EP-136 Rafales Armed with MICA flying in Ladakh, Vaccine for all from April 19? Biden plans & more

Rafales Armed with MICA flying in Ladakh, Japan powers up strategic Indian Islands, White House walks back 19 Million Jobs claim, Vaccine for all from April 19? Biden plans, & more

Sree Iyer: Namaskar, April 7th, episode number 136 of Daily Global Insights. I am with Sridhar Chityalaji.  Sridharji, namaskar and welcome to PGurus Channel.

Sridhar Chityala: Namaskar and good morning and a warm welcome on a Wednesday morning.

Sree Iyer: In today’s important headlines.

  • IAF Rafales Armed with MICA air-to-air missiles flying in Ladakh manufactured by European defence major MBDA
  • Japan powers up strategic Indian Islands – Andaman Nicobar – battery energy storage system – mouth of Malacca – as Washington Prepares for SUGA
  • Biden Infra Plan: White House walks back 19 Million Jobs claim – and will create 2.7 Million jobs
  • Biden to set April 19 as the deadline for opening vaccines to all

In US News: Trump PAC (Political Action Committee) has $85 Million on hand as Trump prepares for Midterm elections and potential 2024 rerun. What are your thoughts on Trump’s fundraising, sir?

Sridhar Chityala: Amazing, in one sentence in one word, It’s amazing. So there’s a lot of funds that seems to have been flown in by virtue of a whole set of actions that have taken place since his departure. So, he was probably sitting on the fence, but he seems now, faring well-funded in well-armed not only to take back the Senate and probably the House, clearly the Senate to start with and then position himself for 2024.

Sree Iyer:  Remember viewers yesterday, we talked about Customs catching a couple of Yemeni terrorists and today they have deleted the press release outlining the arrest of these two people now, why is this thing going back and forth, sir? Biden’s team is flip-flopping on too many issues.

Sridhar Chityala: Look I think by the time we put a ticker in news and by the time we come on the show the new changes, that’s the policymaking process that is kind of going on. There’s a little secret, someone has asked the question think it is the press secretary, Is Biden in touch with Obama? So, the response that came in was that he’s almost every day or regularly in touch with Mr Biden. So I don’t know whether these things are changing as a result of some of these discussions. But, they come up with an answer that defies any logic. The rationale is that there is potentially sensitive information. So, therefore that is the reason why it was deleted. There’s no question, there is nothing about what’s happened to these people. Are they arrested? Are they there? Nothing.

Sree Iyer:  Jen Psaki the spokesperson of the White House has said suspected terrorists crossing. the border is very uncommon. So it’s something like what you just said, sir, they just add more to it and Mike Pompeo the ex-Secretary of State blast the Major League Baseball for boycotting Georgia. Now, the economic impact is beginning to dawn on everyone and people are beginning to walk back. For example, the White House now, downplaying Biden pulling the all-star game from Atlanta. So, now you see that even President Biden is having second thoughts. Remember viewers, next year there is going to be a Senate election one more time in Georgia. So lots of things are going to happen. Georgia has become like the epicentre of a lot of activity, isn’t it, sir?

Sridhar Chityala: Yes. Here is the most important message that we want to deliver on, Georgia. As a community, the people who are most impacted, highly impacted is the African-American community in an economic context in Georgia. So, they have really hurt way, they did not want it to. This is kind of starting to start at a specific face. They thought that is a deprived community. So therefore they need to be but then they have hurt them economically and depriving them not only of the game but the potential flow of income into their livelihood.

Sree Iyer:  This wonkish behaviour has to stop. People have to stop and think before they engage their mouth and action and I blame some of the progressive elements and Democrats who seem to be just off on a run right now, and I don’t know who is really instigating all these people, but certainly, they need to think before they act and they are taking people for a ride. They are hurting the very people that say, they are spokespersons for. Unfortunate, sir.

Mitch McConnell says now he is now ripping MLB Delta Coke for irritating the Republican fans. Why did he wait for so long?

Sridhar Chityala: Well, you know sometimes as they say in the Republican Party rhinos wake up a bit late. So, therefore you probably have seen the political kind of consequence. There is no leadership from the senate in terms of all the stuff that is going on. Everything is coming from the people. Now, he has realized lots of things is slipping under the ground and he doesn’t want to be the other Republican GOP leader in opposition right now presiding over what we call a disaster. So I think the good thing is that he has spoken albeit being late.

