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Wed, 22nd February 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Archives of “prime minister” Tag

US Historian Predicts Trump’s Presidency Will Be Second Shortest in History

trump donald trump donald blinking blinkyTrump’s presidency might be second shortest in US history, says Ronald Feinman of Florida Atlantic University. William Henry Harrison holds the record for the shortest administration at 31 days. Trump looks set to beat that in just a couple of days; however, he has yet to outrule James A. Garfield, who was president for 199 days in 1881, but died “after terrible suffering and medical malpractice” when he was shot by an assassin. 

If Trump manages to eclipse Garfield, the next contender to beat is Zachary Taylor, who served 16 months and five days for the third  shortest presidential term in US history.

According to Feinman, who insisted that Hillary Clinton would win November’s presidential election with a 49 to 44 percent electoral majority, Trump will be either impeached or forced to resign in a matter of weeks. After that, Vice President Mike Pence will take the reins, according to US law.

So why would that happen, one might ask? According to Feinman’s blog post, the greatest sin of Donald Trump is failing to continue acting as US presidents did before him. Feinman cites the “abrupt ending of a phone call to the Australian Prime Minister, [US’s] loyal ally in four wars in the past;” Trump’s “seeming lack of respect for Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel;” and “lack of strong support for NATO” as reasons for a possible premature ending to his administration. Feinman does not trouble himself to speculate as to whether the aforementioned respect and support are justified, though. He also names Trump’s puzzling attitude towards the longstanding One-China Policy as another reason he won’t be around long.

Pressure on Greece Mounts, New Crisis Looms

The problem is uncomfortably familiar.  Greece has a chunky payment due to its official creditors.  Reports suggest that Greece has not completed much more than a third of the measures that had been agreed upon free up the next aid tranche from the 86 bln euro package.   

Time is working against Greece.  The elections in France and Germany do not provide a conducive backdrop for concessions, and public support for the Greek government is sliding.  Given the political context, it is important that Greece’s measures are implemented ahead of the February 20 Eurogroup meeting.  

If this window of opportunity is not met, the situation could deteriorate quickly.  The more Prime Minister Tsipras enacts the reforms demanded by thecreditors, the less the public supports him.  Many still suspect Greece is headed toward an election this year.  Since in some respects, Tsipras speaks the language of populism, a change in governments would likely be in the direction of the center, such as the New Democracy.  

Currently, the official creditors expect Greece to hit its fiscal targets this year.  The problem is 2018.   The key target is the primary surplus (budget balance before debt servicing).  The primary surplus in 2016 was estimated at 2.3% (of GDP).  Starting in 2018, the agreement calls for a goal of a 3.5% primary surplus.  The IMF has been insisting that considerably more dramatic action by Greece is necessary if the other official creditors refuse to reduce the debt burden, which the multilateral lender says is unsustainable.  

Prosecutors seek arrest warrant for Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong

Special prosecutors in Seoul on Monday requested an arrest warrant for the de facto head of Samsung, the country’s largest company, as a corruption scandal that toppled president Park Geun-hye ensnared another powerful South Korean figure.

Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics and heir to the company, is wanted on charges of bribery, according to prosecutors who grilled the country’s top executive during a marathon 22-hour interrogation late last week.

Samsung were unable to comment immediately. However, the development will likely be a stunning blow to the company as its attempts to solidify the succession of Mr Lee as chief and to reform its corporate governance structure.

Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2017: Big-bang promises missing

The 2017 Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit’s inaugural ceremony on Tuesday looked like a shadow of its own past glory as the trademark big-ticket investment promises were missing.

Several chief executive officers attending the summit praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “dynamic and visionary leadership” over the past two and a half years.

The PM’s speech, which was at least a quarter of an hour shorter than last year’s, showcased India’s growth story. “Despite the global slowdown, we have registered excellent growth. India is a bright spot in the global economy.” The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other institutions have projected even better growth in the coming days, he added. 

 Listing out India’s global rankings on various indicators, Modi said, “Creating an enabling environment for business, and attracting investments, is my top priority.”

Modi was called a transformational leader by many, including Executive Chairman of Cisco John Chambers and Chief Executive Officer of Fairfax Canada Prem Watsa. Calling Modi the Lee Kuan Yew of India, Watsa said the Prime Minister can transform the country. The late Singaporean leader was the city-state’s first Prime Minister and is credited with transforming Singapore into a developed nation in a span of 25 years. 

Investment promises came only from a couple of people. Gautam Adani, chairman of the Adani Group, committed fresh investments worth Rs 49,000 crore over five years and Lulu Group promised Rs 12,000-crore investment.

Japan hosted over 24 million foreign visitors in 2016

Image result for japan visitorJapan’s Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Keiichi Ishii said on Tuesday the number of foreign visitors to Japan rose around 20% last year to 24.039 million, marking a record figure and a five-year growth streak. Visitors from Southeast Asia notably increased.

