300 episodes

The daily drama of money and work from the BBC.

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    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

The daily drama of money and work from the BBC.

    Wind of change in Germany

    Wind of change in Germany

    Can the ambitious renewable energy plans of the incoming government overcome domestic nimbyism and Russian gas politics?

    Ed Butler hears from one member of the new left-liberal-green coalition, Social Democrat MP Jens Zimmermann, about their plans to phase out coal entirely by 2030, and replace 80% of electricity generation with wind and solar. But building new wind turbines already faces substantial red tape and vociferous opposition from bird conservation groups, as industry man Steffen Lackmann explains.

    Meanwhile, how will the government tackle a more pressing matter - Russian President Vladimir Putin's alleged restriction of gas supplies to Europe this winter in order to force German approval for the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Ed speaks to Gustav Gressel, geopolitical analyst at the ECFR think tank, and to Melissa Eddy at the New York Times' Berlin bureau. Plus Yuri Vitrenko, head of Ukraine's gas pipeline company Naftogaz, explains why he fears approval of the pipeline could mean war in his country.

    (Picture: Leaders of the incoming German government, including Chancellor-elect Olaf Scholz (centre), inadvertently re-enact the opening scene from Reservoir Dogs; Credit: Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images)

    • 18 min
    The kleptocrats club

    The kleptocrats club

    Authoritarian regimes are working closer than ever to keep each other afloat - with plenty of help from the West's financial system.

    Ed Butler speaks to Frank Vogl, who helped found the global anti-corruption organisation Transparency International. He claims that the world's kleptocrats are enabled by an army of bankers, lawyers and accountants who are helping them squirrel away their ill-gotten money in Western real estate and investments.

    And for regimes like those of Belarus, Venezuela or Syria, who find their power contested by their own people and their economies in tatters, there is plenty of support to be found these days from other authoritarians - chief among them Russia and China. That's according to the historian, journalist and author Anne Applebaum. The questions is whether the world's democracies will ever get their act together and do something about it?

    (Picture: Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro (left) embracing Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko; Credit: Sergei Gapon/AFP via Getty Images)

    • 18 min
    The plight of girls under the Taliban

    The plight of girls under the Taliban

    In Afghanistan, high schools are currently closed to girls, and women have been banned from TV dramas. So how hard is life for the female half of the population, as the Taliban reassert control?

    Tamasin Ford hears from her colleague Yalda Hakim, who recently returned to the Afghan capital Kabul, the city of her birth, where she quizzed members of the new regime about their intentions for girls' education. Tamasin also speaks to Mahbouba Seraj of the Afghan Women Skills Development Center in Kabul about what life is now like in the city.

    Meanwhile Marianne O’Grady, who worked in Afghanistan for the charity CARE International until she was evacuated in August, says that with food now running desperately short in the country, there are even more pressing concerns than the treatment of women.

    (Picture: Afghan girls look out next to a building in Sharan, Afghanistan; Credit: Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images)

    • 18 min
    Business Weekly

    Business Weekly

    On Business Weekly, we look at inflation in different countries, and in particular, how price rises are hitting the citizens of Turkey and the United States. We hear how two different presidents are trying two very different ways of getting it under control. We also hear how baristas in Starbucks are trying to unionise and how the coffee shop chain has reacted. Plus, we look at green hydrogen and hear from the producers in Denmark hoping the sustainable fuel will help meet climate change targets. Business Weekly is presented by Sasha Twining and produced by Matthew Davies.

    • 50 min
    The coming cleantech mining rush

    The coming cleantech mining rush

    Can the minerals needed to decarbonise the global economy be dug up fast enough? And can it be done without the human rights and environmental abuses of the past?

    Tamasin Ford speaks to KC Michaels of the International Energy Agency says there will need to be a staggering increase in the amount of nickel, lithium, cobalt and rare earths being mined, in order to build all the batteries, wind turbines and solar panels needed. But mining consultant Dr Patience Mpofu says that the mines required can take anything up to 15 years to commission.

    With many of these critical minerals concentrated in the developing world, the fear is that a rapid increase in global demand may outstrip the supply from the formal mining industry, with the gap filled by much less responsible mining operations. Emmanuel Umpula of the Congo-based NGO African Resources Watch fears a worsening of human rights abuses and pollution from such mines. But Mark Cutifani, chief executive of mining giant Anglo American, says the industry is working hard to ensure better standards of behaviour.

    (Picture: South African miner; Credit: David Turnley/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

    • 18 min
    Why is Turkey's currency collapsing?

    Why is Turkey's currency collapsing?

    Turkey's currency has been in free fall this week, reaching a record low against the US dollar. The Lira's collapse has been sparked, in part, by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan doubling down on his controversial economic policies, such as demanding that the central bank cut interest rates despite rapidly accelerating inflation.

    Ed Butler explores why President Erdogan is so attached to the policy, at the expense of three central bank governors in the last three years, and asks what impact the currency crisis is having on Turkey's economy. Ed speaks to Gulcin Ozkan, professor of finance at King's College London, economist and former fund manager Mohamed El-Erian, and to a forlorn wealth manager in Istanbul.

    Producer: Will Bain

    (Picture: Turkish Lira notes; Credit: Getty Images)

    • 17 min

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