EP 101: GOP strategy to win back Senate & Congress in 2022; LAC disengagement & more!

#EP101: GOP strategy to win back Senate & Congress in 2022; LAC disengagement & more! #DailyGlobalInsights

Sree Iyer: Namaskar and welcome to episode 101 of Daily Global Insights. It is February 18th, and I’m your host Sree Iyer along with co-panellists Sridhar Chityalaji. Sridharji, namaskar and welcome to PGurus channel.

Sridhar Chityala:  Namaskar and good morning to everybody on this wonderful snowing day in Manhattan, we are just seeing the early flakes.

Sree Iyer: We are going to start today with a recap of what has been happening between the United States and Tibet and amidst all the election frenzy we had mentioned, this is a line item, but perhaps many of you may not have been aware of it. But, on the 22nd of December 2020, there was a bill that was passed in both the Senate and the Congress about Tibet and a 1.2 billion dollar aid has been allocated for this purpose and the act is called the Tibetan policy and support Act and it is going to pay the way for the United States government to issue economic and visa sanctions against Chinese officials, who interfere with the succession of Dalai Lama.  We have four key items that were agreed to upon that and to understand a little bit more. Let us join Sridharji.

Sridharji through can you please expand on what is resolution means? Does it mean that the United States now has thrown the gauntlet to China to say that Tibet has to be excluded from your rest of the stuff, at least within the whatever the limits of the thing, the US is not saying we are freeing Tibet, but they are trying to recognize the autonomous region of Tibet?

Sridhar Chityala: I think that the tip everybody I mean, this is a pretty much a known secret. Tibet, Dalai Lama conducts his government from the Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh region of India. The objective is that they can permanently live in Exile and there have to be the Tibetan people have to manage their affairs from Tibet. Tibetan Buddhism is one of the largest followed Buddhist principles in the world. And so therefore they feel that the first and foremost priority is no Dalai Lama should be chosen and anointed on people of Tibet by China, it should be chosen by Mr Dalai Lama himself that the first one.

The second is that it should be recognized as an independent autonomous region, so, the government should be determined by its people rather than somebody being imposed or rather than anointed to manage the affairs, that’s what happens typically in Hong Kong. Now, Hong Kong is fully integrated the Democratic legislative components of people have been removed. So it’s very much, China, that’s what goes on there. So, that they didn’t want that to happen, there’s a fundamental difference as to why Tibet is different to any other place that’s number two.

The third is the establishment of the US Embassy in Lhasa and with the intent that it’s able to be an arbitrator if required in this constant and persistent conflict between Tibet and the main Chinese government or the CCP.

And the last is that it is also home to the largest natural river system in the world. So the ecosystem needs to be preserved and the environmental aspects need to be taken care of. So these and then the US said it would like to have some mechanism to monitor and make sure that that process of that aspect of it is preserved. So, these are essentially the four principles and out of the stimulus bill number two, which is 910 billion dollars. If you remember that there were kind of other items and in that there were 1.2 billion dollars allocated specifically for Tibet. So, they just came to a compromise because they didn’t want the Tibetan thing to be cut out and that was very important to be. So, money resolution bipartisan, this is not a Republican or Democrat, it is a bipartisan resolution. I think something like 92-0 or 92-2 to in the Senate, this resolution was passed.

Sree Iyer: Viewers, we are going to have a detailed look at the LAC at the rail construction of China and the implications and so on and so forth and just a little bit into this News segment, but first, let us take a look at the United States news. It appears that Trump is back. He has been doing the TV channel circuit and also some sort of resolution in trying to group the party together to move forward for the 2022 election, sir.

