Sree Iyer: Hello and welcome to PGurus channel, I’m your host Sree Iyer. Today is December the 28th 2020, this is episode number 62. I have with me our guest host Sridhar Chityalaji. Sridharji, Namaskar and welcome to PGurus channel.
Sridhar Chityala: Namaskar and good morning, we are into the last week before we wrap up 2020 which I think everybody would to get 2020 behind, the year of the covid.
Sree Iyer: Yes, indeed and we are also hoping that this is probably going to be one of the most news filled week. We have a lot of things coming down the pipeline. Let us take a quick look at what happened in Nashville. The loan bomber has been identified as Anthony Quinn Warner? Perhaps Sridharji, you can share a little bit more light about how things played out on the Christmas day in Nashville.
Sridhar Chityala: Great, sir. I think it’s the most inauspicious start if I have to use the phrase. At 6:30 in the morning somewhere between 5:30 and 6:30 in the morning 5:30 one hour prior to the 6:30 event. There were some gunshots in the downtown Nashville area pretty close to Commercial Street, which is where the scene of action was the AT&T building. The police were responding to the first callers resulting from these gunshots. Then, when they arrived they see an army van packed somewhere close to the building and message, an auto message coming out which is to say ‘if you are around this area clear, you have 15 minutes before they would be an explosion, lo and behold 15 minutes later there was an explosion initially the press reports indicated, that they found broken glass splintered windows and etc etc. But the devastation seems to be far more than just a bit of broken glasses. So it took a fair amount of the infrastructure and services and other things that are located in the AT&T buildings, actually call the AT&T building, out disrupted the service, disrupted the airline, disrupted air traffic. In fact, the FAA even imposed an air ban around that area resulting potentially in anything that is coming around that area will be shot down. So they took an extraordinary set of precautions the reasons and rationale is not clear as yet, but once that happened, quickly the FBI landed and the investigation processed the local API branch moved in and quickly began to do the assessment and investigation process. They tracked down who does it belong to? Where it is etc and we are on the 28th, by yesterday, which is 27th we had the news that they have identified, they’ve found out the remains of a person close to the van and after the DNA analysis, it’s confirmed that those remains belong to Mr Anthony Quinn Warner. And so the person has been identified now, they went even one step further and went on to say that he seems to be, after all the investigation in talking to over 500 different witnesses and including people around, they concluded that he is a lone wolf or lone actor. There seems to be nothing else and effectively saying that it’s a one-off type of incident. Whether there’s going to be an investigation continuing, we don’t know, but the fact is that this is the conclusion that they came to. But it created a massive amount of damage. And AT&T has also confirmed their restoration of services has started to occur.
Sree Iyer: Well, there were a couple of questions that have still been left unanswered, isn’t it? Like they were gunshots before this. What were the gunshots about who was shooting at whom, that is not clear? And then there is this alternate story being put out in the press that he was not happy about the 5G roll-out. And that he wanted to do something about it. So there are some loose strands and the fact that the FBI went to such extreme precautions tells us that perhaps there is something more than what meets the eye, isn’t itself it, sir?
Sridhar Chityala: It is, I think to your point around, in fact, one media outlet was reporting that there was some 5G development happening in that AT&T Center, which he was unhappy with? No other media outlet has kind of talked about it, but one media outlet which we discussed, I think it’s quite strange to me as to why somebody would be worried about 5G. It’s going to have some impact on himself or services. But for that why do you kind of blow your whole building out? It just is all seems very mysterious. To me, if I have to give my own view on this I think there’s more than meets the eye. This is just probably only 10% of the truth, 90% we don’t know. But to target such a massive AT&T infrastructure, what is AT&T, what were the services in that building? Is it connected with any of the stuff that is going on in the country? Then, the moment we start discussing people would say ‘Hey, you know, there’s some conspiracy theory that is going on here.’ So the story is, there’s more than something that meets the eye and it’s not just a kind of a routine accident that occurred on the 25th.
To your point, who are behind this gunshots is unclear. Right? So that also is a gap in this story that we will probably come to know in due course. So I think we are asking, you’re asking the right questions for which there are no answers.
Sree Iyer: Let’s take a quick look at the stimulus bill. In a sudden change of heart, the president has indeed signed the stimulus bill, but there are some riders that he has attached to it. Where do things stand, now? What do you think is going to be sent out to people – $200 checks for $600 checks. What do you think is going to play out?
