Sree Iyer: Good morning. It is the 28th of April 2021. Welcome to episode number 151 of Daily Global Insights with Sri and Sree. And in United States news, Biden issues, an executive order raising the minimum wage to 15 dollars for federal contractors. Biden creates a task force to spur unionization of the US Workforce. Sir, there is a very concerted attempt to try and unionize the workforce of America.
Sridhar Chityala: There is concerted and determined and very focused effort to make the United States, the left to the left of socialism and we are witnessing the first events that are unfolding. The minimum wage, $15, right-to-work, unionization is just an example in the economy and we’ll begin to see this strand run right through all policies. Just to put things in context, this is to $15 for federal contractors, which was originally omitted and previously, the mandate was for National Mandate, obviously, there’s some State restrictions or state conditions that may apply, but the national mandate for the private workforce, where you are saying that you need to, they still have not imposed any penalties but playing with $15. Federal was omitted in that, now, they have covered that gap with this executive order.
Sree Iyer: In a Monmouth University Poll, 2 in 3 American Supports, Biden spending Plan. American jobs plan. 2 trillion infrastructure proposal 64% support, 29% oppose. Upcoming plan to expand Health Care, Child Care, and other care American families plan it’s called 64% support and 34% opposed, your thoughts are on this poll, how reliable is this poll?
Sridhar Chityala: Forget the reliability of the poll. The fact that a bunch of people, maybe a sample of 2,000, how skewed, it is gives this percentage in terms of favour versus opposed is a reflection that there’s a segment of the population that believes in this. However, small, the sample size may be, however, skewed the sample size may be. In this context, I think we discussed it, I support the Child Welfare and child expansion programs. I’m not sure, If I support the expansion of Obamacare, which is embedded into this plan, but I clearly in this 2.5 million dollars infrastructure plan, it’s a no-go because it’s nothing to do with building infrastructure, here vast pools of it is to retuning the balance sheet and even worse is some part of it is being sent overseas.
Sree Iyer: And in Black lives matter, high-profile shooting of black men involved are resisting arrest. This is actually a losing proposition. And we also come to know now that Silicon Valley Titans have donated a combined 7.5 million dollars to Black lives matter Co-founder and now Biden is going to hold a rally in Atlanta, after backing, the Major League Baseball, Georgia boycott. So I’m a little concerned about the way in which this thing is now morphing. Do you share the same concerns or my concerns unfounded?
Sridhar Chityala: I think that your concerns are extremely well-founded. I share your concerns. I live in a city where we have seen incidents growth in homicides and crime rates, regular and constant protests. So we have Wilkinson, we have BLM practice. We have had an increase in homicides. We also see our mayor behind the gun control laws and yesterday he was briefing, the Press on, an upcoming Supreme Court case, the SCOTUS case. So, I think that I think we have discussed it in quite a few DGI programs that, you know, we need more communal support rather than more alienation that is happening right now.
Sree Iyer: Some states fear that the Supreme Court of the United States gun case might undermine the local gun control. As a matter of fact, the IDAHO House committee has actually cleared the bill Banning gun control orders that means they are undoing, what they think might be coming down the pipeline? Am I correct, sir?
Sridhar Chityala: Exactly the executive order bans push restrictions, you remember the executive order was passed in the past in terms of imposing gun control, imposing bans on guns, imposing the types of guns that one can hold, including those who have permissions and licenses to acquire guns being put under more stringent vigilance. So what you are witnessing is that four of the Supreme Court justices have taken up this case which is causing some ripples notably in liberal or Democratic states. And the case in contention here is, as we discussed two New Yorkers, filing a case in SCOTUS, they had licenses that permissions, but they still be detained and that became the basis and Mr De Blasio was commenting about it and basically saying that this could be an infringement and we are trying to bring Law and Order. And what is the Supreme Court going to do? That’s the concern that they are raising, but in the meanwhile, some of the other states like, you know, Florida now latest is IDAHO, I know it has passed a bill Banning, the anything that comes from the outcome of the executive order that was signed by the Biden.
Sree Iyer: 100 days into his presidency the Biden immigration executive actions have tripled under the same time period under Trump. Wow, and Democrats look to end police program, handling criminal illegal aliens to this is the process now, but looks like they are trying to undo that not only that courthouses are now off-limits for arresting illegal immigrants according to the Department of Homeland Security, which means if there are any illegal immigrants in the vicinity of the court, maybe they are brought here for like a speeding ticket or something like that. The DHS or the immigration authorities, cannot arrest this person and now DHS is also investigating domestic extremism in its ranks, which means I think their employees. Sir, illegal immigration never a dull moment.