Sridhar Chityala: Indeed, I think that you know his two interviews yesterday, one with News Max and the other with Sean Hannity Show in a Fox, you know, very great interviews reaffirming that he enjoyed the four years and you know a lot to be done, a lot to be done and obviously mildly touching on the election. And he was very candid which is effective to state that he is going to support those people who back MAGA which is Make America Great Again, and he has a great following and the core conservative principles of GOP to be preserved. See, I think it was particularly displeased with Mitch McConnell statement in as far as Romney and Cassidy and Raymond Burr Etc these things are known and also Portman who did not support him in Pennsylvania. So, I think that his objectives are very clear which is how do I support the candidates and how do we take back the House and Senate in 2022. He is going to do everything that that is within his powers to enable that.

Sree Iyer:  And there’s a realistic chance that Republicans might do better than what they did in 2020. In 2022, because all of a sudden the president of the party, the presidential election does not become the core issue when people go for elections. It will be more on the performance overall, how the candidates are the, you know, one-on-one races that might happen. So, we have to wait and see how that plays out. To me, this is a continuing mystery that the Republicans gained so many seats across the United States in the Congress and yet ended up on the losing side. As far as the presidency is concerned considering that everybody votes at the same time for both their state as well as for their president. So, anyway, that is something that we are going to segue into the next item that we are going to talk about that. There is a group of senators and congressmen from the GOP who are beginning to now talk about electoral reforms. Why are the Democrats not willing to also talk about it?  After all, a fair election is in the interest of everyone isn’t it?

Sridhar Chityala:  Indeed, sir, I think you know one side has won the election decisively, right according to them which is to say  President Trump got 75 million Votes, President Biden got 80-81 million votes so, therefore, Hey you know, we have done well, we manage the postal ballots. There is nothing kind of proven etcetera. So they have reformed focuses, more around eliminating IDs and eliminating this driver’s license are getting more illegal aliens participating in being included in the census process etcetera, which really doesn’t fit and aligned with true kind of the sovereignty of the nation. That is the view of the Republicans. So Republicans are saying that we need to go back to the drawing board and look at this whole caboodle of an absentee ballot and how the absentee ballots or how the absentee votes need to be dealt with and they should be the consistency of guidelines in terms of the cutoff times, cut-off dates. And the legislature, it is the only mandate of the legislature to actually enact the rules and execute the process. They cannot be an executive branch and they cannot be judicial branch interfering in the process and they have to be legal mechanisms to curtail that. Now, in the absence of that, we saw kind of massive chaos and kind of confusion. We had process issues, we had issues around the timings, and we had issues around who got allocated and who didn’t get allocated. We got deadlines extended; we have seen rules being amended by the judicial and executive branch. So, all these things created problems with six states electing to object. That case, by the way, is coming up for hearing tomorrow, February 19 in the Supreme Court.

Sree Iyer: Yes indeed and we will carry what happened on the 20th edition of Daily Global Insight that will be on Friday, should say maybe Saturday. We’ll see how it goes. If we need to we can have a special session but, the most important thing here is that we have to look at the entirety in terms of electoral reforms it has done, it is a must. This gerrymandering that both sides have accused each other of, every time there is you know Democratic party in the state then, they try to do their own redistricting and gerrymandering and the thing goes to the other side. As a matter of fact, there was a town hall meeting that President Biden addressed and CNN has found a few anomalies in the statements that President Biden made, especially with respect to Illegal voters. The numbers of Voters are that are there. So, I would encourage all our viewers to watch that CNN video as well as the fact-checking that CNN has done. So moving on we have other items that are of interest. So there is looks like now, there is a more and more clarity coming in terms of how the Republican strategy has to be. Lindsey Graham has said that Trump is key to GOP winning back seats in the House and in the Senate, how do you see this spat between President Trump and Mitch McConnell, sir?  There has been now acquisitions and counter acquisitions. How do you see that thing ending especially in the light of the statement of Trump, where he says that this guy was going to lose, I went and helped him win. And this is how he pays me back or something to that effect.

