Sree Iyer: Namaskar, today is July 5th, Monday and welcome to Daily Global Insights with Sri and Sree, Episode 196. We start with Global News. Sridharji, Namaskar, I hope you had a happy 4th.
Sridhar Chityala: Namaskar, Good morning to you, Happy July 4th finished so we had great festivities and watched all the wonderful fireworks.
Sree Iyer: In global news, Biden says he’s not sure if the Russians are behind the latest cyber-attacks and get mocked for checking notes. Sir, did he actually take out his notes to see what he has to say. Is that what happened?
Sridhar Chityala: Well, I think it’s very interesting, as soon as he got off the plane. The reporters asked him, Hey, you know, there’s a cyber-attack Florida software agency, I think it’s Kaseya. They are reporting the 200 clients of, there’s have had complaints about ransomware attack and around 2 p.m. on Friday. So what do you think? Then, he said, we don’t believe, it’s the Russians who were behind this attack. Then, he said, hang on a minute, hang on, let me check, hang on a minute. So he pulls up and he says, well, I was getting a briefing in the plane, so, therefore that’s why I’m held up, so let me see. Well, my intelligent agencies are saying to me that it is unclear to them as to who it is and it is not clear to me as to whether it is the Russians. So, therefore, I can’t say. So, this is to the question – Did you speak with Vladimir Putin? So, no, I haven’t spoken with Putin but I will speak with him. Should that happen to be the Russians? Then, he said, no hang on, it’s not an incomplete briefing. I will ask my security agencies to give me a complete deep dive tomorrow and then, once I get more details, I’ll be happy to share them with you. So this was the whole dialogue that took place. And people are saying, I mean, I had watched the video, it doesn’t bring the president in a very strong sense in terms of the mutter and flutter plus all these pulling out the notes, Etc. So this is what happened and the fact is that they were 200 companies, which were attached, small to medium companies, the software services company, which deals with all the security issues propped up, it is dealing with it. And there ends, the matter because we are talking about, you know, everybody got on to the July 4th festivities.
Sree Iyer: And the way I see it is sir, so far the United States with all its technological might has not been actually able to apprehend the entities who are doing this. I mean, in one instance, they were able to recover, some Bitcoins. But other than that, this is just going on unabated. So, I hope that the powers that be the FBI, NSA and so on have a handle on this otherwise it will be open season, sir.
Sridhar Chityala: The facts are that the United States more or less has conceded that they have not been able to prevent ransomware attacks. They have been able to respond, host the attacks, but they’re not been able to prevent at least the government departments have asked for if I remember the number a hundred million dollars money to put ransomware detection and prevention software. As far as the private Enterprises are concerned, the government has issued a directive which is to say they would provide them help, but as they asking them to augment because it’s obviously many and several attacks are coming or are imminently happening in the United States. They probably are happening in other parts of the world such as Japan, such as India, and so on, but at least in the US case. So to your point at least, there is open admission and commitment to, make sure that this is happening.
Now, the question is that Russians are saying it’s not they’re not responsible, they may be a dark side. Dark Side within double quotes and the dark side without double quotes may be responsible for these kinds of things. And these are private attacks that are happening. There’s also hacks happening from China, which is very well aware which we have reported in Daily Global Insights. So many of these attacks are becoming quite frequent quite often and quite deliberate and targeted at specific areas of vulnerability ranging from Power grids to defence installations, we’ve even had the meat production companies and so on. So they are directing their attacks in points of vulnerability, where people can feel the pain of the consequences.
Sree Iyer: Two people are dead and 20 missing in Japan after recent rains triggered, a landslide near Tokyo. Now, we know that Japan is an earthquake country that there is always an earthquake happening. This is unprecedented sir. Usually, the Japanese have been able to manage these kinds of things fairly well, what are your thoughts, sir?
Sridhar Chityala: Oh my God! I saw this again, this particular video when you have. I mean it’s an Island, when you have a gush of water, from points of vulnerability into the main streets of Tokyo. There is no way by which one can mitigate, you know, these kinds of threats. It’s very similar to the landslides that you see very often in Hong Kong. So therefore that’s what this is about and you know you deal with the situation as the situation develops, and then you respond to the post-disaster, scenarios. Very unfortunate, this is not an earthquake. This is not a tsunami. These are that the conventional torrential rains on the island.
