Sree Iyer: Hello and welcome to PGurus Channel and I am your host Sree Iyer, It’s a wonderful day out here, very clear night and crisp morning and let’s welcome our guests Sridhar ChityalaJi. SridharJi Namaskar and welcome to PGurus Channel.
Sridhar Chityala: Namaskar, and good morning and it’s a very nice morning here, it’s a very crisp cold morning. It’s around 26 degrees though, the temperature gradient shows about 32-33, cold and crisp, very nice.
Sree Iyer: So, let’s start with the Texas lawsuit that has found its way into the Supreme Court of the United States. Can you please give us an update on where things stand on that sir?
Sridhar Chityala: I think that the Texas lawsuit has been accepted and I don’t know when the hearing is, but, the gist of the case is that four battleground states did not follow the Constitutional guidelines in terms of the conduct of the electoral process. So, effectively they are pleading with the Supreme Court to invalidate the election in those four states, while rest of the other states have followed the consistent pattern agreed to within the union in terms of how the elections need to be conducted. So, the basic theme here is that the Texans and rest of the nation is a disadvantage as it relates and also it is asymmetric in the adherence to the rules. So, therefore each legislative branch only has the mandate, the judicial branch and the executive branch has no mandate to frame the rules as they go that’s the basic premise. Now, we find four other states or four other attorney generals of state such as Alabama, Louisiana, Kentucky and one more state, who are standing behind the Texans in terms of supporting the SCOTUS case.
Sree Iyer: Sir, one question that people may ask, is the elections is the in the purview of the state. The state itself is responsible for holding its elections. How can one other state weigh in on what a particular state is doing? I’m just saying people are asking this question as to how Texas can influence, how elections are conducted in other states. What are your thoughts on this? I’m not going to hold you for this. I’m just asking your opinion.
Sridhar Chityala: I think that there are constitutional experts are giving different opinions on this. So what Texas is laying down as a framework is the state legislature is the body which is constitutionally defined in terms of framing the rules up front and in the conduct and the process. And those rules generally are adhered to by most of the other states, there is nowhere which says that the judicial branch and the executive branch can kind of intervene and change those rules, which is beyond the purview of the legislature. So, therefore, this is the fundamental question that has been raised. So should that be the case whether the other states people are disadvantaged in denying its voters the same opportunities that were extended to the other states, the four states in question here? I think that is the question that is being raised. So, if that was the case, the election results could have been different in some of the other states as well. So, this is the point that people are raising. So, whether there was a wilful mechanism, that was introduced by the executive and the judicial branch that has impacted the elections adversely, a very specific specifically relates to these postal ballots.
Sree Iyer: Now, there’s also been an observation that the safe harbour situation does not apply to these lawsuits. What are your thoughts on that sir?
Sridhar Chtiyala: There are three things that Nation investigation agency as well as the some of the legal experts as well as the legislative branch has not raised any issues. What they are saying is one-day election is in such contention, when the states are unable to certify with clarity the results and there is a growing set of cases until those cases are resolved, there is no way by which the safe harbour can be applied right in this instance. So I think that is the official announcement that has come out from the NIA, from some of the legal teams and the fact that we have gone past December 8th, we are now today on December 9 is a reflection that that seems to be the case.
Sree Iyer: Sir, we have a lot of ground to cover. So, quickly let us take a look at what is happening in the Chicago city council, which has been quietly doing some things. It doesn’t seem to be appearing on any newspapers or on websites as to what is cooking in the kitchen of the city council of Chicago as regards to the CAA? We know in the past that several city councils passed a resolution this meaningless resolution and it now looks like Chicago’s turn, but, why the secrecy sir?
Sridhar Chityala: Well, I don’t know. I mean, I wish I can answer the question, which is what’s in the minds of some of these people, but, if history is any presidents in terms of what has been passed, to my knowledge in six councils starting from you know, Cambridge, Seattle, St. Louis, St.Pauls and eventually landed in San Francisco being the last council which passed a resolution. When you kind of follows the track, it seems like you know, they do not want any voice of dissent to be heard or they are dismissive of the voice of dissent. Many of the complaints from the so-called, the anti-resolution voices which seem to be predominantly, Hindu Indian voices. It is that these guys are not fair, they are not willing to listen, they are not willing to understand the law, they are not willing to listen to the experts but there seems to be a predetermined course towards moving forward. And there has been anecdotal which we can Kind of quantify and be very explicit which is to say, somehow these things were happening behind the scenes and not to alert and wake up these dormant Hindu Indians so that more noise will come into the system, somehow you can pass. The whole objective of this resolution, which is non-binding, seems to be reflective that, it is more to have some kind of psychological to say we are past the resolution. So, therefore even our Minister for External Affairs was unwilling to come and testify in the house to the squad. And when even the assistant Secretary of State who deals with this issue on these matters on Indian matters in house, when she was called, she made it very clear to the house committee, which is to say, we examined the value system of United States, it’s the largest democracy in the world. They followed the due process and it has been passed in both the houses it has then been to Supreme Court and the Supreme Court at least validated one of the enactments and is now a law, so, therefore all this has been done. So, all I can say is there seems to be an unwillingness to be transparent and unwillingness to be open. What is driving this agenda? Nobody knows now, we can assume what it is, but the assumption is not the appropriate instrument for us to use to communicate what we think it is.