Sridhar Chityala:  The three important drivers which we are captured in the news one Tim Scott has stated that President Trump is the most influential political figure. Lindsay Graham has stated it is pivotal that you know for Republicans to gain control of the house and the Senate it’s important that President Trump who is most popular, you know, he’s at the helm and driving this process. And right in Kentucky county, there is a growing chorus that Mitch McConnell should resign as the Republican Senate leader and be replaced by an appropriate person who alliances with the policies of the broad constituency of the Republican party. Now, that is Corner reaffirmed by a poll conducted within the Republican party. I don’t recall exactly the name of the agency which conducted the poll, which looked at the ratings and rankings of the performance of the past presidents. President Trump gets 36% of their votes, President Regan gets 18%, so, he is almost twice, one of the most successful, one of the three more successful the US president, obviously Bill Clinton is another and then, of course, coming behind is George Washington and Lincoln. So, the story is that even within the Republican party, we have cited the other four which is 75% for him to start something and now this particular poll reaffirming his leadership and contribution. So, the Republican Party is going to see some changes and what it means to Mitch McConnell because to answer your specific question is, whether you will voluntarily step down or whether he will change his mindset remains to see? He has been the most confusing and little polarizing figure. He took all the help that he wanted from President Trump when close to 75 to 80 million dollars was spent to oust him from Kentucky by the Democratic Party, then, he took the help is scraped through and why is turning away from Trump? We don’t know. There’s a lot of speculation, but we don’t know. So, I can see the seat getting hotter and hotter by virtue of all these statements that are coming out. So we may see some change, Sree Iyerji.

Sree Iyer: And I will add my own two cents of speculation in this, I am, I’m dumbstruck that a certain Elaine Chao who happens to be the wife of Mitch McConnell finds herself as a secretary. I think almost every Republican administration that as far as I can remember, she’s always there. She’s doing one thing or the other. I don’t know what kind of a value-add she brings to the table. But, I just find it very striking. So, moving on now, the last one line about the stimulus package of the Biden Administration if there are no hiccups, the 1.9 trillion dollars stimulus package of President Biden will be enacted by the 14th of March is about a month from now. It is still taking shape and we have to see how that goes. But, we also mentioned yesterday that the Keystone Pipeline closure has drawn a lot of ire from the main constituent, especially the unions and they have been making their voices heard. So, there may be some readjustment, realignment perhaps, Biden administration may realize that they lean too far towards the progressives and they might dial something back. We’ll have to wait and see how it goes. Now, let’s take a quick look at the global news, and we’re going to start and we are going to dwell a next five minutes on the LAC disengagement. What is happening in the future? Why did China do, what it did? For example, withdraw all the tanks and so on and so forth. So, viewers, I would like all of you to look at an interview retired Lieutenant General Ravi Shankar gave the link for that was posted in yesterday’s episode. I encourage all of you to watch it because this is one thing somebody who has seen action, who knows the area very well and who has analyzed it extremely I would say in an unbiased fashion. What is happening? Why even if India were to withdraw from what is called Kailash Heights, it doesn’t matter because the terrain is a very gradual slope that India can always go back and get it after all they got it while the Chinese were breathing down their neck, if we can do it once, you can do it again, what does the strategic withdrawal there? And also more importantly, what is the grand plan of China? Why did they move back all their tanks? Is it going to be ready for another thing? And also he touches upon the other flashpoint such as the Daulat Beg Oldi Airport,  why that is very key now that the infrastructure has been laid out, the roads are now available. India can move through very quickly. This is going to be a new normal for China. It cannot just like that move and plus we are going to share some information in the next few minutes. You will see how India is starting to use the new technology that has been made available to it. Sir, I am going to start with the image of the new Rail lines that have got India concerned. I have the first one here, these are two new Rail lines that are being constructed by the Chinese and what are your thoughts on this, sir?

