Ian's Feed
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.

Jul 23, 2012
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Risk appetite set for brutally hot Spain vacation

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

Global markets are being shaken out of their laid-back summer. Risk appetite faces an unpleasantly hot and long vacation in Spain’s provinces. Stocks, commodities and the euro are likely to suffer. Yet again the dollar, yen and safe-haven bonds will win.

Jul 18, 2012

Missile shield may spark China nuclear upgrade: officer

VIENNA (Reuters) – China may need to modernize its nuclear arsenal to respond to the destabilizing effect of a planned U.S.-backed missile defense system, a senior Chinese military officer said on Wednesday.

“It undermines the strategic stability,” said Major General Zhu Chenghu of China’s National Defense University about the U.S.-led development of a missile shield, which has also alarmed Russia.

Jul 15, 2012

Analysis: U.N.’s Iran atom probe “hostage” to big power diplomacy

VIENNA (Reuters) – Offering immunity or an easing of the sanctions pressure may be the only way – if there is one at all – to coax Iran to end years of stonewalling a U.N. watchdog investigation into suspected nuclear weapons research in the Islamic state.

Any such initiative would likely need to come from world powers as part of a broader diplomatic thrust to defuse the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, leaving the investigation by the U.N. atomic agency dependent on how those talks develop.

Jul 15, 2012

UN’s Iran atom probe “hostage” to big power diplomacy

VIENNA (Reuters) – Offering immunity or an easing of the sanctions pressure may be the only way – if there is one at all – to coax Iran to end years of stonewalling a U.N. watchdog investigation into suspected nuclear weapons research in the Islamic state.

Any such initiative would likely need to come from world powers as part of a broader diplomatic thrust to defuse the dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme, leaving the investigation by the U.N. atomic agency dependent on how those talks develop.