EP138: UK gives up control of temples, US resumes border wall, may impose sanctions on Russia

UK gives up control of temples, US resumes border wall, may impose sanctions on Russia, Protests in Iran over 25-year deal with China, Mass vaccine centre in Colorado shut down after adverse reactions reported of J&J vaccine & more

Sree Iyer: Namaskar, Friday, April 9th 2021, episode number 138 of Daily Global insights by Sri and Sree. Here are the main points:

  • Uttarakhand State Govt. reverses stand, gives up control of 51 temples in the state
  • Unaccompanied children jumped the Mexico-US border at a record rate in March 2021.
  • Protests in Iran over the 25-year deal that its government has signed with China.
  • NZ announces a temporary ban on flyers from India as the cases mount.
  • Mass vaccine centre in Colorado shut down after adverse reactions reported to the Johnson and Johnson vaccine

In the United States News, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his team create a two billion dollar fund to provide undocumented with relief. New York is raising taxes for Millionaires and will other states follow suit. What are your thoughts, sir? New York sometimes does lead but sometimes in the wrong direction.

Sridhar Chityala: In this particular instance is probably going the wrong way with the other states will be a competitive, you know Federal structure here. So I just don’t see maybe some states which have got bad balance sheets liberal states. They may raise taxes. I just do not see conservative States raising taxes, but this whole 2 million fund to fund these people. I think it’s just not going to go very well.

Sree Iyer: In the Border crisis migrant apprehensions that is the surge by 450%. unaccompanied minors record high as crisis teaches epic proportions, and there are now many videos now showing unaccompanied children jumping the border at places where there is no water is very hazardous on the American side, but still, it is not deterring them from jumping across. Sir, What are your thoughts? This thing must stop, now, whatever madness that the government had thought about this needs to be undone right away.

Sridhar Chityala: Indeed, sir. I think that the number that the Customs and Border Patrol is alluding to is more than 170,000 just in the month of March. So the numbers have reached Epic Proportions. Lots of these people are kids and you know, we talked about the bus model of putting them into the buses putting them into the army centres, putting them into the buses and moving them into Washington DC and New York, Minnesota, you know even Florida, Miami. I think that there seems to be an eternal battle between the various factions within Democratic groups, but thus far, there seems to be a kind of no let-up, something unusual announced last night that the Peruvian, you know government announced it is no vaccines in Peru. Please go to the United States to get vaccinated, because you will get vaccines. So it’s a country. So I think, this is going to be an unending surge because there’s no let-up and there is nobody wanting to let up unless the Supreme Court intervenes.

Sree Iyer: And in other news GOP leader, Kevin McCarthy wants the FBI CIA terrorism briefing to include vice president Kamala Harris and another associated news democrat Ilhan Omar blast Biden and says it’s a shameful plan to continue the border wall construction. Now, we are beginning to seek schisms develop inside by the Democratic party. We’ve been telling you how the progressives have been trying to run away with the government’s agenda. Now the government perhaps is pushing back. There is also other news that the DHS secretary is the one really looking at the immigrant crisis and vice president Kamala Harris is just there in name only. She’s not really doing any hands-on involvement in this. There has been like they published her schedule for the last 10 days ever since the announcement was made and showed how she never got even close to the border wall.  So there is some Palace intrigue is going on. Your thoughts, sir?

Sridhar Chityala: I think that the best way to describe Kamala Harris is she’s kind of the ornamental Queen vice president, you know, which is namely she would like to call she’s presidential. So, in fact, some of the Publications news mainstream media and put double quotes president Harris that’s what she is, ruffle the feathers, show off she was tasked with the Border issue. She is not there, she disappeared for 14 days, and nobody knows where she kind of went. So you have that specific issue and then so, Kevin McCarthy is saying when you do the FBI and CIA briefing on the terrorist, we want Harris in the meetings. She’s voting on Senate in some of the decisions. We want her to make a statement as to what our position is and she’s going to be again, being a lawyer being wafflee, right? But, Kevin is trying to force them to bring her on board and Ilhan is not keeping quiet and she’s basically saying no border wall, no this and none and so on. So as you rightly point out, we have good confusion, what I call is the three different legs, you know, you have the vice president/ president we have confusion. Then, you have the progressives you have confusion. Then you have these daily guppies of the White House Press Secretary or the White House correspondent, White House reporter making kind of statements which seems to be inconsistent between one and the other So there is clearly is very visible. There’s no leadership that is creating a cohesive story as you rightly pointed out Mr Mayorkas is riding it and basically the house Republicans and Senate Republicans are gunning for which is to say he single-handedly accountable for this specific mess and he was briefed and he was warned that this was a crisis but they basically chose to ignore the Trump warning.

