Listen to this article
This article is from today’s FT Opinion email. Sign up to receive a daily digest of the big issues straight to your inbox.
The Luma art museum in Arles, France, is part of a new trend for billionaires. Rather than donating to an existing institution and having a new wing named after them, they are opting to build the whole thing themselves, John Gapper writes. They hire star architects — Frank Gehry in the case of Luma — and often convert old industrial spaces into new tourist magnets.
So far so good, John writes, but he finds it a pity that the institutions are so similar to one another. It makes the sensation of visiting modern art museums uncomfortably like the luxury industry. There are Louis Vuitton and Gucci flagship stores planted across prime shopping districts in Hong Kong, Los Angeles or Dubai. Now renovated warehouses and power stations have become the art world’s equivalent.
Janan Ganesh posits that US president Donald Trump does not fit into the traditional American foreign policy definition of an isolationist because his government is active to a fault. These things evade measurement, but it is unclear whether the American presence in the world, taken in the round, has retracted since the presidency of Barack Obama. The US has flinched from treaties and institutions, no doubt, while throwing itself into other modes of foreign policy.
David Gardner writes that Turkey's relationship with the west is deteriorating quickly. The US decision to sanction the Turkish justice and interior ministers last week was just the poisoned cherry on a rotting cake.
Stephanie Hare argues that the growing use of facial recognition technology and other biometric data poses a threat to civil liberties.
Frederick Studemann writes that Berlin has become more international and less edgy. Yes, there are still scores of graffiti-splattered cafés, challenging art galleries and bunkers of uncompromising techno, but the city's unique otherness has been lost.
Nicholas Johnson warns that megamergers are not a silver bullet for success. Sheer size will not fight off technological disruption. Instead companies must embrace new business models.
What you’ve been saying
Global playing field is level but only for the west: letter from Robert H Wade, Professor of Global Political Economy, London School of Economics, UK
Dani Rodrik, in “Global trade needs rules that adapt to economic diversity”, misses an important point. […] The US and many European countries today use aggressive industrial policy to foster frontier industries and companies, much of it below the radar of public scrutiny. The US network of public laboratories and agencies (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), and Germany’s giant development bank, KfW, are cases in point. […] The “global playing field” is “level” only from the perspective of the west.
In response to Retirees are not the only ones who need a break, MAC says:
It is true that there are many cultural and policy hurdles to overcome, but it is also true that the world is rapidly changing and having a proper debate on these issues today is key for the future.
How Dostoevsky’s Kirillov proclaimed self-will: letter from Jimmy Chen, London, UK
David Allen Green observes: “In the real world, the UK already has ultimate sovereignty. It was always an option to walk away from the EU. But the important thing about having the potential to quit is that you don’t do it just to show you can.” As an avid reader of Russian literature, I cannot help but be reminded of Kirillov in Dostoevsky’s Devils, a revolutionary nihilist who resolves to commit suicide to prove to himself that he can exercise free will. Kirillov succeeds brilliantly in proving his point but of course the consequences are severe.
Megamergers are not a silver bullet for success
The answer for incumbents in any industry is to embrace the model of the disrupter
We must face up to the threat posed by biometrics
The UK has broken its own laws over facial recognition and fingerprint technology
Turkey’s relationship with the west is deteriorating fast
US sanctions on Turkish ministers is just the poisoned cherry on a rotting cake
Isolationism is the wrong charge to level at Donald Trump
The president still participates in the world — just not in the way his critics want
Billionaires have franchised the modern art museum
Wealthy patrons renovate warehouses and railway sheds according to a global formula
IPOs are too expensive and cumbersome
Try a direct listing, like we did at Spotify
The FT View: Colombia’s new leader and the peace process
President Duque should perfect the accord with Farc guerrillas
The FT View: Tesla tests the pros and cons of public markets Entrepreneurs may moan at shareholders, but they need each other
The Big Read
The Big Read: Japan begins to embrace the 100-year life
Tokyo is waking up to the huge implications — as well as opportunities — in healthcare, finance, housing and technology of an ageing society