Ishii stressed the record number “is a result of measures such as relaxation of visa requirements and improvements of consumption tax exemptions” as Japan considers the tourism industry a pillar of its growth strategy. 

Plenty of travelers last year came from China and South Korea, but growth was slow compared with 2015, when visitors skyrocketed 50% on a weak yen and loosened visa requirements. The yen’s temporary surge and earthquakes in Kumamoto Prefecture hampered growth in 2016, as did the Chinese economic slowdown.

Visitors, however, rose significantly from Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. Tourism campaigns in those countries helped attract more travelers, as did added airplane routes.

Note ban most disruptive policy innovation since 1991: Subbarao

Former Reserve Bank governor D Subbarao on Thursday termed demonetisation as “creative destruction and the most disruptive policy innovation since 1991 reforms” that has helped destroy black money.

“On November 8, the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and the Reserve Bank have demonetised 86 per cent of currency in circulation overnight, which is what is arguably the most disruptive policy innovation in India since the 1991 reforms,” he said.

“Demonetisation, in that sense, is creative destruction. But it is a very special type of creative destruction. Because what it has destroyed is a destructive creation — black money. So, you can understand that demonetisation is creative destruction of a destructive creation,” Subbarao said.

He was addressing an international conference organised by the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technologies (IDRBT) in Hyderabad. He further said demonetisation is “arguably” leading to a flurry of innovations in Indian financial sector by way of digitisation of payments.

PM Modi likely to address nation on New Year eve

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to address the nation on December 31 evening, a day after his 50-day deadline for the completion of the demonetisation process draws to a close. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to address the nation before dawn of the New Year,” news agency PTI reported.

However, it was not clear as to whether he would address the nation on Friday or Saturday. In his address, the Prime Minister may speak about the roadmap post the demonetisation period especially on the steps likely to be taken to ease cash flow that has been a major problem ever since demonetisation took place.

He may also speak on the steps to deal with the problems the economy faces after the demonetisation was announced on November 8. The Prime Minister in his public meetings in the last few weeks has been urging the people to bear with the pain following the government’s decision and that it would start easing gradually once the 50-day period is over. On Tuesday, Modi met economists and experts at a meeting in Niti Aayog to discuss the current economic situation

Long-Term Crude Supplies Abroad Not to Drop After Oil Production Cut Deal

In November, OPEC agreed to cut oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day to 32.5 million barrels per day for the whole cartel from next year.

“Intergovernmental agreements will be fully implemented, since cuts are slight and companies will be able to compensate via other activities,” Novak told journalists. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich added that the deal would not affect oil supplies on the domestic market and stressed that companies would supply as much oil as was demanded, without any substantial rise in prices. On December 10, OPEC finished a meeting with non-OPEC countries in Vienna, at which non-OPEC countries decided to cut oil output by 558,000 barrels per day, with Russia cutting the output by 300,000 barrels per day from January 2017.

Paolo Gentiloni Picked As Italy’s New Prime Minister

With the ECB snubbing Italy on Friday, and refusing to grant insolvent bank Monte Paschi more time to find a financial rescue, it was of paramount urgency for Italy to announce a replacement government that of outgoing prime minister Matteo Renzi, in order to mitigate concerns about the ongoing political chaos.  As a result, on Sunday, Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella asked departing Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni – a loyalist from Renzi’s Democratic Party – to form a new government, in the process hopefully bringing to a close a political crisis triggered by a ‘no vote’ in a referendum on constitutional reform last weekend.

As the WSJ first reported, Mattarella gave Gentiloni the mandate to try to form a new caretaker cabinet. Gentiloni, 62, accepted and will begin consultations with political parties to put together his team of ministers. That list could emerge as soon as Sunday evening, setting the stage for the new government to seek votes of confidence in parliament by Tuesday. Correspondents say that if he is successful in rallying support a government could be formed in days.

Renzi Delays Resignation Until Senate Passes Budget Law

With Matteo Renzi’s resignation formally announced just after midnight local time yesterday following the rout in the Italian referendum, the prime minister met with Italian president Sergio Mattarella to discuss the terms of his resignation. However, it appears that Renzi’s departure may not be as clear cut as some had expected, and as Ansa reports, Renzi may delay his resignation following a request by the president to hold the post until the Senate Budget Law is passed, which could take place as soon as later this week, or – this being Italy – may stretch quite a bit longer.

More details from Reuters:  

Italian President Sergio Mattarella told Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Monday to put his planned resignation on hold until parliament had approved the 2017 budget, which could be done as early as Friday. After a meeting with Renzi, Mattarella’s office said in a statement that the prime minister had told him he could no longer remain in power. 

The president told him he should stay in place until the budget was passed to prevent emergency funding rules from kicking in on Jan. 1. Once the budget was passed, he could hand in his resignation, the statement added.