Sign up to myFT Daily Digest to be the first to know about Companies news.
Sign up to receive FirstFT by email here
It is Donald Trump’s first working day as US president. All eyes will be on the first official press briefing (announced on Twitter) after a weekend in which press secretary Sean Spicer accused the media of rewriting history by misreporting the numbers attending Mr Trump’s inauguration. Despite his protestations that more people had watched the event than any previous inauguration, there is clear evidence that there were bigger crowds at the 2009 inauguration of Barack Obama. In response, Kellyanne Conway, one of President Trump’s key advisers, described Mr Spicer’s evidence as “alternative facts”, rather than lies.
After a global groundswell of opposition to Mr Trump over the weekend, the markets are reassessing the new president: the dollar, stocks and treasury yields have all fallen on Monday. And later today, the president will face his first major lawsuit over alleged business conflicts. (FT, CNN, Mirror, Atlantic, NYT)
In the news
End of the Kamikaze squad Billionaire Chinese hedge fund manager Xu Xiang has been jailed for five-and-a-half years for market manipulation in one of the country’s highest-profile financial crimes prosecutions since a market rout in 2015. He was seen as the “captain” of the Kamikaze Squad, whose name derived from its ability to push stocks up to the 10 per cent daily limit imposed by Chinese exchanges. (FT)
Samsung investigates After a three-month investigation, Samsung Electronics has laid the blame for its exploding Galaxy Note 7 handsets on the devices’ batteries, pointing the finger at overheating caused by design and manufacturing defects. (FT)
Gambia’s missing millions Yahya Jammeh bowed to pressure and stepped down as president over the weekend in an important victory for democracy in west Africa. But he was smiling as he left for exile: he had managed to send out a cargo plane full of luxury cars and steal more than $11m (£8.8m) to cushion his exile. (WaPo, BBC)
Israeli settlements approved The Israeli government has approved the construction of hundreds of homes for settlers in East Jerusalem in defiance of a UN Security Council resolution which last month condemned Israeli settlements. On Sunday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump had their first conversation since the inauguration, and the White House revealed it was in the early stages of talks to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital. (FT, Al Jazeera)
French socialists go left France’s Socialist party leaned left in primary elections on Sunday, inflicting a blow to former prime minister Manuel Valls and placing leftwinger Benoît Hamon in the front seat to win the beleaguered party’s presidential nomination. (FT)
It’s a big day for
Theresa May The UK prime minister will unveil her 10 “pillars” of industrial strategy in north-west England. It is the latest in a long line of government attempts to influence British business. (FT)
Syria Talks open in the Kazakh capital, with Russia acting as power broker. Hopes for their success are undermined by the refusal of rebel groups to attend. (Guardian)
Keep up with the important business, economic and political stories in the coming days with the FT’s WeekAhead.
Food for thought
Brexit trade puzzle Trade experts are scratching their heads over how UK prime minister Theresa May’s vision for Britain’s trade will work after Brexit. Most say the sector-specific customs union she appears to espouse will be technically, legally and politically difficult to achieve. (FT)
The separation of oil and state Rex Tillerson, the US secretary of state nominee and former ExxonMobil chief, is known for project management not strategic vision. A read on one of the most powerful men in Donald Trump’s cabinet and his Russian ties. (FT)
The Arab Spring continues Six years on a counter-revolution may be under way but the basic drivers of the popular uprisings that shook the Middle East in 2011 remain. Like the French Revolution, change in the Arab world could play out over decades. (Politico.eu)
Japan’s burgeoning sleep industry As scientists discover more about the benefits of sleep, businesses in Japan are coming to the rescue of insomniacs, with options for daytime kips. A growing number of sleep “parlours”, hotels and massage specialists are offering a place to nod off over the lunch hour. (NAR)
Why is work making us miserable? Office life is better than ever before, but dissatisfaction is rising, writes the FT’s Lucy Kellaway. It turns out the biggest reason for unhappiness is not job hopping or a bad manager, it is to do with our expectations. (FT)
Video of the day
A look at the week ahead The FT looks at some of the big stories of the coming week, including US tech earnings, the French Socialist party primary and eurozone economic data. (FT)
Get alerts on Companies when a new story is published