Ian's Feed
Aug 2, 2013
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Review: Venezuela’s revolutionary leaves chaos behind

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By Ian Campbell

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

“Comandante” sounds like the title of a wide-eyed hagiography. But the book by Rory Carroll, the Guardian’s Venezuela correspondent, is something far more welcome: a clear-eyed account of the whims, machinations and follies of Hugo Chavez, the late Venezuelan leader. It leaves the reader wondering just how the country can find a way forward. The book’s weakness is that the account is far from atmospheric and its structure might have been dreamed up by Chavez’s planning ministry.

Jul 16, 2013
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UK inflation shows why Carney mustn’t sink pound

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By Ian Campbell

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

Mark Carney should think carefully about June’s 2.9 percent UK inflation rate. The new governor of the Bank of England was brought in to help growth. His comments so far suggest he’s tempted by novel forms of “sink the pound” monetary laxity. The trend in prices – increasing at the fastest annual rate since April 2012 – suggests something more old-fashioned may be in order: reducing inflation.

Jul 11, 2013
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Dash from emerging to developed markets hits new risks

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By Ian Campbell

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

Capital glut has become capital flight in emerging markets. Stock markets in developed economies may be the beneficiaries for now. But the switch merely exchanges one set of risks for another.

Jul 3, 2013
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Safe havens face three-pronged assault

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By Ian Campbell

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

Safe-haven assets long fattened by the Federal Reserve were slaughtered in June and riskier investments fell in sympathy. Now the dollar, the euro zone and the global economy conspire against an early safe-haven recovery – and they will keep risky assets volatile too.

Jun 28, 2013
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UK’s big build dreams still dogged by past binge

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By Ian Campbell

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

The UK government wants austerity to pave the way for bold modernisation of Britain. In reality its cuts don’t reverse the previous explosion in government spending and there isn’t much money for its big infrastructure dreams.

Jun 14, 2013

UK houses look expensive, like German bonds

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

By Ian Campbell

LONDON, June 14 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Houses and the UK
economy are still locked in their habitual unhealthy embrace.
The economy is recovering and so, too, are house prices. The
Halifax index shows the average price in May was 3.7 percent
higher than a year earlier. But house prices begin this recovery
unaffordably high, propped by ultra-loose money – just like UK
and German government bonds. What happens when monetary policy
returns to normal?

Jun 10, 2013
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Carney in doesn’t mean pound down as QE heads out

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By Ian Campbell

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

Is Mark Carney really Mr. Easy Money, about to devalue the pound in a bid for growth? The incoming head of the Bank of England has spoken of the need to attain “escape velocity”. But the logical deduction – that he will open the monetary floodgates and send the pound down to $1.40 – ignores the latest economic news and the new international mood on monetary policy.

May 30, 2013
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Carney hopes for UK face bond-market bears

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By Ian Campbell

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

Mark Carney, the bright new governor of the Bank of England, is expected to do something to help the UK economy. When he takes over the helm in July his main monetary innovation may be imitation. Apeing the U.S. Federal Reserve, Carney may adopt a policy of issuing “forward guidance” designed to talk down bond yields. Carney may well find himself swimming against a bond bear tide, and find reluctance by the BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee to print more money.

May 22, 2013
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Buoyant markets too sanguine on end-of-QE threat

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By Ian Campbell

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

The Fed’s hand is hovering over the wide open tap. The U.S. central bank may cautiously begin to ease its $85 billion monthly dose of quantitative easing. The gold bubble has burst in anticipation. The line of other losers could be long. With less liquidity from the Fed, bonds, commodities and stocks are likely to be hit – probably in that order.

May 17, 2013

Breakingviews – Gold moves back to the brink

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

By Ian Campbell

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) – For gold investors, the bad news literally outweighs the good. The gold price looks headed down and may repeat April’s big falls. The pace of decline depends on U.S. data and the Federal Reserve.