Sridhar Chityala: Well, if you have got because I’m looking at my computer, So, I think you’re showing the Hotan-Ruoqiang railway as well as the Lhasa-Nyingchi railway. If you can see lets first go to Linzhi, Lhasa line, the Lhasa-Nyingchi line just is about 40 kilometres closer to Arunachal Pradesh, it runs very close. It is part of him much bigger connection of I think of 1600 or 1680 kilometres which are coming all the way from Chengdu to Ya’an region. And from there this gets connected to there so, therefore, this is going all the way into Chengdu this allows PLA to mobilize and move troops very rapidly both on the rail as well as the road you can see in the map the road connection, but the rail connection is very pivotal. So, this is one area which It is very very close, the Indian model can be seen on the map. The second line which has been going on for quite some time, which is expected to be completed is the Hotan-Ruoqiang Railway line, which is you know, further up that goes into the other side, it goes into 485 kilometres or so goes into the Aksai Chin area, Xinjiang Province around the Aksai Chin area. So this is the second line which is right at the top. So therefore they have covered the lateral movement one going into mainland China the other going into the line of actual control, which is very close to our Aksai Chin which is the Indian region occupied by the Chinese, especially the line of actual control in that Aksai chin. So, you have dual Rail lines, which have been constructed on the infrastructure side, which gives rapid movement along with the roadways which do the local networking around the region remember these are terrains. So, therefore, is fairly hazardous terrains in terms of using Logistics to move things by air. So, they are reliant on many of the stuff either moving from Lhasa in Tibet or they are reliant on coming from the mainland China region, especially around the Xinjiang area. So, this is certainly the one which is the Lhasa-Nyingchi line is of specific concern to India. Now, mind you this be also been a long-desired aspiration of China to have this railroad competing with the railroad and the road wailing that India has through Northeast, is already built into Myanmar Vietnam going all the way up to Thailand, that is the Look East policy.

So, on the other side, we have the South China Sea, we have discussed this, So, China is competing and wants to have a connection is almost like competing from a broader Tibet then, adjacent you have that shaded area that you see on the map is Nepal. So you have you know, they want to do exactly the same thing that India wants to do and they’re building infrastructure. Now, the question when you ask the Indian army, and this is the interview that you know, Sree Iyerji is pointing to, they are saying that as long as India can converge and close out the gap on the infrastructure. It’s well equipped to deal with these issues. These issues are imminent and India has to be prepared. India lacked infrastructure and preparedness, that seems to have been in many many ways converge, especially after the Galwan Valley and Ladakh clashes.

Sree Iyer: And viewers, I have the second slide up there where the line is being laid out and you can almost see how easily China is able to lay it line. It’s almost like a cookie cutting business. You can see there are four reapers that are ready to go. Each Reaper looks at least a hundred feet long and everything is completely mechanized, you flatten the surface and then you just put it and then you just keep moving forward. Amazing amount of engineering that is going on and I’m sure India also has similar capability because now we are seeing that under Minister Nitin Gadkariji a lot of kilometres of road is being laid. I think the average now is 30 kilometres a day, which is a very impressive number considering how cantankerous is, how noisy, how rebellious some of these land acquisition laws can be and to be able to do at that frenetic pace is very remarkable. So let’s take a look at the third picture, sir. This is a terminal that I have, a new rail terminal under construction in Bhutan where you are seeing things like it’s going to have a petroleum oil lubrication storage tanks and it’s sort of like the last point in this Railway line. If I go back to the first picture, then viewers can see that I am talking about Hotan and which is where the thing ends and that is pointing very close to Gosthana, you call it Aksai Chin, I call it Gosthana. It’s the same thing, but it used to be called Gosthana before the Chinese grabbed it.

Sridhar Chityala: I think that the most important aspect that one needs to look at when you look at this picture is, I really have to admire the holistic thinking of the Chinese in terms of how to build an entire facility from transportation to logistics to the storage, and obviously this petroleum storage is effectively to fuel not only their planes but also most important, all their missionary from tanks to other things that they have the capacity to do it. I guarantee you that they would also have Cold Storage, non-freezing capabilities in there. So it’s almost like a bunker a large full-fledged bunker which has got almost soups to nuts in terms of being preparedness. So this is not a commercial railroad. This is clearly a military logistical support railroad what is being built. The fact that these images are all available through satellite is a reflection that China is clearly delivering the message. In the intelligence industry in the army, they say that you don’t show something that you want to use. Here, the very fact that they are showing and demonstrating is a reflection that they’re using this as a deterrent by way of strength. The great thing about that is this happened in Doklam and India did not blink and India basically stared at the eye of the Chinese. That’s what has resulted in the first successful military outcome without, I would say major kind of a catastrophic event. The second is the next set of pictures.