Sridhar Chityala: Never a dull moment. Just to go back to the chronology. You know we started with the wage bill and I think we made the comment that what we are witnessing is the ushering in the era of left-liberal Society or left-liberal transition of the US socio-economic type of model. I use the word socio-economic because of all these bailouts and stimulus and grants and social welfare programs. Etc is a reflection that typically prevails in socialist countries. Now, what you’re witnessing now is around immigration, I don’t believe that even socialist countries have seen anything remotely close to what we are witnessing in the United States, they’re no longer called illegal, they are called migrants. They are allowed to enter the country. Originally the ICE ( Immigration and control Enforcement). The ICE has now been what you call put to rest or have their tasks have been reprioritized. They are no longer for apprehension and enforcement and now we are moving from CBP and ICE being handed over those who are wanted illegal immigrants for a number of reasons in and around courthouses not being permitted to do so. This is the latest directive from the Department of Homeland Security. And on top of that, they’re also going to see whether some of its own officers are engaged in anything excessive and whether some of them are involved in extortions and other kinds of things, this really turns this whole illegal immigration topsy-turvy. So the reason why we put up or we can go back to yesterday’s data, in terms of why the 70-plus per cent of the people are concerned or extremely concerned about the economy, concerned about illegal immigration security issues, concerned about gun control, concerned about health care, concerned about infrastructure plan. You can now begin to see the set of activities that are taking place directly through executive orders or departmental orders, a set of actions, which is contra venous to the prevailing or just prevailing conditions in the United States.
Sree Iyer: Florida Lawmakers are targeting political bias at college, does this have anything to do with Wokism
Sridhar Chityala: It is got everything to do with Wokism. Wokism has now crept into the corporation, Wokism is visible in the tech platform, Wokism is visible in social media platforms. We saw in action and some of pulling back in the Georgia MLB pullouts and some of the corporation have even come and supported broadly around the voting laws and drawing conclusions around it. So there has been a growing concern amongst parents which is one of the reasons why some of the red states and some of the neutral States. If I have to use that they allowed even home education, and allowances, and grants, which are tax-free, grants to fund home education, to combat this growing influence of Leftism and communism in the educational strata of our society, be it in colleges or be in universities. So Florida and Texas have been leading anchors in making sure curbs are put in place to make sure that such a system does not permeate its way across its entirety. Recall, Mr Mike Pompeo just before President Trump’s era came to an end revealed that he was extremely concerned about the Chinese influence in the educational system and close to 4.5 to 5 billion dollars had crept into the Educational mainstream. Of course, that investigation has now been stalled on or soon be abandoned by the Chinese influence by way of grants into this. Just recently be, I mean a couple of days ago, three days ago. We also reported that, the compromises of the United States Scientist conducting research in colleges potentially compromised by Chinese influence.
Sree Iyer: In Indian News Supreme Court allows Vedanta to operate the Tuticorin Sterlite plant for producing Oxygen, at least some benefit that a closed shuttered plant is now going to derive.
Sridhar Chityala: Indeed, I think, this was very much a political once a very affluent and a very powerful plant employed quite a number of people. Some artificial influence crept up that time that they were engaged in illegal activities. The whole bunch of thugs went in and it became a law and order situation and the plant was shut down. This is a well-documented case that’s being fought between the local state courts and Supreme Court in India. And people can go and look into it, but I am glad that it’s trying to make its way through this manufacturing oxygen in his plant.
Sree Iyer: Global adverse left media coverage with gory pictures of cremation and adverse reactions has really created a Twitter storm.
Sridhar Chityala: I think that this is the Indian covid situation. It’s a field day for the left liberals. They have been waiting and targeting all the grey publications, the CNN, Ngayong, Washington Post, New York Times, Obviously, BBC and Reuters league the left-wing riots in terms. I think what is context disconcerting is? They have shown pyres, which is namely, Cremation of people who have passed away due to covid and such pictures being published. If it happens to be some of your relatives it hurts emotionally and sentimentally, you can write the news but to have these pictures flashed across to sensationalize but at the cost of the emotional sentiments that really the journalism to the lowest pedigree, which means you are willing to stoop to any level to deliver your message, which suits your personal agenda, rather than anything, which is dignified. So it’s very sad. So, there is a war on Twitter against this.
Sree Iyer: In the election circus, we have the last round of polling in West Bengal tomorrow with the covid breathing down their necks. Let’s hope that it goes off peacefully, sir.
Sridhar Chityala: Indeed. Let’s hope. It is like eternal polling that goes on in India for two months and three months, you have to keep these EVMs Electronic Voting Machines safe. If there’s anything remotely similar to what happened in the United States it would probably be a disaster. I’m sure the elections are reasonably well-managed in India, but this is too long a time. You conduct the elections and you wait and, we are talking about the electronic era, everything is electronic and I think they must do something better to move this agenda forward so that you don’t get into anything… When they started everything was normal and when they finish there is a big pandemic wave.
