Sree Iyer: Good morning, and welcome to daily updates with Sridhar. This is our Silver Jubilee episode, episode number 25. SridharJi, Namaskar and welcome to PGurus Channel.
Sridhar Chityala: Namaskar and Good morning to all
Sree Iyer: Good morning, good afternoon, good evening to everyone across the world. We have some very important breaking information regarding the US Presidential election to understand a little bit more about the shifting sands of the US Presidential election. Let’s go over to SridharJi. SridharJi, what is the latest we have on the US Elections?
Sridhar Chityala: On the latest, we have on the US Elections is that the lead has shifted in Georgia, which is an important stage for Vice President Biden. Nevada, he continues to maintain a lead. So effectively, taking either Nevada or Georgia cuts off at least in technical terms, the opportunity for President to hold on and retain the presidency. Having said that President came last night and briefed the audiences and brief the Press. Surprise!! three major channels boycotted the Press briefing ABC, NBC and CBS that news was carried by the fox, was carried on the line. He laid out his case which is to say that there has been a number of incidents that have occurred in the battleground States and he is going to contest and Lindsey Graham subsequently came and announced five hundred thousand dollars towards the fund to fight legally, what the Republicans believed to be stealing the race which belongs to President Trump. So, we have an interesting situation today where, when the results are formally announced at least for Georgia. I’m not sure about Nevada, because they have extended the cut-off date to 12th, whether they will be able to announce it, I don’t know whether they will announce North Carolina because they said the postal votes are probably likely to be delayed and so they may have a delayed announcement for a week. Pennsylvania, they expected to announce today, right? So, Pennsylvania the leader’s window, so we could have a technical situation where of Biden staking his claim saying that he has won the race, so, therefore he’s now the presidential nominee. And Trump would say no and I am contesting the elections, there are a lot of activities that have taken place, that’s not in line with the law of conducting the elections. So, therefore I believe that I’m the winner based on the data that I see. Now, Trump is contesting the result in Arizona is probably contesting the result in Michigan, of course, needless to say, is contesting the leads in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada. So, we have a very interesting kind of gridlock with several legal issues to be resolved. Listening to the observers there are only two ways that you can kind of look at the resulting outcome, one is around the process. The second is around the law where there was a process violation they will try to fix it, where there is the law, the law will take its course.
Sree Iyer: Thank you, sir. And as we see this race, there are also two other very important races that are playing out, the house race, the Democrats are expected to keep the majority, but they have I’ve lost a few seats. So, in the larger scheme of things the Republicans appear to have done well in the house races, hasn’t it?
Sridhar Chityala: They have done, they have retained power in the house. We discussed it, you know pre-election. I did not expect them to lose as many seats as they have done, so, kudos to the Republicans. So, they have bit into the lead of the house. So, which also puts question marks around whether Nancy Pelosi is going to have a battle on her hands to be the house majority leader. So, we don’t know the house situation, how Democrats holding onto the power. So, I think they’ve done well. If they get the presidency then at least they have a resident there as well as House Majority, the question then boils down to the Senate.
Sree Iyer: Yes, indeed. On Senate, we have some very interesting developments. The Democrats have an outside chance of grabbing the majority in the Senate also and to know a little bit more about it SridharJi is going to lay out the map how that could possibly happen, SridharJi, take it away.
Sridhar Chityala: Well, I think the Democrats have had a net gain of one seat right, now in Georgia, they could be a runoff for two Senate seats and they could also be a runoff in Arizona. So, potentially three seats are at play. Right now, for the Democrats to have control of the Senate they need plus four seats. So, they have plus one net gain that they have accomplished. So, if they get Georgia and if they get Arizona or even if they don’t get Arizona, they get Georgia, then it becomes a tie. So, in a tie situation, the vice president can exercise a tiebreaker, to break the gridlock. So, right now the market, that’s what the markets have been responding and reacting until today with the notion that much of the reforms and the tax regime will be in place with Republicans holding on to the Senate.
Having said that, the breaking news is that in a lot of the big wigs including technology guys, Michael Bloomberg. They all have stated that they are going to make their best efforts to make sure that the Senate is retained by the Democrats. So, this is going to be very very interesting for the next few months. It also points out to the shifting landscape that’s happening in the United States with all these big billionaires starting from Sora’s to Michael Bloomberg to the tech guys as to why they are moving a nation towards a left agenda. When the markets and the economy have kind of function, even if you take barring the Clinton Period, the economy has performed well under the Republicans, why there is a shift to the left when the past four months, what we have seen is a lot of chaos and Mayhem caused by a range of incidents which we have never seen in the United States, we have seen occasional flare-up’s but which we have never seen. So, it also raises more fundamental questions. One of the things that they are not touched on is the abject intrusion by the tech platforms and social media is not only suppressing the news but engaging in activism in determining what kind of messages they want to advocate on the channels, for example, apparently 31% of President Trump’s tweets were targeted and blocked right? So, why would you do that and second when they use this concept of fact-checking when almost every kind of research house and media house has thrown data, which seems to be contra venous to the outcomes achieved.
But they continue to push those numbers without doing any fact-checking and the other thing that I have learnt through my own personal experiences. They use organizations such as Reuters, how can Reuters be a fact-checking mechanism, when the Reuter’s data itself can be questioned, not at all but, on some of the aspects. So, there seems to be high handedness in engagement or they are protecting Section 230, there is some kind of an understanding that the tech boys have with the Democrats to protect and preserve the 230. While on one hand, the Democrats staying both in the house and the Senate, they are opposed and the 230 needs an amendment. So this is a much broader picture which crosses across the media, the platforms and into the political landscape and why the political landscape is driven in one specific direction in the United States. Is this setting a strategy for the rest of the world?
