Brazilian Traders Cautious Amid Impeachment Vote; Brazil's Senate Convenes for Impeachment Vote; Trump: My Tax Returns Stay Private;



Convenes for Impeachment Vote; Trump: My Tax Returns Stay Private;

Senators Call for Airlines to Drop Bag Fees; Allegiant: Our Customers

Demand Low Fare; Allegiant is an "Ultra-Low-Cost" Carrier; Bricker: We Only

Fly When People Want. Aired 4-5p ET - Part 1>

Rousseff. Alberto Ramos, Economist at Goldman Sachs says the political

transition in Brazil may lead to a more stable economy and political

equilibrium the country need to move forward. Donald Trump is going

against tradition and not releasing his tax returns before the election.

Trump says he's in an audit and his lawyers won't allow it, however, the

IRS says it won't have bearing on the audit. Senators are calling for

airlines to drop baggage fees because they feel the long lines are

unbearable. Airlines are now asking passengers to come three hours earlier

to make your flight. Allegiant an "ultra-low-cost" carrier has a business

model that gives the customers what they want, low-fares, friendly crew

members, and a reliable service.>

Taxes; ElectionsSenate; Airlines>


MAGGIE LAKE, HOST: Deep in the red as trading comes to a close on Wall Street. It's Wednesday May 11th. At this hour, Dilma Rousseff's political future hangs in the balance. Brazilian lawmakers prepare to vote on whether to impeach her.


LAKE: It was the scandal that nearly ruined Volkswagen, but VW says the people at the top were not to blame.

And Donald Trump breaks decades of precedent, he says his tax returns will stay under wraps. I'm Maggie Lake. This is "Quest Means Business."


LAKE: Good evening. We are a matter of hours away from a decision that could remove Dilma Rousseff from office in Brazil. 81 senators will vote on whether to begin impeachment proceedings against the president. Miss Rousseff is accused of breaking budget laws by hiding government deficits in the run up to the 2014 election.


LAKE: Anti-Rousseff protesters took to the streets in Sao Paulo Wednesday a day after her supporters staged their own demonstrations across the country. The political turmoil comes with less than three months to go until the real Olympics. Sasha Darlington is live in Brasilia for us this evening.


LAKE: And Shasta, this has been going on all day, what are we hearing from the senators?

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Maggie. Things got a slow start to begin with because the city is in a bit of a lockdown, so it was hard for the senators to get here, they stated late and they were given 15 minutes each. Well they've been taking plus that. So while the vote was originally set to take place this night, it looks like now it's going into the wee hours of tomorrow.


DARLINGTON: We've heard a lot of senators expressing their support for an impeachment trial and a few against it. But I have to say, despite all of this back and forth, and we've seen months of this, at this point it's come so far that it really is hard to find anyone who doubts that this is the beginning of the end.

LAKE: Shasta it appears --

DARLINGTON: The popular Brazilian President, the first female to hold that office. Now facing possible impeachment. Rousseff grew up in an upper middle class family from southeastern Brazil. Following a coup in 1964, a teenaged Rousseff joined the resistance movement against the military dictatorship. In 1970, she was arrested by government forces, jailed and tortured by her captors.

When the charismatic leader of the Workers Party Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was elected in 2003, Rousseff was appointed Minister of Mines and Energy and was chair of state-run oil company, Petrobras. In his second term, Luiz da Silva groomed her to be his successor.

In 2010, Rousseff won the Presidential election with 56% of the vote. Her approval ratings soared to nearly 80% by 2013.

But a year later with the economy taking and Petrobras in the midst of a giant corruption scandal, she just barely won re-election. In the meantime dozens of politicians in her party and coalition were charged for bribes and money laundering amount to billions of dollars.

Lula da Silva was called in for questioning. Rousseff wasn't implicated in the probe, but millions have taken to the streets demanding that she step down protesting institutional corruption and economic woes.

Now she's likely to face an impeachment trial for allegedly manipulating the federal budget to hide a shortfall ahead of 2014 elections.

In an exclusive interview, CNN's Christiane Amanpour asked Rousseff if she thinks she'll survive.

DILMA ROUSSEFF, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT: (As translated) I wish to tell you one thing, more than just thinking that I will survive, I will fight to survive. Not just for my term in office But I will fight because what I'm advocating and defending is a Democratic principle that governs political place in Brazil.

Who filed the impeachment process against me? All of them are being charged with political process especially speaker of the house. My life was turned upside down. They looked everywhere to find something against me, and there's no corruption charge at all against me.