Sridhar Chityala: So well, I think that he has stated very clearly. This is not the end of the road. This is not the end of the stimulus. He has said to wait for big things to come and so, therefore, he is saying that there’s more stimulus coming. Okay. So that’s one kind of a rider that he has attached that to the pork-belly portion of it, which he was attacking is very silent, whether that would come as part of the $2,000 what you call stimulus the $600 being increased in $2000, but that would b a caveat that would be added to that remains to be seen. But the $2000 we’ll be voted in the house today and then sent to the Senate, by all indications the Senate is going to reject it. So you will have a situation – house approved, Senate declined and Mr President may say ‘okay. I got this stuff. You guys couldn’t get it done. I’m going to pass an executive order and I’m going to get this done as part of this. I may cut a few things out, so therefore, something along those lines may prop up as the day unfolds today.
The good news is that the 28th midnight or 27th midnight, 28th-morning deadline has been met. They will not be shut down this already complains that people have not received so that checking process which was organized by Steve Mnuchin to go out this week that will kind of go out. So the aid and relief program is in progress, the stimulus pieces in play. $1.4 trillion is also at play, which is the budget allocated to keep the government going till September 30th next year. So this total bill is $2.3 trillion dollars.
Sree Iyer: A massive massive amount being pumped into the United States Financial system, and I still cannot digest that one small country called Sudan is going to be given $700 billion dollars bailout package on a stimulus that is intended for American citizens. This is for you the American citizen to ask these questions, ask your Congressman, ask your Senator. We are doing it through our channel here. This is an abomination. This is not the place to do this pork. I think that’s just our view.
Sir, let’s take a quick look at what is happening.
Sridhar Chityala: Just one other point sir, because of this, then we transition. I know this probably will pick up in the markets. One of the questions as after asked, which I spent over the weekend a specific topic. And when you are in a pandemic when you have a situation. ‘How come the US economy is still contracted at 2.4%, people have to recognize when you look at the US Balance sheet, the revenue is around 3.5 – 3.7 predicted 3.5 will close trillion dollars in Revenue, which is primarily from the taxes. Then you have an expense of $4.14 trillion, which is budget 0 form and discreetly, discretionary and mandatory kind of expenses. People have recognized these two trillion gets added to the expenses, so the economy goes from four trillion on the expense side to $6.15 trillion. This is without the $900 billion being added. So there is that money through direct payments as well as to the small business is getting inducted into the economy, which is what is giving the what you call the Delta factor or the accelerator which is why you see the PE of some of the companies, the growth in the online company. So I just wanted to make that point, so the money injected, at least not the 55 billion which is the pork belly which is going up which is a point of contention rest of it at least in some way otherwise is producing the impact of the economy. We’ll pick this up later. But I just wanted to touch on that point as just to close this topic.
Sree Iyer: Yes indeed and some companies have been able to adapt themselves well to the pandemic and others have been not so quick, not so lucky and it’s a process of nature. You can’t help it some were better positioned, others were not and that is how it goes.
So let’s take a quick look at the global news starting with India. There has been one more arrest of a Chinese National, he seems to be buying apps and this buying of apps, funding money and trying to get hold of as many apps as possible so that they can be of use for AI purposes. This seems to be going unabated even though India is cracking down. Where do you think this is going to stop? How many more times is China going to attempt and now people are also speculating that the entire financing for the farmers’ agitation that is ongoing also perhaps has a Chinese hand in it?
Sridhar Chityala: Well, first and foremost Mr Ebi, a Chinese resident with the name of Dennis, operating from Delhi has bought these applications, which is the loans lending. So he has been running a fraudulent business trying to collect the data. So the theory that is going around is that the Chinese are very keen to get access to data. This gives you the broad demographic segment, suppose you have let’s say a million, a million people data spread across let’s say ten states, a million is a huge sample size in relative terms in banking parlance across 7, 8, 9 states. So this just gives you the type of demographics which is a very pivotal data, is a strategic asset to an enemy, I use the word enemy loosely here, which is China, which is very keen to create more disruption rather than enablement and partnership in a nation. China is always scavenging for information that provides a strategic advantage. We have covered in this show they have basically been collecting a DNA database, building a DNA database out of Shanghai or somewhere around the key people, key politicians, key individuals, key personalities, key influence around the world. So in that context, you can see one person is able to collect a massive amount. Now, you can ask this question is this the only one person who has been caught which is by the Cyberabad, which is the Cyber unit of the Hyderabad. So the question is I think this is only a tip of the iceberg. They probably are more people operating and one guy gets caught, it’s like you build redundancy. So one guy gets caught so ten other guys are still of operating. So it’s a bit of a worry, this comes on the back heels, especially if you are an Indian, so, you know the stories you’re worried as to what else is going on. This comes in the back on the heels of, if you go back one month ago we got one guy who is from the Tibetan region, but a Chinese who had Indian credit cards who had some fake passports etc. So this seems to be an orchestrated and Delhi seems to be the melting point of everything, be it the agitation, be it these types of activities, it seems to be the melting point of these incidents. So it is a cause of concern as to what the Chinese are up to in India.
