Sunday, January 16, 2011

Bank Indonesia Ready for Rate Rise to Stem Inflation

Francezka Nangoy | January 14, 2011
Bank Indonesia Governor Darmin Nasution, pictured, said on Friday that the central bank was prepared to raise interest rates for the first time since 2009 due to rising inflation. (Bloomberg Photo) Bank Indonesia Governor Darmin Nasution, pictured, said on Friday that the central bank was prepared to raise interest rates for the first time since 2009 due to rising inflation. (Bloomberg Photo)

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6:31am Jan 15, 2011

We know that corruption is a major cause of poverty, but does it also part of the cause of inflation?

Both Zimbabwe and Burma have massive inflation that is caused by corruption. Although Indonesia's corruption is nowhere near that of these two countries, it is pretty bad, and cannot have a positive effect can it.

Is corruption actually crippling us?

* 1

Jakarta. Bowing to market pressure, Bank Indonesia on Friday indicated it was ready to raise interest rates for the first time since 2009 to tame rising inflation, the bank’s governor said.

“The direction is to raise rates but it will depend on inflation,” Bank Indonesia Governor Darmin Nasution told reporters on Friday. “BI is ready to find the appropriate time to increase the BI rate.”

Investors and market players have been urging the central bank to adopt a tighter monetary stance, including by raising its benchmark interest rate which had been kept stagnant at a record low of 6.5 percent for the past 18 months.

“Inflationary pressures will continue to pick up and will affect core inflation,” Nasution added. However, he said he was confident the government would take appropriate measures to contain prices of commodities such as rice.

Food prices have risen sharply since December and economists have warned that headline inflation would translate into core inflation if the central bank did not act urgently. Both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank also said this week that inflation and capital flight were serious threats to the economy.

Inflation hit a 20-month high in December, adding to investors’ concerns that BI’s dovish stance may leave it too far behind the curve in tamping down price pressures.

Darmin’s comments were echoed by Diffy A. Johansyah, BI’s head of public relations, in a telephone interview with the Jakarta Globe.

“Bank Indonesia is ready to raise interest rates if inflation starts to build up,” Diffy said. However, he added the central bank has not decided on when and by how much it would raise the rate.

“We still have to calculate how much we shall raise it according to the policy mix,” he said. “All monetary instruments should be evaluated and weighed so they will be balanced and not negatively affect each other.”

Core inflation, inflation figures excluding volatile items such as food, which is used by the central bank as the benchmark to raise interest rates, stood at 4.28 percent in December. Central Bank officials said that the danger threshold began at 5.0 percent.

Fauzi Ichsan, an economist at Standard Chartered, said earlier this week that food inflation could translate into core inflation as high food prices affect prices of other goods that are included in the core inflation.

“Food inflation could translate into core inflation within three months. BI should raise the interest rate by 100 basis points to 7.5 percent,” he said.

Destry Damayanti, chief economist at Mandiri Sekuritas, concurred but added that core inflation could rise faster, perhaps within a month.

“If the food inflation is persistent, we can see the effect within a month,” Destry said.

She said the central bank should raise the interest rate in the second quarter, and should add 50 basis points to the current interest rate, raising the benchmark rate to 7 percent.

Destry also said that the effort of calming down the inflation should not come only from the central bank, but also from the government, by ensuring adequate food supply.

Over the past few months, prices of chili and rice have spiked sharply, increasing by more than four times.

“Government policy and monetary policy should complement each other, so that this kind of situation can be anticipated,” Destry noted.