Sree Iyer: And I think the United States government needs to come out and give a status update on all the cases that are pending against Ilhan Omar. This lady, depending on who you talk to has a lot of questionable things in her past and these have not been really resolved. I think the government owes it to the American people where the status of all these things are if there are noting then, fine. Go ahead and tell that there is nothing that she’s here legally, there is no problem with her, you know, the sibling marriage whatever the thing is being talked about if that is not just come out and say what did this is, because this is becoming too big and clearly Madam Nancy Pelosi does not seem to have control over her troops. This is not the Iron Lady. I know sir. I’m really really concerned.

Sridhar Chityala:  Sir, I think you’re making some excellent observations. We will confirm these numbers, but many of these progressives come and get elected from neighbourhoods where there is an asymmetric ethnographic shift of the ethnicity of people. So let us say, Ilhan Omar, she has guaranteed, you know with 60-70% of a specific segment of people who vote for her or Pramila Jaipal, AOC something similar. So, they have established themselves and to give legitimacy by focused concentrated kind of segment of the population. That’s the question, how legitimate and how objective the policy-making is when such is the framework of getting yourself elected and that is the repercussion that we are facing right now.

Sree Iyer: In other news, entrepreneur Peter Thiel says woke big tech companies don’t consider themselves as American Companies, he’s taking direct aim. I think some of the social media companies are seen to be more woke-friendly. I’m not sure he’ll have to explain what it is. But that is how I see it, I don’t know what your thoughts are sir?

Sridhar Chityala:  I think he has targeted not just social media, he is going to include Apple probably includes Delta e probably includes Coke, it includes your whole bunch of kind of companies where they saying that you know, right in the middle of a pandemic they are investing in China, right in the middle of a national issue around many challenges they seem to be taking an anti-kind of position. And so he’s making his point which is effective to state, these guys are you know seem to reflect the sentiments of the woke type of people and you know, how objective and how relevant it is in terms of preserving the global order. I mean, I think Jamie Dimon was very right in his we touched on that yesterday in his letter where he addressed his to what some of the things that the United States is about. So, my advice to them is please read Jamie Dimon’s letter and before you recalibrate your policy decisions would be my kind of statement to these woke companies.

Sree Iyer:  And former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says that no American should participate in the 2022 Beijing genocide Olympics, he is using the word genocide now, this is becoming more and more part of the mainstream. There’s also other news that we are going to talk about which talks about the Uyghur genocide that the Chinese are doing they’re trying to horrify the entire country will talk more about that. Sir, any thoughts on this?

Sridhar Chityala:  I think that this is again another issue which is going back and forward, you know, if you recall the how State Department initially walked itself away, then it said it will work with the Allies. They still lack clarity as to what it is. China has issued an ultimatum, which is effective to state that if the United States kind of boycotts it will face a peremptory kind of consequence. So, the question, therefore, is again, where is Antony Blinken? Mike Pompeo is a former Secretary of State, where is Antony Blinken?  What’s his statement? The deputy secretary of state and the Secretary of State or supposed to issue a statement on this type of matter on a policy. Similarly. Mr Kurt Campbell, who has been given Asia briefly, right? So he’s a special kind of Representative. He should be making a statement around that not this Rambo jumbo kind of statements that kind of come out from the press secretary and then you have Mike Pompeo standing up and saying, you know, we should be boycotting, a number of countries have raised this issue that the 2022 Olympics needs to boycotted because the reason is you know, China is in a kind of a renegade situation.

