can cause actual harm. Jane hears from Rory Smith from fact-checkers First Draft News, from Marianna Spring from the BBC’s anti-disinformation team, and from Professor Joseph Usinski, who argues that these kinds of theories have always been a part of...