Indonesia Real Estate Report Q3 2010

Key Insights on the Real Estate Sector of Indonesia
According to our in-country sources in Indonesia, the global financial crisis had absolutely no impact whatsoever on the commercial Real Estate sector.
Economic growth did slow marginally – from 6.1% in 2008 to 4.5% in 2009. The latest data suggests to us that GDP should expand by 5.2% in 2010. However, there has been an across-the-board rise in rental rates of around 20% in 2009. This rise has taken place in spite of vacancy rates that have been running at 15-20% for most kinds of commercial properties in the three centres – Jakarta, Bandung and Denpasar/Bali – for which we have gathered data. In one or two instances, such as industrial property in Bandung, the vacancy rate has been even higher.
We see the rise in rental rates as a fairly early sign of a rerating of Indonesian assets. Market protagonists – whether they be local developers/ landlords or foreign investors – see Indonesian real estate as being underpriced given the overall business environment and prospects for the economy. So too, it would seem, do the tenants. Looking forward, our in-country sources suggest that rental rates will continue to rise in the coming year or so and we agree.
This process can continue until the business environment deteriorates sharply – which we do not expect – or rental rates reach levels where they appear high by the standards of the commercial Real Estate markets in other countries in South East Asia.
The immediate impact of the rise in rental rates has been a corresponding increase in yields. Landlords have had no incentive to sell. The number and value of transactions has, therefore, been depressed. Looking forward, though, we expect that prices and capital values will rise relative to the increasing rental rates. Accordingly, we anticipate that yields will slip gradually, in each of the cities and subsectors, over the coming five years.
Interviews with our in-country sources were conducted in late March 2010.
Key Features Of This Report
This is the latest edition of a new series of industry reports published by BMI that seeks to identify the key dynamics of the real estate sectors of 44 countries around the world, some of which are developed and some of which are, in every sense, emerging markets. Once again, the questions that we seek to answer for each country remain as follows: What are the main issues that will matter to actors in and around real estate development in the country concerned, both over the long and the short term? What are the main constraints that they face? What are the key insights that one garners when one compares the real estate sector of the country concerned with its peers in other countries?
For Q3 we have introduced a very substantial new improvement to the reports. We have incorporated data and qualitative observations provided to us by commercial real estate agents operating in the countries we survey. As a result we have gained a much clearer picture of the balance between demand and supply in each of three main sub-sectors – office, retail and industrial. We have also introduced a new approach to the forecasting of rental yields, which is discussed in the methodology sector of this report.

Read more:

Rising food prices point to a looming global food crisis

Bali news -- Shown below is further proof that my prediction of a shortage of food around the world leading to much higher prices and possibly riots and overthrow of week governments that happens subsidizing food and fuel for their citizens.

I do not believe there will be a problem in Indonesia because its economy is doing so well.

Saturday, 15 January 2011 10:21

By Lester Brown
London. As the New Year begins, the price of wheat is setting an all-time high in the United Kingdom. Food riots are spreading across Algeria. Russia is importing grain to sustain its cattle herds until spring grazing begins. India is wrestling with an 18-per cent annual food inflation rate, sparking protests.

China is looking abroad for potentially massive quantities of wheat and corn. The Mexican government is buying corn futures to avoid unmanageable tortilla price rises. And on January 5, the UN Food and Agricultural organization announced that its food price index for December hit an all-time high.

When prices of staples soar, the poor bear the brunt. Without global action, people in poor countries will be deprived of adequate and nutritious food, with tragic consequences for individuals and for the future prosperity of their countries says Robert Zoellick the President of the World Bank group.

“The overarching goal should be to ensure that the most vulnerable people and countries are no longer denied access to nutritious food,” Mr Zoellick says.

But whereas in years past, it’s been weather that has caused a spike in commodities prices, now it’s trends on both sides of the food supply/demand equation that are driving up prices. On the demand side, the culprits are population growth, rising affluence, and the use of grain to fuel cars.

On the supply side: soil erosion, aquifer depletion, the loss of cropland to nonfarm uses, the diversion of irrigation water to cities, the plateauing of crop yields in agriculturally advanced countries, and -- due to climate change -- crop-withering heat waves and melting mountain glaciers and ice sheets. These climate-related trends seem destined to take a far greater toll in the future.

