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Why does a banking crisis cause mayhem on such colossal scale? Martin Wolf uses his column this week to explore the inherent insecurities in societies that expect banks to have risky assets and safe liabilities.

One possible solution is to strip banks of the power to create money, by turning their liquid deposits into sovereign money — the proposal being put to the Swiss in a referendum on Vollgeld. Martin argues that the voters in Switzerland should approve the measure as “a credible experiment in the direction of separating the safety rightly demanded of money from the risk-bearing expected of private banks.”

After the financial crisis, the re-engineering of the banking system that some hoped for was abandoned, he explains, in favour of patching things up for the short term. Now, and with the work still to be done, the burden of proof should not be on those who favour change.

Martha Stewart and the market rules makeover
Brooke Masters deplores the possibility that Donald Trump may offer a presidential pardon to the domesticity guru who was convicted of obstructing a federal insider trading investigation.

Still pursued by the furies
Tony Barber writes that almost a decade after the first EU-IMF bailout of Greece in 2010, eurozone creditors find it hard to place much trust in the workings of the Greek state and political system, when they look at the trumped-up cases against Andreas Georgiou and 10 politicians accused of taking bribes.

What you’ve been saying

Private equity investing is often genuinely long-term— letter from Jeremy Coller

Industry data for the last five years show that over half of private equity’s investments were held for longer than five years, and approaching one-third were held for longer than seven years.

Comment from Italian expat on Younger Britons are happy for Britain to be a ‘vassal state’:

The sovereignty argument put forward by the Brexiters is internally inconsistent. For a start, two nations that are part of the UK voted Remain and will be forced to leave the EU. Likewise, London and other cities voted Remain. Shouldn’t they be allowed to remain in the EU if sovereignty and independence are really that important? Shouldn’t they be allowed to set their immigration policy as much as possible?

Today’s opinion

How ‘The Americans’ had the US rooting for Russia
The series charted the end of the cold war while, off-screen, tensions are escalating

Philip Bassett, journalist, 1954-2018
Leading chronicler of UK labour and industry at the FT who became Labour government adviser

Doubts over judicial fairness will hold Greece back
Controversial legal actions undermine confidence in the country’s recovery

Free Lunch: Conservatives can learn to love the nanny state
There are freedom-loving reasons for government interventions

FT Alphaville: What is a ‘Domo’?

Opinion today: Italy, democracy and the euro cage
The biggest constraint on Italy’s ability to pursue looser fiscal policy is the level of its debts

The Big Read: The real price of Madagascar’s vanilla boom
The crop is targeted by gangs and costs as much as silver, but high prices hurt the ice-cream market and do little to reduce poverty on the African island

Donald Trump has shaken my faith that markets will remain free
A possible presidential pardon for Martha Stewart would have grave implications

FT View: Trumpist diplomacy shows its true colours
The US ambassador to Germany sides with the populists

FT View: Sajid Javid’s opportunity to rethink UK immigration policy
The home secretary can break with the errors of past policies

Donald Trump’s trade policy violates every rule of strategy
From tweet to tweet, official to official, nobody can tell what his priorities are

FT View

FT View: Britain’s railways are veering off the tracks
Troubles with new timetables result from chronic leadership failures

FT View: The anti-migrant wave rolls onwards in EU polls
Slovenia’s vote could complicate the search for a solution on refugees

The Big Read

The Big Read: The real price of Madagascar’s vanilla boom
The crop is targeted by gangs and costs as much as silver, but high prices hurt the ice-cream market and do little to reduce poverty on the African island

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