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Emmanuel Macron, the French president, recently said that the EU is infected by a “populist leprosy”. Meanwhile European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker admitted before last week’s EU summit that the cracks in the organisation are widening.

Viewed in this context, Donald Trump’s observation that the EU was set up to “take advantage of the US” might seem particularly ill-timed. Yet, writes Gideon Rachman in his column this week, Mr Trump’s threats also serve as a reminder to member states of the importance of a collective defence of European interests.

The populist tide that is currently sweeping across Europe could rise further, of course. But we should not underestimate, Gideon argues, the EU’s remarkable ability to turn outsiders into members of the club.

Lawrence Summers argues that the idea of a “jobs guarantee” has much to recommend it, but that progressives should be wary of making promises they cannot keep.

Robert Shrimsley cautions restive members of the UK cabinet against thinking that ousting Theresa May will solve all the government's problems.

Anjana Ahuja has reassuring news for those of us consumed by thoughts of mortality: if we reach the age of 105, our chances of dying will stop rising. 

What you’ve been saying

Wake up before global nationalism leads to war— Letter from Andrea Goldstein:

Historically, the most expedient solution for governments experiencing a crisis of accumulation has always been a war, and the competing interests and aspirations of all the my-country-first governments are bound to conflict and eventually spark a major war. It’s time for the sleepwalkers to wake up, before it’s too late.

Comment by Madame Academe on US and China must find ways to control their elites:

Wall Street and the moneyed are furious in Trump's win of promising to improve the lot of the American worker, depriving the former of cheap labor and fat profits. Unemployment in the U.S. is dwindling while that of China is rising. Why emphasize that China's Xi might have a better tool (as noted by the tone of the article) when the result is definitely not consistent but in fact the opposite?

UK notably absent from sustainable finance group — Letter from Molly Scott Cato: 

Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, has been instrumental in warning about the dangers of stranded carbon assets that could result from an abrupt transition to a low-carbon economy, and British think-tanks and NGOs have been at the forefront of this emerging financial agenda. It is a tragedy that because of Brexit their expertise will no longer influence the world-leading policies being developed by EU institutions.

Today’s opinion

A jobs guarantee — progressives’ latest big idea
But cynicism about politics means we should be wary of making promises we cannot keep

Japan makes a grab for fairness in the amusement arcade
The courts have intervened on the side of unlucky game players

Ditching Theresa May will not change the political reality
All the talk of leadership challenges ignores three fundamental problems

Donald Trump is doing Europe a favour
As pressure on the EU mounts, White House hostility could even strengthen the union

Instant Insight: Mexico’s López Obrador wins a landslide but questions linger
The president-elect is popular but whether he is a populist remains to be seen

Free Lunch: Jobs guarantee is a distant second-best policy
Progressives should choose the means to fit the ends

The potential power of the Greek sun
A long-distance grid could link large-scale solar plants to the rest of Europe

Damaged Goods: The Inside Story of Sir Philip Green by Oliver Shah Colourful, detailed story of the rise and fall of the UK’s retail king

The madness of executives’ obsessive time management Fretting over how we use the limited hours in a week is ultimately a zero-sum game

US and China must find ways to control their elites
Success rests on heading off popular unrest, rather than winning trade fights

FT View

FT View: Russia’s pension protests are a risk for the Kremlin
Even World Cup success cannot distract from unpopular reforms

FT View: Mexican voters deliver a rebuke to political elite
López Obrador has won a sweeping mandate to change his country

The Big Read

The Big Read: Nestlé: Betting on big brands
The fate of the Swiss group will be a defining test for an industry under pressure from changing consumer tastes and activist investors

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