Ian's Feed
Sep 30, 2013
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UK’s politicians race to the bottom on policies

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By Ian Campbell

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

The next UK general election is in 2015, and the country’s politicians are already engaged in a classic pre-electoral sport: the race to the bottom. They are desperate for policies which please voters and the competition is fierce. Popularity is the aim, populism is the method. None of it is going to do the economy any good.

Sep 25, 2013
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Dangerous Fed roulette rules global markets

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By Ian Campbell

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

Global markets are now an especially dangerous game. Call it Fed roulette. The U.S. Federal Reserve under Ben Bernanke promised clarity, forward guidance, a smooth exit policy. Forget it. The Fed couldn’t even guide markets to what it would do in September – let alone in 2015. Its decision last week was as unexpected as a spin of a roulette wheel. And the problems don’t stop there.

Aug 12, 2013
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Sterling flirts with safe-haven status

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By Ian Campbell

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

Is sterling now a safe haven? Not exactly – the pound has too much going against it for that, including dovish rhetoric on monetary policy from Mark Carney, the new head of the central bank. But in the currency contest, the UK looks less handicapped than most of its major rivals.

Aug 8, 2013
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Carney should worry about why Britain is different

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By Ian Campbell

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

Mark Carney can look in the mirror to see one example of British exceptionalism. No other major economy’s government would let a foreigner run its central bank. But in his first major policy announcement, the Canadian governor of the Bank of England studiously ignored a more relevant national exception: the inflation rate.

Aug 7, 2013
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Gold warns markets of an anxious September

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By Ian Campbell

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

Gold may again be sending a warning to markets. Its price is again on a losing run, the most sustained since its spring cataclysm. The likely reason is that fears of a September tightening in U.S. monetary policy are reviving.

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.