Sree Iyer: The Foreign Portfolio Inflows, the FBI into India are again hitting new highs and that should be a very encouraging sign for the business as a whole, a business environment as a whole for India, isn’t?
Sridhar Chityala: It is, it is, except for the financial verticals in India, which is the, by the way just from a markets point of view, India is overweight in the Emerging Markets Allocation program so therefore this more money allocated and they see India as a huge growth opportunity and I think in one of the broad panels that we had discussed this that if India is taking off from a three trillion dollars to five trillion dollars, that’s a two trillion dollars addendum to the economic outcome, a significant amount of investment is needed in the companies. So people are all focused around that 3 to 5 trillion trajectories and the rapidity with which that can grow based on the population. So therefore consistent with that theme what you are seeing is the FBI flows, right? So the number that I have seen is now in November, it was sixty-nine thousand crores and then in December as of now, last week is about 60,000 crores so very much tracking to that big number, that basically means that there is a lot of flow if you simply take the reserves, and the growth of reserves is around 576 billion dollars. If you go one year back it is about 470 – 474 million dollars. So we have added, India has had a hundred billion dollars in reserves in one year. So that simply also reflects India’s capacity to absorb any kind of strategic need that it has, inbuilt within the system, all these are indications that notwithstanding what the adverse left media is writing about the markets and the sentiments of the industry is diametrically opposite to what the people are thinking. I hope the common people in India recognize that India is being viewed. By the way, on the same note, Winston Factory is now going to be rebuilt and operational in 20 days and just to complete the same with this, I don’t know. I mean, I can’t remember the exact name of the company but apparently, somewhere around Chennai, they’re going to acquire 14 -15 units or maybe 120 units to increase the mobile phone manufacturing capacity. So put these three things together and the other factors as well, while one side you have this problem, you have the positive sentiments by way of numbers and activities.
Sree Iyer: And India also seems to have beefed up its security infrastructure, they are having more installations now to better track all the subversive movements that are going around the country. What are your thoughts on that sir?
Sridhar Chityala: Yes, they recognize the problems are inside the country rather than outside the country and most of the problems seem to be emanating from, you can kind of distil it down to two external nations which pose threat. One is China and the other is Pakistan everybody knows. but they feel that there are more threats and disturbances coming from inside. So they’ve beefed up this what you call as the security or the Intelligence centres or the terror intelligence. There are about 380 or 385 centres which catch for intelligence gathering, information sharing, Central coordination with the Ministry of Home Affairs Etc. They are adding another 400 and taking it from about 350 to about 750 or 850 centres, I think which is much much and this should have been done when they had that 26/11 incident. You know you really that was an internal kind of a failure So 26/11 incident they should have, I mean just as an example in Nashville, you saw that the FBI moved in very quickly in three days. They were able to track everything down because there’s a fair amount of on Ground Intelligence that has that would have been built up. So something similar they should have done, but it seems at least it’s good that it is happening now.
Sree Iyer: That’s good to know Sir. And the foreign affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar is on his seventh visit to the Middle East. He’s meeting with the heads of state. I think of Qatar and a few other countries this augurs well because now India is very robustly engaging with many of its Middle East Partners, isn’t it?
