Sree Iyer: Hello and welcome to PGurus Channel. I’m your host Sree Iyer. This is episode number 98 and it is the 15th of February 2021. I am with my guest and co-panellists Sridhar Chityalaji. Sridharji, namaskar and welcome to PGurus Channel.
Sridhar Chityala: Namaskar and good morning from New York on this Presidents Day Holiday weekend in the United States.
Sree Iyer: Yes, the markets are closed for today, but we will take a look at what is happening. What happened over the last week? The most important thing was the impeachment, that drama has finally come to a close with Trump managing to escape 43 to 57, seven GOP Senators voted to impeach Trump and this is expected to have some sort of consequences for these seven Senators who decided not to go with the party line. What do you make of it, Sir?
Sridhar Chityala: Well, I think that within any party architecture, there’s always bound to be some differences Mitt Romney, Pat Toomey, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski is fairly well known that they have very different views. They probably more to Center-left in terms of their mind-set and the two big surprises here are Bill Cassidy from Louisiana and Richard burr from North Carolina, so both were quite a surprise, big surprises in terms of why they did. We don’t know, you know, sometimes it’s very hard to gauge from the distance. And very hard to gauge as to what kind of motivate some of the people to go the other way.
I think Lindsey Graham is very right which is to say impeachment is now a political process is about political differences. I think that’s a very profound statement. So, it’s very clear, at least in the case of Mitt Romney is one can say there is some element of political rivalry between him and President Trump that cascaded its way and also there were some of the Republican people, you know have questioned his wisdom and rationale in terms of the positions that he has taken, having lost the original candidacy going back to 2016-17. He thought that he was going to make it. As far as Pat Toomey is concerned, he has announced his retirement and that seat is going to fall vacant in from Pennsylvania. Right through the election process, when the House Republican senators in the Pennsylvania State Legislature were constantly complaining about the changes made by the executive branch and the judicial branch, Pat Toomey stood by and said, you know, there’s nothing kind of wrong, I think all those things cascaded into the eventual outcome. What is most surprising in this was they wanted to call witnesses? They’re voted to call the witnesses the House. I think they wanted to start with one or two, maybe one and that could take got their votes and quickly they turned around, made a U-turn and said no witnesses will be called and we will end the impeachment process, that only tells us that there is something more. Something more here is not with regard to impeachment but, there must have been a thought process going around that the whole Biden agenda could be derailed and most important amongst that is the stimulus that could be held up and they have to pass the stimulus and convert it into law for Biden signature before the end of the month. We are today on the 15th and 9 days left, that possibly would have persuaded and this trail was bought to an end,
If this is the case, this trail should not have gone on the day one when Rand Paul made his specific kind of reference and asked for a vote, which is to say, we got to go forward there was clearly at that point of time 45 to 55, the five Republican Senators always with the Democrats. They should have called it a day at the point in time. So, all the drama is over.
Sree Iyer: So, Lindsey Graham also said that Lara Trump is the future of the Republican Party who’s Lara Trump. Is she related to Donald Trump? If so, how? And how is she the future of the party, sir?
Sridhar Chityala: He says that she is the biggest winner after the impeachment failure, I think she must have galvanized and she’s worked with the various members of the Trump’s party Don Trump, Eric Trump, Lara Trump, the sister of one of the daughters of President Trump all these the people who have worked with various members of the Republican party. If you recall from Jared Kushner to Lara, you know to Don and to Eric all of them were part of the other Trump platform in terms of the advocacy participating in an election like campaigning etc, etc., along with the presidential campaign team. So, why there is a winner? It is basically they had predicted, this is a foregone conclusion and that President Trump would kind of come back and that’s exactly what has happened as a result of this.
Sree Iyer: And President Trump has said that he looks forward to 2022 elections. And as a matter of fact, there’s an interesting development as regards the niece of the vice president Kamala Devi Harris, Meena Devi Harris White House has issued a statement asking Meena Harris to not exploit, not to promote her brand using her proximity with her Aunt. Now, there is also another development where Lindsey Graham has said that Kamala Devi Harris must be impeached. Now, you have started this game rolling every party that comes to the majority in the House and Senate if that should happen, we’ll try and do this thing. Isn’t this a waste of time? And why is Lindsey Graham saying that Kamala Devi Harris must be impeached?
Sridhar Chityala: I think first and foremost we should put a President Trump’s press statement. It’s a PDF. We should put it up as part of the brief today. So everybody can read through.
