Experimental feature

Listen to this article

00:00
00:00
Experimental feature

This article is from today’s FT Opinion email. Sign up to receive a daily digest of the big issues straight to your inbox.

Give or take the odd squall of diplomatic bad weather in the South China Sea, China’s rise to global power status over the past two decades has occurred largely on its own terms. But now, argues Philip Stephens in his column, this week Beijing’s feet are being held to the fire.

In the incipient trade war with the US, the Chinese leadership has been confounded by the mercurial inhabitant of the White House. Donald Trump’s unpredictability has rendered irrelevant Beijing’s hard-won knowledge of decision-making processes in Washington.

What are the Chinese to do? They must recognise, Philip writes, that they have in part been the authors of their own misfortune. Abuse of intellectual property and disregard of other norms of international trade have left them without allies where they need them most — in the American business community.

Gordon Brown, former UK prime minister, argues that the UN’s goal of providing quality education for all the world’s children is only achievable with help from investors focused on social and environmental impact as well as financial returns.

Everyone knows that hedge funds trade frenetically during currency crises, writesGillian Tett. But the unpalatable truth is that it is they who often keep markets trading in a crunch.

Economist Gerard Lyons argues that Unilever’s decision to move from a dual-governance arrangement to a single headquarters in the Netherlands should not see it disappear from the FTSE100, the main British equity index.

What you’ve been saying

In response to The calm voice of podcasts risks being lost in a crowd of noise”, Parsons and Cash says:

One of the joys of listening to Radio 4 in the UK or NPR in the US is the serendipity of the schedule and finding something fascinating that you wouldn’t have chosen to listen to. Podcasts are more limiting and don’t help us to know what we don’t know.

The EU’s inflexibility made Brexit inevitable: letter from Giles Conway-Gordon, Ronan, MT, US

Anne-Sylvaine Chassany’s very human, even moving, description of her and her son’s reactions to returning to her native France from London is a perfect illustration of why, one way or another, sooner or later, Brexit was inevitable. […] The sustained intolerance and inflexibility of the EU in the Brexit negotiations, as it seeks to punish the UK for leaving the EU and pull up the drawbridge against other would-be leavers (there are shades of the Berlin Wall here), have served to underline this unbridgeable conflict.

Brewing knowledge: letter from Clive Anderson, London, UK

Why doesn’t HM Revenue & Customs hire Starbucks’ tax adviser? They clearly understand the “system” better than most.

Today’s opinion

How hedge funds keep markets trading in a crunch
Data show they supply vital liquidity while most institutions sit on their hands

May shows her ace card: the naming rights for Brexit
From the Barnier Border Solution to the Merkel visa, the possibilities are endless

Global Insight: Brett Kavanaugh and the Republicans’ patriarchal bubble
Party’s fight to approve Supreme Court nominee risks further alienation of female voters

Sense and flexibility could keep Unilever in the FTSE 100
The UK index has leeway in its rules to continue the consumer group’s dual listing

How investors can help ensure every child is in school
Financial community is uniquely positioned to bridge the funding gap writes Gordon Brown

FT Alphaville: America’s economic sugar high is starting to wear off

Donald Trump’s trade wars: what China should do next
One response on Beijing’s part would be to recognise the risk of a broader clash

EM Squared: Emerging market corporate bonds prove oddly resilient
Yield gap with EM sovereign bonds at lowest level since 2006

FT View

The FT View: Britain’s stumbling rail system needs a rethink
The answer is not ripping up the current model, nor renationalisation

The FT View: The case to embrace flexible working is strengthening
Employers should change their practices to attract the best talent

The Big Read

The Big Read: Britain’s Labour party: has Jeremy Corbyn missed his moment?
Facing a government in disarray, the opposition is beset by infighting and controversy over anti-Semitism

Get alerts on Opinion when a new story is published

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

Follow the topics in this article