Sree Iyer:  Viewers, remember that we were one of the first to say we looked at the law. We in fact read the law. Sridharji took the trouble of reading the Salient points of this voter law and said that we don’t see anything wrong with what it is saying and still somehow there was a mindset that you know, you have to go on opposing it. Now, Stacy Abrams is to blame for costing Georgia a hundred million in lost All-Star Game revenue by Senator Rand Paul. Did you see our Hangout of Senator Rand Paul? We said the exact same thing. Anyway, it’s good that now many people are speaking up about the possible hurt or the damage that this is causing to the blacks.

Sridhar Chityala: African-American Community. It is generally they seem to receive be at the receiving end, you know, either way. They are aggrieved and then you find that they previously people think that they are trying to help them on the contrary, it goes the opposite way. It’s very sad sir.

Sree Iyer:  And in a survey, 73% of Black Voters say voter ID is necessary for a fair and secure election process. Now people start doubting this survey saying there are this survey was done by A, Y, B, sir, any idea who did this survey, sir?

Sridhar Chityala: I think that it is a local poll kind of organization. It is not Gallop or one of these pure research or something. It is one of the local polls that will give more details. By the way, this is a vast number of them are African-American communities who voted in this specific poll.  They have actually asked and insisted for you know voter ID to be present. They are not stated that we don’t want to order ID.

Sree Iyer: Biden team now eyes restarting work on Trump border wall after 1.5 million people have been illegally let inside and then made to mix with, you know people in all the cities. What is this thing? Why do these people keep going back and forth, sir?

Sridhar Chityala: Astonishing!!! Just in March alone. I think we put up some numbers, right?

Sree Iyer:  We did, I think 150,000

Sridhar Chityala: No, 400,000 to 500,000 numbers. So it’s pretty close to between January February and March alone, you know, we’re close to around 500,000 people who have this is what you call a reasonable accuracy or reasonable numbers. We don’t know the kind of the total magnitude of this issue

Sree Iyer:  Biden Infrastructure Plan, now, White House walks back 19 Million Jobs claim and now it says it will create 2.7 million jobs. I can understand it 10% rounding error. This is beyond that, sir.

Sridhar Chityala:   I think Biden to be honest with you to be respectful to him as an elderly man. The man probably is suffering to be respectful to him. I think he is not capable to be a president. He has problems and that is why you are seeing all these guffey’s that is going around. I don’t even know whether they have done fitness for purpose kind of assessment on Mr Biden, but it’s very sad State of Affairs. Not just in this and everyone, you know, on any policy matter three times three different statements and then you got to a press secretary who is nothing but very close to disaster.

Sree Iyer:  The Democrats election overhaul threatens voter ID laws, this swings the door for fraud wide open now, so this is essentially a replication of something that is started and in the opposite direction, isn’t it? I mean the Democrats want it to be even simpler.

Sridhar Chityala:  Yes, I think the Democrats wants to overrule any of these conditions and come up with a federal election structure which specifically is mandated and directed not by your Bi-partisan Republican Democrats, but by a Democrats’ team. We touched on this filibuster concept now, they have stated they got the parliamentarian the senator, the person who has given the ruling in the Senate and that they can use the filibuster two times. Mr Schumer is up in kind of hands and says, now we’re going to get this done. I mean, it’s quite simple which is namely to say, I mean they will get it done but it will be challenged in the various course and it’ll make it so horrid that it would not be workable.

Sree Iyer: In Global News, The United States is considering joining the boycott of the 2022 Olympic Games. So this again, one of those things where there seems to be some kind of rethinking on the part of the United States. Are they going to be in or are they going to be out? What are your thoughts, Sir?

Sridhar Chityala:  They have had three statements. This statement is boycotting. The second statement is the state department walks back on this statement. Today as I come into the show the third is statement is that we will have coordinated effort with our allies to determine what exactly we will be doing with regard to the boycott. So that’s the latest position. So flip-flops continue, more flip-flops continue. So more and more Biden administration kind of looks like, you know, it doesn’t know what it’s doing.

