Ian's Feed
Feb 4, 2013
via Breakingviews

Equity split from commodities may be short lived

Photo

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
via Breakingviews

UK could raid the rich to boost a poor economy

Photo

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
via Breakingviews

Osborne should take King’s naughty fiscal gift

Photo

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
via Breakingviews

Risk appetite set for brutally hot Spain vacation

Photo

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.

Jul 13, 2012
via Breakingviews

Global warming adds to food inflation risk

Photo

By Ian Campbell

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

The United States has just had its hottest first half-year ever. The corn crop is suffering, corn prices are soaring. Extreme weather is also hitting Russian wheat. Is global warming threatening a repeat of the destabilising 2011 global food price shock? Probably not this year. But the longer-term threat is troubling.

Jul 11, 2012

No foul play in death of Gaddafi oil boss-Austria

VIENNA, July 11 (Reuters) – Libya’s Gaddafi-era prime
minister and oil chief Shokri Ghanem died after suffering heart
failure and falling into the Danube river and there is no sign
of foul play, the Vienna prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday.

The mysterious death in late April shocked Ghanem’s friends
and colleagues, who at the time said they suspected enemies may
have hunted down and killed the man who knew more than anyone
else about the toppled Libyan dictator’s billions.

Jul 10, 2012
via Breakingviews

Scots aim to break Europe’s working currency union

Photo

By Ian Campbell

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

The received wisdom is wrong. Europe doesn’t lack a functioning multi-country currency, fiscal and banking union. But it’s in the United Kingdom, not the euro zone – and Scotland ’s government is keen to break it up.