Sree Iyer: Will do that.
Sridhar Chityala: Okay, so that’s one. So, the second now to answer your question, which is there is a perceptive belief that when the vice-presidential candidate was to have been Klobuchar or Karen Bass and then suddenly flipped to Kamala Harris. Remember Kamala Harris is part of the squad when I say Squad, I mean this is the gang which is pushing the progressive agenda. The former President Obama is also supposed to be part of the progressive agenda which we saw in his email in the Georgia Senate runoff races. There have been very provocative statements right through the campaign, pre-campaign during her role as a senator from California. Provocative statements, which is not in line with the value system of the politics here, so, Lindsey is saying if she is impeached at least to some extent we may have a meaningful balance between the Democratic policies and the Republican policies. There is at least a converging point in the centre to something that we agree on and many things that we don’t agree on and maybe make decisions. Right now with the progressive agenda, there is no common ground either it is extreme left or extreme right or left or right. So, reaching the common ground, Miss Harris stands between reaching the ground and pushing further to the left and she’s in a very powerful position as a vice president. So that’s Lindsey Graham’s view.
Sree Iyer: Well, it going be interesting to see is it not? Because President Biden is not seen as a conservative, he is not seen as a liberal. He’s more middle of the line Democrat a person who can work across the aisle to get things done. In fact, that was his calling card, that was one feature that stood out between him and his powerful Challenger Bernie Sanders who was a dyed-in-the-wool progressive. I mean he was going to basically, you know, put a financial transaction tax. Oh my God, Wall Street was going to faint. Anyway, that was just my observation. So, President Biden is supposed to be the balance that is supposed to make sure that Democrats as a party move forward. So, why is this tilt towards the progressive agenda? And when do you think that is going to tilt back to perhaps a more Centrist position in the president’s agenda, sir?
Sridhar Chityala: I don’t see that happening with the present set of members who are running the policy framework. Mr Biden and we want to stick to the script here. There’s a lot of things which is off the script which we can kind of, you know state but some of them off the script stuff reflects Biden’s inability and you know orders being signed, etc, etc. People who have captured some of that those conversations. So, I just don’t see any Middle ground happening within the Biden formula, just to give you one example of that ilk, you know, Ilhan Omar has been appointed to the foreign relations committee, she’s going to be the vice-chair in charge of Africa in terms of the foreign policy. And she’s going to be part of Global human rights. Now any Democratic nation, which is not tolerant to some of the extreme views you’re going to find they’re also going to be hauled under this call of the human rights, human rights, human rights because she is the vice-chair and she’s also the chair of the global human rights within the US Committee. So, it is a reflection that we are moving left. When you look at the immigration policies when you look at the energy policies when you look at the WHO issues you are beginning to see clearly the executive orders that are being signed up is a reflection of the progressive agenda holding sway and whether there is an invisible hand of Obama doing Obama 3 here is something that everybody is pointing out in the Press. So hence, my point is we are not seeing Biden as a Biden, we are seeing Biden as somebody who is being invisibly controlled.
Sree Iyer: And in global news, we see that the Islamic State is making a resurgence in Iraq. What makes you think that that is happening, sir?
Sridhar Chityala: Well, I think that there was a very tight leash and under President Trump and it’s very hard to read the signals. But if I take a look at that region, I think we first announced that there’s a whole convoy of around 40 trucks which made an entry to through North-Western part of the city here through Kurdish area, Kirkuk and so on. and basically provide support, 40 trucks, there is also oil installations, which is quasi-controlled between the Syrians, Kurds and the Turks. Then we saw the bombing in Iran by Al-Qaeda. Then we have seen the resurgence. We saw bombings in Iraq, suicide bombings in the market, which killed, then we saw over the weekend this attack again around the same hotspot by the Islamic State trying to capture. So what are you saying? What you’re seeing here is, the vacuum in power and vacuum in policy in terms of the most important piece of the West Asia or Iran Iraq situation. You also saw Yemenese, the Houthis being taken off the terrorist list. Houthis have sympathy from the Iranians and some of these people were associated with bombings and even a commercial plane bombing. So what you’re seeing is a policy vacuum, and you’re also saying the lack of concentration and focus in these very sensitive areas. This is exactly what happened during the Obama 1 and Obama 2 years if you go back in time. We had whole flare-ups in Iraq. We saw the ISIS all over the place and human rights violations and abuses and from Mosul all the way to Kirkuk, you found that occupation and no zone areas on the map. You saw the Libya flare-up during that period, whether it is an abject kind of neglect whether it is a lack of strategic focus around the importance. You’re beginning to see this resurgence of these groups in that region which is not very good news. We also saw in the Afghan-Iran border, a convoy of 200 trucks, a couple of them flared-up big time, which we didn’t cover over the weekend, we’re supposed to be carrying natural gas and crude. So that begs the question if is there is an illegal barter that is going on from the Iranian state? So to answer your question, a series and sequence of these incidents that are going on points-out three things; one policy vacuum, two there is no strategic kind oversight of that specific region. And third, there is a self-belief, this is the opportunity to strike.