There’s at least a glimmer of good news on the demand side: World population growth, which peaked at two per cent per year around 1970, dropped below 1.2 per cent per year in 2010. But because the world population has nearly doubled since 1970, we are still adding 80 million people each year.

Tonight, there will be 219,000 additional mouths to feed at the dinner table, and many of them will be greeted with empty plates. Another 219,000 will join us tomorrow night. At some point, this relentless growth begins to tax both the skills of farmers and the limits of the earth’s land and water resources.

Beyond population growth, there are now some 3 billion people moving up the food chain, eating greater quantities of grain-intensive livestock and poultry products. The rise in meat, milk, and egg consumption in fast-growing developing countries has no precedent. Total meat consumption in China today is already nearly double that in the United States.

The third major source of demand growth is the use of crops to produce fuel for cars. In the United States, which harvested 416 million tonnes of grain in 2009, 119 million tonnes went to ethanol distilleries to produce fuel for cars. That’s enough to feed 350 million people for a year.

The massive US investment in ethanol distilleries sets the stage for direct competition between cars and people for the world grain harvest. In Europe, where much of the auto fleet runs on diesel fuel, there is growing demand for plant-based diesel oil, principally from rapeseed and palm oil.

This demand for oil-bearing crops is not only reducing the land available to produce food crops in Europe, it is also driving the clearing of rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia for palm oil plantations.

The combined effect of these three growing demands is stunning: a doubling in the annual growth in world grain consumption from an average of 21 million tonnes per year in 1990-2005 to 41 million tonnes per year in 2005-2010. Most of this huge jump is attributable to the orgy of investment in ethanol distilleries in the United States in 2006-2008.

While the annual demand growth for grain was doubling, new constraints were emerging on the supply side, even as longstanding ones such as soil erosion intensified. An estimated one third of the world’s cropland is losing topsoil faster than new soil is forming through natural processes -- and thus is losing its inherent productivity. Two huge dust bowls are forming, one across northwest China, western Mongolia, and central Asia; the other in central Africa. Each of these dwarfs the US dust bowl of the 1930s.

Satellite images show a steady flow of dust storms leaving these regions, each one typically carrying millions of tons of precious topsoil. In North China, some 24,000 rural villages have been abandoned or partly depopulated as grasslands have been destroyed by overgrazing and as croplands have been inundated by migrating sand dunes.

In countries with severe soil erosion, such as Mongolia and Lesotho, grain harvests are shrinking as erosion lowers yields and eventually leads to cropland abandonment. The result is spreading hunger and growing dependence on imports. Haiti and North Korea, two countries with severely eroded soils, are chronically dependent on food aid from abroad.

Meanwhile aquifer depletion is fast shrinking the amount of irrigated area in many parts of the world; this relatively recent phenomenon is driven by the large-scale use of mechanical pumps to exploit underground water. Today, half the world’s people live in countries where water tables are falling as overpumping depletes aquifers. Once an aquifer is depleted, pumping is necessarily reduced to the rate of recharge unless it is a fossil (nonreplenishable) aquifer, in which case pumping ends altogether. But sooner or later, falling water tables translate into rising food prices.

Irrigated area is shrinking in the Middle East, notably in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, and possibly Yemen. In Saudi Arabia, which was totally dependent on a now-depleted fossil aquifer for its wheat self-sufficiency, production is in a freefall. From 2007 to 2010, Saudi wheat production fell by more than two thirds. By 2012, wheat production will likely end entirely, leaving the country totally dependent on imported grain.

The Arab Middle East is the first geographic region where spreading water shortages are shrinking the grain harvest. But the really big water deficits are in India, where the World Bank numbers indicate that 175 million people are being fed with grain that is produced by overpumping. In China, overpumping provides food for some 130 million people. In the United States, the world’s other leading grain producer, irrigated area is shrinking in key agricultural states such as California and Texas. Source: FP Website

USDA report bullish for corn, soybeans U.S. corn ending stocks 2nd lowest rate since mid-1990s

Bali News Two of my recommendations since the beginning of last year and 2011 have been corn and soybeans. It appears that current shortages may lead to even higher prices in the future. I am currently long on both investments.