Sree Iyer: Groups outside Mainland China, decry the CCP tyranny on its 100th anniversary. Xi warns the world that the Communist Party will not be bullied by the external world in his address. China continues to court Millions of United States consumers through the familiar storefront of Amazon. According to documents filed with the US justice department, China Daily, the propaganda arm paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to Time, Foreign Policy, Financial Times, LA Times, New York Times Washington Post and several Publications to influence the media. This is a big kicker, sir, everything else I can understand his usual sabre-rattling, but the fact that the data has emerged and I’ve seen some numbers like 50 million being given to New York Times, sir. I could be wrong about the number it could be 50,000. Even, even one cent is wrong. These are supposed to publish facts and they are supposed to be the torchbearers that the rest of the world goes by. This is very, very disappointing, sir at least personally for me. What are you thought, sir?
Sridhar Chityala: I think in principle in essence from an etiquette point of view, you yourself are a notable journalist. You know within that context, I think the framework that you are laying out is the righteous principle but we don’t live in a righteous world. We live in a world today, which is very clearly divided in the societies, which either follow the left for the society which either follow the right. So we’re very clear classification. If you look at the publication that they have targeted, they’re not given money to Apple Daily in Hong Kong. They’ve not given money to Nikkie, they’re not given money to keep of Epoch times. They’re not given money to Fox News, where have been given money, Washington Post, New York Times, LA Times, Seattle Times, Financial Times, Time Magazine, the foreign policy magazine that comes out of the United States, then even Wall Street Journal has been funded. So the money ranges, the numbers that I have seen is, you know, to each of these, some of them. I’m not suggesting each one got, some number is 2.6 million, and some number is 4.6 million. So these are explicit filings with the Department of Justice, these are explicit numbers. When the revenues are booked by the companies which are incorporated in the United States, if it’s slush money, they will lose the license. So these are money, which is explicitly accounted for and reported, some money goes back to even 2016, the funding of some of these publications, especially New York Times, Washington Times and Wall Street Journal and so on. So these numbers are quite explicit. What it just basically tell you is that what we are hearing from the Press is nothing but what China propaganda machine is unleashing. Previously, used to be, things used to be related to the government to government, government agencies and bureaucrats and intelligence communities and so on. Now it is Mainstream, which is what we have consuming by way of content that is basically curated and influenced by external countries. How the United States will deal with and present Administration deal with this data remains a question mark. But as you rightly pointed out, this is a fundamental issue around the whole media/journalism. What is it that we are consuming day in and day out where exactly we’re going to get the truth? The honest information and objective assessment of information that is given to us.
The same thing applies to COVID, the whole issue is COVID has been stage-managed, now we are hearing just on the media side, Nobody is talking about it but the Delta variant is spreading faster and impacting China itself. But nothing has been said here, as to what exactly is the consequence why people need to be careful about this delta variant. Again, I point out this data is not being published and socialize and consequences. United States has close to 4.8 million active COVID Cases. That’s enough for the multiplier effect should the next variant come in of which 1.6 million is in the state of California, which is supposed to be a very warm state where Covid is not supposed to flourish and propagate. But, anyway, so this is all the information misleading, curated information, that is being either hidden or suppressed or not being shared that creating that is going to create a problem for people on the ground dealing with the situation.
Sree Iyer: And in other news, more than six million EU citizens, apply to settle in the post-Brexit United Kingdom. Sir, if my memory serves me correctly. Many people were leaving the UK to settle in the warmer climates of Spain and some of the Mediterranean countries because the land was cheap they were actually buying property there and they were putting down the roof, then, they would go and tell their friends back home in the UK and they would bring them over. They would invest in this. Are these six million UK citizens, who are going back or others also who want to get back to the UK and why?
Sridhar Chityala: I think it’s both because many of the Europeans had settled in the UK. So, many of them, there was a seamless movement across Europe in integrated, British Europe, EU construct. So, now with Britain exiting, they’re given them, I think time to June 30th next year to reapply and get back. So this is both the British citizens coming back and also those who had prior residency trying to come back. If I have to read between the tea leaves, then it simply implies that Britain is likely to have a better tax regime relating to the EU. That could be one reason. Number two is the job opportunities in Britain, relative to EU is much better, once Britain, re-establishes itself, post-Brexit situation. I think the third is the immigration problem. These are the three main issues. One of the make contentions, I mean, I was in Britain, when this referendum was going on, you know, one of the main issues was the immigration, the unfettered immigration that happened and the social and security issues that were that it was unleashing in Europe and the same thing was spilling over into Britain. So, therefore, this is the third major issue that is probably prompting people to get back.