Sree Iyer:  President Biden announces executive action to combat the Public Health crisis of gun violence, even as there was another instance of violence yesterday in the state of Texas. And Biden commits yet another gaffe, Biden falsely claims that manufacturers cannot be sued, I think he’s just talking about vaccines, sir, I can’t imagine that he is talking about Gun manufacturers.

Sridhar Chityala:  So, no sir gun manufacturers and then he corrected himself and he didn’t he know the law. The gun manufacturers can be sued. So that is part of the kind of extension. Look, I think I see we have discussed enough on Biden and his kind of health. So they call it the word that is used is Public Health crisis. This is what is crossing all these gun issues. So therefore they call it the executive orders to combat the Public Health crisis. So while they do this, Republican states one after the other are passing laws, which exactly counters this. One of the States passed a law; I think it’s either IOWA or Kansas. I don’t remember which one but one of them passed a law where they said they can carry a gun without permission they can acquire – without permission so they have restored or reinstated or they have reset and basically saying we don’t accept what these guys are saying, so, quite a few of these states are passing legislation resting the control. So then it becomes who can enforce it. If you are the governor and the government in power you have enforced it. So, you’re going to have this conflict back again. So executive orders are not the right tool because there is no debate in the House and Senate, Biden doesn’t want a debate in the

The House or Senate, he just wants to run things from his office and keep on signing orders and occasionally pop up and give statements and then contradict himself.

Sree Iyer:  Well, you know, he’ll say well, you know who started this trend. Anyway, this pointed finger will go on. This is a very major breaking news Russia review, now, the Biden Administration says that there was Russian interference in elections and they are mulling sanctions and expansions of Russian Intelligence Officers as it already happened, sir.

Sridhar Chityala:  Not yet, but I think that they are contemplating. The review is been complete. They have found out through this, you know FBI CIA kind of Investigations, you know, there was that solar wind company kind of an attack. There’s also other forms of interference that they have assessed based on their inter investigations. So they believe that the appropriate action is not only sanctioned but also to expel the Intelligence Officers who generally are in the Washington DC Russian Embassy. Another activity that is ready to explode.

Sree Iyer:  The foreign minister of Russia Lavrov says US policy and Russia is playing dumb and ineffective, this sounds like standard communist rhetoric. Russia immediately starts massive combat readiness and inspection as Ukraine tension soar. So, sir now the Border across Ukraine, I think we’ve been talking about this for a while now is because of the Water denial to Crimea. Now, the Russian foreign minister is shooting his mouth off in my opinion because how can they say that what US policy is, we are telling our policies are messed up which is probably the truth. But, sometimes you have to read between the lines and look under the carpet. What are your thoughts about all this, sir?

Sridhar Chityala:  My thoughts, I think that be I just want to reaffirm and give credit to PGurus. The water issue in Crimea, it’s something that mainstream media is not reporting. It is PGurus which is a kind of assessment and Reporting right so which is being communicated to the public, but basically, the build-up that is going on the state of preparedness all happening within the Russian border inside Russian territory, but close to Ukraine seems to be a lot of ruffling and rhetoric that is going on whether it is going invade Ukraine and you know teach them a lesson is something that we don’t know but, clearly, Russia cannot whole Ukrainian War. So, this may remain rhetoric and it may remain this political game that is going on between these three nations the United States, Russia as well as China in terms of jockeying for kind of positions. So you do more investigation of me and I will create more trouble for you that seems to be the scenario. Also, remember that Biden Administration historically has been understood to be closer to the Ukrainian kind of administration. So it is quite conceivable, you know, there are few things kind of rambling around that aspect.

Sree Iyer: In breaking news, the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip dies at the age of 99 More details are awaited. We will touch upon this in our Monday segment in more detail.

In the continued China – Iran saga: “Iran not for sale. Get out”: Iran’s population is protesting over the 25-year deal that the government of Iran has signed with China, sir.