Sree Iyer:  ASEAN leaders to meet over Myanmar under Brunei’s chairmanship. Do you think Myanmar is headed for any kind of resolution, sir?

Sridhar Chityala:  Myanmar will once the ASEAN steps in and they will reach out informally to the Junta and come up with a compromise.  Generally, the ASEAN people work together, they culturally, how to work together. As long as the foreign powers don’t interfere, I think ASEAN will figure out. Indonesia is also leaning, Indonesia is making a major effort that we shouldn’t be having a confrontation amongst us and creating social polarization because everybody, you know seamlessly moves and works together. So I have a feeling this could be something coming out which is a win-win rather than a lose-lose situation.

Sree Iyer:  Biden now suggests to the UK a Belt and Road plan rivalling China similar to Japan, how can you have a Belt and Road across the pond?

Sridhar Chityala:  Yes. Well, we have to ask Mr Biden how he’s going to build this Belt and Road Pond. I think that he suddenly has come up with the thought process, hey, this squad is not mine. It is Shinzo Abe, President Trump was reluctant initially and then now he’s kind of run with it. So now we need to have something because we need to satisfy our left-leaning EU, NATO allies so we will now have your Belt and Road plan for across the pond. So it is the same smart cities and 5G. Let’s see what comes out of it.

Sree Iyer:  So I just have a slight segue. You know, whenever there is mixed messaging coming out of White House the person responsible for all this is the white house chief of staff, isn’t it? That is the person who’s supposed to be doing and making sure all the moving parts are moving in the same direction isn’t it, Sir?

Sridhar Chityala:  It’s a fantastic question. I think that it’s a great kind of intrusion in terms of what you have asked. Absent, missing, it’s only the press secretary who is issuing statements, absent and missing.

Sree Iyer:  The US to now join talks aimed at salvaging Iran Nuclear Deal and begin indirect talks in Vienna. I thought Iran said they don’t want the US on the talking table, isn’t it?

Sridhar Chityala:  We have no idea what exactly is going on there. So I think that is all speculative, you know, and he says that it wants to get back into the discussions while giving a political flip because Obama thinks that you know, it is his deal, so, his deal has to be resurrected. So they try to resurrect. Iran is basically saying who the hell you are. We don’t want to talk to you. So that is the abrasiveness which saw. They probably have had some conversation, but, with a representative, it is not the secretary of state is not the assistant Secretary of State. It seems to be some kind of nominee, you know who seems to have been part of the discussion.

Sree Iyer:  Vladimir Putin, now, signs into law allowing him to stay in power until 2036 and looks like the opposition leader Navalny is falling becoming sicker by the day, sir.

Sridhar Chityala:  I think Vladimir Vladimir is the king of Russia sir. So, therefore, you know, he is now the Czar. He will do anything that he thinks that he wants to do. But you know overall when you look at it. This is all very despicable set of activities and actions that are going on and how these people can be part of G7, part of UN and part of this, you know when there is no morality and when there’s no ethics in terms of any kind of governance and transparency in terms of the process. So, yes Navalny is now diagnosed with covid, what the hell they want to do in Russia. While he does that he basically also issued a statement by the way, which is to say all troop movements within my borders is my prerogative, nobody has, I can take provocative but I’m within my border. Okay. I’m not into your territory, so all these types of actions, so, we are woken up. Russia was a sleeping giant for the past four years. It has now been woken up.

Sree Iyer:  As Russia fortifies the Ukraine border, John Kerry talks climate with the Russian foreign minister in India.

Sridhar Chityala:  Yes. This is the triumvirate meeting that we discussed a couple of days back. What the hell is going to happen when you have Kerry, when he has Lavrov, when you have Mr Jaishankar plus I think we already have the foreign Ministers of Australia and France there. So, what exactly are they going to discuss? He goes all the way to India and has an impromptu informal discussion on the sidelines. When Lavrov is there for some kind of army, you know the arms deal S400 and those AK-47 and he is discussing climate with the Russians.