Sree Iyer: The United States and Iran show no progress in the nuclear deal. Israeli Defence Forces launches overnight strikes on Gaza Strip for incendiary balloons. So, Gaza is not backing off and now looks like it’s this is a usual and as always idea of striking back, a little bit more information about these incendiary balloons. Sir, it is a new way that they are trying to attack because I’m sure the same thing will find its way to India soon.
Sridhar Chityala: No, India is slightly sophisticated they are using drones.
Sree Iyer: That was the next idea, sir, please go ahead.
Sridhar Chityala: Incendiary balloons are a little old technique, which was invented somewhere during pre-World War II. So the story is that you have these balloons lightly inflated Balloons with light gases but then, they have you know, bombs, combustible bombs, you know, they carry and which can explode at a specific point. The question is, you know, they seem to be targeted and landing in the right spots, according to the reports only thing is the right spots happen to be many of the casualties of these incendiary balloons happened to be Palestinians rather than the Israelis. But, then Israel is taking it very seriously and going after these sites the launch pads and attacking them. But this Gaza Strip, the latest, you know, the flavour of the month seems to be the incendiary balloons to target thickly populated areas. It just like this cut missile of Saddam Hussein, some hope it will land in the right spot. And then, you know, take out and create the casualty. So that seems to be the trend.
Well, I don’t know. I think India is much more sophisticated. Iranians are using the that, Iranians are not using Incendiary balloons are using drones. They’re developing the technology around drones. I think that’s going to be a very big problem. What’s going to happen to the drones? You know from observations to spying to carry payloads is a real issue, sir.
Sree Iyer: I’m looking forward to what kind of statements congresswoman, Rasheed Tlaib and congresswoman Ilhan Omar going to put out, maybe they’ll say this time Pramila Jaipal you put it out and see if that sticks, so we will wait and see.
In Asia, China outspends the US in ASEAN while spurt in Covid cases places strain on Indonesia. So we know that the ASEAN countries are not ready vaccinated that well, that they are still, you know, short on vaccines. Now the situation they are not capable of making their own vaccine. So, they are dependent on either the United States or India or Europe to supply them with vaccines and now the Delta strain is also hitting them. So, how do you see this thing play out, sir? Because we know, Delta is very aggressive.
Sridhar Chityala: I don’t want to sound fatalistic but I don’t see this situation improve for a minimum of six months to one year. Remember that, if you take India. India has vaccinated about 350 million first doses. It’s got a population of 1.3. According to Dr Arvind Panagariya if you take away the kids about 850 to 860 million people need to be vaccinated and he has given the arithmetic in terms of how long will it take depending on the daily vaccination rates? So you have India, probably covered till the first quarter of next year, in its ability to supply more than what it needs to domestically to meet its obligations to its people.
If you take the United States, we still are less than 50% in the first two doses. So the United States has been trickle feeding some of the vaccines into Asia.
If you take Europe, Europe has a similar kind of issue and so, therefore, Europe as well as dealing with its domestic needs. So what’s happening in Africa, less information? What’s happening in Asia? Japan has been scaling up, Korea is trying to step up and I think if I’m correct either Moderna or Pfizer, one of them or both are trying to set up manufacturing, also in Singapore to step up the local needs. Taiwan is also attempting to set up the manufacturing countries such as Indonesia. Remember, Indonesia is not a small country, it is close to two hundred million people or 180 million people, so you have in Indonesia, then you have the Philippines, you have Thailand, which is also impacted, then you have Vietnam. So, you have a whole range of countries there. And then of course Japan is about 150 or 125 million people. So Japan is stepping up. So, it has to come from there. Many of these countries had used Sinovac as an initial and you know they all facing the consequences including some of the Middle Eastern Nations. One of the reasons why UAE is now on a no-fly or a warning playlist from the United States is because people are in UAE are all vaccinated with Sinovac. So, how effective that is from transmitting it to other people, nobody knows. So you have this situation, which Asia is going to take a little bit of time to get itself organized.