Sridhar Chityala: I think what he is saying here is this, generally the religious regime the military regime seem to align and then the common people. I think the common people are business people, industrialists, entrepreneurs and they want to get on with life. In fact, there was even a protest in the DC by Iranian people to make Iran a democracy more than all these kinds of rumbling that is going on around this nuclear deal. So what you’re seeing here is people coming and saying ‘oh my God, are you going to bring the Chinese? How are they going to interfere with our freedom? We don’t need China.’ China is not representative of free enterprise and freedom. It is Draconian in anything that it does. So we are beginning to see this kind of rumbles develop from inside.

Sree Iyer: The United States is prepared to lift sanctions inconsistent with the Iran deal. Republican lawmaker slam Clubhouse for allowing the foreign minister to promote propaganda. Who is Javad Zarif, sir?

Sridhar Chityala: Javad Zarif is the  Iranian foreign minister. He’s US-educated and has deep connections in the Democratic Party. He probably has good connections in the Republican party as well. A clubhouse is a group which offers app and platform. So this fellow went on his rhetoric. You are leveraging this kind of platform. It’s a publicity stunt. Remember that there is a very significant amount for the council for Arab Islamic relations and other types of groups have advocated and campaigned very heavily and invested in terms of support for democracy and change in the policy from the Trump administration for holding Iran’s feet fire. So, Javed Zarif making the statement has not gone down very well among the Republicans.

Sree Iyer: In China news, Senate moves ahead with sweeping efforts to counter China and the United States adds Chinese super-computing companies also, to the economic blacklist. Remember Trump administration had put a lot of companies on Blacklist. It also had delisted many companies from trading their stocks in the American Exchanges. A lot of things had happened towards the end of the Trump presidency. Should we see this as a continuation of that, sir?

Sridhar Chityala: I think that it’s much more a formalized structure rather than executive orders, which Trump passed and selectively go after different people. So I think the Republicans are taking a holistic picture now as a policy framework to combat the Democrats. Olympics is one of them, human rights is one of them, the South China Sea incursions is one of them, their interference into the US education, which we have covered is another facet, cybersecurity and cyber breaches, potential IP violations. So they’re looking at a holistic set of actions, which is to say that China is violating not in just one but across a broad spectrum of ideas and a broad spectrum of activities. So what is the holistic policy that we come up with to basically go after the Chinese? I think that’s what you’re beginning to see.

Sree Iyer: Duerte faces China dilemma over the militia in the South China Sea. We’ve been saying this, we talked about this couple of days ago. So this rhetoric is now heating up even more. isn’t it, sir?

Sridhar Chityala: Every day. So this is every day now. I think that these guys call them the Mercenaries or Commandos rather than fishermen. They are now slowly encroaching into the Philippine territory. So Duerte is now standing up and saying… It is probably pressuring from his own kind of fisherman, which is to say ‘Hey, this not just acceptable.’ The question is, will China toe the line or will the Philippines form partnership with the rest of the group like Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, India and so on to take a holistic approach. It is possible because I think essentially something is going on between India and the Philippines as well, as a partnership and obviously between the Philippines and to some extent Japan. Also, the United States is considering bilateral with the Philippines, like Korea bilateral, Japan bilateral.

Sree Iyer: China hosts a two-hour press conference in Australia to downplay the Uyghur abusers. This is the first time you’re seeing a response from China on this issue. Isn’t it?

Sridhar Chityala: I think China is taking a very aggressive position. Australia is a very important partnership territory. There’s a significant amount of Mainland Chinese, especially in Sydney, Canberra and across the country. So what they’re saying is that remember there was this China-Australia issue around Chinese ruffling the feathers of the Australians on human rights in Afghanistan, the Australian soldiers’ abuse, then Australia taking a strong position and then if you recall China with about five or six African nations including Russia went to UN human rights in Geneva and complained against Australia saying that Australia has been violating the human rights. Therefore, this rhetoric and Australia doesn’t care. So now they want to have audiences, sympathizers in political theatre in Australia as we have here in the United States. So, maybe they are making a grandstand in Australia. Just maybe an experiment where which is to say because Australia is very far. Otherwise, why would you hold a two-hour press conference and make a comment about Uyghur?