USDA report bullish for corn, soybeans
U.S. corn ending stocks 2nd lowest rate since mid-1990s
January 16, 2011 - By LARRY KERSHNER, For the Messenger
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For those with grain to sell, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest crop production and supply/demand report was good news.

For those with grain to feed or buy, not such good news.

The new report, issued Wednesday morning, had pushed corn futures up by as high as 28 cents by midday - $6.35 per bushel for March futures - and soybeans up by 66 cents, to $14.23 for March.

What was pushing the price was U.S. and world ending stock numbers, said Darin Newsom, DTN senior analyst, during a morning webinar prior to markets opening.

U.S. ending stocks for corn was whittled by the USDA report to 14.2 billion bushels, or about 5.5 percent.

"This is a very, very tight situation,"?Newsom said, adding that stocks were not this low since 1995. "Tightening stocks will continue to push markets up."

Newsom credited ethanol's continued demand increase as the largest growing sector of corn demand.

Even with the rising cost of corn, Newsom told Farm News he expected ethanol demand to remain consistent as long as petroleum prices remained high and gas demand was consistent.

"This is different than in 2008 when the petroleum price collapsed,"?Newsom said. "As gas demand goes up it requires more ethanol. The key is watching future spreads."

However if corn prices soar well into the $7 range, it may cause ethanol distillers to begin struggling, he said, but then added, "It may be that ethanol is getting used to the high prices.

"We're just not seeing the sharp reactions as in 2008."

Concern for dairy

For the dairy industry, Newsom said that although the class III milk market has stabilized, "it's still a difficult time out there.

"How long can it survive these higher prices in corn?"

He indicated that survival will depend on output prices somehow catching up to input prices.

He said that just within the first quarter of the fiscal year, 30 percent of the 2010 harvest has been exhausted.

World ending stock for corn was also lowered as worldwide demand for corn is also climbing, the largest seen since 1995.

Worldwide ending stocks is estimated 127 million metric tons, or about 15 percent - the lowest since the mid-1970s - which was much lower than analysts were expecting, Newsom said.

Part of this decrease, Newsom noted, was a drop in the expected supply from Argentina.

When asked if China will re-enter buying significant U.S. corn as it did last year, Newsom said "it's possible, but I'm not certain China will."

Soybean ending stocks dwindling

The total U.S. harvest has been once again reduced to 3.33 billion bushels, down from the previous estimate of 3.37 bb, and less than the final 2009 harvest of 3.36 bb.

U.S. soybeans stock estimates were reduced by USDA to 140 million bushels, about 42 percent. "This is about as low as its ever been,"?Newsom said.

He said that one thing that may be helping soybeans is that export demand for soybeans has showed signs of a slight slowing. The USDA's export estimate for this marketing year was unchanged at 159 bb.

However, residual uses was increased from 3.27 bb a month ago, to 3.55 bb on Wednesday.

Concerning worldwide ending stocks, soybeans are expected to dwindle further to 58.28 million metric tons, down to 22.8 percent..

He said the Argentinan supply was lowered this month by 1.5 mmt, to account for much of the lost stocks.

"It's not as tight as the corn stocks,"?Newsom said, "but global (soybean) stocks is at a critical point."

Acre wars commencing

When asked what it will take to replenish the corn and soybean larders, Newsom said that both grains and wheat are in need of more planted acres.

In corn alone, it will require 80 million acres to replace the corn supply, an increase of 8 to 10 million acres over 2010.

He expects that all three, not to mention cotton, rice and sorghum, will be able to see an expansion in planted acres.

"Something will lose out," Newsom said, "and I expect it'll be wheat."