Well, China itself is facing the advent of the Delta radiant, remember at least four data which they are throwing they are saying 1.3 billion doses of vaccines have been given. If that’s the case almost everybody in China has got their first dose and probably on their way to the second dose. I’m just giving you 1.3 is the correct number. But how many first doses, how many seconds or so? I don’t have the data, but it just tells you that you are some distance away from overcoming this Covid situation. So it’s not going away and we have been saying this that is not going away and US data itself from those who are in the United States has been very cognizant that we have a flashpoint, which is coming up around the onset of the winter because we have the natural flu season. India has been aware that the 10 countries have been identified and we said, which have already seen the cases of the delta variant of which the UK is one of them. The US is one of them. Indonesia is one of them. India is one of them, Germany is one of them. Poland is one of them. Etc. There are quite a few countries on that list, again we reported that in DGI. So, we have some time to overcome this. I don’t think this is going away before early next year.
Taliban capture 700 trucks and Humvees from Afghan Security Forces. This also included armoured vehicles and artillery systems? Now, we see some real news reports coming as to whether the Taliban is going to even overrun. The United States consulate building in Kabul.
Sree Iyer: So, Taliban Captures 700 Trucks and Humvees from Afghan Security Forces. This also included armoured vehicles and artillery systems. Now we see some news reports coming as to whether the Taliban is going to either overrun the United States consulate building in Kabul. So, the Taliban is basically sweeping away the entire country. Where is this headed, sir? And how do you think they’re able to source their own Weaponry.
Sridhar Chityala: Well, the Taliban is very powerful. They’re very well-organized, even during the US occupation places such as Kandahar was under the control of the Taliban. Only a certain perimeter was under the influence of the US forces, the US decided it’s a 20 years’ war so they decided that, you know, they will protect certain circumference of the country and the rest of it, you know, let append for other people. So how do I see? I see the Taliban take over within six months, even probably shorter because the EU has left, the last regiment has left more or less I think the vacating Bagram Air Base, as well as the international airport, by the US forces, is another sign that you know this almost last remnant of the army is still left. I think well before August, you will see The US completely evacuate. So between August and December of Mr Abdullah, himself has talked about this. If the Taliban chooses to take over, it doesn’t want to be part of the broad integration. Then we have no choice. We just accept that. So, I see the Taliban taking over and I also see the Taliban not committing the same mistakes that they have committed for the past or proceeding 20 years preceding which is namely use its land by and lend its land, the people to use for other terrorists and other purposes. I think they’re going to rule Afghanistan with an iron fist. They probably will say, you want to do business, do business, because we have no interest but don’t come and interfere with our affairs, and we will run the way we see to need to run this country which means most regressive and oppressive principles that Taliban uses in terms of its religious etiquettes and beliefs.
Sree Iyer: There is about 5,000 minority, still trapped in Afghanistan, the last time we checked, we will give you an update as and when we can, these are comprised of Hindus and Sikhs. And if you remember a few months back, there was a bombing at a Gurudwara that killed 30 people and the Taliban took responsibility for that. So I can only pray for all the Hindus and Sikhs who are still trapped in class. In fact the then-senator, Kamala Harris is a signatory to a letter that was imploring, the then Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo to fast-track the immigration for these people who are trapped there, I don’t know what happened to that, as and when we get the information we will share it with you. Sir, any thoughts on that particular thing, sir.
Sridhar Chityala: Two senators have raised this question one from the Democratic party and one for the Republican party, which is to say you guys chose to withdraw and did you plan for this, what happened to all the people who have supported, our they are, they going to be left in the Lurch? Are you going to move them Or do you have enough time to get them, get visas and get them back here? The reason is one of the Democratic senators from Massachusetts, who is a Marine, I forget his name and the name doesn’t escape my mind. He said, very clearly that, I don’t have a problem, but the only problem that I see is I don’t see any Central person in the Department of Immigration, as well as from the Army coordinating. This, so there’s mass chaos and confusion and we have the Visas in backlogged ranging from 18 months to 36 months. So, therefore, how they’re going to handle this is a question mark that I’m raising. This was raised in Senate, this was also raised in the House.. So what’s going to happen? We can only report based on the chaos that is prevalent right now in Washington DC, Sree.
Sree Iyer: In US News, the united states celebrates the 4th of July Nation emerges from the Devastating Pandemic. Fourth of July Travel to Exceeded Pre-Pandemic Levels as the Nation Celebrates Festive Fireworks across various cities. Biden Administration in a show of continuing disrespect to the Nation and sentiments denies permits to Mount Rushmore Fireworks. South Dakota Governor says the administration did not provide any explanation. While the Nation celebrates, Far Left states say that Founders of Nation were Colonizers, American Exceptionalism Grounded in Racism, Foreign Policy Grounded in Racism. They went on to further assert that Climate Change and Racist Policing were far greater existential threats than China, Russia and Iran. A lot of hyperbole there, which are these far-left States, in your opinion, sir.