Sree Iyer:  A little bit of perspective on why Russia is amassing borders on Ukraine border viewers. We had a hangout with Abhijit Iyer-Mitra episode number 9 will try and put that link in this show more section, in case if you want to go and see what happened there, but the most important thing there is Ukraine has stopped giving water to Crimea. Crimea, if you remember was annexed by Russia saying that it is full of Russian and they even had a sham vote there and claim that Crimea is part of Russia. And right now for all practical purposes, Crimea is part of Russia except that Ukraine is blockading their water. And this is why Russia is now fortifying on the Ukrainian border wait for news, and this is going to be a major event and as always, you know east Europe is another called on again coming alive sir.

Sridhar Chityala: I think this Ukrainian stuff of the water that is just coming up right now is a diplomacy failure, but I will let like the other kind of thing run through but I back to my point which is to say, yes sleeping giant has been woken up.

Sree Iyer: In other news, Japan eyes F-35 deployment in South for Senkaku defence, south of Japan, isn’t it, sir?

Sridhar Chityala: There were some skirmishes more very recently what they call the Chinese called Diaoyu Islands. Apparently, there was a whole bunch of people who came in the fishing boats got stranded on the island which is pretty close. And when investigations were done, they found that they are not fisherman, but they are PLA and they said they are waiting for reinforcements. So Japan got quite irate and the situation seems to be diffusing but it’s not going to go away. We also went through a couple of maps around that specific region as to what’s going on. But having said that I think that Japan is saying I’m not going to take it anymore. By the time Suga comes here, I think they will be some kind of resolutions on this.

Sree Iyer: Japan Powers-up strategic Indian islands – Andaman and Nicobar – battery energy storage system at the mouth of Malacca Strait as Washington prepares for the visit of Suga. This is a significant development because it is going to help India immensely, isn’t it sir?

Sridhar Chityala: It is going to help India immensely, but it is also fortified the supposition that India is a key member of the Malacca blockade the narrow strait is very important for the Chinese ships. So if you apply the blockade, that can significantly choke the energy and other resources that flow through that specific region. So I think that in a subtle manner, I think about $34-$36 million of investment has happened. I don’t know about Israel but Japan is also investing in infrastructure in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands both in terms of civil as well as military infrastructure.

Sree Iyer: In other news, the Israeli president picks Benjamin Netanyahu to form a government one more time. If you remember Israel just went to elections. There was a hung verdict and we have to see if this coalition will hold together. What are your thoughts, sir?

Sridhar Chityala: It is a billion-dollar question. It is up and down, up and down, up and down, and my good friend. Mr Naftali Bennett is also waiting in the wings which is to say whether he will get his turn to become the prime minister of Israel. So, therefore, I think there is all in the mix, but I’m glad that Netanyahu is being invited. So let’s hope he can cobble up a government.

Sree Iyer: Sir, curiosity security question, Mr Bennet, was he the defence minister of Israel up until now anytime?

Sridhar Chityala: Correct. He was the IDF, yeah.

Sree Iyer: Okay. That is the Tell-Tale sign that he is being groomed for Prime ministership. Let’s hope that your friend becomes the Prime Minister. We will have a friend in Israel. PGurus would be very happy if something like that would happen.

And in other news, Pentagon wraps up attacks on resurgent ISIS. I am again aghast, sir. This is again confusing. Can you please unravel a little bit about what has been happening with ISIS vis-à-vis like, the Biden Administration has released all the prisoners from Guantanamo? Now, when Barack Obama did half of those that’s when ISIS got restarted or rebooted and now it is fully out. So what is this game that Biden Administration is playing?

Sridhar Chityala: I think they’ve suddenly seen the resurgence, though Mosul is still free, the entire stretch from Mosul to Raqqa the region slipping into northern Syria they said it seems to be active again. Many of the activities that happened like shooting a couple of days ago, the rockets being launched into the green zone, rockets being launched near Kirkuk in the upper north, all that seems to point out ISIS’s resurgence. There was also if you recall bombings the street bombings in Baghdad which resulted in length. So that’s basically saying that though the territories are not yet being controlled, these fellows are now coming out of the hole and some recruitment is also going on. So I think the United States has responded. The Pentagon has responded and they’re trying to take out some of these people. Remember, there is another isolated incident which we covered but which leads to being contextually aligned in Mozambique, the ISIS or whatever the African pomp, took over an army camp and there was a massive Massacre about a week ago and then you saw the Resurgence. Then we have seen that in Yemen and we have seen Al Qaeda footprint in Iran. So all these make from Africa to Iran to Iraq to Northern Syria, really a problematic area again back.

