Inflation a Risk Without Foreign Debt Buyers: Robertson – Economy * US * News * Story – CNBC.com

Inflation a Risk Without Foreign Debt Buyers: Robertson – Economy * US * News * Story – CNBC.com: “The US is too dependent on Japan and China buying up the country’s debt and could face severe economic problems if that stops, Tiger Management founder and chairman Julian Robertson told CNBC.

‘It’s almost Armageddon if the Japanese and Chinese don’t buy our debt,” Robertson said in an interview. ‘I don’t know where we could get the money. I think we’ve let ourselves get in a terrible situation and I think we ought to try and get out of it.'”

‘I Expect a Currency Crisis or Semi-Crisis’: Jim Rogers – Economy * Europe * News * Story – CNBC.com

I suppose we will see

‘I Expect a Currency Crisis or Semi-Crisis’: Jim Rogers – Economy * Europe * News * Story – CNBC.com: “The worst of the economic crisis is not over and a currency crisis can happen this year or the next year, because the problem of too much debt in the system has not been solved, legendary investor Jim Rogers told CNBC Monday.”

Option mortgages to explode, officials warn | Reuters

Option mortgages to explode, officials warn | Reuters: “The federal government and states are girding themselves for the next foreclosure crisis in the country’s housing downturn: payment option adjustable rate mortgages that are beginning to reset.

‘Payment option ARMs are about to explode,’ Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said after a Thursday meeting with members of President Barack Obama’s administration to discuss ways to combat mortgage scams.

‘That’s the next round of potential foreclosures in our country,’ he said.

Option-ARMs are now considered among the riskiest offered during the recent housing boom and have left many borrowers owing more than their homes are worth. These ‘underwater’ mortgages have been a driving force behind rising defaults and mounting foreclosures.

In Arizona, 128,000 of those mortgages will reset over the the next year and many have started to adjust this month, the state’s attorney general, Terry Goddard, told Reuters after the meeting.

‘It’s the other shoe,’ he said. ‘I can’t say it’s waiting to drop. It’s dropping now.'”

Monsanto to Charge as Much as 42% More for New Seeds (Update3) – Bloomberg.com

Monsanto to Charge as Much as 42% More for New Seeds (Update3) – Bloomberg.com: “Aug. 13 (Bloomberg) — Monsanto Co., the world’s largest seed maker, plans to charge as much as 42 percent more for new genetically modified seeds next year than older offerings because they increase farmers’ output.

Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans will cost farmers an average of $74 an acre in 2010, and original Roundup Ready soybeans will cost $52 an acre, St. Louis-based Monsanto said today in presentations on its Web site. SmartStax corn seeds, developed with Dow Chemical Co., will cost $130 an acre, 17 percent more than the YieldGard triple-stack seeds they will replace.”

The Kindle Problem – The Atlantic (September 15, 2009)

The Kindle Problem – The Atlantic (September 15, 2009): “Life, it turns out, is a series of tradeoffs between great experience and high convenience. McDonalds: convenient, but not such a great experience. Disney World: ah, there’s a great experience, but not so convenient. Most successful products and services aim for one or the other, but not both. Products and services that offer neither tend to fail.”

The Coming Consequences of Banking Fraud — Seeking Alpha

The Coming Consequences of Banking Fraud — Seeking Alpha: “Wall Street, the US Treasury, and the Exchange Stabilization Fund have all engaged in domestic and international financial and monetary transactions that have been kept secret from the world, and that will have severe and negative consequences in the not so distant future. In fact, I predict that the blowback of these activities will not only exceed, but far exceed, the fallout the world experienced in 2008 at the prior apex of this current crisis.”

High-frequency trading: Rise of the machines | The Economist

Is this liquidity driving, creating bubble bust scenarios too.

High-frequency trading: Rise of the machines | The Economist: “Algorithmic trading causes concern among investors and regulators

THE arrest of a former Goldman Sachs employee in July for allegedly stealing the firm’s proprietary computer codes thrust the arcane world of high-frequency trading (HFT) into the spotlight. The glare of attention is intensifying. High-frequency traders are essential providers of liquidity—accounting for roughly 50% of trading volume on the New York Stock Exchange—and can claim to have squashed bid-ask spreads. But many claim HFT comes at the price of gouging other investors.

The basic idea of HFT is to use clever algorithms and super-fast computers to detect and exploit market movements. To avoid signalling their intentions to the market, institutional investors trade large orders in small blocks—often in lots of 100 to 500 shares—and within specified price ranges. High-frequency traders attempt to uncover how much an investor is willing to pay (or sell for) by sending out a stream of probing quotes that are swiftly cancelled until they elicit a response. The traders then buy or short the targeted stock ahead of the investor, offering it to them a fraction of a second later for a tiny profit.”