Sridhar Chityala: Now, far-left progressive the usual names that we have mentioned, in the DGI, the famous names that you always, you know, come to the forehead, I will exclude ow the vice president Kamala Harris Madam in this but they have been stating. In fact, the statement that the climate Accord and the racial policing is far more far greater exists tension spreads and the threats posed by China, Russia and Iran. In fact, one lady or two ladies went on to say to House Representatives from the democratic party went on to state that they have no apprehensions, they do not regret grouping the United States and Israel in the same terrorist grouping as you know, some of the other nations. So, therefore, are some of the other people.
So you can now see as to why, to your point which you raised earlier, ‘What do you think of some of these people with regard to these folks left behind?’ So you are getting the answers here which is, they see the United States as a greater threat than some of these other nations who are actually launching daily attacks either by way of, you know the issues with Iran, issues with Russia, issues with China. China is all over the place, Russia is all over the place, but yet, it is not significant to the left media, it is not significant. But It’s important to point out that Mount Rushmore is problematic. There’s a fundamental belief, that’s the reason why they are not giving an explanation. The fundamental belief that somehow recognizing the past leaders becomes an acknowledgement and acceptance of all these racial things that existed before. So without giving an explanation, there are no fireworks in Mount Rushmore. Mount Rushmore has faces of 4 iconic presidents. She tried to the last minute but they would not give them permission. So that’s the story, sir. The key message from this is, while the nation celebrated and everybody got out of the pandemic, they’re still the left-liberal states, that have their own agenda. To put things in perspective, in Washington DC the fireworks that were supposed to happen, happened in the mall but did not happen in the Washington National Stadium. It was cancelled and the statement issued was that that they’re avoiding noise pollution. People from India can infer what this all means.
Sree Iyer: If I’m reading this correctly, I’m aghast. Those illegals who were caught for committing crimes in the United States were deported. This has been a long-standing US policy. If you are an illegal immigrant, if you are an illegal alien, if you don’t have papers in the United States, if you’re caught committing a crime, you were automatically deported. Now I am seeing that Biden wants even get them back and this blows my mind, sir. What is going on?
Sridhar Chityala: I’m beginning to get a serious sense of doubts around whether this is Biden or whether there is someone else who is driving this. Because more often than not this is referred as Biden Administration, but the order seems to be coming from my Mayorkas or someone else. So, Mr Mayorkas is saying that he would bring all these people back. Who are these people? People who have been deported for committing crimes, People who have committed crimes happen to have relatives in the United States. They may be ex-servicemen, armed forces people or people with other types of families in the United States. All of you come back. No problem. You have committed crimes? We take everybody. We’re taking illegals. We’re taking warlocks. We are taking traffickers. We are taking everybody, come back. This is one of the biggest problems that the United States is going to face because of the present Administration. I’m going to not use the word Biden Administration. The present Administration is going to be confronted. You can deal with debt, but you cannot deal with the destruction of the society that is likely to be perpetuated by virtue of these immigration actions that are going on.
Sree Iyer: Now, the present Administration has also announced a campaign to make it easier for millions of people to become citizens, and multi Department efforts are underway. I hope this also includes those who actually went the right way to come in, perhaps as a student or an H1 and staying here and applying for a green card. I hope their cases also will be addressed in this group. I don’t know if it’s true or not. You can explain. But before we do… Ohio has become the latest state to join other states to send 185 National Guard members to the southern border as we are witnessing a silent Revolution. So all these Republican-run States, that’s how I see it, are going to help Texas as well as perhaps Arizona to try and curb the illegal immigration there. Now, the Texas governor says to the Border residents to report any property damages inflicted by illegal immigrants. So what are the Republicans doing, sir? They are in big numbers in Congress. Why are they also not objecting? I mean PGurus and DGI can only do so much.