Sree Iyer: In Global News, MI6 of the United Kingdom is spying on Nations to ensure they abide by climate change pledges and Erdogan urges Biden to withdraw the Armenian Genocide order. It might sound unrelated, but there is something that is related here, isn’t it?
Sridhar Chityala: Well, I think that they are very much related. First, is the MI6 issue which is, which is the spying agency, going to spy all this earth. It’s the question. I think Biden stepping into something to reset, where do you start? I don’t know whether one can sympathize, if that is the case I am sure the Israelis have much and the Indian Hindus have much to talk about and I’m sure there are many, many such communities, Yezdis have much to talk about, Kurds, Peshmergas have much to talk about so you can go on and on and on and African Tribes may have much to talk about. So these are some of the oppressed people that’s why there’s a reparation program that is being contemplated here to talk about. So, how long and how far can you go to reset the history? And then this spying to make sure that people are enforcing and adhering to the climate all reflect some kind of a broad social agenda rather than anything, which is based on democracy and self-governance principles, and transparency, and reporting. You don’t need to spy on Japan. Japan will give you the number. You don’t need to spy on Australia. They will give you the numbers. You don’t need to spy on many of the European countries you will get the numbers, I would say the same with the United States too. Of course, they may argue about India and they argued about China, but India again is well on its way, in terms of meeting the green gas emission control numbers in terms of temperature.
Sree Iyer: A leaked audio of Iran’s top Diplomat imperials nuclear talks with the United States. John Kelly in the centre of Iran controversy. Unsafe manoeuvers – the United States and Iran ships had a 3-hour encounter in the Persian Gulf this month. The first time, I think anyone is mentioning it. Sir, your thoughts.
Sridhar Chityala: My thoughts are that the John Kerry revelation is stunning. If there is an audiotape of the leading Diplomat of Iran having conversations and it is alleged that John Kerry has talked about no less than about 300 times some of the Israeli manoeuvres and especially in Syria and other places targeting the Iranian assets or Iranian rebels, or how whatever you want to call them, in those territories being targeted. This, by the way, happened during John Kelly’s period, under the Obama administration. It has come to the surface, raises questions, and there is a chorus that is going on calling for his resignation. He is denying. Naturally, he’s not going to say, ‘by the way I’m sorry I revealed all these types of stuff. But I did it for some reason.’ He is not going to say that. He is basically denying.
With regard to these manoeuvers, why is it coming? This should have been reported. If an Iranian ship had done it deliberately meant that they had done it by politics, apparently for 3-hours, done some dangerous manoeuvres around the US which they had to navigate and despite the warning. Should that be the case, this information is suppressed basically, to cover up this stuff for the energy discussions or the Iran nuclear deal discussion. Why are such aggressions not reported by the mainstream media unless some investigative journalist picks it up and reports the story? Pretty sad.
Sree Iyer: Vice President, Kamala Harris offers an additional 310 million in support for Northern triangle countries. Which are these Northern triangle countries, sir?
Sridhar Chityala: For strange reasons, these are called the Northern triangle. I’m sure somebody has better providence than myself. The countries are El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, which is actually in the South of Mexico, It is in the north of the Caribbean maybe that is why it is the northern triangle. That’s the only conclusion I can draw. So she wants to give them because that’s where the maximum incursions have come in. If you actually look at the map, they are coming through Mexico into the United States. They call the Guatemala Caravans which are coming in. So she has offered them $310 million for covid and apparently, they had some other famine and flood type of relief. So it’s like the Democrats are throwing money as though it is nobody’s business, and this is the US taxpayers’ money and nobody wants to raise any hue and cry about it. They just accept this as fait accompli, and she goes around and throws these big numbers. So $310 million are probably an addendum to the infrastructure plan that goes out of the window. Look, I think we are sympathetic, we are compassionate, we want to help, but we cannot borrow more to give some charity, especially when your debt burden is growing at an alarming rate.
Sree Iyer: Taiwan stands with India ready to provide help – President Tsai Ing-wen on the covid crisis. India’s covid crisis – ASEAN is keen to help. Fearful of variants. France is going to assist India with oxygen generation plants, ventilators, and ICU equipment. And even Bhutan is going to send liquid oxygen from a new plant to India. So a lot of countries are jumping in to help India now, sir.
