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On Friday, the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the far-right League struck a deal to form Italy's next government. The two populist parties have promised fiscal expansion, a crackdown on immigration and a shift towards Russia in foreign policy.

The role of prime minister remains to be assigned. But whoever assumes the post, the emergence of League leader Matteo Salvini as the dominant force on the Italian right will be complete. As James Politi writes in a profile, Mr Salvini began his career as a northern Italian secessionist and vocal critic of central government. However, he owes his recent electoral success to attacks not on Rome but on Brussels.

His appeal, James argues, lies not only in his populist Euroscepticism, but in his ability to persuade disgruntled voters that he feels their pain — a skill honed during years spent as a talk-radio host.

Consultant cabal: The collapse earlier this year of the outsourcing company Carillion shone an unforgiving light on the lack of competition and conflicts of interest in an audit market dominated by the Big Four accountancy firms — EY, Deloitte, KPMG and PwC. As John Plender argues, the episode also revealed the extent to which the vital function of statutory audit has been undervalued by sprawling companies chasing lucrative consulting fees.

The truth about menopause: Bank of England deputy governor Ben Broadbent's description of the UK economy as "menopausal" was not just offensive, writes Helen Barrett, it was inaccurate — at least where the modern labour market is concerned. Women are set to work longer and more productively.

Market mania: During the easy money years that followed the 2008 financial crisis, emerging markets have gorged themselves on international capital. But, notes James Kynge, there are signs that the party might be about to stop. The question is whether a rising China, awash in foreign-exchange reserves, will ride to the rescue.

Best of the week

Apple sows seeds of next market swing by Rana Foroohar

How Modi's India will shape the world by Gideon Rachman

Leavers are preparing their Brexit betrayal narrative by Janan Ganesh

French workers' fight with Macron recalls a rural transformation by Anne-Sylvaine Chassany

Supine shareholders need to stand up to directors by Brooke Masters

How the west should judge a rising China by Martin Wolf

Tech lessons from Amazon's battle in Seattle by Gillian Tett

Silicon Valley is slowly learning to speak human by John Thornhill

What you've been saying

Big opportunity to shake up corporate governance — letter from Bob Garratt

We need to create a national Corporate Governance Reporting Council far beyond the thrall of the current Financial Reporting Council. Corporate governance is so much more than accounting as it focuses on the board, ensuring that all aspects of the continuing health of a business are balanced.

Comment from Sachiniko on Bread-makers, Brexit and the power of the least-bad option

Let’s not forget that during the referendum campaign Norway, Switzerland and Single Market were all touted by the Brexit brigade as alternative options that might be preferable to remaining in the EU. Refusing to consider them now is rather like the shop’s sales rep telling you that actually the standard model of bread-maker on display is out of stock and that therefore you have no choice but to purchase the expensive one.

A sector rigged in favour of producers is unhealthy — letter from Stephen Black

Maybe artificial intelligence can improve productivity. But the US’s expensive healthcare is more a product of a market rigged in favour of producers not patients than a lack of productivity.

Today's opinion

China offers protection amid the dance of the trillions
Emerging markets are vulnerable because they have gorged themselves on global capital

FT Collections: Middle East risk escalated by US
Gaza protests are one facet of mounting regional crisis

Person in the News: Matteo Salvini, a populist on the verge of power
The leader of Italy’s League party has prospered by attacking Brussels rather than Rome

Rosemary Bamforth, codebreaker and pathologist, 1924-2018
The Bletchley Park codebreaker who had to keep her wartime career a secret

The Big Four face the dismembering of accountancy’s cosy club
After Carillion, there can be no more undervaluing of the poor relation audit

Long-distance parenting may not be as bad as it sounds
We already have remote working. Why not look after your children via an app?

Free Lunch: Free Lunch Collections: Big Tech
A bundle of articles on the theory behind the internet-based economy

Grumpy literary judges fail to uphold the spirit of PG Wodehouse
Has 2018 not been a vintage year for fiction? Or is this just a humourless cop out?

City Insider: Ben Broadbent’s menopausal moment
BoE official’s choice of words to describe economy as ‘past its peak’ caused upset

EM Squared: Fear of ‘marked’ slowdown in emerging market export growth
Leading indicators head south, adding to concerns over health of developing economies

Undercover Economist: Bread-makers, Brexit and the power of the least-bad option
In politics, as in marketing, offering a third choice can be a game-changer

Learn to love your auditor — we keep capitalism healthy
Professionals like me get a bad rap but you and your businesses need us

Ingram Pinn’s illustration of the week: Bursting Bolton’s bubble
Pre- summit restraint gives way to denunciations

FT View: Iraqis spring a surprise with Sadr poll victory
An already vulnerable state risks outright failure in US-Iran crossfire

FT View

FT View: Global banking is not an American fiefdom
Fighting with the EU over the Swift payments system will erode US power

FT View: The high price of cheap clothes made in Britain
Dickensian sweatshops should not be tolerated in the 21st century UK

The Big Read

The Big Read: Fighting its corner: can Gaza survive? With dozens dead in the worst clashes for years, regional powers are trying to halt the violence between Israel and the Palestinian enclave

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