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It has become a regular tick among some economists to insist that there is no shortage of housing supply at the root of a crisis that has hamstrung urban economies across the developed world. But Robin Harding uses his column to put them right on a few points. Citing examples in the US, UK, Canada and Australia, he argues that simply comparing the number of households to the number of dwellings gives a foolishly misleading idea of what housing real people need.

He is surely correct that it is a "weirdly communist" approach to imagine each household should be happy to fill a dwelling that is available, even if it is the wrong size, the wrong shape and in the wrong place with the wrong transport links. It is, as Robin writes, enough to drive anybody demented. Reforming the planning rules is the answer, he suggests, and not the usual political promises to build more of the wrong homes the wrong places.

Elon Musk is at it again, writes Brooke Masters, sending the markets reeling with mysterious tweets about taking Tesla private and a blog post that raises more questions than it answers about a possible deal.

President Erdogan's seemingly unassailable grip on Turkey could be endangered by the country's financial woes, writes David Gardner. He believes the president should remember that "violent financial tremors in Turkey often crack open its political edifice."

What has happened to the US alt-right one year after the violence at a protest in Charlottesville? asks Courtney Weaver. She finds that in spite of a less hospitable online environment and a dying off of public events, the movement's message and activists are very much alive.

EU leaders and institutions must stand up for Canada in its confrontation with Saudi Arabia, argues Judy Dempsey, or the bloc will be endangering its role as defender of core liberal and democratic values.

What you've been saying

The proudly ignorant CEOs behind IT failures: from Jem Eskenazi, London, UK
Although perfectly sensible, answers to the question “How do I ask for a bigger budget for my team?” highlight difficulties for teams whose contribution to organisational objectives is critical and yet not well understood. I have been in IT leadership in a number of organisations for more than three decades, and often (not always) my chief executives have proudly stated that they do not understand IT [ . . .] To show the value of the team’s activities and its need for more resources is extremely difficult under these circumstances.

A further referendum must be clearly ruled out: letter from John S Burton, Cheltenham, Gloucs, UK
We should not get bogged down in arguments about a further referendum. It must be clearly ruled out. The one held, in spite of the efforts of the government, much of industry and international leaders, determined that we do not wish to be governed as part of the EU or whatever form of pan-European state it may become. It was well understood that this result would be implemented.

Today's opinion

The alt-right is revising its online strategy after a backlash
Despite social media bans, the movement is unlikely to be pushed aside

Financial tremors threaten Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s hold on Turkey
For him, economics is an accessory to politics, to drape around the election calendar

Planning rules are driving the global housing crisis
Some analysts insist there is no problem with supply — they are wrong

Europe must stand behind Canada or risk its own values
In its response to Ottawa’s row with Saudi Arabia, the EU is repeating past mistakes

FT Alphaville: The hunt for the next Nostradamus

FT Alphaville: Further reading

 FT Alphaville: Turkey contagion fears are overblown [Update]

EM Squared: Emerging market exports slow even before tariff hit
Mini boom in exports comes to an end as growth falls to 18-month low

Elon Musk’s latest salvo raises more questions than it answers
A blog by the Tesla founder is sure to attract scrutiny from regulators

FT View

The FT View: Trump and the use and misuse of US sanctions
Penalties should be imposed judiciously and co-ordinated with allies

The FT View: Time’s up for business school initiation rituals
Insead’s outdated ‘welcome week’ reinforced its MBAs’ elite status

The Big Read

The Big Read: YouTube: how vloggers became the new Oprah Winfreys
Some web stars make millions of dollars, but the stress of creating daily content can take its toll

Letter in response to this article:

More housing does not lead to affordability / From Niccolo Caldararo, San Francisco State University, US

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