American Dream and more

Good morning folks… Since this is the very first edition, the writing team is still warming up to be able to come up with good starting lines

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American Dream for Indians hits pause

H-1B visa needs no introduction in India. Those three letters have been used as the ticket to the golden land for the last few decades. Especially with the software boom in India, of the 85,000 H1-B visas issued every year, Indians make up a big chunk. But then, one of the main pillars of Trump’s presidential campaign has been reducing skilled worker immigration in favour of jobs to domestic workers.

What’s the point? On Tuesday, Donald Trump announced an extension of the earlier announced 60-day ban on the H1-B visa, to now be valid for the rest of 2020. This means no new H1-B visas will be issued. However, the bigger problem here is that existing H1-B visas also stand suspended. So, if a foreigner has an H1-B visa and is not in the US currently, the person is no longer allowed entry. The President is also now asking to replace the lottery system in the H1-B visa processing with an income parameter to allow entry for only the highest skilled labour.

Silver lining: While it is a blow for aspiring Indians, Silicon Valley led by the likes of Google, Amazon, Twitter and Microsoft is vocally unhappy with this move.    

One breakup we are happy about

After an 11-hour meeting at Moldo on the Chinese side of LAC (Line of Actual Control), military commanders at both sides reached a “mutual consensus to disengage”. In light of the recent skirmishes, the trust deficit and the fear of two large nations locking horns, though the process is expected to be “arduous and challenging” this is a hopeful sign.

What’s the catch? Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe are both currently in Russia to attend the Victory Day Parade (A World War 2 legacy). On this trip, Rajnath Singh has snubbed the Chinese with the official statement that the two shall not meet. That apart, the economic warfare continues unabated. Sellers now have to declare Country of Origin for their goods on the Government e-marketplace or GeM.

Love thy neighbour? Another neighbour making news yesterday was Pakistan. India has announced the decision to cut down staff in both High Commissions by 50%, to be implemented within the next 7 days. The statement claims that Pakistan has “engaged in acts of espionage and maintained dealings with terrorist organizations”.

RBI says No to Yes Bank

Yes Banks’ Tier-2 bonds were downgraded by ICRA from a BBB to a D rating. RBI did not allow Yes Bank to pay the interest or coupon on it due to failure of meeting regulatory requirements on the Capital Adequacy ratio (CAR). Yes Bank plans to raise up to Rs. 10,000 Crores to improve on the CAR. These 10.25% unsecured bonds may be paid off in the future but currently Yes Bank has defaulted on the coupon payment.

Flashback: In March 2020, Yes Bank’s AT-1 bonds were completely written off leading to losses in debt mutual funds as well as direct holders. Savings accounts and Term Deposits were also frozen finally being thawed on March 18, 2020. While this errant millennial child may have moved back with parents, they ain’t paying off any debts till he cleans his room.

IN SNIPPETS

  • Oops! System is busy: At 10:24 a.m. yesterday, HDFC Securities took to Twitter to acknowledge they were facing technical glitches preventing execution of investor transactions. By the time they were up and running again around 1:20 p.m, enough people had pointed out their higher brokerage making such errors unacceptable.
  • Zoom overtaken Fastly: With zoom calling being the latest digital trend, all eyes are peeled on it’s share price which has expectedly, been a chart topper. But, yesterday it was overtaken by a small SaaS company called Fastly with client like Spotify etc. While the share price has exponentially grown in it’s short career on the exchange, analysts believe this may not be the end of it’s growth spurt.
  • Say it with me… Coronil Coronil Coronil:  The one word on every Indian’s lips and Twitter feeds yesterday was Corona Coronil, the wonder drug purported by Baba Ramdev as a 100% cure for, you guessed it, Coronavirus! As the Ayush Ministry pauses advertisements for the drug being a corona cure, we would wait before jumping for joy.

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