DARLINGTON: But in the meantime her vice president, Michel Temer is already waiting in the wings ready to take over as soon as the senate approves the impeachment motion.

So this looks so inevitable at this point that Dilma Rousseff as actually already started moving her belongings out of the Presidential palace. She's setting up a bunker in the presidential residence which she'll get to keep during her defense in the impeachment trial. And we expect that she could be stepping down, suspended temporarily as early as tomorrow, and Vice President stepping in, Maggie.


LAKE: Shasta, so she's stepping down but she's not going to stop fighting Rousseff. Rousseff all along has said that she's basically being thrown out of office because she's unpopular which she says is no grounds for impeachment and a threat to Brazil's democracy?

DARLINGTON: That's right, Maggie. And that's why she wants to set up this bunker in the presidential residence where she'll have a lot of her supporters helping her fight the accusations in this impeachment trial.

Of course she's not accused of corruption which so many politicians are these days in Brazil but of breaking budget laws so it really hides the sorry state of the economy ahead of the election. She's going to fight those accusations, and we're likely to see a lot street protests and possibly even strikes with the labor unions that back her and the worker's party sort of getting out there and trying to get their message out that they are not going to let the next government 00 governing piece, they want their voices heard, Maggie.


LAKE: That's Shasta Darlington live for us from Brasilia tonight. Shasta, thanks so much, a long night ahead for everyone there.

Now the impeachment crisis is just one of a series of major challenges hitting Brazil at the same time. Many of Rousseff's allies as Shasta mentioned are facing corruption charges related to a scandal at Petrobras the state-run oil company. Rousseff was chairwoman at Petrobras before becoming president.

There was also the matter of an economy in recession. GDP is shrinking for the second straight year and unemployment has climbed to nearly 10%. Finally Brazil's medical services are being stretched as they try to contain the Zika virus. Brian Winter is the V.P. Of Council of America. He joins us here.

Brian Winter is the VP of the American Society and Business Organization, the Council of Americas. He joins us know. Brian thanks so much for being here. This is a very trying time for this country. People watching the impeachment process has said this is a threat, a test, to Brazil's democracy. Is that overstating it?

BRIAN WINTERS, VP AMERICAN SOCIETY AND BUSINESS ORGANIZATION: Well, I think the democracy has performed pretty well so far. I mean the institutions have remained in place, you've seen some pretty unpredictable stuff like this week when it looked briefly like the impeachment was off, then now it's back on again, and it's been kind of crazy.


WINTERS: But more or less things have been working the way that they're supposed to. You know President Rousseff has said this is a coo that's being led against her. It's not a coo. Impeachment is (inaudible) under Brazil's constitution.

Now you can argue the merits of the impeachment, maybe it's a bad impeachment but it's not a coup and democracy is working more or less like it's supposed to.

LAKE: And she will presumably have a chance to make that case now that the impeachment proceedings move ahead.

The markets seem to have a belief that somehow this is better that with Rousseff out, things will improve. Is that based in reality?

WINTERS: It is based in reality.


WINTERS: I mean the guy who will replace President Rousseff is her Vice President, Michel Temer. Now they were running mates back in 2014 but they think very differently about how the economy should work.

A Temer government would be less apt to interfere in certain aspects or the private sector of business, compared to Rousseff. He may try to even do a tax reform. The World Bank says that Brazil has by far the world's most complicated tax code. It takes you an average --

LAKE: Which is saying something.

WINTERS: Well, it takes your average business 2,600 hours a year in order just to calculate what they owe. That's three times worse than the second place -- or the second worst country. So he may try to tackle some of those things.

LAKE: Can he get it through though because there are some polls that we've seen that say 62% of Brazilians may want her out, but 58& want him out too. Can he push through those kinds of reforms especially with a population that's very fed up with the economy right now?

WINTERS: That's the question. And I have my doubts. I think that there's some wishful thinking on Wall Street and in other places about exactly the kind of political support that he is going to get. They did a poll where they asked Brazilians who they would vote for if presidential elections were tomorrow, only 2% said they would vote for Michel Temer. Now, he's going to have an opportunity to generate some support but to think that he's going to be able to do these big dramatic pro-business things that will be political unpopular in the short term, I think we're going to have to wait and see.

LAKE: Does Brazil have the resources in place to try to fix the economy, if they can move past this political crisis? I mean, there's a lot of attention about the fact that maybe they didn't diversify enough away from natural resources. A lot of countries find themselves bogged down by a global economy that, frankly, they have no control over. Can Brazil right the ship if they can move past this political crisis? Do they have the tools?