Sree Iyer: So, when Sridharji said 230, he meant section 230 of the Communications Bill, a law that is in place in the United States, that is about curbs for social media companies that was drafted in 1996. For those of you who may not have been aware of this and that needs to be tweaked to reflect the present reality. Another thing that I wanted to tell viewers is very very important, we are going to have special episodes tomorrow and day after tomorrow as this US Election continues to go one way or the other. We don’t know where this is going to end. We don’t know at what point Biden is going to say, ‘Okay, Now I shall claim to be the next President’ because that has its own consequences and we will be discussing all that tomorrow the same time of 5 a.m. in California, 8 a.m. in East coast and 6:30 p.m. in India. So let’s continue Sir. Today, the markets are down, perhaps a reflection of the reality that there could be a possible Democratic Senate too, isn’t? Or are there any other reasons? There is an important topic we are also going to touch upon after this, so stay tuned.
Sridhar Chityala: I think that the markets have had an excellent run this week – 4 Days, and I think today we are saying may be little bit of profit-taking but the general sentiments that seem to be in the market are the uncertainty of the results, but more importantly that whether there is certainty around the Republicans holding on to the Senate. That certainly is when you see the dichotomy, Asian market swept up as we approach the weekend and the US market is down, less than 1% across all 3 indices whether it is Dow or S&P or Nasdaq is a reflection of the sentiments whether there is no deterrent because if you lose Senate and House and the presidency then you can almost safely state the tax agenda could be at risk, more important than tax is the Regulation, the regulation agenda could be at risk and the fiscal policy could be an issue with a $4.3 trillion of new taxes. The number that has been thrown by Biden and I mean I had discovered Harris is relatively new but Biden to put $4.3 trillion in taxes and then going up and down on wrong on the fly which is to say only hire, 400,000 people $500,000 dollar salary people etc. It’s yet to be quantified plus you have the issue around the fracking, plus you have the issue around the EPA compliance as to what the buildings need to do plus you have the Paris Accord. So there is a whole swag of issues that puts pressure on the business from the tax point of view, from the governance point of view that’s the substantive nature of the issue. We are not talking about President Clinton we’re talking about potential president Biden. So, therefore, the markets are reacting the way they are reacting.
Sree Iyer: Sir, let’s move on to India because a lot is happening there. Also, viewers, we had mentioned in our tweet yesterday that the rainbow missiles have been sited from China and these are now in place in Houtouwan and India is looking at what China is up to. They send their drones up and down the Line of Actual Control, and there was an interesting statement that was made by the chief of Defence Services Bipin Rawat. To give a little bit more of the perspective, do you see anything changing with the change in presidency in the United States? Number one. Number two is, we have information now that the United States before Trump step down has set up a few things if signed the quad agreement all that is going to continue. So, how do you see this relationship play out? very important topics Sir.
Sridhar Chityala: A very important topic. The way we things are panning out is on unpredictable lines, right? We discussed it in one of our daily briefings that both South sea which is facing Taiwan, as well as the Ladakh situation, could flare-up in the intervening period when there are chaos and confusion in the transition of the Presidential Power. Whether it continues over whether it transitions to a new regime, we felt that they could be some uncertainties and potential mischief military activity during that particular period so one week prior to that, as last week you had both Mr Pompeo and Dr Mark Esper, they’re signing the beacon agreement which gives ubiquitous access to very important satellite data from the perspective of the movements around the border region. So from a defensive deterrent point of view, India has access to that information. The second is that Mike Pompeo made an explicit statement still 60,000 people in the border and India must spell it out openly that there is a potential looming threat from China and name China in the press conference. So, they have given drones unmanned vehicles including a B-2 bomber, I believe based on the reports. So they have prepared themselves reasonably well, and as we speak the Malabar exercise is continuing and they have chosen the Bay of Bengal in the first phase, the Arabian Sea in the second phase. So you have naval ships and carriers engaged in this exercise, so they’re well prepared, having said that China seems to have also equally been well prepared in the Houtouwan Air Base, they have now seen their F-35 equivalent, J series planes and they have also seen the drones, you know in operation and in the area. So it’s fairly clear that China is extremely well organized and seems to be negotiating on one side, but at the same time preparing itself for some kind of incursion or change in the status, change in the line of control status and this prompted Bipin Rawat to make a statement, last night as far as the US is concerned, but today in India, which is Friday that there is going to be no change of status if India needs to fight it will fight to hold its position and what looks possible, he didn’t say imminent but what looks possible. So I think we are in for some very interesting situation in the Indo-Chinese border up north in the Ladakh region, they also had, as we discussed, a new railway line close to Arunachal Pradesh, which gives them rapid access to into not only Tibet but also into Northeast. So there is a lot of activity that is taking place in the Indo-China. And India announced that Pakistan needs to get out of the Gilgit-Baltistan which belongs to India because Pakistan was trying to make that the fifth or the sixth province and trying to grab the land. So there is a consorted security issue that is going on with Indo-China, potentially China-Taiwan scenario in this intervening period.
Sree Iyer: Thank you very much, sir. And tomorrow we’ll be back same time same channels and we will be discussing a little bit more about the changing events. So stay tuned. Please come back tomorrow visit us and subscribe to our Channel. And once again, it was a pleasure having you on our channels Sridharji. Namaskar.