Sree Iyer: Now, Indian police have arrested activist linked to Greta Thunberg’s movement. Her name is Disha Ravi. And so this perhaps is going to slow down, this left-planned, anti or fake narratives.
Sridhar Chityala: I don’t know whether anything in India is the target. Well, I have a feeling, it’s called the low-hanging fruit. And it’s also a low-value target. The high-value targets are hiding somewhere up. The very fact that this lady has been arrested for doing some stuff for left-wing groups surreptitiously; literature, materials, etc. That’s what she was caught for. And what is bothering is the amount of media coverage she gets is little unknown. I saw that little video of the snapshot of her arrest and then being taken it was almost like 200 people surrounding her. She has no value. It was as though people have nothing else to do in India. This media brush is all orchestrated. So this very clear, having achieved success clearly in the United States in displacing President Trump. And the good news here is that 75 million still are standing with President Trump. I hope that happens in the case of Modi. The target is Modi and you are beginning to see these activities. I don’t personally believe anything will come out of it. The guys were right at the top and the main culprits continue to walk around scotch-free.
Sree Iyer: Now, let’s take a quick look at what is happening in markets abroad. The first thing is Tesla’s backing of Bitcoins. Will that propel it all the way to a hundred thousand mark? And is there any basis for it to be that valuable, sir?
Sridhar Chityala: Well, I told you that we have to rewrite a compliance statement which is, we are not here in giving providing advice, and so, therefore, none of us has signed an agreement and any decisions that you make is of your own volition, and we should not be quoting PGurus or any of us. That’s the standard protocol one has to read. My personal feeling is that this could go above $100,000 purely because everybody is speculative. It’s like gold, it’s speculative. It is not a tool of currency that is used. But he’s trying to bring it in and use in a limited in closed-loop, and people think it’s very attractive and somehow it has a glitter value. I believe that it could hit a hundred thousand dollars by end of the year because there’s a lot of institutional interest especially after Tesla said it might use it commercially.
Sree Iyer: And I completely echo Sridharji’s comment that all we are trying to do is analyze the trends here. We are not telling you to go buy any stock. You should use your own discretion and all we are trying to say here is we look at the markets, we look at where things are headed, we give you the news as we see it. Sridharji, this brings us to a close on today’s segment and viewers, one of the things that you should look out for in about one and a half hour’s time, we’re going to be live again with Abhijit Iyer Mitra in the ongoing Monday-night Primetime series ‘Ask Abhijit’. You can send in your questions. You have to use #askabhijit. You can send in your questions on Twitter or Facebook or on YouTube. We will try to accommodate as many as possible. And also you may have seen that some of the comments that are coming from people with the membership decal and logo alongside their name whoever becomes a member. It doesn’t matter which level there are four levels of membership. The basic one is just 119 rupees per month. And we encourage you to do that because this way you can help us grow. We are trying to invest even more resources in trying to make this thing a broader reach platform and for that, we need to have the numbers, the subscribers to tell high-net-worth guests, subject matter experts, that if you come on our channel, you will be able to reach this kind of an audience. That is the pure, simple thing about it and I hope that you will refer us to your friends and family and anyone who wants to know about an accurate picture of the world. Sridharji, if you have anything to add please feel free to do so. Otherwise, we can call it a wrap sir.
Sridhar Chityala: No, I think we’ll cover the GDP and some of the market-related stuff tomorrow. There is some very good news to share with people, so we’ll do that tomorrow.
Sree Iyer: Thank you very much, sir, and as always looking forward to seeing you first thing tomorrow morning, at 5 a.m. Pacific Time, 8:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time and 6:30 p.m. Indian Standard Time. Namaskar.
Sridhar Chityala: Namaskar and thank you. Have a wonderful week.
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