Video Duration 25 minutes 00 seconds
From: Counting the Cost

Why is the US Federal Reserve holding interest rates?

We look at why interest rates are being held at near-zero levels, driverless cars and the impact of the Rugby World Cup.

The US Federal Reserve has decided to hold interest rates at its current near zero levels in efforts to stimulate growth and address fears about China’s ailing economy.

Amid rising consumer confidence and the lowest unemployment rate in seven years, 5.1 percent last month; the central bank’s decision to keep interest rates low has made it easier for consumers to borrow money and encourage increased spending.

The prospect of a rise in interest rates would have strengthened the dollar against other global currencies – attracting capital away from emerging markets.

Also, emerging markets had seized advantage of record-low interest rates to take trillions of dollars in debt tied to the dollar – a stronger dollar would make those debts be more expensive to service.

Luke Bartholomew, an investment manager at Aberdeen Asset Management joins Counting the Cost to give us a breakdown of why the FED decided to hold that decision.

Driving the auto industry

Sit down, strap yourself in… and the car does the rest?

Autonomous cars are just around the corner – and some could be heading towards your driveway very soon.

Internet giant Google unveiled its prototype driverless cars last year and is one of many companies leading the technology into self-driving cars.

Several leading carmakers have now joined ranks and believe that driverless cars could be on the roads by as early as 2020, with many introducing new vehicles powered by the same electric technology at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Ian Robertson, a board member at BMW, joins the programme to discuss the future of the automotive industry.

Rugby World Cup: Controlling the media?

The Rugby World Cup has just begun in England and Wales and the tournament will have an unprecedented hold on the media.

Broadcast in more than 200 countries and with a potential audience of over 4 billion people, restrictions being placed on sports journalists has led to some news organisations to boycott the event.

Expected to generate more than $3bn, the events organisers are becoming more controlling over how the matches and their sponsors will be covered.

Gary Hudson, a senior lecturer at Staffordshire University, discusses this latest encroachment on journalism.