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Denise Coates, the chief executive of UK online gambling group Bet365, has never been one to seek the limelight. Though she launched the company from a portable cabin in a car park in Stoke-on-Trent, kept it in private hands and owns a controlling stake, Ms Coates prefers to let her father and brother serve as its public face. But for the annual burst of publicity over her pay, which last year amounted to £220m, the mother of five remains an elusive figure, writes Andrew Hill in a profile.

That sum made her one of the world's best paid executives and reflects the betting company’s position as the global leader in online betting: it has 35m customers and an estimated 8 per cent share of a $43.1bn market. Popular in its hometown for employing 3,500 people, the company draws ire from critics who fear that its ubiquitous presence on stadium billboards and in persistent television commercials during sporting events is fuelling the growth of gambling addiction.

Merryn Somerset Webb argues that the recent tech stock sell-off signals a new investor attitude toward risk. Rising interest rates are leading them to demand higher quality assets.

Tim Harford praises the art of trying to make predictions. Good forecasters become better people, he thinks, because they have to keep an open mind and understand what they don’t know.

David Crow writes obituary of Kevan Watts, a very proper Merrill Lynch banker who cheated death not once but twice. He was walking to the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 when the second plane hit and seven years later narrowly avoid a bomb detonated in his hotel as part of the four-day terror attack in Mumbai.

Camilla Cavendish examines the possibility of a Norway-style alternative to UK prime minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal. She points out that the EU initially suggested this to the UK and might be persuaded to do so again.

Best of the week

Brexit hardliners have shown they are all bluster— Robert Shrimsley

Tech companies break ranks as public mood sours— Madhumita Murgia

The Brexit road to Britain’s collapse— Philip Stephens

Russians say cheese to Putin’s food import ban– Henry Foy 

Trump’s Saudi Arabia First policy— Roula Khalaf

Peanut allergy treatment raises concerns over cost— Brooke Masters

Pelosi’s House fight a portent of battles to come– Janan Ganesh

FT editor Lionel Barber delivered the James Cameron Memorial lecture on the future of financial journalism at City, University of London this week. He argued that the opportunities have never been greater but was also concerned about the threats posed by aggressive public relations firms, oppressive governments and the rising power of private versus public markets.

What you’ve been saying

Mnangagwa’s chance to be a revolutionary again: letter from Thomas Meaney, Berlin, Germany

Has Emmerson Mnangagwa discovered a floppy disk in an attic in Harare, full of file extensions of first-generation Thatcherite propaganda? ( Opinion, November 14.) Could that explain why the new president of Zimbabwe is preparing his country for a free-market reboot, just as those who experienced the original version wake up to the political price they have had to pay for policies of headlong austerity? How much more befitting it would be if an old revolutionary . . . to redistribute the country’s enormous natural wealth justly.

In response to “The Brexit road to Britain’s collapse”, Swindon Addick says:

Those who are offended by the suggestion that it's time for the UK to think seriously and actually decide which path to follow need to suggest what their actual plan is. “Let's leave with no deal, I'm sure it will be fine”, isn't the sort of level of planning that's appropriate when 60 million people's livelihoods depend on the outcome.

We should pay the price of our collective folly: letter from P N Solares, Petersfield, Hants, UK

Andrew Duff’s assessment of the situation is sound ( Letters). In the unlikely event of a second referendum, the result would be 52/48 either way; so back to square one — except that our generation would bequeath to the next a culture war worse than in Donald Trump’s America.

Today's opinion

On Wall Street: Sino-US trade risks pile on worry for ‘peak earnings growth’ bears
Myriad sources of uncertainty are weighing on share prices

Lex: Esports: console survivors
Prize pools are expected to double in a few years

Market Forces: A murky crystal ball for markets in 2019
Mike Mackenzie’s daily analysis of what’s moving global markets

Lex: Meituan/China IPOs: hard core prawn
Food delivery group is achieving high levels of growth — in losses

Lost in New York: the Elgin Botanic Garden
The Rockefeller Center stands on the site of America’s first botanic garden but its influence lives on

Undercover Economist: Why good forecasters become better people
To make predictions, keep an open mind and understand what you don’t know

Markets Insight: How strongmen play their cards will determine next move for oil
Trump, Putin and bin Salman have different motivations for direction of prices

Lex: Interserve: beyond the pail
The support services and construction company needs a balance-sheet fix

A Norway-style alternative to May’s Brexit deal still exists
The EU initially suggested this to the UK and might be persuaded to do so again

The Top Line: Dolce & Gabbana’s not so sweet reckoning in China
A cautionary tale on how the Italian fashion house mishandled a social media backlash

Instant Insight: Ukip’s transformation into a far-right party is complete
The hiring of Tommy Robinson is proof that it is focused on cultural issues, not Brexit

Inside London: Takeover rule expansion would spoil UK’s capital markets cocktail
A much wider definition of national security would be politically intoxicating

The BBC is having the wrong conversation about future funding
It is losing younger audiences, who find much of its content unappealing

Too big to fail: FT editor Lionel Barber on the future of financial journalism
Transcript of a speech given for the James Cameron Memorial Lecture

The best way to get people to go to museums? Open them at night
Most museums open only during working hours, and our cities are suffering for it

Family Money: Can you ever have a ‘good’ divorce?
Cut the conflict in separation to cut the cost

Market Forces: Rome’s bond saga: Still waiting for drama

FT Magazine: Google, DeepMind and my confidential health records
‘Perhaps DeepMind’s powerful AI decided the privacy pledge was best ignored for the wider good of humanity and Sergey Brin’

Free Lunch: Make policy like it’s 2009 again
Heed OECD call to prepare co-ordinated fiscal stimulus in case slowdown worsens

The FT View: The threat to growth from raging trade war
Donald Trump’s tariffs have yet to halt international commerce

Rich People’s Problems: There’s no such thing as free banking
So why not pay for superior customer service, including leather -bound cheque books?

Tail Risk: Coco bond bets will be hard to unwind in a crisis
Financial instruments may end up testing the stability of asset management industry

Tech stock sell-off signals a change of investor attitude
Rising interest rates prompt demand for higher quality assets

Lex: US tech stocks: returns beat cash burns
Investors should focus more on earnings and less on users

FT View

The FT View: Tulips, bubbles and the City skyline transformed
London’s financial district is using architecture to project modernity

The FT View: The threat to growth from raging trade war
Donald Trump’s tariffs have yet to halt international commerce

The Big Read

The Big Read: Nissan and Renault’s collision course over Ghosn
The chairman’s arrest has exposed tensions in the alliance between the French and Japanese carmakers

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