Contact Larry Kershner at (515) 573-2141, ext. 453 or at

Don’t Ban Bali Hotel Building, Develop the North: Minister

Made Arya Kencana | January 15, 2011

Denpasar. Tourism Minister Jero Wacik has said he does not fully agree with plans of the Bali provincial administration to impose a moratorium on hotel development in Denpasar, Badung and Gianyar until 2015.

A week ago, Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika said the island was suffering from imbalanced tourism development and an excess of hotel rooms.

“A moratorium is fine, but it should not be too extreme,” Wacik said on Friday, adding that in his opinion the problem could be solved through spreading tourism development and infrastructure across the island.

Wacik said there were plans to build an airport in Buleleng district in North Bali and to construct railway lines in collaboration with ministries such as Public Works and Transportation.

“It is my hope that both the new airport and the new railway lines will being operating by 2014. Once the airport is done, investors will rush in to build hotels in North Bali,” he said. “So I think a moratorium will not be required.”

Mangku said last week that he was seriously considering imposing a moratorium on hotel development in Denpasar, Badung and Gianyar until 2015, and that hotel investment would better be directed toward areas such as Buleleng, Bangli, Karangasem and Jembrana.

He added, however, that he would first need to consult the island’s district heads. As required under the Autonomy Law, district heads are the ones authorized to issue building permits, not the provincial government.

Wacik was worried that if nothing happened, the south of Bali would continue to be packed and traffic would worsen.

“In North Bali, there are plenty of poor and unemployed people,” Wacik said. “Through developing North Bali, we hope to provide these people with work.”

Mangku said on Friday he was still waiting for a “more specific study” from the Bali Tourism Board, which is considered one of the best-informed institutions when it comes to the dynamics of tourism on Bali.

“We still need input from the general public about these plans so that we have a very strong foundation [should a hotel moratorium be imposed],” the governor said.

“Without local input and local research, no bylaw can be issued on this matter,” he continued. “And Bali continues to be bombarded with investors who want to build ever more hotels in Kuta, Sanur, Jimbaran and Nusa Dua.”

A report issued by the Tourism Ministry’s Research and Development Center in collaboration with Udayana University showed that Bali had 55,000 hotel rooms — 9,800 more than the ideal number of rooms. Most hotels are located in the south.

Friday, January 14, 2011

36 Hours in Bali

Justin Mott for The New York Times

Meditation area at Fivelements wellness center, near Ubud.
Published: January 13, 2011

MAYBE it was the topless women that the German painter Walter Spies captured in his lush landscapes of Bali during the 1930s. But ever since, foreigners have come to undress. Shirtless Australians, surfboards strapped to the side of their motorbikes, cruise around for the best waves. At five-star resorts, bronzed Italian women in tiny bikinis while away the days with wine. Farther inland, spiritual seekers wrapped in body-skimming sarongs commune in temples. The natives don’t go topless anymore, but that doesn’t stop the throngs of sunbathers who let it all hang out on Bali’s busiest beaches.
Bali Travel Guide


Punctuated by temples hidden behind ornately carved archways and petal-filled lanes, Ubud is Bali’s artistic hub. And beyond the painted masks and shadow puppets that spill out of countless storefronts are a string of new galleries that offer one-of-a-kind treasures. Jean-François Fichot (Jalan Raya Pengosekan 6, Ubud; 62-361-974-652; carries striking gem- and stone-encrusted gold jewelry and objets d’art. Next door is the Nusantara Gallery (Jalan Raya Pengosekan 7, Ubud; 62-81-797-97804), which sells rare primitive art, including wooden statues and fine weavings gathered from all over the Indonesian archipelago. And at Rio Helmi Photography (Jalan Suweta 24A, Ubud; 62-361-978-773;, Mr. Helmi, who displays his own photos of Bali and elsewhere, has a new book out, “Memories of the Sacred,” that chronicles 30 years spent witnessing Bali’s enduring traditions.

7 p.m.


