Ian's Feed
May 8, 2013
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UK minus EU is another loser from Lawson

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By Ian Campbell

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

Nigel Lawson is back in the ring and as sharp as ever. The UK chancellor who dismissed his critics as “teenage scribblers” in the 1980s – as he fomented a housing bubble that weighed on the economy for half a decade – is now throwing his weight behind a UK exit from the EU. It will make Britain stronger, he jabs. Someone should throw in his towel.

Apr 15, 2013
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Gold is the canary in the financial mine

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

Gold is a canary in the mine for financial markets. Its burst bubble warns of the huge dangers lurking for bonds, commodities and stocks. Those dangers may be at a safe distance now, but they are real.

Apr 15, 2013

Breakingviews – Gold is the canary in the financial mine

By Ian Campbell

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) – Gold is a canary in the mine for financial markets. Its burst bubble warns of the huge dangers lurking for bonds, commodities and stocks. Those dangers may be at a safe distance now, but they are real.

The correction in gold is an extreme case. The metal had everything in its favour for a decade. Goldbugs wisely distrusted the U.S. housing bubble. When it popped, quantitative easing debased the dollar and ultra-low interest rates reduced the opportunity cost of holding gold. A U.S. recovery, however weak, and a rising dollar were the writing on the wall. The smart money has already been heading out. The tipping point had to come, and has.

Apr 11, 2013
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Gold teeters on edge of bigger falls

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By Ian Campbell

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

Gold is teetering on the edge of big falls. The Cyprus crisis and Korean tensions have helped the safe-haven metal surprisingly little. That is probably because gold faces its nemesis in the U.S. Federal Reserve’s growing unease about quantitative easing.

Mar 19, 2013
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UK cannot afford a budget giveaway

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By Ian Campbell

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

The UK economy is flat-lining and austerity is blamed. But George Osborne should resist mounting pressure to reverse course or slash taxes in his third budget as Chancellor of the Exchequer on Wednesday.

Feb 25, 2013
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Moody’s shaming brings UK gain in currency war

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By Ian Campbell

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

The only question had been which rating agency would shoot first. Moody’s did the deed, removing the UK’s triple-A rating on Friday. It is a political humiliation for the UK government, but the downgrade also removes that lingering expectation of being gunned down. The irony is that the humbling may help the UK achieve recovery sooner – and without firing another monetary policy shot in the currency wars.

Feb 21, 2013
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Gold melts as economy warms and Fed warns

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By Ian Campbell

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

Gold is teetering on the brink of a precipitously high cliff. That some U.S. Federal Reserve officials are reluctant to press on with the bank’s quantitative easing was enough to knock it to a seven-month low. What an actual end to QE would mean is not something gold investors want to hang around to find out. Though it may be near to a ledge now, the metal’s medium-term downside looks deep.

Feb 4, 2013
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Equity split from commodities may be short lived

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

The often close correlation between equity and commodity prices has faded. World equities are up 15 percent since August while commodities have barely moved. Is this a paradigm shift? Probably not, though shale gas is rattling energy markets. Equities may simply have run too fast on the back of quantitative easing while commodity investors have hesitated over global growth worries.

Nov 30, 2012
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UK could raid the rich to boost a poor economy

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By Ian Campbell

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

George Osborne has his hands tied. Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer wants to boost a flat economy but he needs to tighten policy to hit his targets and meet his own fiscal rules. He may well be able to square the circle in next week’s Autumn Statement – by taking from the rich and putting money into poorer hands that are eager to spend.

Sep 21, 2012
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Osborne should take King’s naughty fiscal gift

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By Ian Campbell

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

Mervyn King is at it again. The governor of the Bank of England backed the government’s austerity policies too explicitly and is now writing its excuses for missing its fiscal targets. That’s outside the scope of King’s monetary remit. But George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, should make the most of the governor’s green light. The weakness of global growth ought to encourage the UK to move its targets, not tighten its fiscal policy further.