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Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe took office in 2012 with a promise to revive the economy and end two decades of deflation. After the appointment of Haruhiko Kuroda as governor of the Bank of Japan, the two men launched the stimulus programme known as Abenomics.

But now, argues Robin Harding, there are signs of stimulus fatigue in the government and the BoJ. Mr Abe has announced a rise in consumption tax, while Mr Kuroda appears ready to tighten monetary policy.

The temptation to step off the accelerator is understandable, Robin argues. But the BoJ should maintain the stimulus until inflation is above 2 per cent. Giving up now would be a tragic mistake and could bring on a recession.

Peter Mandelson, former EU trade commissioner and UK business secretary, says that the paradox of Brexit is now clear: Britain can only secure frictionless trade with Europe by giving up control of the rules.

Sarah O’Connor writes that big companies which try to hold cities and local governments to ransom should be careful what they wish for. Treating people’s jobs and hometowns as mere bargaining chips does nothing to build trust in capitalism.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, president of Zimbabwe, declares that his government has no choice but to embark on a series of painful reforms. The future health of the economy depends on it.

Writing from Berlin, Frederick Studemann finds Germans thinking of the Weimar Republic as Angela Merkel prepares to exit the political stage.

What you’ve been saying

A simpler way to beat tech behemoths’ tax strategy: letter from Paul Forster, Cambridge, UK

The legal uncertainty surrounding a digital sales tax was surely the final nail in the coffin of the French plan for Europe-wide tax on big tech. A better way to achieve fair taxation would be to attack the mechanisms used by technology behemoths to channel profits to low-tax jurisdictions. A simple alternative to a digital sales tax is to legislate to ensure that all sales of such services are attributable to the countries in which their customers reside, and to place a cap — based on a percentage of revenue — on allowable intellectual property royalties.

In response to “Europe must cut a grand bargain with Italy”, DamianB says:

This is an extremely sensible proposal. The economics of counter-cyclical policies (“austerity”) in an economy with the massive slack capacity that Italy currently has is basically economic suicide. I don’t like MS5 or Salvini and his clowns, but the alternative is only going to drive Italy to the ground and with it a collapse of the Eurozone which will effectively mean the end of the EU.

Democrats missed a trick on immigration — twice: letter from Néstor Enrique Cruz, Falls Church, VA, US

Edward Luce’s Big Read, “The Whole Foods election”, brimmed with common sense. Indeed, if in 2016 and this year, Democrats had acknowledged that immigration laws exist to be enforced, they would have waltzed into the White House two years ago and into the Senate this year.

Today’s opinion

Instant Insight: May faces a fight to seal Brexit deal
PM must first persuade cabinet and then the Commons

Angela Merkel heads for the exit amid echoes of the Weimar Republic
The notion that Germany has become a ’normal’ country has been a feature of her era

Lex: Apple suppliers: hardcore pawns
For small companies, over-dependency on the tech giant is risky

Lex: Experian: settling scores
Information services group looks set for further growth

Lex: Telecom Italia/Elliott: ill humoured
Judicious surgery and the healing touch of a new CEO are required

Japan risks repeating some old mistakes
The central bank is muddying its commitment to easy monetary policy

Lex: MUFG/Morgan Stanley: one good turn
Morgan Stanley deal looked good 10 years ago, and is even better now

Britain’s conspiracy of silence over the Brexit deal
The UK can only secure frictionless trade with the EU by losing control of the rules

beyondbrics: China’s biggest financial risk is the US
Washington’s devil-may-care attitude has become Beijing’s top priority

Inside Business: Shareholders hold the key to unlocking boardrooms for women
Fixing snail-like progress on diversity in the UK requires more than government reviews

Markets Insight: Complacent investors face prospect of a Minsky moment
Big question around instability hypothesis turns on behaviour of central banks

FT Alphaville: Markets Live: Tuesday, 13th November 2018

Zimbabwe has no choice but to embark on painful reforms
Spending cuts, new taxes and an anti-corruption drive can help to revive the economy

fastFT: Opening Quote: Vodafone dividend — on hold

FT Alphaville: Further reading

#BackTo60 and unanswered questions on state pensions
Campaigning women born in the fifties given short shrift from the government

Jeff Bezos is wrong, tech workers are not bullies
Silicon Valley employees have a right and duty to protest when we think projects are unethical

Big companies are pushing governments around
Amazon has just demonstrated the imbalance of power with brazen efficiency

Iceland’s cute advert over-simplifies a complex problem
Supermarket chain scored a social media hit when its spot was ’banned’ from television

Markets Insight: Monsters lurk in the calm of low market volatility
A statistical tool can help stockpickers who do not want to be caught unawares

Lex: PG&E: power struggle
Customers more likely to pay the costs for lethal California fires than investors

Lombard: MoD contractor Babcock finds defence is not best form of attack
Contractor waited four weeks to bring out its big guns but the tactic backfired

FT View

The FT View: The UK must reassess its long-term energy plans
The demise of Toshiba’s Moorhouse nuclear project raises fundamental issues

The FT View: Goldman must stiffen its response to bad conduct
After recent banking scandals, a box-ticking approach is not enough

The Big Read

The Big Read: Sanjeev Gupta: is the steel magnate spinning too many plates?
The Liberty House chief has become one of the UK’s leading industrialists. But financing pressures could rein in his grand ambitions

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