Sridhar Chityala: Well, I think you know we call it East Asia, South Asia and West Asia, right? So, this is the West Asian effort. Now, I’m glad that you know, one of the former ministers, you know in the PGurus program said don’t call the Middle East, there’s no Middle East. So there’s only West Asia by Honorable Minister of State Mr MJ Akbar. So now we are all using west Asia as part of Coinage. So as part of West Asia Strategy, apparently this is the 11th of 12th meeting that they have, I do know that they have very strong ties with UAE, they have built very strong ties with Saudi Arabia, but now broadly they have very good ties with Oman and they’ve also got equally pretty good ties with Bahrain. So this focus around Qatar is very strategic because you all know from a geopolitical point of view Qatar sometimes sits with the general GCC and then sometimes it is alien to GCC either with Turkey or with Iran in some instances. So there are two things, these west Asian ministers themselves had a meeting, prior to this particular meeting nothing coincidental which is to say, how do we kind of take an effective position against common position against their common enemy if I have to use the word, you know, Iran, you know and combat and be cohesive they were that used is “cohesive” in alignment with Washington DC policy and I just kind of smile myself. That’s not Biden, that is Trump’s time, Trump’s time could kind of expire and then Biden could take over and Biden is talking about how we kind of get Iran back to the table? So they had the meeting which is to collectively kind of work together on strategic issues. So for West Asia, our External Affairs minister visit is primarily to say we are here we need to work around three themes one is Investments. India is going to grow. They need to continue to have near-shore Investments and Qatar has plenty of money, like one of the highest per capita’ in the world. Two is around Energy, I mean everybody knows Qatar has one of the huge natural gas kind of reserves. So energy is another thematic and India will be a large consumer as the domestic consumption picks up and more and more people move mainstream. Then the third is around security, right so security is a big apparatus and you know West Asia is as much important as South China and East Asia kind of the policy. So I think these are the three thematics which Honorable External Affairs Minister would be discussing and saying we are here. Obviously, COVID comes up because everybody is affected by COVID and India is an able and willing partner in terms of helping these nations. So I think that it’s pretty good and it argues very well that East Asia and West Asia are being given equal importance in terms of focus.
Sree Iyer: Lastly Sir, we don’t have much time left. Let’s take a look at what is happening in Nepal. One of the Vice Premiers of the Chinese Communist Party has been flown down Kathmandu to try and keep the Communist Party together as it threatens to split and where do we think the stand is now?
What is the urgency that China feels that it has to send such a senior official to try and broker peace?
Sridhar Chityala: Well, I think that everybody knows that. Mr Oli has been kicked out and there’s a new man in charge who is much more trying to be much more independent than being completely pro-china. So they don’t want to see the whole unification of communist happen and China has openly professed that they were one of the people responsible for the unification to put effectively to put a common front against India’s right to basically if you say, you know, we want a partnership to unify, we give you money. We meet your energy needs, we meet your energy and capital requirements, will build your infrastructure, etc. etc. and, also be a strategic deterrent at the Border Side of this situation. So I think that form the basis and they’re afraid that if they see the communist government collapsing as a result of internal dissent then it would be a strategic disadvantage to China’s aspirations in terms of controlling the Himalayan Kingdom, right the region that whole area. So to them, they see Nepal, Tibet. Ladakh, Leh, Bhutan as their important pivots, they somehow feel that they can tackle Bhutan, Tibet is within their hands. Now, How do we kind of keep control of Nepal?
I just don’t know whether the people are supportive of that kind of a move. To me, what is striking is to have a Sovereign Nation being held to this kind of interference by another country where you are directly engaged. It is actually illegal by the Constitution of the United States. The United States Government cannot go and impose a party level discussion of another nation and also on the political shape and the destiny of the country. It is illegal, but this is China. So, therefore, you know, it’s very conspicuous.
Sree Iyer: So thanks for that update, sir. We have three things that we’ll be talking about in the next few days, all of them are very important. The first one was the significance of General Naravane’s visit to Saudi Arabia, which Has got the Pakistani press hyperventilating about the possibility that India might be guarding the holy Mecca and Medina Masjid. And this is a big deal because Pakistan was actually interested in the security of that and that security might change hands to India. That’s got the Pakistani media hyperventilating. We’ll cover that in the next few days. Also, Brisbane, the payments from Ukraine to the Biden controlled family companies. What is happening there?
There have been a series of press conferences with very very damning information coming out. we’ll be touching on that also and as well as what is going to happen on January 6th.
What are the events that are going to lead up to it? Will the average American citizen get $2,000 or is he or she going to be satisfied with only six hundred dollars. These are all the topics that we are going to be touching upon tomorrow, day-after or through this week.
This is a very very busy week as far as news is concerned. Thanks for joining. Please subscribe to our Channel and as always Namaskar! and thank you so much Sridhar Ji.
Sridhar Chityala: Namaskar and thank you so much.