The Great Debate UK

from The Great Debate:

Buffett uses BNSF to bet on coal

November 3, 2009

John Kemp(John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own)

Warren Buffett's acquisition of the remaining 77.4 percent of Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad his Berkshire Hathaway does not already own looks like a strategic bet that America's future energy needs will be met, in large part, through a massive expansion in coal-fired power generation coupled with carbon capture and storage (CCS).

from The Great Debate:

Reflections on Iran

June 26, 2009

John Kemp-- John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of much western comment on the unfolding crisis in Iran has been its over-simplification and lack of historical awareness. Perspectives are shaped by a single issue (western concerns about whether Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program) and the desire to draw a simple Manichean distinction between good guys (liberal-democrats) and bad ones (clerical-authoritarians).

from The Great Debate:

Inventory-driven U.S. recovery may be delayed

June 8, 2009

John Kemp Great Debate-- John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own --

Steady improvement in manufacturing surveys, payroll data and freight movements all indicate the U.S. economy is approaching the low point in the business cycle and should hit the bottom within the next one to four months. But that does not necessarily imply a strong and sustained expansion is about to get underway.

from The Great Debate:

Doing the contango

May 15, 2009

John Kemp Great Debate-- John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own --

The current contango structure in crude oil futures and most other commodity markets -- with future prices significantly above the spot market -- is providing a strong incentive to buy and store record quantities of raw materials, with most of the cost borne by retail investors in exchange-traded funds and institutional investors in long-only commodity indices.

from The Great Debate:

Renewables roll-out needs price guarantees

May 13, 2009

John Kemp Great Debate-- John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own --

Power generation from renewable sources such as wind turbines, solar cells and biomass plays a small but important part in satisfying total electricity demand around the world, and is growing at an exponential rate thanks to generous public subsidies and government support.

Bank of England faces dilemma on QE extension

April 9, 2009

johnkemp– John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own –

from The Great Debate:

Fed sets out exit strategy

March 26, 2009

John Kemp Great Debate-- John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own --

Intense criticism of the Fed's role in the financial rescue program and the decision to triple its balance sheet, including monetizing a portion of the Treasury's debt, has forced the central bank to issue an unusual defense of its actions (http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/monetary/20090323b.htm).

from The Great Debate:

U.S. government borrowing runs into resistance

March 26, 2009

John Kemp Great Debate-- John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own --

Investors have started to balk at absorbing large quantities of U.S. government debt, taking on substantial inflation and devaluation risk in return for little reward. While the government has no trouble placing short-term debt with a maturity of up to 2 years, longer-dated securities are proving much harder to sell.

from The Great Debate:

Time to rethink inflation targeting

March 19, 2009

John Kemp Great Debate-- John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own --

It is time to add another victim to the ever-growing list of institutions (Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers) and theories (value at risk, fair value accounting and originate to distribute) which have been tested by the financial crisis and found wanting. The central bank practice of inflation targeting -- the jewel in the crown of modern monetary economics -- has palpably failed.

from The Great Debate:

The equity illusion

March 12, 2009

John Kemp Great Debate-- John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own --

Even after its recent decline, the U.S. equity market does not look especially "cheap" or "undervalued" when viewed over time; the bear market has simply brought valuations back into line with long-term trends.