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Chief executives should always beware of overstaying their welcome. GE, for instance, is reeling after Jeff Immelt’s 16 years at the helm. Yet some CEOs make longevity work — both for them and their companies. Think of Warren Buffett’s 53 years at Berkshire Hathaway or Jeff Bezos's 23 at Amazon.

How should we assess Jamie Dimon’s extended tenure at JPMorgan Chase, asks Patrick Jenkins in his column this week. Mr Dimon has announced that he intends to stay at the bank until 2023, by which time he will have served 17 years. And, until now, he has eschewed visible succession planning, preferring instead to cut top performers down to size. 

What are we to make, then, of his promotion of Gordon Smith and Daniel Pinto to new roles as co-president and co-chief operating officer respectively? It’s not obvious that they will be Mr Dimon’s eventual successors, Patrick says. The smart money is on Marianne Lake, the finance chief.

And then there’s the persistent rumour that Mr Dimon harbours presidential ambitions. His spokesman has rejected the suggestion that his boss has his eyes on a presidential run. But, as Patrick points out, perhaps the one thing bigger than his attachment to JPMorgan is his love of America.

© Sarah Tanat-Jones

Trump’s triumphs: The US president may have historically low approval ratings, but, argues Edward Luce, he still has the support of a submissive Republican party. Republican lawmakers in Washington are now giving credence to Donald Trump’s “deep state” paranoia.

Monkey business: The revelation that leading German carmakers conducted experiments on monkeys has shone an unforgiving light on attitudes among the country’s industrialists, writes Ursula Weidenfeld. German engineers have always pursued technical excellence, but this has increasingly come at the expense of the ethical dimension.

Life lessons: China, currently in the grip of a construction boom, has a lot to learn from Japan, says Jamil Anderlini. Since the Japanese property bubble of the late 1980s and early 1990s burst, the country’s population has shrunk dramatically. These factors have combined to produce two decades of stagnation. There is a cautionary tale here for the Chinese.

Best of the rest

This is how democracy gets eroded, with the BBC normalising Roger Stone — Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian

Hard Brexiters hate taking responsibility, which means May is safer than she looks- Rafael Behr in Prospect

A very Trumpian State of the Union — John Cassidy in the New Yorker

Haringey Council leader Claire Kober’s resignation should shame Labour’s NEC — Sarah Hayward in the New Statesman

The malediction of France’s two rights — Alain Duhamel in Libération (in French)

What you’ve been saying

Competition could transform UK’s railways— letter from Dave Ashton

Privatisation of the UK rail network brought many good things to the majority of users (improved services, more frequent trains, unique pricing schemes), but it did not bring competition. The system as created merely enabled private — and fragmented — monopolies, which are free to charge what they wish for the majority of their routes. The result is an average ticket price far higher than in any other country in Europe on a gross domestic product-adjusted basis. If the marker is absolute prices, the disparity is even greater. In this way, privatisation has utterly failed consumers. The solution is competition.

Comment by Murray Smith on Donald Trump has been lucky with the US economy

It is evident that the growth in the US economy since January 2017 has basically maintained the trend established under Obama and Yellen. The questions are how has Trump contributed to growth and how has he inhibited growth in the US economy? On the plus side the Trump deregulation measures may have increased investment but only a very modest amount in the overall economy . . . On the negative side, the reaction of the Trump Administration to a deterioration in the current account and the trade balance will be an ever more aggressive mercantilist approach to trade relations. A more aggressive approach to trade policy will do more to damage long term US economic growth prospects.

Maybe it’s ICO investors who should be ‘terrified’— letter from Paul Forster

Are ICOs really sustainable? Investing in a company’s equity in the time-honoured way provides a claim on a real asset: the future earnings of the company. Investing in an ICO, on the other hand, offers nothing of the sort. At best, it is a claim on a possible speculative rise in the value of the underlying cryptocurrency. As there is no clear link between the company’s earnings — or the value of its services — and the value of the cryptocurrency it uses, an ICO investor may get no return even if the company itself becomes hugely profitable.

Today’s opinion

FT View: Theresa May is right to be cautious over China’s Belt and Road plan The UK should not give blanket support to risky infrastructure projects

Monkey testing reveals the noxious air of German industry The carmakers’ scandal exposes a deep malaise in the country’s corporate elite

FT View: Donald Trump’s uphill battle against federal regulations The real game-changer will not be fewer rules, but new referees

Jamie Dimon and the dangers of staying too long at the helm However impressive the individual, long tenures can create big headaches

A cautionary tale from an ageing Japan for China The country’s demographic decline comes in the wake of a housing boom

The Art of Persuasion: Trump’s State of the Union speech lifted only by stagecraft The president made the most of an autocue and applause but he lacked authenticity

Free Lunch: All economics is local Technological change hits unevenly across the land

Trump’s words are disconnected from his actions State of the Union call for unity comes as president attacks at home and abroad

FT Alphaville: Richard Koo likes the US corporate tax cuts

Saudi Arabia’s corruption crackdown risks scaring off investors Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is combining populism at home with hawkishness abroad

FT View

FT View: Theresa May is right to be cautious over China’s Belt and Road plan The UK should not give blanket support to risky infrastructure projects

FT View: Donald Trump’s uphill battle against federal regulations The real game-changer will not be fewer rules, but new referees

The Big Read

The Big Read: Can big data revolutionise policymaking by governments? Mining digital information for accurate, up-to-date economic snapshots could help officials make quicker and better decisions

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