WINTERS: Yes, absolutely. I mean there is nothing fundamentally flawed or broken about Brazil.


LAKE: Which is a very important distinction.

WINTERS: I think so I mean this is a country don't forget - this is a country that as recently as five years ago, everybody thought the sky was the limit. Everybody thought was going to continue to grow 5% a year into eternity. Well things weren't that good then, and things maybe aren't that bad now.

I mean look, things are pretty bad. I don't want to try to sugarcoat it.



WINTERS: But it's a place that still has a demographic bonus that has this incredibly entrepreneurial culture. I lived there for five years. I mean people just have innovation in their bones. It's a question of the politicians both stepping out of the way on some things and also stepping up in order to do some of these reforms to unlock that potential.

LAKE: And putting that era of corruption which we can see the toll it's taking all around behind them. Brian, thank you so much for coming in, lovely to see you in person.

WINTERS: Thank you.

LAKE: Now Chinese and British officials are playing down comments made by Queen Elizabeth in a rare unguarded moment. She was overheard saying Chinese officials had been very rude during a visit to Britain last year. The Queen was speaking to the police commander in charge.


LAKE: Steven Tsang is Professor of Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Nottingham in England, and he joins us now via Skype.

Steven, thank you for being with us. A lot of people were quite shocked at hearing that moment. How damaging do you think this will be to relations between the two countries?

STEVEN TSANG, PROFESSOR OF CONTEMPORARY CHINESE STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM: I don't think it's going to be terribly damaging, not least because neither governments want to damage the relationship. And the passing remarks that the Queen made was not directed towards President Xi Jinping, so I don't think the damage will be very big.

LAKE: This was the first state visit by the Chinese leader. Do you think that this was just a one-off gaffe from the Queen and her staff? Or do you think that it's a sign that these countries have much to learn about each other?

TSANG: Well, I think what it affects is the way how a lot of Chinese officials and diplomats, how they manage relationship with countries. It's not the first time when Chinese officials have made very excessive demands on their hosts. What is surprising is the unguarded movement when the Queen makes a passing remark which was then reported. But what happens is fairly normal.

LAKE: How will this type of event play at home? I mean, we're all quite surprised to see it, and realize, I'm sure, it's embarrassing for the palace. But how well will this play back at home? Will Chinese people even hear about it or know about it? Will it play in the media there and what would the reaction be?

TSANG: Well, it will not be allowed to be played on Chinese television. I think the BBC World's report on the issue already was been immediately blanked out. And people in China do hear about it, I can see that the Chinese government may well (inaudible) good for them - good for the Chinese officials who stood up against those old imperialist who can't really suffocate China any longer.

LAKE: There is always spin and perhaps at this moment a learning opportunity for everyone involved. Steven, thank you for joining us today. Steven Tsang for us.


LAKE: Well Saudi Aramco gets ready for its close-up, the world's biggest oil company prepares to go public.


LAKE: We take a rare look behind the scenes.




LAKE: Volkswagen says none of its current or former executives did anything seriously wrong in the emissions scandal that nearly ruined the company.


LAKE: An internal review is clearing the VW board for the time being. CNN's Money Paul La Monica is here. Paul, I think there are going to be some people that look at this with some skepticism and say really? Nobody at a senior level had any idea this was going on?


PAUL LA MONICA, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I think when we've seen so many corporate scandals over the past couple of years, usually there is somebody at the upper levels management that had an idea of what was going on.


LA MONICA: And it does seem difficult to chock this up to just a couple of rogue engineers.

So I don't think that this scandal is over by any stretch of the imagination. Obviously, we've already seen some executives being forced out at Volkswagen as a result. But they haven't brought in outsiders, they've just promoted the head of Porsche to the top and there are concerns about what he might have known.


LAKE: And I think this issue of bringing in outsiders, we know, we've seen in crisis situations (inaudible) has to by their ability to really take it seriously and really make changes that customers and investors can believe in. If you don't have anyone from the outside involved or if you're not cleaning out somehow, it begs the question can you really move on from this.

I mean this was a huge issue. It wasn't in one plant in one country. I mean this was very global, this scandal. Is it going to make investors hesitant or cast into doubt how well Volkswagen is really grappling with this?

LA MONICA: I think so. I think it's a fair criticism to say that the company hasn't done enough to address the scandal.


LA MONICA: As you point out, it's not just the VW brand. It's some of the other Volkswagen brands as well into so many different markets. But to your point of whether or not an outsider has to come in, I think as long as you have the right person, it doesn't matter if they're internal or if they're coming in with some fresh blood. I think most people will argue that Mary Barra has done a really incredible job of riding the ship at GM, and she's a GM insider. She didn't come from outside the company to really try and shake things up.

