Ian's Feed
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.

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.