Ian R. Campbell

Ian R. Campbell, FCA, FCBV, is a recognized Canadian business valuation authority who shares his perspective about the economy, mining and the oil & gas industry on each trading day. Ian is also the founder of Stock Research Portal, which provides stock market data, analysis and research on over 1,600 Mining, Oil and Gas Companies listed on the Toronto and Venture Exchanges. Note: The Commentary and information above is provided 'AS IS' and solely for informational purposes, not for trading purposes or advice.

Most Recent Articles by Ian R. Campbell:

France, Germany: Barely positive Q3 GDPs, outlook negative

Nov 16, 2012 — Ian R. Campbell

An article November 15 reported:

  • France and Germany each saw GDP growth of only 0.2% in the quarter ended September 30;
  • Germany’s economy is likely to show a decline in GDP in Q4, with France likely to follow Germany;
  • the Eurozone economy as a whole is likely to now have ‘slid’ into recession (now confirmed); and,
  • no big news, but the article says “Italy and Spain have been contracting for months and Greece ... is suffering an outright depression”.

Eurozone:  Back in technical recession, economist poll results

Nov 16, 2012 — Ian R. Campbell

A poll of over 70 economists is reported as saying the Eurozone’s just announced (yesterday) return to technical recession (two consecutive quarters of declining GDP) will extend to the end of 2012, with 2013 likely to be a ‘little better than stagnation’ scenario.

United States – Grover Norquist, only in America!

Nov 15, 2012 — Ian R. Campbell

Multiple articles each day now expend ink, paper, and computer screen space that discuss the U.S. ‘fiscal cliff’ and its possible ramifications, almost as if it is something new and different.  There is nothing new and different about it.  Simply put, if existing legislation isn’t amended, that will give rise to U.S. tax increases and budget cuts.

Japan’s GDP negative, Japan now in technical recession

Nov 13, 2012 — Ian R. Campbell

Economists define recession as two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth – or better said, two consecutive quarters of GDP decline.  Japan may qualify at the end of the next quarter.  You might want to read Japan Plunges Into Deep Recession; GDP Shrinks 3.5% Annualized; Japan Current Account Turns Negative First Time in 30 Years; watch the Yen for a summary of what one commentator thinks is going on in Japan.

Greece – Debt:GDP ratio reduction timing

Nov 13, 2012 — Ian R. Campbell

An article today reports on an apparent disagreement that arose last night between Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the Eurogroup of Finance Ministers, and Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.  Mr. Juncker is reported as having said that Greece will be given two additional years – to 2022 from 2020 – to meet its debt reduction target of 120% of GDP.  Ms. Lagarde is reported as having taken exception to this saying she and Mr. Juncker “clearly have different views” on Greek debt.

Greece bailout payment – not next week?

Nov 9, 2012 — Ian R. Campbell

It has now been reported that for logistical reasons it is very unlikely Greece will be able to draw down on further bailout funds before the week of November 19 at the earliest, notwithstanding the approval of the Greek Parliament on Wednesday of the austerity measures proposed last Monday.  This is said to result from:

  • Germany insisting that the Greek Parliament first pass its 2013 budget, where the vote by the Greek Parliament is scheduled for Sunday, November 11; and,
  • a subsequent requirement of some of the Eurozone country contributors (including Germany) that the Parliaments of those countries must vote to approve the advance of further bailout funding.

Canada to follow U.S. into ‘fiscal cliff’ recession

Nov 8, 2012 — Ian R. Campbell

Jim Flaherty, Canada’s Finance Minister, is reported as having said yesterday that if the America hits the so-called fiscal cliff on December 31 Canada will follow the U.S. into recession.
I believe that out of necessity U.S. politicians reluctantly will cooperate before, and perhaps even after December 31 (retroactive changes to scheduled deficit reductions and tax changes could always be made after December 31) to forestall U.S. fiscal cliff issues.  However, consider that U.S. Federal deficit and debt ceiling (a separate issue from the ‘fiscal cliff’) eventually have to be dealt with.

Globalization – what has it really meant to trade, jobs and recovery

Nov 6, 2012 — Ian R. Campbell

European Union youth unemployment

I suggest you visit The Depressing Truth About Europe’s Youth Unemployment Nightmare.  That article includes a PowerPoint presentation that summarizes the youth unemployment rate and the unemployment rate for each of the 27 European Union countries.  For several years now I have believed that youth unemployment is a huge deal, and nothing I read or consider is changing my view of that.

Canada’s job market tightens in October, what does that portend

Nov 5, 2012 — Ian R. Campbell

An article Friday reported that in October Canada added only a net 1,800 jobs when economists had been expecting a net gain of 10,000. This where 37,000 government jobs were added in October.  The offset is found in a:

  • loss of 20,000 private sector jobs in October; and,
  • 15,000 reduction in self-employed persons.

U.S. October jobs report

Nov 2, 2012 — Ian R. Campbell

The U.S. Labor Department reported this morning that the U.S. economy added 171,000 jobs in October, but that the unemployment rate increased to 7.9% from 7.8%.

U.S. consumer confidence reported to have risen further in October

Nov 2, 2012 — Ian R. Campbell

U.S. consumer confidence has just been reported as having risen in October to its highest level since early 2008.