I think that most people feel that she was pretty honest right from the get go addressing the situation. And you know GM has really turned itself around under her leadership.


LAKE: They have and she gets a lot of points for that. Before I let you go, Paul I have to ask you, what happened today, things weren't looking this bad when we spoke at the opening, though, and we were up, yesterday, investors can't seem to make up their mind?

LA MONICA: Yes. The retail - the retail earnings are pretty dismal.


LA MONICA: What we've seen from Macy's this morning, The Gap as well, and I think that's bringing into question how strong really is the American consumer. You can maybe chock it up to these are struggling retailers that have flailing brands they need to reinvent themselves. You say that, oh, well Amazon is killing everyone. But more and more retailers are disappointing Wall Street. And it does beg the question if consumers aren't spending when gas prices aren't low what are they going do now the gas price is well not, are going up again?

LAKE: Or they're not spending on clothes. I mean I think -- I think there's enough question in there whether this is shifting tastes and shifting landscapes, and where are they buying it.

LA MONICA: Right. Fashions with know is definitely hurting Macy's and the Gap.

LAKE Or if it's a bigger problem. But unfortunately, there's not enough clarity so I guess you have investors that are sort of on the see-saw right?

LA MONICA: Although Amazon hit an all-time high today. So that's going somewhere.

LAKE: That's right. Guilty, guilty. Paul, thanks so much.

LA MONICA: Thank you.

LAKE: It was nice to catch up with you. Paul La Monica for us.

Now shares of Staples and Office Depot both plummeted. The two retailers, the giants of the office supply market called off their plan merger. Staple shares were down 18% while Office Depot saw its stock collapse by a stunning 40%.


LAKE: The $6 billion merger was cancelled after a judge issued a preliminary injunction delaying it. That was at the request of the federal trade commission which said a merger could mean higher prices for consumers.


LAKE: This is not the only high profile merger to fail recently. Proposed deals between Halliburton and Baker Hughes, Comcast and Time Warner Cable, and Allergen and Pfizer all had to be junked because the government opposed them.



LAKE: Earlier I spoke to Deborah Finestein the Director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition. She said the merger would have reduced competition in the business sector.


DEBORAH FEINSTEIN, DIRECTOR FTC BUREAU OF COMPETITION: What we looked at people mostly know Office Depot as the retail stores that are all over the place where individuals can go and buy their pens, and their pencils, and their post it notes.

But what we also learned is that they have very significant sales to very large businesses. And those businesses have very specialized needs. If you're McDonald's or Bank of America, you have locations across the country and you really need some specialized services so that you can get your office supplies when you need them. So that you can keep track of all of the purchases that you're making so that you can be efficient about your spend. And what it turned out was that because of these specialized needs, there were really only two companies that could take care of the needs are very large business customers. And those were Office Depot and Staples. And this is a very big segment of the business. These large customers account for about $2 billion in office supplies. And we were concerned that prices to those customers would go up if the merger were to happen.


LAKE: Without anyone else stepping in the market, I mean, Amazon is incredibly efficient itself, especially when it sees opportunity. And there are some who say their business-to-business market, although not the main focus, is getting to be about $1 billion a year. That seems significant. You don't think they could flip a switch and enter this and be a viable competitor?

FEINSTEIN: We looked at that very seriously. We spent a lot of time looking at the evidence, and of talking to the customers. And what we learned is Amazon really has a different kind of business model. It's very well suited for small and medium business customers. But we saw that at least right now, and for the foreseeable future, it was not going to be a significant competitor for large businesses who have very different kinds of needs.

LAKE: There are some people who look at this, coming on the heels of Halliburton, coming on the heels of Pfizer's failed deal and say that this is a hostile environment for all mergers. Is the Obama administration trying to send a message to corporate America?

FEINSTEIN: I think we're trying to make clear that when we see mergers that lessen competition, we will take action. And we've seen a lot of mergers that combine the number one and number two players in an industry.


FEINSTEIN: Those are aggressive deals. We saw them in the Sysco U.S. Foods transaction at the Federal Trade Commission successfully blocked a year ago. And what we saw when we looked at that was a very similar situation to Staples and Office Depot.


FEINSTEIN: For business customers especially large businesses, restaurants in multiple locations, they were by far the two best competitors. And a merger between them would have increased prices. So we're trying to make clear that when we see any competitive deals we're not afraid to go to court if we think we need to block them, to preserve competition.

