Ingram Pinn illustration

A federal cure for a shattered Middle East

The ultra-centralism of the Arab security state is a recruiting sergeant for Isis

From the blogs

The third act of the oil industry drama is over, but the play is not finished
– Nick Butler
Any meaningful recovery in Russia’s economy requires a lifting of western sanctions
– Mohamed El-Erian
Is it worse when the authorities take action in the face of technological progress, or when they sit idle?
– Andrew McAfee

The Tories’ vote-repelling right wing

Even the anti-austerity, anti-nuclear, anti-fracking Greens are seen as nearer the centre

From Putin’s parallel universe the crisis looks bright

The president will see an opportunity to tighten his grip on business, writes Eugene Rumer

China has gifts but no guilt at Christmas

Far more Chinese celebrate the tradition than believe in it

A year in a word: Inequality

An old problem given new exposure by an improbable academic blockbuster, writes Alan Beattie

FT Editorial

Optimism on US banks: is it overdone?

Investors have enjoyed another year of rising share prices in the sector

Oil’s fall may prompt BoJ easing

Central bank is aiming for a 2% rate of inflation

France courageous in diagnosing its ills

Berlin is less reform-minded than Paris on range of issues including labour markets and pensions

Time may be up for hedge fund replicants

An existential crisis for the funds is also a crisis for their clones

Draghi must choose right type of QE

One type works for liquidity crunch, the other when problem is solvency

Is the west clinically depressed?

The less we grow, the more we squabble over budgets

Eurozone watchers should keep a close eye on Spain

Deflation need not be the end of the world if it is the result of structural changes that boost optimism, writes Stephanie Flanders

On Cuba, no side has got it right

It is strange that the island is still a focal point of US foreign policy, says Cardiff Garcia

Russian central bank shows how not to intervene

Authorities did too little, too late, too quietly, writes Sergey Aleksashenko

A year in a word: Peak

The humble word has become a fully-fledged ‘thing’, writes Jonathan Ford

Amy Pascal, studio boss in real-life drama

Sony Pictures hack jeopardises not just co-chair’s job but free speech, writes Matthew Garrahan

What if we abolished Christmas?

One possibility is that the economy would be just fine. This is the classic view of macroeconomics, writes Tim Harford

Marijuana becomes a proper yuletide gift

Few consumer goods have ever enjoyed as much free high-quality advertising as pot

A year in a word: Vlogging

For fame-hungry teens, vlogging is the latest route to stardom

Breathe deep and pay in Bitcoin

In the tropical idyll of Bali, dozens of merchants now accept payment in this electronic exchange system

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