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The quarrel between the Reserve Bank of India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been escalating for weeks, after the government threatened the central bank’s independence in the run up to next spring’s elections. On Monday a tentative truce was reached, but, as John Gapper notes in his column, that does not resolve a longer-running battle over the rapid growth of India’s shadow banking system.

The non-banking financial sector, which consists of thousands of consumer credit, asset finance and property lending companies, should be a boon to the country, but it has come under increased scrutiny from the RBI, both over asset quality and funding stability. The central bank is right to be concerned, John writes, and Mr Modi should trust the instincts of its governor Urjit Patel. If the government allows the bank to exercise stronger oversight, India can democratise and strengthen credit.

Janan Ganesh observes that Nancy Pelosi’s struggle to be reinstalled as be Speaker of the US House of Representatives foreshadows political battles to come.The Democratic party is riven by faultlines of gender, policy and age.

Bronwen Maddox defends Britain’s civil servants, who she says have been exposed to unfair criticism by Theresa May’s Brexit approach. Whitehall officials have been called on to perform an impossible task.

Timothy Garton Ash declares that despite the current political turbulence, another kind of Europe is possible. When the whole project faces an existential threat, there is also an opportunity to bring about change.

Madhumita Murgia notes that as public mood turns against the big technology platforms, they are beginning to break ranks, making unprecedented PR efforts to differentiate themselves from one another.

What you’ve been saying

Promises are at the mercy of realities in Pakistan: letter from Daniyal Khan, New York, NY, US

Analyses such as those of Henny Sender are stunning ( “Pakistan’s technology start-ups offer vision for a brighter future”). The social fabric that holds the Pakistani economy is being tested at the seams, the threads of trust being eaten away by the rot of violence. In such circumstances, promises are hard to believe and harder to keep. Are the promises of local start-ups and investment less vulnerable to such uncomfortable realities than those of economists and politicians?

In response to “Limit dual-class share structures rather than shun them”, tomazu says:

Thumbs up for tenure-based voting rights, e.g. like French companies with double voting rights for long term shareholders. It is more about not letting short term interests erode the long term potential of companies than about entrenching founders.

£39bn surely buys an option: letter from David Liddell, Barcombe, E Sussex, UK

Giles Dixon ( Letters) is quite correct to criticise the craven attitude of British MPs in meekly nodding through the triggering of Article 50. I also agree that any rational organisation making such a large payment as £39bn should at the very least demand it be granted an option to rejoin as part of the consideration. Optionality has value!

Today’s opinion

Instant Insight: The markets, not Brussels, will determine Italy’s fate
There is little appetite for inflicting punishment among Rome’s eurozone partners

Europe’s crises conceal opportunities to forge another path
The spectre of disintegration concentrates minds across the continent

Nancy Pelosi’s House fight is a portent of battles to come
The Democratic party is riven by faultlines of gender, policy and age

Tech companies are breaking ranks as the public mood sours
Rival platforms look to ’consciously uncouple’ after a year beset by problems

Theresa May’s Brexit approach has left civil servants exposed
Whitehall officials have been called on to perform an impossible task

Free Lunch: The hidden costs of macroeconomic moderation
The worst off pay the price for worries about overheating

Adventurous Investor: The lure of illiquid investments
Funds are backing everything from music rights to drug royalties

Narendra Modi should trust his central bank’s tactics
If handled wisely, there is time to strengthen India’s shadow banking groups and restore confidence

Why I’ll always want to look like a superhero
My Marvel obsession impressed a deep truth. Clothes do not make the man, they conceal the boy

Donald Trump stands by his Saudi man
US president plays down Khashoggi death and possible role of Mohammed bin Salman

Trade unions seek role in age of automation
Digital transformation is both an opportunity and a threat

Inside Business: ABB chief Ulrich Spiesshofer under pressure to reinvent group
Portfolio reshuffle could help Swiss conglomerate to adapt and survive

Why Nigeria’s politics is failing its youth
An entrenched system and high cost of entry has kept young voices on the sidelines

Lombard: Anti-venom maker BTG provides £3.3bn antidote to the Faangs
Cash offer from Boston Scientific provides relief for investors in UK group

Congress’s new intake use their online influence with voters
Democrats such as Ocasio-Cortez chronicle their Washington lives on social media

FT View

The FT View: Superpower rivalry puts the squeeze on south-east Asia
Smaller nations should not have to chose between the US and China

The FT View: The eurozone recovery continues to falter
The ECB should retain all options to counter any renewed downturn

The Big Read

The Big Read: China’s ‘sharp power’ play in Taiwan
Critics say Beijing is seeking to win influence by meddling in the island’s elections

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