China Tightens Grip on Rare Minerals « Dprogram.net

China Tightens Grip on Rare Minerals « Dprogram.net: “China is set to tighten its hammerlock on the market for some of the world’s most obscure but valuable minerals.

China currently accounts for 93 percent of production of so-called rare earth elements — and more than 99 percent of the output for two of these elements, vital for a wide range of green energy technologies and military applications like missiles.

Deng Xiaoping once observed that the Mideast had oil, but China had rare earth elements. As the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has done with oil, China is now starting to flex its muscle.

Even tighter limits on production and exports, part of a plan from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, would ensure China has the supply for its own technological and economic needs, and force more manufacturers to make their wares here in order to have access to the minerals.”

Homemade Wasp Traps

More good info

Homemade Wasp Traps: “I thought someone might want this tip since it’s getting that time of year again. Wasps can be a pain, literally, to have around! It’s not difficult to create a trap to help control them, however. Here are plans for a wasp trap that has worked for many people to reduce the number of wasps in and around the yard.

WARNING: Be sure to place your wasp trap away from any areas where you will be using the yard. Don’t have one within 20 feet of your picnic table or children’s play areas.

The simplest wasp trap can be made from a two or three liter pop bottle. Cut the bottle right under the funnel so that you have two pieces. After baiting the trap, you will fit the funnel shaped top piece into the bottom piece. The bait can be tied onto the pop bottle opening. Make three or four holes around the top edges where the fitted pieces meet, from which to attach string for a hanger. Don’t tie these on too tightly because you will need to take the trap apart frequently to add new bait and remove dead wasps. Add water with a few drops of dishwashing liquid to the container part of the trap. A little vinegar added to the water is reported to repel honey bees from visiting the wasp trap. The water should not come to the level of the opening of the funnel shaped insert. Put a bit of Vaseline or cooking oil around the top of the funnel so that the insects will lose their footing when they are investigating the wasp trap.

What sort of bait works well in a wasp trap? It actually makes a difference what time of year it is. In the early spring, wasps will be seeking protein foods because they will be making nests and laying eggs. Some good choices for protein baits are hamburger and lunch meat. Partially cook the hamburger so that it is easier to tie onto the trap. An advantage to setting a wasp trap in the early spring or even late winter is that you may catch a queen. If you can catch and kill a queen, the rest of the wasps will go elsewhere to make a nest. Later on in the summer, sweet foods work well as bait. You might try floating a bit of root beer or other sweet liquid on the water in the trap in a small lid. Fruit pieces work well, too, but it helps if they are cut so that the juicy smell is evident. Mashed grapes are very desirable to wasps.

Place the wasp trap away from human activity and about four feet above the ground. The trap works best at about 85 degrees F. so you may have to move it into the shade on a hot afternoon or into the sun on a cool morning. The theory behind these traps is interesting. The wasp will fly down into the wasp trap to get the bait, but will not be able to find its way out. It will fly around inside until it wears itself out, at which time it will fall into the water. The detergent in the water breaks down the surface tension of the water, making it stick to the wasp’s body instead of beading up around it. Since the wasp breathes through it’s body, it will drown. Many wasps are likely to visit these wasp traps, which means you will need to empty them regularly. If you don’t, the bodies of wasps will create islands on which the new wasps can rest without drowning. You will need to replenish the bait every few days, too, for best results.

When you empty the trap, you need to be careful. If any living wasps escape, they may return to the nest and let the others know they are in danger. If this happens, wasps can become aggressive. They may even swarm. The same thing can happen if the dead wasps’ bodies are crushed. The bodies release a chemical which can be smelled by the rest of the colony. It is probably a good idea to bury the dead wasp bodies. (Be particularly careful if it is a colony of hornets you are trying to control! It is probably wisest to have a professional exterminator take care of them.)

Wasps are beneficial insects. They are useful around gardens because they prey on garden pest insects. However, when they make their nests too close to the house, they become pests themselves. Many people are allergic to wasp stings and can die if stung. In fact, death from insect stings is not uncommon. Making a wasp trap is one way to keep them under control without having to use toxic chemicals.”

Nuisance Wasps and Bees

Nuisance Wasps and Bees: “* Most wasps develop by feeding on insects. Bees develop on a diet of nectar or pollen.
* Almost all insect stings result from yellowjackets and an insect newly established in the state, the European paper wasp.
* Yellowjackets, hornets and paper wasps make nests of paper. Honey bees and bumblebees make nests of wax. Solitary bees and wasps nest in holes in the ground, rotten wood or natural cavities. Some wasps even make mud nests.

Wasps and bees can be a serious nuisance problem throughout Colorado, particularly late in the summer when certain yellowjacket wasps forage at garbage and outdoor food areas. In overall balance, however, these insects are beneficial in their activities, particularly as predators of pest insects and as pollinators. It is important to distinguish between the various wasps and bees because their potential as problems and their control differ.”