Sree Iyer: Yes, and I have the first of the next set of pictures which is Finger six of the Pangong Tso lake. In the top picture, the top half shows all the encampments, all the buildings that were in place and the bottom picture shows that the complete evacuation has been done. There is nothing remaining. This is Finger six of the Pangong Tso lake. Would you like to comment on this, before I go to the next one?

Sridhar Chityala: I think you’ve covered it very well. It just basically shows, what I think in the next picture we will explain why it shows that India is very closely monitoring the movement through satellites and through drones. These are some of the things that India did not have before. One of the other important things that we want to point out is the BECS – Bilateral Exchange of Communication Services. So, therefore, that deal was signed on the closing days of the Trump Administration between Mike Pompeo, S.Jaishankar, and the National Security advisor. That means India has now access that covers the movements that happen in the entire Chinese region via the satellite. India didn’t have Satellite access at that point in time for whatever reasons. But today, India has by virtue of the US footprint. So what it says to us is and what is also demonstrate to us is, in India as you probably know there’s a lot of political gaffes that goes on like did you go, did you not go, did he move etc since these kinds of questions come up, so what you’re seeing here is that they’re showing to the world as well as to the Indian politicians, ‘Yes, there is a move and if you want you can check it out.

Sree Iyer: The next picture shows the construction and then evacuation along with the Fingers 7 and 8 of the Pangong Tso lake. The top picture shows the construction. It’s very very small, but you can see distinctly when you compare it to the bottom picture where the camp has been completely evacuated. So this is an important point. So this is finger seven and eight. Up until Finger 4, India could patrol. But there was a problem from 4 to 8 which India used to be able to do. Now, I think this is going to be possible again. There is a very detailed video that I did with Abhijit Iyer Mitra, if you want to get into more specifics you’re welcome to watch that. This is finger seven and eight.

Let me take a look at the final one, which is Finger 5. So we are now looking at Finger 5, again the same thing. You can again see that all the construction is on the left side. And the whole thing has been evacuated and the Chinese have moved back. So now, there is proof that all four fingers – five, six, seven, and eight the construction has been dismantled and they have moved out. Sir, over to you, you wanted to add something.

Sridhar Chityala: No, no, I think that you’ve covered the spot, so let’s move on.

Sree Iyer: Let’s take a quick look at what happened last August. The Northern Army Commander said that last August, India and China were on the brink of getting into an actual War. So in June if you remember was the Galwan incident and then after that things started progressively escalating and in August, there was an eyeball to eyeball. All confrontation luckily, nothing happened. Perhaps, you want to recollect for our viewers what happened at that time, sir.

Sridhar Chityala: No, I think that there was this breach, if you recall that a bunch of people came and threw stones and used hand combat and crude iron equipment to create harm to the Indian Army and India lost about 23 people. and there was that little bridge that needed to be constructed, and our soldiers were very brave in the cold freezing temperatures, and then they took on the troops and then the damage that was inflicted, again hand-to-hand battle, and much praise was received for the bravery of these Indian soldiers who did the hand-to-hand battle and the number of casualties that the Chinese suffered ranges anything from 40 – 100 depending on who you speak with. And that could have gone out of control if there were no local station commanders intervening and coming to some kind of a truce. Again, we covered that in one of the shows during that period of time until Chinese accepted that there was death and there was a lot of internal tension even within China and the images show the Chinese casualties, first they didn’t agree, but then they agreed, they conceded then the whole withdrawal started from that point onwards. There was partial withdrawal, there was no withdrawal but during that same period if you recall Mike Pompeo made no less than three visits to India and stood by India, to say that the United States will be with India. French soldiers landed, Britan said it will have boots on the ground. So you had the US, France, and Britain working with India in that specific phase. Also, the Malabar exercise had just concluded, and still, the vessels were not too far off, and President Trump said if required he will fire Tomahawk missiles from one of those ships if they have to preserve the status quo. So there was a lot of commotion during that period of time and I think that wise heads prevailed and people negotiated. That was the first sign of disengagement, the disengagement didn’t happen. They said Chinese were bringing reinforcements. Hopefully, this is a very constructive disengagement that will help to be each country to be on meeting its obligations.

