Ian's Feed
Aug 21, 2011

U.N. atom chief plays down safety cost concerns

VIENNA (Reuters) – Planned steps to boost global nuclear safety after Japan’s Fukushima disaster will not lead to any major increase in costs for reactor operators, the U.N. atomic energy chief says.

“It is true there is additional cost. For private companies spending more is always difficult. But that is not an enormous amount of money,” Yukiya Amano told Reuters, in comments that may help to reassure nuclear power firms.

Aug 19, 2011

U.N. atom body plans rare Arab-Israeli talks

VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog chief says he sees “momentum” for his plan to host rare talks between Israel and Arab states about his efforts to rid the world of atomic arms.

Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said he aimed to convene such a discussion forum for Middle East countries later this year, saying November was a “reasonable timeframe.”

Aug 18, 2011

Israel faces fresh Arab pressure at U.N. atom meet

VIENNA (Reuters) – Arab states are expected to target Israel over its assumed atomic arsenal at a U.N. nuclear agency meeting next month, despite Western concerns this may undermine broader steps to ban such weapons in the Middle East.

It is unclear whether the International Atomic Energy Agency’s annual member state gathering would back the move after it last year narrowly rejected an Arab resolution calling on Israel to join a global anti-nuclear weapons treaty.

Aug 15, 2011

U.N. atom body wants wider nuclear safety checks

VIENNA, Aug 15 (Reuters) – The U.N. atomic agency would
carry out international safety checks of ten percent of the
world’s reactor units over a three-year period, under a draft
action plan to prevent any repeat of Japan’s nuclear crisis.

The document from the International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA), obtained by Reuters on Monday, outlined a series of
measures in 10 areas to help improve global nuclear safety after
the Fukushima accident more than five months ago.

Aug 5, 2011

Panic and crisis need different solutions

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

By Ian Campbell

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) – There’s panic in the markets and crisis in the euro zone. The first reflects fears of global recession. That would be panicworthy but is still only a threat, not a reality, and policymakers should not leap to respond. The euro zone’s problems, however, are real and systemic, and demand a determined policy response.

Aug 3, 2011
via Breakingviews

UK should tax the rich more intelligently

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

Britain’s wealthy need to share the country’s pain — and be seen to do so. That’s why renewed calls for the UK’s 50 percent top tax rate to be abolished are a non-starter. It would be political suicide to hand a tax break to the rich while the overall tax burden is going up. But when the mood allows, punitive marginal rates for the wealthy could be replaced with something more intelligent.

Jun 24, 2011

Intervention in oil is necessary evil

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

By Ian Campbell

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) – Governments should not intervene in markets. It’s unfair to the regular players and can backfire. That is an important principle to uphold. But the International Energy Agency’s intervention in the oil market shows the limits of this philosophy.

Jun 20, 2011
via Breakingviews

Bearish markets remain in thrall to Greece

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

LONDON — The sell-off in equities and commodities is tempting for bulls but the falls could easily get worse.

Jun 16, 2011
via Breakingviews

Swiss franc becomes the new gold

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

LONDON — The euro’s tumbling — at least until the next expensive bailout — and it’s panic time. Where are the safe havens? There are a few options but they’re mostly bad. That is why the Swiss franc is becoming the new gold. It’s overvalued, too, but perhaps not so much. And you see its appeal when you look at the alternatives.

May 13, 2011

Euro a sell as zone economies diverge further

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

By Ian Campbell

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) – Should you buy the euro for the success of its core, or sell it for the sake of the periphery? Better the latter.