The Great Debate

Running faster to stand still

November 24, 2008

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

John Kemp Great DebateLike a hamster trapped on a wheel, the International Energy Agency’s 2008 World Energy Outlook paints a depressing picture of an oil industry having to run faster and faster just to keep pace with burgeoning oil demand over the next 20 years.

Deflation is a dangerous distraction

November 24, 2008

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

John Kemp Great DebateLONDON, Nov 24 (Reuters) – For the second time in less than a decade, the spectre of deflation is stalking western economies and filling acres of newsprint. But the focus on deflation is based on a misreading of history and risks diverting attention from more pressing problems.

Biofuels run into trouble

November 20, 2008

John Kemp Great Debate— John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own —

Despite a promising start, the U.S. experiment with renewable fuels is facing a serious challenge next year. Falling gasoline consumption, lower pump prices and contradictions within the federal government program are intensifying existing pressures on ethanol distillers and farmers already struggling to cope with over-capacity and collapsing margins.

G20 summit shows lack of resolve

November 17, 2008

John Kemp Great Debate–John Kemp is a Reuters columnist.  The opinions expressed are his own–

The G20 summit must be considered a disappointing failure, even by the relatively low expectations set for the event. Leaders produced a long agenda of further studies, reports and work, but failed to provide a clear direction or tackle even the most fundamental decisions.

Quantitative easing has begun

November 14, 2008

johnkemp3— John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own —

Quietly, without fanfare, the Federal Reserve has turned on the printing presses.  The central bank is flooding the market with enough excess liquidity to refloat the banking system — and hopes to generate an upturn in both economic activity and inflation in the next 12-18 months to prevent the economy falling into a prolonged slump.

TARP and Fed facilities unravel

November 13, 2008

johnkemp3–John Kemp is a Reuters columnist.  The opinions expressed are his own–

LONDON (Reuters) – Experience shows financial crises escalate very rapidly, and need a swift and decisive response from policymakers to break the cycle of panic. Time to reflect, craft thoughtful policies and consider long-term consequences is a luxury policymakers generally don’t have.

Global recession has begun

November 4, 2008

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

LONDON (Reuters) – Yesterday’s bleak reports on the state of U.S and European manufacturing confirmed that a global recession has already begun.

Commodities and the Great Conundrum

November 3, 2008

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


By John Kemp

LONDON (Reuters) – By driving up long-term real interest rates, the forthcoming flood of U.S Treasury borrowing threatens to crowd out the amount of capital for investing in other asset classes, creating a much tougher environment for commodity prices over the next two to three years.

TARP, bonuses, dividends and Waxman’s letter

October 30, 2008

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

By John Kemp

LONDON (Reuters) – The bitter political divisions between middle America and Wall Street on display when the House of Representatives first rejected the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act last month look set to be re-opened in even more dramatic form in the remaining months of the year.

The Fed as lender of first and only resort

October 28, 2008

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

LONDON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve has unveiled a dizzying array of new lending and liquidity support facilities over the last six weeks, but the diminishing law of marginal returns already looks to have set in. Each new lending and liquidity facility announced by the Fed is providing a smaller boost to confidence than the last.