Sridhar Chityala: Indeed, sir. Sree Iyerji’s campaign across multiple formats has been relentless. DGI is playing its role in a daily onslaught of the messaging. Of course, there are people who listen, there are people who don’t. Now, to your specific question, what are the Republicans doing? When you lose the majority, you can only shout from the top of the hill. Nobody is going to care, nobody is going to listen. In Senate, they will use the filibuster, in House, they will use other kinds of techniques to make sure that the agenda is addressed. So, that’s the process of democracy. You win the election, then you run your agenda based on the reasons why you won the election. Now to answer the question, the Republicans are making noise but it’s falling on deaf ears. So what’s happening, Republicans ruled states are taking law into their own hands. and within the Providence of the Constitution and the rights that are rested upon the states. They are acting on various policies that impact them very adversely. That’s what is going on. Now, the example of Ohio, the example of Florida, the example of Illinois, the example of Idaho etc are examples of states that are sending the help and make sure that the borders are protected. As far as the illegal immigrants are concerned, there are 10-11 million illegal immigrants here. This goes back to Obama’s agenda during his period. How do we normalize these 10-11 million? They cannot be deported. Deportation of 11 million is a massive program that has consequences. So this has been a constant battle. So this is about these 10 – 11 million people who are here illegally and how to normalize them is the question that we are addressing here. The point that you are making, which is those other people who are on H-1B visas, overstates, student visas etc, they call it a visa normalization process, though, they may have entered the country legally, they overstayed, so they have gone into the illegal status. They don’t add up to those 10-11 million people, it is a separate number. this 10 to 11 billion.
Sree Iyer: Armed militias Group hold up Interstate Highway 95 in a stand-off with Massachusetts Police. Eight of the ten members clad in military uniform arrested. They were on their way to training from Rhode Island to Maine and stopped when their cars out of fuel. Sir, you have some loonies on the other side also, this is one such case when they think I-95 in my opinion is probably the busiest interstate in the whole of the United States.
Sridhar Chityala: I-95 is the busiest. It connects all the way from here and going up all the way to Maine and further. This is the busy intersection in the state of Massachusetts where they were stopped around 2 am in the morning and then hazard lights and traffic was held up and when the police cars went they decided to fight and they found these guys to be carrying arms, pistols, etc. Identity is not revealed. Nothing is revealed. And the fact is that eight out of the ten have been apprehended, but the message here is just frightening. Once Upon a Time, you can travel in the United States 24 hours on roads anywhere, anytime, no problem. Now, either by foot or by cars, we don’t know what we’re going to encounter on roads and that too on the eve of July 3rd, July 4th night. So, therefore, this is problematic. We will report if more information comes out but I doubt whether more information will come out. As usual, the information will get swept away, but we’ll see.
Sree Iyer: America’s largest teachers union has voted to spread further the teachings of the Quasi Marxist Critical Race Theory which it describes as reasonable and appropriate. This is to teach students so that they can understand the past and the present. So now teachers unions are also taking up positions for or against the critical race theory. Is this something again Red vs. Blue? If it was that, then this is something that could have been introduced in some states in the past, isn’t it? So I’m a little concerned.
Sridhar Chityala: This is left versus right. Not red versus blue. So the teachers union of 3 million teachers. It is a very big sizable Union. What they’re saying is, they’re going to fund, they’re going to contribute, they’re going to fight the propaganda that is being advocated by the right, which is to say that teaching risk is incorrect. So they describe the Critical Race Theory as relevant, reasonable, and appropriate. And so it should not be prevented from being taught to kids in schools. This is the stand taken by the national teachers union, which is roughly about 3 million-plus. They have even given the amount of funding that initially has been committed, sir. Not big numbers because these are principle-based advocacy that is being launched by the unions.
Sree Iyer: Let’s take a look at India related news. India’s foreign exchange reserves are now upwards of 609 billion due to a rise in assets. Exports to the United States rise to $95 billion during the April-June quarter. An area of 3 kilometres from Indian Naval installations in Vizag has now designated a no-fly zone. A drone was seen over the Indian High commission compound in Islamabad. India has registered its strongest protest with Pakistan over the security breach. Taken together, first thing is that the FII is going up. Sir, someday we need to take a look more critically at this number, because I hear a lot of comments saying that, look, the money that is coming in is actually of the corrupt politician bringing their money back into India because they are now, not very sure of what’s going to happen to the Tax Haven. They think that they can control the destiny of their money better if the money is in India itself. I don’t know if that’s true or not. But perhaps we can do a separate program on this.