Sree Iyer: So this probably payback from Biden Administration for those gun companies that lent money to his campaign, who knows?

Anyways, Indian news. Indian economy is projected to grow at a historic 12.5% with covid being a potential impediment according to the International Monetary Fund popularly called as IMF, your thoughts, sir.

Sridhar Chityala: My thoughts are I think that there is a general positive buoyancy in India. There was a very good article that everybody should read that just this morning that PGurus published around the renaissance and the emergence of India. It is a very nice article that has been put together. So I think India is basically saying it has strategic flexibility. Its focus is around what we have talked and the 12.5% is coming on the back of the pent-up demand and the growth plus some of these programs, structural programs, which are the Production Linked Incentive PLI programs are beginning to slowly take effect. When I look at some of the macro indicator numbers and micro numbers in terms of what we are seeing in some of the sectors of the economy, even manufacturing has picked up by virtue of the Exports. Of course, the services sector is going to be the impetus. So it may be a few checks and balances and trundles as India grapples with covid, but the number is very much whether it’s 10% or 12.5% it is a still a good number for India to continue to march the economic journey.

Sree Iyer: In other news, Singapore Stock Exchange is going to open an office at GIFT City Gandhinagar. Now GIFT city was supposed to be the alternative to Natural Stock Exchange, the Mumbai Stock Exchange, the Bandra-Kurla complex that is now seen as being overcrowded. This has been in the works for many many years. It has been the dream of prime minister Narendra Modi to get this thing. Your thoughts, sir? Is that going to give the recognition that GIFT city was looking for?

Sridhar Chityala: The GIFT City – They wanted to build a model city, which is the financial ecosystem and the hub. There’s also a subtle message. They don’t want to have Mumbai to be the sole trade centre. So they’re moving lot of trading activity because Gujrat is a big trading centre. So they’ve created the infrastructure and whenever there is trade, that means that Stock Exchange is very critical, near term Singapore is one of the leading exchanges in both to trade in Singapore as well as for some of the investors to leverage the market. I’m also told that there is Fin-Tech City that is coming up in the GIFT City area. So I think my objective is to basically say there are some positive sentiments from the market not just simply the money flows, but also the capital and capabilities to expand the trading horizon.

Sree Iyer: As we covered before, IAF Rafales armed with MICA air-to-air missiles are flying in Ladakh and these are manufactured by the European Defence major MBDA. IAF has received around 14 Rafales from Dassault Aviation. So this is a huge huge thing now, Rafales are getting deployed and they also have some of the most modern technology, sir.

Sridhar Chityala: I think that it just basically reaffirms to the Chinese, we’re not going to go over the Himalayan region, we are going to inch more and more and more forward. It is an open and brazen demonstration of the place. I think there is probably also some joint exercises with the French I think training is going on so they are getting really acclimatized to one of the ravage hilly regions where these planes are flying and getting themselves kind of acclimatise and they are surface-to-surface missile which also gives them that empowerment especially because in Tibet China has very big Air Force Base. We also should reaffirm that these BrahMos missiles at various points in the Himalayan region are now deployed in a strategy. So, therefore, I think India is saying the Himalayas is ours the region that you took away is ours and we are ready and fully equipped to deal with any challenge that you may pose.

Sree Iyer: World bank chief says that India is blessed to have a major manufacturer of global vaccines like the Serum Institute. Now, there has been some other controversy about this, but we will set that aside for now. At least there is an acknowledgement from the World Bank chief that India is a powerhouse in serums.

Sridhar Chityala: It is, it is. Just to give you a little incident to woo Chile and Colombia the Chinese sent some sinovac vaccines to those two countries. Remember that India had initially supplied almost cost about half a million, so apparently, this is breaking news, India supplied some more vaccines into those territories. So India is also doing what you call blocking and tackling and trying to tell that just in case is vaccines failed, by the way, we are here to kind of continue the journey, for India is not going to give up its vaccine diplomacy. India is not going to lose its position. It will fight its way and then it will reassert itself. Anyway, India is the largest producer of vaccines in the world of various categories.