Sree Iyer: More China-related news, Lithuania becomes another country to leave China organized 17+1 and opens a trade office in Taiwan. Now, this is beginning to be more than a trickle, sir.

Sridhar Chityala: It is, it is.  All these Eastern European nations, some of the African nations who were part of the group, so people are beginning to slowly leave and also to some extent the Biden’s policy of overreach or reaching into Eastern Europe is probably beginning to pay some kind of a dividend in terms of consistency. And I think some of these Eastern European nations have also been impacted by the sign-up form vaccine which has not been fairly effective. So there is a much more proactive approach that is going on in terms of leaving the source the Chinese entourage

Sree Iyer: In India related news, New Zealand announced a temporary ban on flyers from India as the cases mount. Sridharji, with your permission, I want to put up an image now on how much of the vaccination capacity India has and what is this thing that is being talked about in the state of Maharashtra where they are saying, they are not getting enough vaccine. Sir, what I have now, is a table where the Central Government of India has come out with a very clear column by column that indicates, how many samples delivered, how many have been consumed, how many are remaining, how many are in pipeline? This is very very detailed and I’m hoping that this will lay to rest any kind of doubts that have been expressed by the state government that they are not getting the vaccine, sir. I see here that Maharashtra has close to 1.5 million vaccines at hand.

Sridhar Chityala: Indeed. The reports that are coming out is that Maharashtra is beset and besieged with the crisis of corruption, crime, the commissioner case and all these things. It seems to be like a distractionary kind of strategy in terms of complaining. They had three complaints. First, they had no vaccines. Second, they had inadequate allocation. Third, they need more allocation than that has been given. That’s the reason why we are presenting this chart. When you look at the numbers, the numbers tell a very clear story. By the way, there are another 80 million vaccines that are waiting in the pipeline which has been already ordered. Also, I gather talking to people that some of these vaccines are now available for two to three thousand rupees in Black Market and some of them found this in places like Andheri and so on. So it looks like this is another organized crime rather than the real shortage of vaccines in the country.

Sree Iyer: In the Global covid update, the Mass vaccine Center in Colorado has been shut down after adverse reactions reported to the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. This is the first time we are hearing anything adverse about J&J, isn’t it sir?

Sridhar Chityala: It is the first time. I think Dick’s Sporting Goods area, which was used for the vaccines. Whether there something abnormal like hygiene etc. it’s like I said, we don’t know. But clearly, that vaccine because of a huge amount of backlash that vaccination centre was shut. Now there’s not yet been a consequential impact on the specific vaccine itself whether the vaccine was the problem, but certainly, those who took the vaccine seem to have experienced some abnormal activity. We also reported Michigan. We also reported Maryland where there was a mixup in the AstraZeneca vaccines. So these seem to be negligence related issues rather than the vaccine itself.

Sree Iyer: Prime Minister Modi and India discussed the covid-19 vaccine expansion plan as cases keep mounting, but more importantly India is going to have a ‘Tikka Utsav’ that is a vaccination celebration for the next three days from the 11th of April to the 14th of April where they’re going to have a widespread Outreach to the people encouraging them to come, take the vaccination shots. So this ought to bring the numbers up significantly. Isn’t it, sir?

Sridhar Chityala: It should. I think it should. Our word of caution is vaccines are essential, discipline is essential, hygiene is essential, following the protocols are essential, and between the first and second vaccine more care should be taken. Vaccination is not guaranteeing that you can violate every rule. You become a problem until as they say herd immunity picks up and gains momentum until then I think… After talking to people across the few States, what they’re saying is that people have been more negligent in terms of the discipline and habits which is causing the tremendous hike that one sees. In addition, of course, vaccination has gained momentum. India crossed two million vaccinations one day, India crossed three million vaccinations, I don’t know maybe they will be soon crossing five million vaccines in one specific day. So this vaccination is very moment. And I think India is not short of vaccines, it is more of political rhetoric. So the message is that, while the vaccine is essential hygiene and discipline are equally important to combat this.