Sree Iyer: And dear Chicagoans, who are also Indian Americans, remember this simple thing if you’re not at the table you are at the menu and I don’t see what the table right now. So with that let’s go on to what is happening around the world on Covid Sir. So, can you please give us an update on what is happening with Covid and your findings of, how this seems to be controlled in several countries?
Sridhar Chityala: Well, I think that every day we put out some data on the global cases as well as very specifically the US, India, Brazil and Russia. And when I look at the total cases in the world, while the total cases in the last three days had gone from about 64-65 to 68 million and the death has marginally increased and it’s about 1.57 million, and it was 1.54, recovered is 47.6 million and active is marginally up 19.5 million. The United States seems to have a little more acceleration in the last three days by way of active cases as well as the recovered cases, even death has little bit kind of slow down. But, when I look at India and Brazil, it’s amazing that in India, which around 420,000. active cases three days ago have come down to about 380,000 or 379,000 cases in terms of activity in terms of the number of deaths, it almost remained static on the first three digits of thousand, it’s about 141,000, it was 141,000, it is 141,000, so, it’s probably very marginal in terms of the increase and the recovery rate, the total recovery has gone up as well. The same in Brazil in three days ago 171,000 and three days later 178,000 and almost 7,000 deaths. So, what we are seeing here is there seems to be a pattern in some of the countries especially India, Brazil and Russia, which of the far most socially active and collaborative and I won’t use the word less disciplined, but, something along those lines is less flexible in terms of wearing of this mask and so on and so forth, perhaps I’m wrong. But, what I hear when I talk to some of the people last night before I’m making this statement here or early hours of the morning in the United States, people seem to be getting on with their stuff in rest of the world. I don’t know what exactly is the cause whether the immune systems or whether it is, some pre-existing conditions, which is triggering activity in the United States is unclear, but, the data is saying something different in terms of the United States versus the next three countries in the world in terms of the number of Covid cases.
Sree Iyer: Let’s move from covid to global events. One Chinese Professor has made the observation that China was influencing US policy through Wall Street before Trump came along. What exactly do we make of that, sir? Does that mean that under Obama rule China-controlled a lot more than it is letting on?
Sridhar Chityala: In one of the other interviews to a TV channel, I made it clear that during eight years of Obama administration, probably Obama went to sleep as far as China is concerned. There’s a series of events and activities that you can look at, entire South China build-up to a massive scale happened during this particular phase though it may have started earlier, that’s number one. Number two is that China even imposed no-fly zones in Pacific and Obama is said to have sent his bombers without any ammunition. Also, there’s also a fair amount of market activity that took place including Chinese Investments and entry into various categories of asset classes during this particular phase. China’s in-principle policy has been to be an active influencer of every country that it deals with, be it on the sovereignty side or be it in controlling the policy side. It seems to have developed this framework, especially under Mr Xi Jinping, right? It was not the case before. So for a professor Dongsheng from Renmin University from Beijing to come out and say that there was a considerable amount of influence in Wall Street and markets by way of how you influence the markets in terms of the Chinese businesses and access to technology and all these kinds of things. It’s not an eye-opener but it’s one more issue that has been put on the table. For example, let’s take the Huawei technology, the 5G, you can see that during that particular phase we are pushing Huawei Huawei Huawei you know Huawei needs to know that Trump came in and said, Huawei has got a problem. There’s a report that is coming in which is stating today that this is a hold of the CNBC is on our own record, that the Huawei technology can be used with AI to identify certain communities and alert the cops that you can see these people here, why that is not being used in Hong Kong. Why that is not being used in Taiwan? Why that is not being used in Tibet? That’s the question, what is the scalability because in China there is no transparency?
So for me to answer your question, they seem to be a consistent pattern, so there should be no surprise when a professor comes in from there comes in and says, this is what we have done.
