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Lord Palmerston’s dictum that Britain had no eternal allies, only interests, neatly explained how the country conducted its foreign policy at the height of its imperial powers. Few countries have taken that approach in recent decades, opting instead to forge long-term alliances (such Nato) that protect national interests through stability.

Martin Wolf concludes that Donald Trump is a Palmerstonian. In his latest column, he argues that the US president is breaking with seven decades of foreign policy orthodoxy and is interested only in transactions with confused aims. Take for example the trade wars he is unleashing. The only obvious goal here is to mix trade with national security. Martin also points out that Mr Trump has a limited time in office, but Trumpism may not. The president’s outlook may last longer and other countries must duly adapt. 

James Ferguson Web

Courtney Weaver writes that Anthony Kennedy's retirement from the US Supreme Court has put pro-abortion activists on high alert.

Wolfgang Münchau argues that Germany's latest compromise on refugees ignores the underlying issues and the crisis may reemerge in the autumn.

Brooke Masters thinks that robotic grocery delivery sounds cool, but there are many problems with it in practice (particularly in city life).

Steven Harris says the $625m payment imposed on PwC shows that we need to rethink the rules for big auditing firms. But a mass breakup may not be the answer.

What you’ve been saying 

It may be that there is more than one McKinsey - Letter from Matt Andersson:

On several occasions, I have worked with McKinsey, with positive results. This included a new venture in which it invested its fees, facilitated corporate partnerships, and supported its staff when some became venture employees. There is little more such a firm can do. While my experience is probably not typical, it does suggest, based on your June 25 report, that there are several dimensions to McKinsey’s culture (or more than one “McKinsey”). That may be the better target for “vetting”.

Comment by CentraleBanker on Ghosting has glided into the workplace

I'm not surprised. As a young job hunter I lost count of how many employers "ghosted" me by ignoring my long-winded application (several hours tailoring a CV plus their crazy web-base application process). Even worse is getting to a second or even third interview, then having to chase the recruiter to get any sort of feedback…before finding out a month later that someone else got the job.

Is excess pay a piece in the productivity puzzle? - Letter from Paul Dymock:

Your editorial “BoE cannot solve the productivity puzzle” (June 29) includes a useful identification of recent underperforming sectors. This list of productivity laggards drawn from the work of the Economic Statistics Centre for Excellence includes finance, utilities, pharmaceuticals, computing and professional services.

Many of the “biggest and best companies” in these sectors often figure in the tables on excessive executive pay. Perhaps such pay is a piece, among many, of the productivity puzzle.

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