Ian's Feed
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.

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.