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The Lloyd’s of London insurance market, founded in a coffee house in 1688, relishes its quaint customs, including the stools on which brokers sit and the Lutine bell that is rung on special occasions. When columnist John Gapper visited last week, a tail-coated assistant known as a “waiter” was recording the fate of an Indian container ship in the casualty book with a quill pen. 

Yet underneath these trappings is a modern concept. Lloyd’s is not one company but an exchange, or what the technology industry calls a platform, that brings together underwriters, brokers and companies needing insurance against all sorts of unusual risks. John argues that if Lloyd’s is to have a profitable future, it needs to cut costs and reset the balance of power between the underwriters and the rest of the market.

Mary Portas argues that the lasting lesson of the #MeToo movement is that corporations need to rethink their basic values. The old way of doing things — competitively, aggressively and for maximum profit — should be supplemented with traits that she considers “feminine” such as flexibility, intuition, empathy and resilience.

Janan Ganesh tries to make sense of last weekend’s shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue. He writes that a politics of absolutes is fuelling ideological violence in America.

Tony Barber writes that Greece’s long struggle with the EU holds lessons for Britain as it prepares for Brexit.

Roula Khalaf delves into the battle faced by the independent Arab media in the light of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents.

What you’ve been saying

German citizenship throws up an irony: letter from Patricia Harrison, London, UK

Until I read Peter Mills’ letter I had not realised my relative good fortune in having a father who fled from Germany in the 1930s. Had it been my mother I would not now qualify for German nationality. There is, however, an irony here. One qualifies for Jewish identity through the maternal line. This means that quite a few people will be German but not strictly Jewish, or Jewish but not allowed to be German.

In response to “How to manage the gig economy’s growing global jobs market”, Sound of the Suburbs says:

We’ve got to make it look as though it’s working, keeping the unemployment stats down. How many new jobs can we get out of one old job? Part time work gave two new jobs for one old job.

Why no reference to far-left acts of violence?: letter from Daniele Vitale, London, UK

Your report “American far-right violence on rise” was oddly one-sided, with your focus limited to far-right and radical Islamist attacks. Save for a reference to the 1970s, why did far-left violence and violent rhetoric not merit any consideration? What about the 2017 shooting of the Republican Congressman Steve Scalise by a leftwing activist? A more dispassionate analysis would be more convincing.

Today's opinion

Independent Arab media faces an uphill battle
New journalism platforms are emerging from the darkness of government control

Politics of absolutes fuels ideological violence
The Pittsburgh synagogue attack highlights the dangers of highly polarised debate

Greece shows Britain a maverick state can recover from disorder
Athens’ painful struggle with the EU has lessons for the Brexit tangle

Lloyd’s of London needs a sound policy for its future
A technology-driven platform can emerge from the London insurance market’s traditions

Inject more ‘feminine’ values into our working culture
Flexibility, intuition, empathy and resilience are powerful tools for businesses

FT View

The FT View: British diplomacy needs more than soundbites
Jeremy Hunt’s hiring idea will not address the UK’s foreign policy challenges

The FT View: Janet Yellen is rightly worried about US loan standards
Unwinding corporate debt will be a challenge as the economy cools

The Big Read

The Big Read: Private equity: Apollo’s lucrative but controversial bet on insurance
Firm’s investment in Athene yielded profits for both but some worry about conflicts of interest

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