Sridhar Chityala: We will do a separate program on this. These are the foreign currency assets held by the Reserve Bank of India in the Indian case. Central banks hold the FX reserves, be it Bank of Japan, be it the Central Bank of China or Bank of China or be it Fed reserve, Fed Reserve doesn’t hold. These reserves held. So we will go through these assets and there is an itemized list of assets that make up this $609 billion number. There are two theories that are going around. Why not use these reserves to feed and give everybody money. That is one theory. The second is that the reserves make up all the corrupt money that has come in. I will be very surprised if it is the corrupt money. I think that’s, that is a little bit of red herring. These are India’s exports is growing. People have to recognize that. India’s exports today is about $400-$500 billion. This is annual exports. So if you take three-four years, you’re talking about $2-$3 trillion. A percentage of those things is held for Import and Export purposes. India’s Imports is growing as well. When you earn a lot of Foreign Exchange through exports then you pick money off it and keep it. The whole purpose is you can use these foreign currency assets when you have a need for importing items, that is why you have FX reserves. And so we will discuss this as a separate topic. As far as how the foreign exchange reserves are created, as far as the exports are concerned, the April to June quarter is a reflection of a lot of commodities as well as the resources that have been exported which augurs very well especially during the covid times.
As far as the security is concerned, I’m glad that they have identified them, obviously, probably they have some intelligence that the Vizag has been cordoned off, at least 10 kilometres radius has been cordoned off as no-fly for unmanned drones and all these kinds of extra genius stuff that is now coming into India. As far as the High Commission is concerned, all I can say is, I’ve seen again pictures and some videos. It really is outrageous. As you rightly pointed out, sir, last time the Indian High Commission is a deeper enclave within the diplomatic enclave for these drones to come in and peep right into the embassy. It begs the question, whether really, really there are synergies because there’s been a lot of talks that India and Pakistan are trying to reapproach and you know work together, etc. whether there is any truth behind it.
Sree Iyer: Well, what I have heard from listening to a lot of the YouTube channels is that there was an assassination attempt at Bajwa and people are suspecting that some other wings of the army, perhaps even the intelligence agencies had their hand in that and that he’s right now somewhere outside of Pakistan. They don’t even know where he is. But the reason all that was happening was the fear that Bajwa having signed the peace accord with India, ceasefire accord that he might actually make a deal to get out of Pakistan occupied Kashmir in exchange, this again, I’m not sure about it whether India will even take it, in exchange for India not making claims on Gilgit-Baltistan because evidently again, Pakistan sold Gilgit-Baltistan to China which it never owned in the first place. So there is an interesting dynamic at work here. Will India say, okay, we will not look at G-B but we will just take PoK, right now. So at least we have to fulfil one promise and then they continue to go after GB that is Gilgit-Baltistan or India will say, just take a walk, you are collapsing under your own weight, I will just wait. I don’t know how this is going to play out. Sir, I don’t know if you have heard this but this is something that I just gathered together. I had time just looking around various channels on what was happening and this is what I found.
I was also curious as to how the Taliban is sourcing its equipment, armoury and all that, but I think you’ve made it clear that they are essentially taking over the leftover arms that the United States and the EU forces have left behind because you cannot bring back tanks. These are all very, very heavy. They’ll just say, okay, it will be having a life of a few years, but if the spares are not there, maintenance done properly, they become inactive. So another place where you are going to find, just like you find Russian missiles strewn about in Afghanistan, perhaps you will start seeing American tanks, are all these things. I don’t know what your thoughts are, sir. I think we are running a little slow today, let’s try and see if we can pick up the pace. Just give your comment on this and then we will go through quickly, sir.
Sridhar Chityala: So, I’ll start with Afghanistan. We haven’t covered Afghanistan, we are already into 44 minutes, we will cover it tomorrow. The opium trade is a flourishing trade, so the opium growth was prolific during the Karzai regime. And you can see now Karzai being affronted by the Chinese as well as to the US is responsible for all the ills and travails of Afghanistan while he was accused of propagating and profiting from the opium trade. I think people don’t know, Afghan produces probably a significant part of the world’s intoxicating medication. So they have an opportunity to use for getting whatever procurement that they want. They have an able and willing partner of some remanent rogue elements of various military regimes or military countries around the world. So they can secure from them. They also have ever willing and ready partner in China, who is willing to equip them with everything. They also have a good and willing partner in Russia because they have been itching their hands ever since they were ousted. So they will also probably be a decent supplier. So, Afghanistan is not worried about arms or anything else. It has the currency by which it can benefit. All it requires probably is for the Taliban to say that we look after our own affairs and we move forward. I think that’s how I see. I’m not an Afghan expert but that’s how I see some of these things playing out in Afghanistan, sir.