Sree Iyer: Sir, moving on, United Kingdom’s Naval warship Albion appears to be headed towards Japan and some French warships are moving in towards the Mediterranean. So there is some activity in a very concerted manner between some European nations and India and Japan, can you please update us on what is going on and how you see this?
Sridhar Chityala: Okay, HMS Albion has that’s a shape which is now docked in Yokosuka, Japan, which is where our other fleet is there as well, the seventh fleet. So it looks like there has been a number of manoeuvres that’s been done. Germans are also likely to send something into South China, whereas the Mediterranean because of the Turkish situation around the Greece and Cyprus sorry French have moved their kind of submarines and battleships into the Mediterranean. What you are seeing here is that there is a background manoeuvre that seems to be going on to make sure that in the event of a change in presidency, there’s sufficient checks and balances by way of deterrence thats put in place so that the policy work that’s been done in the past four years by Britain, France, Germany, India, Japan, Australia, which are the general coalition partners of the Quad right? Because Germany, France, and Britain joined subsequently, came late, seems to be moving towards making sure that there is sufficient deterrence in case there is a void coming from the United States.
Sree Iyer: Thank you, sir. And let’s take a quick look at the Stimulus bill that is making the rounds in the capital. Mitch McConnell has come out and said that he may be getting on board with the 908 billion proposals. But he also has made it clear that local issues, state issues, and anything where there is a certain amount of legal immunity issues, those things should not be under consideration for passing this bill. So I’m trying to understand why he made that specific statement, sir. Could you please share a little bit more light on how you see this?
Sridhar Chityala: There were two bills. One is the Mitch McConnell supported the Republican bill that is 500 billion, we are all aware. Then there is the broad what they call bipartisanship led by Nancy Pelosi Schumer. That’s a 908 billion dollars bill. In the past two days, we discussed that this thing is moving along and there’s an intent to do stimulus. So now he’s
made it very explicitly clear that it is the Democrats which are holding up the stimulus essentially for two reasons.
One is the local administration and the local government support which is roughly around $160 billion and then you have immunity protection and the other types of programs that’s roughly earlier about $45 billion. So the story, therefore, is that if you get rid of these two factors, he’s prepared to move from 500 to even 700 that includes all this covid additional testing nationwide $85 billion and additional facilities for schools, etc. etc. He is saying ‘I’m willing to step up as long as you don’t add this incompetent and inefficiency cost buried into your stimulus, which is to fix the past problems, which is not to fix what is required for the future.’ It’s the same position that Steve Mnuchin had taken. So I think the issue seems to be that. I believe that they extended by five days, a temporary relief, they will eventually concede. Otherwise, there is only a loose-loose kind of a situation here for the sake of that you cannot afford to stop a pretty big significant bill, which is needed to address all these areas, you know PPP, unemployment extension, unemployment insurance, support for the corporate, support for the hospitals, support for the schools, rolling out the covid program, plus the enhanced testing that needs to be conducted etc. So you do not want to stall all of that because your ego is wounded because of the 165 million. That’s how I see this thing. I see a resolution to this and everybody coming back to senses and moving forward.
Sree Iyer: Sir, the last item. India appears to have improved on its trade imbalances with China with exports increasing and imports decreasing in the fiscal year 2020. Can we make that our last item for today? And then we can do a wrap?
Sridhar Chityala: Yeah. I think that it’s a very positive sign that India has been able to shrink because it has been banning a number of items. Especially I think that it has been focused on banning items which affect the local these artisans, crafts, particularly rural items. It seems to be focused around that, also sensitive items around defence, telecommunication equipment etc. All those things seem to have been cutting down quite dramatically. You remember we talked about Japan stepping in and to provide the technology infrastructure for the 5G that India is also kind of looking at, so you see that the export seems to be agricultural products and I heard that the rice exports have gone up by something like 34 – 40% to China. Obviously, they’re a big importer of Agro products. In the context of what is going on between India and China, the export number is a very interesting update in terms of what is going on, in the dynamics between India and China.
Sree Iyer: Thank you very much, sir. And with that, we bring an end to this episode. Tomorrow is going to be 50. And it’s going to be special. There are few things, surprise, a pleasant surprise for viewers, and thanks once again for your excellent support. Please do not forget to subscribe to our channel and donate to our cause and if you refer one more friend we will be easily able to get to the 200,000 mark in no time at all. Thanks once again Sridharji and see you as always tomorrow morning. Namaskar.
Sridhar Chityala: Namaskar and thank you. Have a wonderful day.