Sree Iyer: And in the meanwhile, Quad is again getting the attention of the American government, of the Biden government within what appears to have been a reversal of stand. They have again started becoming actively engaged with the Quad members and there is a resolution on that from Blinken. Can you please shed a little bit more light on that?

Sridhar Chityala: First and foremost, the most important news is that there was a Quad meeting, that should have happened today, Asian time, with Blinken calling on the members. The second is that I think they are reaffirming the support for the continuation of Quad. I think we haven’t got any news on the part of the resolution of it as yet, but maybe we’ll cover it tomorrow as to what’s been agreed. The only thing that has come out is Australia coming out of that session, has indicated that the United States to come back to Transatlantic or Transpacific Treaty. The United States left during President Trump’s time. They have requested that the US should get back into that partnership. So this is one of the outcomes. At least the Australian Ambassador to the United States has issued this statement.

Sree Iyer: In Myanmar, the monks have also now joined the protest against the dismissal and arrest of Aung Suu Kyi and her government and we will keep you posted on the happenings on that. Let’s take a quick look at covid. The covid diplomacy of India continues to grow and again there has been an increase in deaths in the United States overall. Do you think the world has got a better grip on covid-19 than before? I’m also reading, in India, especially in Mumbai because they started plying the local trains that the numbers are again going up.

Sridhar Chityala: As far as India is concerned, it seems to be holding, whether it’s a reporting error or whether it is a time delay, we don’t know. But less than a hundred deaths, India is around 155,000 – 160,000 deaths, relatively low. Things seem to be stable even in the United States. We were on the brink of around 490,000 or something. We just crossed 500, we are at 502,000. By and large, it seems to be concentrated around Mexico and the key countries of Europe such as the UK, Germany, France, Spain, all seem to have three-digit deaths. Obviously, Russia, Brazil is at the top of the chart because they went to a party and they picked up. So if you take a look at the top three countries – the United States, India, and Brazil just by virtue of the volumes, but Southeast Asia has done a tremendous job. They seem to be a general impression in the markets and amongst people that there is better control and slowly things will begin to fall in line. The only piece of news that people have to be cognizant of is Pfizer is now confirming or stating that the South African variant can actually to a great extent mitigate the protection that can come from those who have been vaccinated as the only initial data that is being communicated by Pfizer.

Sree Iyer: Now, let’s take a look at the market before we wrap up today’s segment. Sir, in the markets, Bitcoin is scaling 52,000, crude is going up because the US production has fallen by about 40% because of freezes, the ongoing freeze that is still engulfing Texas and so on and so forth. Why don’t you give us a broad overview of the markets because inflation remains a fear, retail sales are up by a significant margin, Why don’t you recap the markets for us and then we can call it a day for today.

