Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Niederauer Tours Asia

Duncan Niederauer,CEO of NYSE/Euronext,has been touring Asia recently.He found China to be pretty optimistic.Visiting Beijing and Shanghai,he saw plenty of evidence of China's stimulus at work,he said.They're gonna leave no stone unturned for the Shanghai Expo,Mr.Niederauer observed.
Mr.Niederauer also spent a lot of time in India.What sets India apart is a lot more domestic demand,he noted.I think India can weather the storm because of the domestic demand that's so inherent,while China is trying to build up areas away from the coast.They're exploring opening up their market,allowing initial public offerings.I think they're gonna go step by step,being very conservative,the NYSE/Euronext executive remarked.

Out of Drought Risk

The below normal water table has been remedied by recent rains.Now we have more water than we need.It's hard to envision any drought this summer.Indeed,wet conditions are hindering growers.It's best not to disturb wet soil,as its structure is damaged that way.Mowing isn't possible,and it's hard to get a clean cut while pruning wet vegetation.These rainy days are a setback in that respect,but,in the end,we have to be grateful for this gift.It sets us in good store for the arid days that may well come,and it fills the ponds for the red-winged blackbirds who live by them.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Software Goes Green

German business software titan SAP is buying a Sterling,Virginia environmental concern.SAP is adding Clear Standards to its portfolio in order to assist customers with environmental impact information.Clear Standards specializes in measuring and reporting on greenhouse gas emissions,as well as other environmental impacts.It employs 25 people in Sterling and Delhi,India.The purchase price was kept confidential.The deal should close in June.A carbon cap and trade system may be imposed by the U.S. Congress,making the collection and dissemination of such data a corporate necessity.

Nature Note:Young of the Year

They are already appearing,the young of the year.Mourning doves were the first sighted,with three squabs eating under the feeder with their parents.Then a male northern cardinal was seen feeding his young in a leyland cypress.This morning,a tiny cottontail was observed nestled against a picket fence.The rabbits can be pesky,occasionally nibbling on landscape plants,but are generally a welcome member of the urban forest.Yesterday,a light frost occurred-probably the final one of the year-but the tomato plants were unscathed,along with the tiny rabbit.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thaw in China-Taiwan Relations

A significant thaw in China-Taiwan relations is occurring.In the third round of negotiations between the two states,cross-border banking was arranged,as was an increase in direct flights between China and Taiwan.Subsequently,China Mobile,Ltd. offered a 17.8 billion dollar investment-a 12% stake-in Taiwan's Far EasTone Telecommunications.Pending Taiwanese regulators' approval,it is the first direct investment by a Chinese state-owned firm in a Taiwanese company.Finally,China will allow Taiwan to take a seat at the World Health Assembly,parent of the World Health Organization, in Geneva.Taiwan was expelled from the World Health Organization in 1971,when China took over its seat.Relations between China and Taiwan are at their best in 60 years.China regards Taiwan as a wayward province of China.

Nature Note:Leafing Out

The leaves are fully out now,bringing shade to the property.Some of the shade is desirable,as it cuts cooling costs.Other shade may not be,if you're growing sun-loving plants.If the shade trees are on an adjacent property,there's little you can do about it.You may well just have to plant shade-tolerant plants such as Canadian hemlock and hostas.I planted a hemlock seedling last year,but a rabbit set it back with its browsing.The hemlock won't die,but I lost a year because of that rabbit.For now,there is plenty of grass and weeds for the rabbits to browse.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Colombia Applies For Credit

Colombia has applied to the International Monetary Fund for a 10.4 billion dollar line of credit.Colombian central bank head Jose Dario Uribe said the line is for emergency use only.IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn described Colombia as having strong economic fundamentals.It is the kind of nation the IMF would relax loan conditions for.Indeed,the credit line Colombia applied for has no conditions attached at all.It would only be used in the event the financial crisis deepens.The IMF promotes international monetary cooperation,currency stabilization and international trade.It is an autonomous UN agency based in Washington,D.C.

Nature Note:Reworking Gardens

For the past ten days,we have had about one minute of sunshine.This has to be affecting us in hidden ways.Jokes about it help,but don't stop the slowing down that results from prolonged overcast.Growers are pained by the failure of seed to germinate in the cooler than normal conditions,although the potted plants are well.It may be necessary to reseed if their seed rotted in the soggy earth, or was even washed away.Weeds have been proliferating in gardens,which means the extra work of dealing with them,when you had just done so before the endless rain began.By Sunday,the sun will have returned for consecutive days of shining.