Christopher's Feed
Aug 27, 2011

Mother Nature threatens another mark on markets

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)

By Christopher Swann

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Mother Nature is making her mark on the market yet again. Days after a rare earthquake shook Wall Street a more serious disturbance looms in the form of Hurricane Irene. The storm may still fizzle out. But it’s heading for a region with $12 billion of daily economic output and could cripple finance’s capital when investors are already jumpy.

Aug 16, 2011
via Breakingviews

Over-reaction to BP Gulf spill costing U.S. jobs

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

U.S. oil regulators may have swung from gung-ho to too cautious. Painfully slow drilling approvals mean America could be missing out on 230,000 jobs — and tax revenue, too. Safety matters. But with unemployment and the deficit top national concerns, red tape should be kept in check.

Aug 16, 2011
via Breakingviews

Fretting frackers restrain economic opportunities

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

Critics of hydraulic fracturing contend its hazards have been downplayed and the benefits exaggerated. A new U.S. report suggests just the opposite. Yet until safety concerns are tackled, as with a proposed cleanup fund in New York, the potential of this energy source won’t be fully realized.

Aug 16, 2011

Solar firm’s demise signals gray industry forecast

By Christopher Swann

NEW YORK, Aug 16 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Onetime investor
darling Evergreen Solar, among the first U.S. green energy
companies to go public, just went bankrupt, victimized by a
global supply glut. Growing Chinese competition and waning
European subsidies mean the solar sector will probably get
darker before the dawn.

Full view will be published shortly.

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Aug 10, 2011
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Cheaper oil may be last best stimulus

By Christopher Swann and Ian Campbell
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Falling crude prices are the silver lining to the market’s black clouds. While governments lack economic ammo, one estimate says each cent off gas adds $1 billion to U.S. pockets alone. OPEC is unlikely to intervene any time soon, meaning lower fuel costs could be the only economic booster for now.

Jul 29, 2011
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Exxon’s Unusual Suspects

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

The pressure is mounting for Exxon Mobil boss Rex Tillerson. Disappointing second-quarter results on Thursday represented a rare miss of Wall Street expectations for the oil titan. The primary culprit was refining, where earnings can be capricious. But at a time when Exxon is still struggling to win over investors on its beefy bet on natural gas, Mr. Tillerson can ill afford such slips.

Jul 27, 2011

Regulation alone doesn’t explain Soros exit

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)

By Christopher Swann

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Hedge fund legend George Soros has suggested regulatory red tape is leading him to bow out of investing other people’s money. He’s not alone. Stanley Druckenmiller and Carl Icahn made similar noises when handing back investors’ money. But with only trivial sums of outside cash, none of these billionaires needed much encouragement to do so. Rules are a handy scapegoat, but on their own they’re not chasing away industry lions.

Jul 25, 2011
via Breakingviews

Lagging Petrobras won’t win back investors easily

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

For all its promise, Brazil’s oil bounty has so far disappointed investors. State-controlled giant Petrobras has massively trailed rivals since the Brazilian government forced it to pay up for offshore oil reserves nearly a year ago. Now the group is trying to make amends – trimming unpopular refining spending and lifting output goals. But the company’s pledges deserve skepticism.

Jul 21, 2011
via Breakingviews

Will the real price of oil please stand up?

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

Oil is a quintessential global commodity. But the price of the black stuff has got harder to grasp thanks to the gap between the two main benchmarks — Brent and WTI. Contrary to market expectations, this gap could widen over the coming year as ever more U.S. crude is stranded at home. This will delight U.S refiners. Questioning about the true price of oil, however, could get louder.

Jul 19, 2011
via Breakingviews

Chavez’s new oil reserves likely to stay buried

By Christopher Swann and Martin Hutchinson
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

NEW YORK — Leapfrogging Saudi’s oil reserves to become the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ largest repository of crude gives Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez fresh bragging rights. But with output down 25 percent since 2000, citizens and oil users should hold their applause. Only with better Brazil-style relations with foreign firms and a revamped national oil company, PDVSA, will production ramp up.

    • 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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