Culinary karma seems to emanate from Jalan Raya Sanggingan, a winding road about 15 minutes northwest of Ubud’s center. Joining Mozaic’s famed French-Asian fare and Naughty Nuri’s legendary ribs is Minami (Jalan Raya Sanggingan, Ubud; 62-361-970-013;, a stylish Japanese restaurant opened in 2009 by Miho Oshiro from Osaka. You can sip a yuzu-infused sake-tini (85,000 rupiah, or about $9.75 at 8,703 rupiah to the dollar) as you settle into the baby blue, jasmine-scented dining room, which overlooks a lantern-lit garden. The six-course tasting menu (210,000 rupiah) includes melt-in-the-mouth Tasmanian salmon sashimi and tissue-papery zucchini leaf tempura. Even the flavored salt (the recipe is a secret), imported from Japan and served in a tiny bowl, is exquisite.

9:30 p.m.


You’ll most likely have Ubud’s streets to yourself soon after dinner, but cute cocktail spots are on the rise. At Cafe Havana (Jalan Dewi Sita, Ubud; 62-361-972-973;, salsa bands and dance classes take place among mismatched hand-painted chairs and framed photos of Che and Fidel. Drinks at artsy Lamak (Jalan Monkey Forest, Ubud; 62-361-974-668; are mixed at an open-air bar; go for the sweet yet punchy El Diablo, made of tequila, crème de cassis, lemon juice and ginger ale.


7:45 a.m.


It’s hard not to fall for Bali while cycling its quiet back roads, which are lined with stepped rice fields, blooms in every shade of the rainbow and women in bright sarongs balancing temple offerings on their heads. Half-day tours with Bali Eco-Cycling (Jalan Pengosekan, Ubud; 62-361-975-557;; 300,000 rupiah) start with breakfast overlooking the 5,600-foot-high volcanic Mount Batur and its crater lake, followed by a caffeine kick at a coffee plantation. The mostly downhill 17-mile ride isn’t very challenging, but it is spectacularly scenic and photo-friendly.

1 p.m.


Follow the dreadlocks and Aladdin pants to Kafe (Jalan Hanoman 44b, Ubud; 62-361-780-3802;, a sunny, art-filled cafe that is made of reclaimed wood. Run by Meghan Pappenheim, an ex-New Yorker, the hippie-chic spot serves vegan and raw food like Meg’s Big Salad Bowl — a heaping plate of greens, cabbage, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and crunchy tofu-tempeh cubes (36,000 rupiah) — and kitcheree, a hearty stew of lentil, brown rice, ginger and turmeric (32,000). There’s also a selection of baked goods for the less virtuous.

2:30 p.m.


It took 30 months to build Fivelements (Banjar Baturning, Mambal; 62-361-469-206;, a stunning wellness center and five-room hotel tucked away in Mambal, a sleepy village 20 minutes by car from Ubud. Transcendental massages are offered in incense-filled rooms built of polished bamboo, reclaimed wood and spiral thatched roofs (90 minutes from $80). Post-treatment ginger-lemongrass tea is served on a private deck overlooking a bamboo forest and the Ayung River.

5:30 p.m.


Bali’s legendary sunsets can be a controversial affair. Ask around for the best perch to catch the nightly psychedelia, and you’ll get an earful. Still, there’s no denying that one of the most stylish places is the Rock Bar (Ayana Resort and Spa, Jimbaran; 62-361-702-222;, an outdoor lounge built into the cliffs at the newly opened Ayana Resort and Spa along the island’s southwestern tip. The muted, minimalist bar with interconnected decks is perched above the crashing waves of the Indian Ocean. Get there early to avoid the lines and to get a good seat (though the best are saved for hotel guests). Order a cold beer (80,000 rupiah) and watch the sun melt into the water, casting the sky in brilliant shades of pink, violet and orange.

8:30 p.m.


