Cutting Trade Links
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After Donald Trump undid all the hard work of the recent G7 meeting with one intemperate tweet, it was tempting for supporters of the rules-based international disorder to cling to the hope that multilateral normality would reassert itself when the president leaves office.

But, argues Rana Foroohar in her latest column, that is to ignore the fact that laissez-faire trade and globalisation are under attack around the world — and not just in the White House. What is more, deep trends in the global economy — shortening supply chains and consumers’ growing appetite for locally sourced good — underpin the current protectionist mood. For this reason, economic nationalism, Rana suggests, will outlive the Trump administration.

Jonathan Powell, the UK government’s chief negotiator in Northern Ireland between 1997 and 2007, argues that the Irish border question has killed “hard” Brexit.

Wolfgang Münchau argues that narratives matter in politics and policy— not least in the eurozone, which is suffering from a crisis of self-censorship.

Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, defends the decision to introduce a “premium” listing on the London Stock Exchange for companies controlled by sovereign states.

Miranda Green reviews a new book about how peer networks and grassroots initiatives are changing the nature of power in the 21st century.

What you’ve been saying

Scottish hamlet’s global lessons are overlooked— letter from Euan Nisbet:

“Child in a manger …outcast and stranger” is from a Gaelic hymn by Mary Macdonald of Bunessan, the tiny Scottish hamlet whose Gaelic-speaking Canadian teacher Sìne Halfpenny has been outcast and made a stranger by the UK’s hostile policy to migrants . The hymn’s lovely tune “Bunessan”, known also for “Morning has broken”, is one of the delights of the hymnary. Close to Macdonald’s croft are Bunessan’s fossil leaf beds, which show palaeo-atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were 798 parts per million: double today’s level. They date from the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, a global extinction event, the closest geological parallel to modern greenhouse warming, a frightening omen of the power of climate feedbacks. In Hebrew, dove is “Iona”, the name of the biblical prophet Jonah, a migrant teacher. Bunessan’s road leads to Iona, the landing place of Scotland’s founding migrant, St Columba: “Columba” is Latin for “dove”. On Iona the first legitimate Scottish and English monarchs were anointed: the birth of the now-united kingdoms. Arguably, the UK’s modern migration policy has helped defeat the far-right. Unlike many European nations, Britain has no powerful extreme-right voices. To its credit, the Home Office is now also making life difficult for billionaires whose wealth is of uncertain origin. But Britain’s hostility to good folk like Gaelic teachers is unjustifiable. Would the “child in a manger”, whose parents became asylum seekers in Egypt, be granted entry? The nation does not live by money alone. Our focus on the economy tarnishes the soul. To paraphrase St Paul, Bunessan is no mean village. From migration to climate extinction, it has lessons for us. We ignore Bunessan’s call at our peril.

Comment from Another Brexit on The Irish border question has done for hard Brexit:

That will teach people not to hold oversimplistic “yes”/“no” referendums on highly complex and intertwined economic relationships with other economies. It will also teach smaller departing units of a larger economic bloc that the larger economic bloc always will have more staying power (Catalan separatists, Italian leftist visionaries take note).

Greece shows limitation of capital controls— letter from Andy Thompson:

Where capital controls are applied to a currency area as a whole, as in China today or in the UK in the 40 years up to 1979, their primary effect is on the currency markets. In particular, they usually mean that residents of a national currency area cannot buy foreign currency for investment purposes, or even unlimited amounts of it for international tourism, at the exchange rate available for imports of goods and services. However, as Greece and Cyprus found in recent years, capital controls affecting only a part of a common currency area are a different matter. They mean that bank customers cannot draw all their credit balances out of their banks — nor even transfer them to banks in another eurozone country, if their own country is thought likely to leave the eurozone and re-denominate local bank deposits into a new “soft” currency …The Greek case shows that democracy can count more than markets to the extent that voters might elect politicians who promise impossible things, or who demand unavailable concessions from other countries; and may even vote to keep these rulers in power after their promises have collapsed.

Today’s opinion

FT View: London vies with Paris in a tale of two tech cities
An entente cordiale would be good for the European tech sector

New Power by Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans
An explanation of how movements build, businesses thrive and ideas catch fire

Political tale-telling is splitting the eurozone apart
The biggest threat to the bloc is the toxic combination of mistrust and untruths

Trump is trading on the protectionist mood
When even liberals are circling the wagons, we know we have entered a different world

Premium listing will not water down corporate governance
New rules recognise that sovereign states behave differently to companies

The Irish border question has done for hard Brexit
Finally, the UK government has bowed to the inevitable with its ‘backstop’ proposal

FT View

FT View: Donald Trump goes rogue at the G7
Other democracies must band together to resist global trade war

FT View: London vies with Paris in a tale of two tech cities
An entente cordiale would be good for the European tech sector

The Big Read

The Big Read: US-China: Why Taiwan is back on the agenda
Long a bone of contention, the island of 23m is again at the centre of growing tension

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