Sree Iyer: In the global covid update, Biden has set April 19th as a deadline for opening vaccines to all sir. How realistic is this now, April 19th?

Sridhar Chityala: I think that know they’re going forward. The vaccine program is going very well, thanks to Biden’s team. They’re doing a very good job so I think that now vaccines are available, sir. I don’t know about the rest of the country but certainly in New York. I mean you can go to CVS, you can go to Walgreens, you can go to Duane Reade, you can go to hospitals appointments are available, vaccines are available. So I think it’s a commendable job in terms of getting the distribution. Yes, there are hiccups like we saw that in the case of the AstraZeneca in Maryland, but other than that, I think… Apparently, a vast number of people in Central America are still a little a bit hazy, tend to take the backseat but there are plenty of supplies available in the middle of  America in the red States etc that those who want to be vaccinated can go. I think that it’s a great program and I think by the end of September I feel that we will be in a good spot.

Sree Iyer: This is just Bay Area information, now you can get the J&J vaccine. It is open. Anybody can go to these places. You have to just look up where J&J vaccines are being administered and it is open for everyone. You can just go and take a J&J vaccine. That’s what I heard two days ago, sir. So we’ll see this is becoming much easier to access now.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp opposes state-mandated vaccine passport. Now we talked about this vaccine passport for a little bit where we said that, if you have a vaccine from one country, you can use this passport to go and travel to another country. However, there is a new piece of news that I read yesterday. I don’t know how true this is, this is a New York Post, but evidently, there is a new dual mutating virus variant that has been spotted at Stanford. And this dual mutant virus is something that evidently was carried by somebody from Maharashtra into the United States. So now if you look at the major variant, you have South African, you have Brazilian, and now you have this dual mutating thing and it’s again something that is spreading very very fast. So this could be the reason why there is an uptick in covid cases in Maharashtra, sir.

Sridhar Chityala: I think the uptick in India is basically because people took it very easy. That’s a general observation that I got there freely, moving around as if nothing has happened. They were incognito around the variants that are coming in. There is no point in blaming hospitals, beds, and so on and suddenly if you come to a hospital where you have instead of 10 people 1,000 people, will they have capacity? Suppose a hundred guests lined in your house when you have only 5, do we have capacity? But having followed no discipline, basically, Indians are by and large very lethargic and they were negligent and they took it for granted and think life is fine and normal after that initial discipline, lockdowns and so on. But anyway, I think the vaccine program is underway and they will get a resolution. I want to show you my vaccine passport.

Sree Iyer: It is a piece of card, isn’t it? I’ve seen it. It’s like a square card about 3.5″x3.5″, with paper-pencil markings. We can see you tomorrow.

Let’s move on now to markets. The DOW also falls nearly a hundred points on record highs. So this is like profit-taking perhaps the same thing with S&P and other indices for today. What are your thoughts?

Sridhar Chityala: My thoughts are, the early signs a little bit up, but there is a very profound statement by Jamie Dimon last night that got released this morning, which is to say that the deficit funding with effect is likely to go on till 2023. So you will begin to see the positive buoyancy in the economy as a result of the money in the system. So you will see some sentiments. He’s purely driven by earnings and sentiments on that specific day. So people gain opportunities as you rightly said, take positions, take profits etc, that is what is going on.

Sree Iyer: Crude slips a little bit 59 dollars and 38 cents and so does Bitcoin it’s at 58,275 and oil prices slipped after OPEC plus agrees to ease output. So when you ease output, then the prices should go up, isn’t it?

Sridhar Chityala: Ease output is more supply.

Sree Iyer: Output restrictions, then. That’s all we have in our news today. We will be happy to see you back again tomorrow. Please do subscribe. To this alternate channel of ours on YouTube because sometimes we get some restrictions placed on us. Our primary channel is down for this week. We’ll be back again on that channel from next Monday, but tomorrow and Friday you will be again getting news on this channel. It doesn’t matter to you. If you’re following us on Twitter or on Facebook, you will be getting the link. All you need to do is click on the link. Namaskar. Thank you so much, and we’ll be back again tomorrow.

Sridhar Chityala: Thank you. Thank you. Have a wonderful Wednesday everybody and we’ll see you tomorrow.



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