Sridhar Chityala: Great, I think there are four important headlines in markets.  First and foremost, the markets went down and then they caught up to reach parity. Why? One is earnings and second is, there is a growing feeling that the virus is under control. The stimulus is not the question. They feel stimulus is inevitable. Number two, there is no fear of inflation. The reason being that most of the money that is going is going from the stimulus supply. So, therefore, people are spending. Remember, two bring drivers that constitute inflation are not present in the inflation calculation. One is the energy prices and second is the food prices. These two are market gyrations. So, therefore, why there is no initial fear of inflation because interest rates are at 0. So that, in turn, drives many of the facets that are associated with pricing. So, therefore, for foreseeable future, they expect interest rates to be 0. So that is the short term. In the long term, interest rates are already climbing. The 10-year interest rates are around 1.3%. Remember, last year we could get a 30-year mortgage at 2.5%. So that then flows into your whole set of data probably we will cover it another day. But you look at the way the household manages. So we saw for the first time the household debt get past $14.6 trillion dollars. The household debt comprises of three essential numbers – mortgages, which went past the ten trillion dollars and mortgages were the highest rolled over and new mortgages taken roughly constituting somewhere around $480 billion or $500 billion in total by virtue of their debt.

The second item that went up is student loans. The student loan is an astronomical high, like $1.56 trillion, so it went up by about $47 billion. Then the third is the auto loan. So many people use this window to finance their cars, so that went up by about $43 billion. Now, here is the headline number, the credit cards, which is the unsecured loans, which is the second most important tool used in the United States for consumer spending contracted by $108 billion. During my times in the industry, our average receivables across the credit card industry used to be around 1 to 1.2 trillion dollars at the peak, and then during the GFC contracted significantly to about 650 million dollars. It’s made its way back. It was around 908 or 910 billion dollars at the start of 2019 is contracted by 108 billion dollars. So mortgages and credit cards used to be the two big drivers because both give a person the opportunity of the disposable income that is outside his payroll for him to go and spend on the three essential things food, fuel and also the clothing. So, those were the three important. So these numbers indicate that besides the stimulus the household debt or the household finance was effectively used by the consumers, so, which kept prices in check and which kept demand growing and that is what you saw in the numbers. And actually, January sales were 5.3% up against a forecast of about 2 to 2.2%.

Now, the last indicator before we close is delinquencies, that is during any pandemic or economic crisis delinquencies that are called those who have not repaid an instalment of their loan that is due in 90 days, 180 days is called severely delinquent. You found during this period the delinquency rates and historical kind of low at 1.25% relative to the last year 2019, but I’m discounting 2021 when I say this year and last year 2020 and 2019 is at 2.36% which tells you that two important reasons low-interest rates and second forbearance. So the policies, this is how you judge the policies. The fiscal policy and the monetary policy fiscal in terms of cash, monetary policy in terms of rates and in terms of dealing with the dead helped the US to be stable. Now, many Indian pundits may come and say you guys have dollars, you control interest rates, you manage this, you manage that, that’s why you are you are very good at what you do. My point is very simple, you look at the numbers, and you measure the outcome by the Numbers. There’s nothing that prevents India from doing the same thing. There’s nothing that prevents India from loosening its interest rates, nothing prevents from borrowing, because the interest rates are zero, effectively zero, you don’t borrow. So any country for that matter all Southeast Asian countries have borrowed and you have seen the v-shaped recovery. We might be a special session on ASEAN. All the ASEAN economies have recovered; they have not complained that you know, we are not paid to the US dollar. We are not paid to the US dollar. We don’t have a 0% interest rate etc., So it also boils down to how the whole fiscal and monetary policy is managed, which in turn helps the consumer to manage his household.

Sree Iyer:  Thank you very much, sir. And I think when you said GFC you are talking about the Great Financial Crisis of 2008.

Sridhar Chityala: Exactly.

Sree Iyer: Yes and a small correction to what we mentioned yesterday. Disha Ravi’s name is still unclear whether it is the Disha Ravi Matthew or Disha Ravi Joseph or there is another name that is being touted out. We don’t know yet. So we’ll just let it play out. We’ll take a look at the FIR and see what her name is and we’ll clarify that in a future broadcast. Most important thing is that there was a network that spammed multiple countries and this was a clear attempt at the destabilizing country of India. Thank you very much. That’s all for today and we’ll be back tomorrow.

Sridhar Chityala:  Namaskar and thank you and it is a long session. Thank you.



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