As far as Gilgit-Baltistan is concerned, I have also heard the same thing. Maybe at some stage, Amit Shah will say, we gave the whole country to you, so the whole country belongs to us, so when are you going to give it back to us. In 1947, we divided part of our country and gave it to you. So, therefore, he may have very different views on what he thinks but the whole thing is that area is a hodgepodge of issues. You sell what you don’t own and what you want is not yours. This is the permanent problem of these two Nations which was one nation Once Upon a Time.
Sree Iyer: The Active covid cases in India fall below 500,000, and the Active cases are at less than 2%. India has so far given 351 million doses of vaccination. On the 4th of July, there were 6.387 million vaccination doses, very impressive numbers. I think one-quarter of the population has been vaccinated, perhaps one shot or two shots, we don’t know. So, perhaps you can also update whether the J&J is now in vogue in India, sir, because that makes the job a little bit easier.
Sridhar Chityala: 351 million comprises roughly about 270 – 290 million single doses and then the residual is people who have been given two doses. So a significant part of this is a single dose. Then some segments of it have received the second dose, a very small number of 5-7 million people have received the second dose. The reason is the time lag between the first dose and second dose in India averages between three to four months, depending on whether it is Covaxin or Covishiled. Whereas the meantime difference in countries such as the United States, for example, for Pfizer is 21 days, Maderna is 28 days. So that could be the reason why there is a timeline between the first and second dose. So that’s on the first point. 90% or 95% of it deals with single doses, so that’s my observation. But the fact is that they are touching the 6-7 million number. They even touched 8.5-8.6 million number one day, which we reported in DGI. It augers well in terms of India’s ambition of complete ambition, if not by the end of the year but at least the first quarter to vaccinate the country. They want to vaccinate at least 70% of the population before the Delta variant rears its ugly head up in India and the belief is that those vaccinated can deal with the Delta variant better.
Sree Iyer: Let’s take a look at the markets last week. A better than predicted improvement in the job market boosted the stocks on Friday. Dow popped up 152 points, S&P 32 points, NASDAQ 117 points and they’re all finished at record highs. I’m not sure about all but definitely, NASDAQ did. Unemployment has also risen to 5.9% as the labour market remains one of the tightest with most enjoying unemployment benefits. This is something that we have talked about in the past that people sitting at home and getting money are not inclined to go back and join their work and this is creating stress on the population. We also saw that some states are actually cancelling the $300 check. So overall, by the middle of this month or probably the end of this month, you think all the people will be back at work, sir?
Sridhar Chityala: I would say by end of summer most people will return to work. I won’t say this month or next month, by end of summer. I think in September, most of the people coming back. Some of these benefits will wear out by then and also some of the states may take action and people also may be tired and want to get back into work. But we’ll see whether Delta variant rears its head up. All the 3 indices are well past their record levels, sir, so there for all of them when I say all I look at the major indices which are Dow, S&P, and NASDAQ, even Russell is up. So, all the four indices are up, Russell 200 that is, they are at a record high. They have already gone past the original estimates for these indices that were set in the last quarter of 2020. We now have revised targets for each of these for example the target for S&P was 4200, the target now is 4400. We are already pretty close to 4310 or 4315 right now as we speak. I think this is all buoyed by a tremendous amount of liquidity in the system. At least one of the $3 trillion of liquidity in the system. The reason why people are not complaining about the big tick, that is the fuel, gas. Most people spend more money over the long weekend which is still going on here, in the United States, it finishes today on Monday. They are able to fill up their fuel tanks basically, because no interest rates, plenty of cash in their bank accounts and they have all been sitting in their homes and are willing to accept a $75-$76, $3.55 gallons which have climbed from somewhere around $2.40 to $3.55 depending on which gradiation of fuel you are using.
Sree Iyer: In fact, in California, it has gone north of $4. So luckily I don’t have to worry too much because only one car that I use uses petrol. So, anyway, I just look at it and I’m amused.
So with that, we bring today’s episode to an end and we’ll be back again tomorrow. Same time, same PGurus online channels. And as always, Namaskar and have a great day.
Sridhar Chityala: Namaskar and we look forward to seeing you. Thank you, Sreeji. And thank you so much for another week to look after. Hopefully, this week we will complete our 200.
Sree Iyer: Yes, indeed. Looking forward to that, sir.
Sridhar Chityala: Thanks to all the patrons. Thanks to all the viewers who have been part of our journey. I think both myself and Sreeji have enjoyed our sessions thus far and we continue to work towards enhancing and improving the program as we go. Maybe we’ll make you few more announcements as we move along.
Sree Iyer: Yes, indeed and thank you so much. See you all tomorrow.
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