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Even after adjusting for credit booms, the IMF's latest World Economic Outlook demonstrates just how deep, damaging and widespread were the effects of the financial crisis of 2008. In this week’s column Martin Wolf reflects on the Fund’s analysis about the contagious damage: “This was a western financial crisis but it was a global economic crisis.”

Policymakers face three tasks, Martin argues, if they are to avoid a repeat: to normalise monetary policy in a debt-laden world; to devise policy options to respond if it happens again, now that the obvious options have been exhausted; and to adapt to the political aftermath, including the decline of the west and the rise of demagogues the world over.

And what is the main lesson to draw from the last decade’s troubles? “We must ignore bankers’ bleating against regulation.”

John Thornhill advises Silicon Valley to earthquake-proof its businesses

Brooke Masters believes that Pret’s mishandling of the allergy issue leaves it vulnerable

Sarah Gordon sees life after Brexit for the British countryside

Lloyd Green finds partisan divisions igniting ahead of the US midterms

What you’ve been saying

Democracy does indeed have a guiding principle: letter from Philip G Cerny, Professor Emeritus of Politics and Global Affairs, University of Manchester 

'Lenny Gengrinovich ( Letters) says that democracy lacks a guiding principle. Not so. The guiding principle is the provision of public goods and public services — for example, as defined by the economist Paul Samuelson — to the population in general, not just to the elites and special interests.'

In response to “Whether oil prices rise or fall, there will always be a loser”, a comment from Claire says:

‘OPEC will fail every test on competition. It is a monopoly and has no place in today’s world.’

Kavanaugh: the irony: letter from Adrian Jack, Cadiz, Spain

‘Your editorial, “The US republic’s moment of acute danger”, does not mention the inevitable next step in the dysfunctional politics of America. Once the Democrats have control of Congress or the presidency, they will appoint special counsel to investigate Brett Kavanaugh. An ironic end for a man who made his reputation working for Kenneth Starr.’

Today’s opinion

The FT View: Saudi Arabia owes the world an explanation
Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance points in a sinister direction

How to avoid the next financial crisis
Latest IMF data highlights the lasting damage done by the 2008 collapse

Partisan divisions ignite ahead of the US midterms
The rancour of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation is echoed in congressional races

Silicon Valley needs to earthquake-proof its businesses Innovative regulation can quell political rumblings and revive public trust

There is life after Brexit for the British countryside
A new approach to agricultural policy promises an end to distorting subsidies

The FT View: Britain’s cold comfort of an Asia-Pacific trade deal
UK should keep trade policy oriented towards EU after Brexit

FT Alphaville: Further reading

FT View

The FT View: Saudi Arabia owes the world an explanation
Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance points in a sinister direction

The FT View: Britain’s cold comfort of an Asia-Pacific trade deal
UK should keep trade policy oriented towards EU after Brexit

The Big Read

The Big Read: Artificial intelligence: when humans coexist with robots
Despite fears of a machine takeover, brainpower will still be necessary. Such ‘hybrid systems’ require careful design

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