We caught 31-year veteran of business news Charles Hodson on a break between his morning and afternoon shows at CNN’s Soho studios.
Hodson got started in business journalism in 1979 and had plenty to say about what makes senior executives tick and the role of business schools in the crisis.
He likes covering business because, “In business, people have to say what they think”, unlike politicians, who generally say whatever it takes to win votes.
He doesn’t think successful business people are that different to the rest of us: perhaps more driven, more intelligent or just endowed with more luck.
A few of the people he has interviewed have behaved in an “imperial” manner. The boss of one multinational firm balked at being asked to move a few inches over for a camera shot, saying, “No one’s ever spoken to me like that”.
Hodson is down beat on the progress made to date to tackle the roots of the current crisis: “The system and the machine is a lot more powerful than our policymakers”, he argues. Governments and multilateral agencies are still just talking about the need for tighter regulation, “months and months” after the crisis began.
The role of business schools in the downturn “has got to be fairly tenuous”, according to Hodson. The main thing they can do now is teach a lot of courses on “what went wrong between 2005 and 2015”, which is how long he thinks this crisis could take to play itself out.
A graduate of Eton College and Oxford University, Hodson’s journalism career has included a stint in a studio on an east London construction site in the late 1980s, which later became Canary Wharf.
He anchors CNN International’s twice-daily program “World Business Today”, a round-up of the day’s business and financial market news in which he interviews people like French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, Richard Branson and former Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking.
He also rides his folding bike around London tackling the city's recession-time business happenings for "Hodson's Economic Cycle". Last week he biked to Harrods, where $426,000 gold bars went on sale to the public.
Check Hodson on his bike investigating “Pop-up stores”, a growing phenomenon as cheap retail space becomes available in recession-hit London