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Elliott Management has been all over the news lately. Just this month, it confirmed a stake in German industrial group ThyssenKrupp, forced Hyundai Motors to shelve a restructuring, won a fight over board seats at Telecom Italia and made an offer for a US healthcare records company. Founder Paul Singer, a supporter of conservative causes who got his start as a New York lawyer, usually shuns the limelight, writes Lindsay Fortado in a profile.
But his chutzpah — he fought the Argentine government to a standstill over defaulted debt — and colourful, bearish letters to investors have made him stand out at a time when much of the hedge fund industry is struggling. Elliott now manages about $35bn, an increase of more than $10bn over the past four years, and Mr Singer has discussed economic issues with US President Donald Trump.
Perks don't make up for low pay: Merryn Somerset Webb takes aim at companies that offer free movie tickets, happy hours and discount cards to employees in lieu of giving them pay rises. She argues that employers are trying to boost retention by encouraging workers to anchor their social life and sense of self worth to the company. But staff shortages will ultimately show how hollow these efforts are.
Shoot 'em up: The multiplayer video game Fortnite is the latest online phenomenon to sweep across playgrounds and living rooms, writes Tim Bradshaw. Its Day-Glo colours, celebratory dances and focus on 100-player melees has won over legions of fans who like the fact that it can be played on smartphones and tablets as well as the usual PCs and PlayStations.
Data directive: The EU's General Data Protection Regulations have achieved the seemingly impossible task of turning data regulation into a hot topic, writes John Thornhill. At one point this month the term GDPR was even outstripping Beyoncé in Google’s search rankings. Even mighty US tech companies, which enjoy a more permissive regulatory regime back home, have been forced to acknowledge its sway.
Best of the week
Italy’s new rulers could shake the euro by Martin Wolf
New York property jitters herald declines elsewhere by Gillian Tett
China and India compete by twisting history by Jamil Anderlini
A Leaver writes: politicians have ruined my Brexit by Robert Shrimsley
The super diva of the US Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Courtney Weaver
Big mergers and tiny factories can each pose problems for workers by Sarah O'Connor
Team Trump’s ‘deep state’ paranoia fans conspiracy theories by Gideon Rachman
The exorbitant cost of Trump’s America going it alone by Edward Luce
What you've been saying
Punish errant company directors, not auditors— letter from Dick Steele
It is only a very small decimal of a percentage of company accounts that are “wrong”, and then that “wrongness” is often only revealed after the event and with hindsight. Furthermore, such hindsight is usually just hindsight aided by the effluxion of time and not proof of incorrect judgment when the accounts were signed.
Company accounts can be relied on in the overwhelming majority of cases; the system works. It needs to be understood, however, that auditors are not responsible for company accounts, it is the directors who are responsible. Auditors do not undertake the underlying transactions that are being reported on, they do not own the systems of control and they are not running the processes — all of these matters are under the control of the directors.
“Prime” (ie high price in central major city location) is a global not a national market. There are very few people in the world that can afford a property costing $5m. For many of these people such properties are part of their global property portfolio. Building more such properties doesn’t increase the number of people who can afford them, or want them. There has been massive over development in London and New York. The very best located and specified ones will sell, but the trouble is everything is described as “super prime” and much of what has been developed recently or is in the pipeline is not . . . Some lenders and developers will have problems.
Stop bashing Italy and look at risk to eurozone letter from Alberto de Benedictis
Italy’s future course is no longer compatible with the narrow band set by Europe’s economic enforcers. Dissatisfaction in the country is palpable, frustration with Europe is alarmingly widespread and economic despair is prevalent in a great proportion of the electorate. Attempts by recent governments to free the economy of its self-imposed strictures, have come too little, too late.
Politics ultimately trumps the economy in all but the most authoritarian regimes, and there is no reason to believe Italy is an exception . . . The time is now for Europe’s economic “virtuous” to cease with the admonishments and address the real risks of a eurozone break-up.
FT Collections: Italy’s political experiment
A populist coalition, a political novice as prime minister and markets showing alarm
Reinvention will be much harder than the UK Tories think
Reheated Cameroon Conservatism will not woo voters away from Corbyn’s Labour
GDPR is a start, but not enough to protect privacy on its own
We also need technology to work with consumers, not against them
In praise of Plan B: the fallback can be the better option
The royal wedding and Brexit both show the advantages of hedging your bets
Free Lunch: A Brexit compromise for frictionless goods trade
The EU should accept customs union and single market for goods
Ingram Pinn’s illustration of the week: Missing the Mark
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg ducks EU questions
Even great perks rarely beat more money in your payslip
Salary substitutes disproportionately benefit those who take the time to claim them
Undercover Economist: The best way to solve a problem is to wait a while
A trust fund aimed at clearing UK debt highlights the merits of playing the long game
City Insider: Michael Spencer on the road out
Billionaire entrepreneur plans to spend more time on his ranch in Kenya after selling Nex to CME
FT View: A necessary statement of the obvious from Carney
A hard Brexit would mean a very painful adjustment for the UK
FT View: Putting off the US-Korea summit has its virtues
Despite new obstacles, the two Koreas must continue their dialogue
The Big Read
The Big Read: Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Turkey’s strongman grapples with the markets Facing a currency crisis and a re-election bid, the president finally allowed interest rates to rise. But investors fear he is micromanaging the economy
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