Listen to this article
This article is from today’s FT Opinion email. Sign up to receive a daily digest of the big issues straight to your inbox.
When Donald Trump complains about foreigners who “rip us off on trade” he has a point, writes Robin Harding— it is true that some countries do trade unfairly. But he misses another: the real sharp practice is currency manipulation and the US president’s obsession with tariffs overlooks that. The stakes are high: currency manipulators, especially China, sped the decline of western manufacturers and contributed to the 2008 financial crisis.
Mr Trump’s myopia matters because there is now a chance to end currency manipulation for good, argues Robin. The main offenders, China and Japan, have stopped using the tactic and now see little reason to tolerate it in other countries. China may be reeling from the US trade backlash, but the answer could be for Beijing to repent, join with its enemy and stamp out currency manipulation for good.
Adair Turner argues that after the 2008 financial crisis, the world’s banks are safer. But the former chair of the UK Financial Services Authority adds that there is a new danger: the global economy is now threatened by excessive debt.
Brooke Masters calls the recent British Airways data breach one of the worst in history. The company was forced to disclose that cyber criminals had stolen its customers’ financial details as a result of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations that came into effect in May. The airline is likely to pay a hefty price.
Kevin Sneader defends the potential of emerging markets to be the engines of global growth. Despite recent turbulence, from Argentina to Turkey, the global managing partner of McKinsey bets that top EM companies will give western incumbents a run for their money.
Courtney Weaver delights in the furore over Cynthia Nixon’s choice of bagel — cinnamon and raisin with lox, red onions and cream cheese. The former television star, who is now running for governor of New York, has given us a political drama with the quaintness of a forgotten era.
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson reflects on the “meteorite” that has hit Les Moonves, the CBS chief who resigned after being accused of sexually abusive behaviour by a long list of women. His inflated pay should have been a red flag to investors, notes Andrew: there’s nothing quite like $69m a year to convince a man he’s indispensable.
What you’ve been saying
After saving the world, TSB should be a breeze: from Rupert Boswall, Staplehurst, Kent, UK
Your profile of Richard Meddings might have mentioned that he (with Peter Sands) is widely credited with devising the banking capital injection scheme which enabled Gordon Brown to “save the world” in October 2008. Saving TSB ought to be a walk in the park after that.
Comment by Proclone in response to America, China and the route to all-out trade war
Western businesses wanted Chinese cheap labour. That’s gone. They wanted to sell to all those people. It’s dawning on them that they’ll never be allowed to and they gave away their priceless IP. They wanted to escape regulation. Xi demands not just regulation but submission. They convinced western politicians that creation of a Chinese middle class would force the country to adopt democracy, human and property rights. But 2000 years of hostility to these things turns out to be an ingrained habit.
Bridge to Belfast needs a Chinese sense of urgency: letter from John Barstow, West Sussex, UK
The “Greater Bay Area” project should be both a challenge and an inspiration to the UK. The UK needs the “Belfast area bay project”, namely a bridge between Galloway and Belfast. At the very minimum the end result will be more internal UK trade. Belfast would emerge as a port of increased importance [ . . . ] This would place the UK in a more pivotal position between the transatlantic route and the increasingly interconnected markets of Europe and Asia with its new silk route via the Channel tunnel. The imperative of post-Brexit competitiveness demands such an expansion of infrastructure in the here and now. In this context Her Majesty’s Government needs to develop a Chinese sense of urgency.
Instant Insight: Moonves’ inflated pay should have been a red flag to investors
The next CBS boss would be wise not to pocket anywhere near as much
China can put an end to currency manipulation
Beijing’s interests are now aligning with those of its American rival
Cynthia Nixon’s bagel-gate is the political drama we need
In an age beset by serious scandal, this furore has the quaintness of a forgotten era
After the crisis, the banks are safer but debt is a danger
Economic recovery has been weak because of a massive growth in leverage
The British Airways data breach shows that regulation works
Critics ask whether its parent IAG has focused too much on cost-cutting
The FT View: The EU needs to take a stand against Hungary’s Viktor Orban
Budapest government presents a challenge to fundamental European values
The FT View: Peer-to-peer lending needs tighter regulation
Crowdsourced funding offers a useful alternative to bank financing
The Big Read
The Big Read: Trade wars: China fears an emerging united front
Beijing welcomed American disputes with Tokyo and Brussels but now faces isolation as G7 allies begin to co-ordinate policy