Sridhar Chityala: Indeed, I think it’s wonderful. Taiwan and Bhutan truly stand out. These are small nations demonstrating the true spirit of their partnership with India. They are very, very small nations and they probably may have not more than one or two plants, which manufacture oxygen and for them to come forward in do it is commendable. France is also front and centre. ASEAN has always been very supportive and very embracive of India, notwithstanding the fact because it is of near Proximus and lot of flights. They are also equally concerned that the rate at which this double variant covid spreads. So there is a red zone or there’s a blockage of incoming visitors, still, the citizens and others can come back and go through the quarantine process. France has clearly emerged as a leading strategic partner for India, on all matters from security, to health, to defence, to procurement. Similarly Israel, similarly UAE, similarly ASEAN. ASEAN group is one of the largest investors in India. So it augurs well as to where India’s future is and where India’s partnership lies, as it gets out of the covid and goes back into the mainstream.
Sree Iyer: Indonesia says, that a powerful underwater wave, probably sunk its submarine.
In the Global Covid update, Pfizer’s New at-home pill which you can take for treating covid could be available at the end of the year. GOP documents in Congress promote the covid-19 vaccine. Indian strain of coronavirus spreads faster, but little evidence of it being lethal. So, we now have some idea of this double mutating virus also, sir.
Sridhar Chityala: We have. I think the initial evidence and data points out that those who were impacted with variant apparently get some temperature. It lasts between 3-5 days or even a little longer, but then the recovery also is equally faster without significant intervention. So many of them can self-quarantine at home and recover out of it is the initial evidence. If that is the case, then this will be a passing phase for India. But those who have always got issues around the respiratory system or any other preconditions those people suffer the consequences from this.
I think that is very true that the United States with its massive vaccination has stalled the progress of the deaths. We were accelerating quite rapidly, but now we have been able to stem that. As doctors point out that they have a lot more data today relative to what they had and even the treatment protocols have improved. One word of caution of both in the United States, as well as, in India, is depending on when we actually took this data, this data may not have been updated, so they could be corrections to this number and if there are any big variations we shall report it in our tomorrow’s program.
Sree Iyer: In Markets news, FED is not expected to make any policy changes for 2021, at tomorrow’s meeting. Some analysts say that the economy is busting and may need to slow the asset purchase program. Alphabet – In the Alphabet report, YouTube is the biggest winner, the revenue grows by 34%. The earnings of the Alphabet group is 26.29 billion and revenue is 55.31 billion. Microsoft books biggest revenue growth since 2018, the revenue of 41.71 billion with earnings per share of $1.95. Starbucks has a revenue of 6.7 billion earnings per share of 62 cents. Same-store sales returned to pre-pandemic level. That’s a very important indicator, isn’t it?
Sridhar Chityala: The big takeaway in the markets news is, we were giving directional trends that FED is not going to make any policy changes in 2021. So, there is very positive momentum and therefore, we could see changes coming in 2022. At least in the second half of 2022. The first indication of any change in policy will be when they completely deaccelerate the asset purchase programs which is 120, now, it has already come down to about 80 billion a month. When they taper that off you know that the liquidity crisis is over and the economy is on its wheels, and we may begin to see the rates. On the earning side, the pre-pandemic sales achieved by the same-store sales, achieved by Starbucks, has an indication of two things. One is retail footprint is back and people crossing the Starbucks stores, consuming more and more Starbucks. Of course, remember, you can order online and pick up from the stores, so that’s growing. Second, this is commercial, obviously business. Most of the stores trying to operate within the business timings. So that also is an indication that the commercial businesses are beginning to open and the sales are picking up.
With regard to close out, the Alphabet, I think the big story is YouTube, thanks to the pandemic. There’s been a spurt in growth by 81%. There also, their advertising revenue in social channels has picked up.
Microsoft is winning business left, right, and centre, especially around their augmented reality. They won a $22 billion 10-year contract with the government, with the Navy if I am correct, and then, their cloud services business is booming. So overall these tech companies continue to pound away. They’ve been one of the biggest beneficiaries of these shutdowns and pandemic and remote working. The good news is that we are beginning to see the indications that the In-Store retail footprint is beginning to show very positive signs and Starbucks is a very good indicator. We may see begin to see earnings in some of the In-Store retail footprints in stores like Walmart and Safeway and so on. That would be the next indication in terms of how the economy is progressing.
Sree Iyer: That brings us to a close for today’s edition of Daily Global Insights. Those of you who want to know the numbers such as a Dow, number, 10-year yield, those things are always scrolling in our ticker, you can always watch it there. You can get all the numbers. Thanks for subscribing and thanks also for joining the membership. Sridharji, it’s a pleasure as always having you and we’ll be back together tomorrow to give news of tomorrow. Namaskar.
Sridhar Chityala: Namaskar and thank you and have a wonderful Wednesday.