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Dec 12, 2011
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Supersized IMF not just for little guy bailouts

By Christopher Swann
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The International Monetary Fund’s not just for little guys anymore. The European Union’s offer to inject up to $270 billion takes the Washington-based lender’s total pot to over $1 trillion for the first time. And fat contributions may follow from key developing nations, which have made additional cash contingent on more euro-zone self-help. The muscled-up fund may soon have the scale to help rescue a big nation like Spain.

Nov 29, 2011
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Sub-$90 oil would quickly restore OPEC harmony

By Christopher Swann and Una Galani
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries can be a fractious club. Past spats have often stemmed from the hugely different crude prices member countries needed to balance their books. Now, even Nigeria’s ultra-low $20 a barrel mark six years ago is up to $80. If prices fall anywhere near that level, OPEC will reunite.

Nov 28, 2011
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China could gain from helping Europe via IMF

By Christopher Swann
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Rescuing the wealthy euro zone is a tough sell for relatively poor China. But the Middle Kingdom could parlay some of its $3.2 trillion of reserves into greater international clout through the International Monetary Fund. It would be saving a big export market and a reserve-diversifying currency into the bargain.

Oct 31, 2011
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Nabors’ $100 mln payout to CEO offers warning

By Christopher Swann
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Eugene Isenberg, the chairman and chief executive of Nabors Industries, is pocketing $100 million just to give up the second of his two titles. That seems absurd. But the board of the $5.3 billion U.S. oil drilling company was hamstrung by an old contract. Even so, Nabors’ stock has underperformed for a decade.

Oct 11, 2011
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Oil trader, stock investor variance is opportunity

By Christopher Swann
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Economic fear has taken a heavier toll on U.S. oil company shares than on crude itself. Either there are bargains among the stocks of oil explorers, or commodity investors are too bullish. The difference of opinion ought to mean there’s room to make money.

Sep 29, 2011
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BBC ersatz trader has serious markets message

By Christopher Swann
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aC19fEqR5bA[/youtube]
Wall Street now has its equivalent of a reality TV star. A clip from the BBC of a self-described trader admitting to dreaming of financial doom as a money spinner has spread like wildfire. The Gordon Gekko wannabe doesn’t work for a Wall Street firm but his vulgar amorality offers a description of trading that has struck a chord with a public still smoldering over bank bailouts.

Ersatz trader Alessio Rastani wasn’t a big name in finance. He was nobody until this week. Still, he has some claim to represent the primitive Id of traders everywhere. His obvious indifference to the human suffering caused by financial collapses and economic downturns — in this case the crisis facing European nations — seemingly shocked the public, not to mention BBC presenters who let him rant ad nauseam.

Sep 21, 2011
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IMF financial crisis indicator bodes ill for China

By Christopher Swann
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The International Monetary Fund has a new crystal ball of sorts. The lender has found a measure of credit growth that could predict crunches. It makes China look precarious and heralds turbulence elsewhere, too.

Sep 6, 2011
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China may challenge U.S. for shale supremacy

By Christopher Swann
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

China has a chance of challenging the United States for shale supremacy. So far, only the United States has significantly exploited domestic reserves of shale gas. But China’s state oil major Sinopec is now taking shale seriously, and lacks many of the roadblocks that have held developers in other countries back.

Sep 2, 2011
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Obama’s smog backdown won’t help sick U.S. economy

By Christopher Swann
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

President Barack Obama’s environmentally-minded backers have every reason to feel let down. In blocking a new Environmental Protection Agency rule on smog, the White House has bowed to critics in Congress and industry who said new air quality rules would kill jobs.

Aug 30, 2011
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Fluctuating gas estimates needn’t freak investors

By Christopher Swann
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Bad news for natural gas wildcatters is often music to the ears of environmentalists. So opponents of fracking — the controversial gas extraction method — pounced on sharply lower government estimates of the gas contained in the Marcellus shale surrounding New York’s aquifers. If the economic prize is far smaller than previously thought, they argue, why take the ecological risks? But investors shouldn’t be alarmed. Even by ultra-conservative reckonings, there’s still up to 109 years of current production.

    • About Christopher

      "I am a columnist at Thomson Reuters focusing on the energy industry and hedge funds. Prior to this I worked at Bloomberg and the Financial Times."
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