What is wrong with this picture in the face of current levels of U.S.:

  • residential housing prices, which on average are reported to have dropped by about 9% on an inflation-adjusted basis from March 2008 levels;
  • average hourly wage rates that are reported to have been rising since March 2008 at a rate about equal to the reported inflation rate; and,
  • continuing high unemployment rates, which official reported unemployment rate has increased by about 55% since March 2008, and where the ‘unofficial’ unemployment rate likely has increased much more than that if those people who have abandoned jobs searches are taken into account?

Economic forecasting – how credible?

Nov 1, 2012 — Ian R. Campbell

A recent article that uses a recent Goldman Sachs analyst forecast on China’s long-term growth rate as a bridge to discuss the methodologies employed by economists when making forecasts – and why the author thinks that most economists mis-forecast and simply miss prospective economic change (such as the 2008 financial crisis) because of those methodologies.

United States fiscal cliff – think hard about it now and on November 6

Oct 31, 2012 — Ian R. Campbell

An article last Friday says that the tax hikes and spending cuts that will result after December 31 if Congress does not take action to avert those scheduled changes (broadly referred to as the ‘fiscal cliff’) have already in 2012 resulted in one million U.S. jobs being lost – and will result in loss of a further 6 million jobs through 2014 and a reported U.S. unemployment rate of 12%.

Greece:  New budget to be tabled today

Oct 31, 2012 — Ian R. Campbell

Prompted by World Headlines

The Greek Finance Minister is scheduled to table a revised draft 2013 budget today.  The budget calls for Greek economic contraction of 4.5% in 2013, and is said to potentially result in a 2013 surplus of about 0.5% of Greece’s 2013 forecast GDP.  This revised budget apparently will be voted on by November 11, prior to further bailout advances that are currently still under negotiation.

The U.S. consumer and the ‘right question’!

Oct 18, 2012 — Ian R. Campbell

U.S. surveys suggest that U.S. consumer confidence is up, U.S. retail sales are reported to have been up year/year in both August and September, and ‘buyer traffic’ is said to be at its busiest since April, 2006.

Spain:  Moody’s decides not to downgrade Spain’s sovereign debt further

Oct 18, 2012 — Ian R. Campbell

It was reported yesterday the Moody’s Investors Service has elected to leave its Spain sovereign debt rating at one credit rating level above ‘junk’, with a negative outlook.  It apparently did this on basis of what it perceives is “a reduction in the risk of Spain losing market access because of the European Central Bank’s willingness to buy the nation’s bonds”.  The markets responded positively, with Spain’s 10-year bond yield falling by 29 basis points to 5.52% as of mid-day (Greenwich Mean Time) yesterday.

The following things are worth thinking about:

How worried should one be about the financial markets?

Oct 17, 2012 — Ian R. Campbell

For one man’s view on current financial markets risks, you might want to read a comparatively short article titled

How Worried Should You Be About the Stock Market.  In summary it says that one ought to be worried in the short term, but not in the long term.  The author also says:

  • “Anyone who cannot afford a decline because they have a near term need for their capital should realize they are risking losses in stocks. They always are”; and,
  • “What is most important: in order to time markets well once, you have to be right twice. First, knowing when to get out, and then knowing when to get back in”.

U.S. August net trade deficit reported at U.S.$44.2 billion

Oct 17, 2012 — Ian R. Campbell

The U.S. August net trade deficit has now been reported at U.S.$44.2 billion, with both imports and exports falling, but exports falling by a greater degree.  For America, monthly net trade deficits are ‘business as usual’, and have been for over three decades.  I continue to believe that where a country experiences continuing net trade deficits that leads to:

  • continuing weakness in comparative economic strength with its trading partners; and,
  • all other things equal, being a negative factor in revenue/expenditure balances at all government levels – and hence a negative contributor to government cumulative debt at all government levels.

Six simple U.S. economic charts worth thinking carefully about

Oct 16, 2012 — Ian R. Campbell

An article yesterday presented six charts attributed to David Rosenberg (Gluskin Sheff, Toronto) that are said to show:

  • real and nominal (2 separate charts) GDP per capita 12 quarters after the end of each of six pre-2009 U.S. recessions dating back to Q1 1961.  Each chart shows that the recovery from the latest technical recession has been significantly less than the average recovery, and somewhat less than the recovery from the worst recovery number of the previous six recessions.  Interestingly, the worst recoveries of the seven (including the current recovery) were the last three.
  • the short-term (latest 31 months to July 2012) and long-term (from 1959) U.S. housing starts (2 separate charts).  These charts clearly show how low U.S. housing starts currently are when measured against historic U.S. housing starts.  On average, they look to me to be currently running at a rate about 50% of the average annual number of housing starts for the 48-year period ended 2007 (800 thousand per year currently versus about 1.6 million per year on average during said 48 year period).

Update on Greece

Oct 15, 2012 — Ian R. Campbell

Today’s Detailed Commentaries prompted by world headlines

Eurozone >> Greece:  Update on Greece
Yesterday German Finance Minister Woofgang Schaeuble is reported as having said that:

  • Greece would not default; and,
  • if Greece exited the Eurozone it would be negative to both Greece and the Eurozone.