Sree Iyer: In markets, G20 pledges to make progress on Global Tax, your thoughts. Do you think that the entire gamut of 20 countries are going to agree that they will raise taxes?

Sridhar Chityala: No, I don’t think so. I think that this is just your good platform and endorsing ‘welcome. Dr Janet Yellen,  we will hear you out, we will be sympathetic to you and consider, but recognize that we all have to take into account our own investment nuances and needs. So we’ll make it harmonized and not too much asymmetric, but I just don’t see the world going to a social order of homogenisation of taxes and investments. Not yet. Especially when economies are asymmetric.

Sree Iyer: In a study, the National Association of Manufacturers says that the Biden tax hikes will cost 1 million jobs in just the first two years and even as that comes down the pipeline the jobless claims have raised to 744,000 and the number is much worse than expected, sir.

Sridhar Chityala: It was much worse than expected and as Republicans rightly said you cannot compensate your way by paying people not to work. Eventually, people have to work. One of the amazing noticeable conspicuous absence is the PPP program. I would have liked to see a  broad expansion of the PPP program to even one-man companies, 2 man companies, even 3 man companies and giving them… ‘If you take a PPP program incentive to hire two people then you will get tax concession for a period of time, you will get this benefit for a period of time’ that would have helped people to get back into work and incentivised people to receive money and then use it appropriately. By simply giving money there is no incentive for these guys to go back to work. So that’s why you are seeing some of these numbers that are coming out. 744 is a big number.

Sree Iyer: Yes, and the Dallas FED president Robert Kaplan says that the interest rates will reach the pre-pandemic levels as the economy recovers, whenever that happens and Jerome Paul says the global economic recovery is still unnerving and as the pandemic and shutdowns loom around the world, we don’t know exactly when that is going to happen. Isn’t it?

Sridhar Chityala: We don’t. I think Kaplan is from Dow, so the story is that he’s very hawkish, so he’s basically trying to tell Dallas president that ‘look economy is going to ramble. We’re going to have the highest growth. Jamie Dimon has stated this deficit funding is going to take the economic boom to 2023 and to some extent you can expect the rates to go up. But having said that, the focused policy of Jerome Powell, which is ‘we’re going not going to be fascinating around the interest rate policies’ has helped him and he has been able to keep the interest rates between the 1.6 to 1.7 band. He has not allowed the 1.6-1.7 band to be breached thus far. So his stand has kind of paid off. That’s number one. When you actually look at the 30-year rates, the 30-year rate is around 2.3. So, therefore, still, the rates are very attractive for the short term, even a 20-year is around 2.1%. So between 1.64%, 2.1% and 2.3%, the mortgage rates are still very attractive for people who want to finance themselves or even businesses are fairly stable. So the question is, therefore when will the rate clock turn? At this stage we don’t see this rate Rob clock turning in 2021. The early signs will be probably in mid to late 2022 if we continue to see and he is not focusing on inflation. Jerome Powell is not focusing on inflation. If you recall, he is more focusing on how deep the employment can go to especially In that long-term unemployment in the aggrieved communities. That seems to be his new scorecard.

Sree Iyer: The S&P reaches a new record high as stock indices finished slightly higher today. Crude is at $59.19 and Bitcoin is hovering around a higher 50,000. That’s all we have for today. Have a great weekend. And before you go I want to just add one little thing. We should be back on our normal YouTube channel from Monday onwards. We will be able to address a slightly wider audience. Thank you all for supporting us by coming and logging into our B channel on news. Sridharji, we are planning on something over the weekend we may or may not do it. We will keep you posted. Sir, what are your thoughts? Are we going to have a special program this weekend?

Sridhar Chityala: I think we should have. We will have a special program. We’ve been discussing a couple of topics potential and so this could pop up either tomorrow or Sunday depending on the schedule. We’ll be there, We will be back.

Sree Iyer: As always have a great weekend, Namaskar and see you on Monday.

Sridhar Chityala: Thank you so much for all your support. We look forward to your continued support and we’ll see you probably this weekend.

 

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