LAKE: And another tie-up that will not be going ahead. This one if Europe. The European Commission has blocked a deal that would have created Britain's largest Telecom operator.


LAKE: The parent company of the mobile network 3 U.S. was trying to buy O2 for $15 billion.

Regulators said customers would be left without a narrow choice of carriers resulting in higher prices.

It was a mixed bag for European stocks. In London.


LAKE: The FTSE closed slightly higher. Boosted by a rally in mining and national resource shares. Markets fell in Frankfurt and Paris. Zurich was more or less flat.

Oil prices rose after the U.S. Crude inventories dropped for the first time since March.


LAKE: Brent Crude rose more than 4% the second straight day of gains. The largest oil company in the world is putting the final touches on an IPO. When Saudi Aramco goes public, it will list the current, Saudi Arabian state owned firm.

CNN's John Defterios got a rare look inside its operations.

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Maggie, I'm standing in the eastern province which could easily be called the oil province of Saudi Arabia. It is the home of Saudi Aramco. And one thing I found out occurring this visit that the low-cost very discrete producer is opening up to the outside world. And as it does, the burden on this company to help in diversification of Saudi Arabia is starting to grow.

Even in this remote patch of desert, the giant Saudi Aramco is present. The Sheba field in the fabled empty corner will soon hit a major milestone producing 1 million barrels a day.

MOHAMMED AL-QAHTANI: We just (inaudible) it here in Sheba, and this is a frontier area. We have many other frontiers in the kingdom. The Red Sea in the north, here in the empty quarter, and the south great potential.


DEFTERIOS: Whether it's onshore or its shore facilities, the kingdom is ready to lift the cover off its crown jewel. A tour of Saudi Aramco's vast compound in Dhahran is all part of that effort.

AL-QAHTINI: You see here is the giant -- the largest field in the world.

DEFTERIOS: An engineer describes what sits beneath the desert sands and Gulf Waters. The bigger the blot, the more crude there is.

This is a rare peek into the inner workings of the energy giant. This is part of the operational center that tries to maximize each oil reservoir.

In the past Saudi Aramco was shrouded in secrecy but that is beginning to changed. The company is being pried open by this man, Deputy Crown Prince, Mohamed Bin Salman, and is playing an essential part in what he calls his 2030 vision.

Through an IPO the Prince is hoping to unlock over $2 trillion of value, An ambitious goal after the steep decline in oil prices. If all goes to plan in 2018, up to 5% of the company would be listed in New York, London, and Hong Kong.

AMIN NASSER, CEO SAUDI ARAMCO: As we are privatizing other industries in the kingdom, privatizing let's call it the crown jewel, is something important and is a vote of confidence in what we have.

DEFTERIOS: As we explore the country's new discoveries over 500 kilometers south of Aramco's headquarters one is well aware the heat is on. The government burned through $115 billion of cash reserves last year and has less than $600 billion of money on hand that the IMF says could be depleted by 2020.

Aside from the work being done by Saudi Aramco in fields like Sheba, now the regional players want to grow their production.

In fact by the early part of next decade, Iran and Iraq's combined production could match that of Saudi Arabia, altering competition within OPEC. Which could make Aramco's masterplan including the IPO, an even bigger challenge.

And they're certainly not sure on ambition. If you think about it, $2 trillion is about three times the size of Apple computer. It is clear now that the Deputy Crown Prince wants to use Saudi Aramco almost as a Trojan horse to drive diversification, to serve as an example. And in fact the chairman of Aramco Khalid Al-Falih is not just the Minister of Energy, but the minister of industry and the minister of minerals as well.

So also, great responsibility on him to deliver. Maggie, back to you.


LAKE: As brazil's political crisis gets worse, its stock market goes from strength to strength.


LAKE: We'll explain the Rousseff rally next.




LAKE: Hello, I'm Maggie Lake, coming up in the next half hour of Quest Means Business; Donald Trump said he won't release his tax returns until after this year's election.

And the list of people who are sick of long lines at the airport security section is growing. Passengers, senators and even airlines themselves. We'll speak to them later this hour. First, these are the top news headlines we're following this hour.

More than 90 people have been killed in a string of ISIS terrorist attacks across Baghdad. The carnage began with a car bomb, which killed at least 64 people at a market. Two other suicide bombings killed dozens of others. All of the attacks were aim at Shiite Muslims, ISIS, a Sunni group, claimed responsibility. A U.S. military commander in Baghdad said the attack shows ISIS was getting desperate.