Seminyak, Kuta’s upscale neighbor, has become Bali’s see-and-be-seen center of night life. So it was refreshing when Sardine (Jalan Petitenget 21, Kerobakan; 62-361-738-202;, an artsy down-to-earth restaurant, made everyone feel at home. With rice fields as the backdrop, diners sample what the executive chef Michael Shaheen, from California, calls “cuisine du soleil” — healthy, light food suited to hot climates. That includes just-caught seafood like pink snapper sashimi with shimeji mushrooms (65,000 rupiah) and pan-seared scallops in a parsley-truffle emulsion (195,000 rupiah).

10:30 p.m.


Bali’s beautiful people gather for drinks, jazz and D.J.-spun beats across the street at Métis (Jalan Petitenget 6, Kerobokan; 62-361-737-888;, a candlelit bar that’s the latest venture from the folks behind Kafe Warisan. In the center of town, design aficionados gather at Word of Mouth (Jalan Kunti 9, Seminyak; 62-361-847-5797;, a boutique that doubles as a cool lounge at night, with impromptu parties that have developed a loyal following (check its Facebook page for updates).


9 a.m.


Bali’s giant waves have been luring surfers since the 1960s, promising year-round swells that can soar upward of 10 feet. After spending time admiring the perfect tans and free spirits of Bali’s surfing community, you’ll very likely want to join. Surf shacks with teachers abound. To minimize first-timers’ humiliation, try a private 75-minute lesson (450,000 rupiah) with Marcy Meachin (62-812-385-9454;, a talented Aussie teacher who’s spent much of the last 30 years chasing surf in Indonesia. Beginner courses are taught on Legian Beach, where the shallow waters, sandy shores and small waves provide a gentle introduction.

11:30 a.m.


Breathtaking beaches edge the Bukit, the island’s southern peninsula. Book a car and driver to get to secluded spots like Padang Padang, an oasis of calm water shaded by soaring cliffs that was a setting for the film “Eat Pray Love.” Another stunning beach is at the Nammos Beach Club (Karma Kandara Resort;, reached by a steep trail etched in a limestone cliff. Interlopers can enjoy aquamarine water for an entry fee of 250,000 rupiah, which includes 100,000 rupiah toward food. The open-air kitchen serves a mean wood-fired pizza with toppings like fig, prosciutto and Gorgonzola.

2 p.m.


Bring home some Bali chic from Jalan Laksmana, which has emerged as Seminyak’s boutique street in recent years. Try bohemian-cool Press Ban Cafe at No. 50 (62-361-730-486) for handmade wooden shoes, Jackie O. shades and fitted vintage plaid button-downs. Lily Jean (No. 102; 62-361-847-5872; carries sexy strapless jersey pantsuits and bandaged cocktail dresses. And Simplekonsepstore (No. 40; 62-361-730-393; prides itself on one-of-a-kind design: limited-edition graphic T-shirts, origami-inspired bags and hand-dyed tunics that reinvent Bali’s rich tradition of batik in totally unexpected ways.


The 20 chocolate- and toffee-hued villas at Uma Sapna (Jalan Drupadi No. 20 Basangkasa, Seminyak; 62-361-736-628; come with private pools and outdoor patios. Seminyak’s shops are within walking distance and the beach is a short cab ride away. Doubles from $175.

The W Retreat & Spa Bali-Seminyak (Jalan Petitenget, Seminyak; 62-361-738-106; is expected to open in March or April, with 237 rooms offering knockout water views. Doubles from $575.

United States CPI inclined in December

Editors Note: As I predicted in my Decemberinflation will rear its ugly head. As shown below inflation increased almost 400% compared with November. This may be the start of a new round of high inflation.

United States CPI inclined in December
14 January 2011 @ 08:36 am EDT

United States Consumer Price Index rose in December by 0.5%, compared with the previous 0.1% and the expected 0.4%, meanwhile, on the yearly scale, the index rose by 1.5% compared with the previous 1.1% and the expected 1.3%.

As for the Core CPI, the index matched the previous reported estimate of 0.1% on the monthly scale, and 0.8% on the yearly scale, noting that market's expected the index to rise by 0.7% on the yearly scale.