Daily briefing: Merkel on US, $500bn private companies and China

‘We must take destiny in our own hands,’ warns German chancellor

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German chancellor Angela Merkel signalled that Europe can no longer count on the US as a reliable partner, reflecting a new transatlantic rift that has emerged after two days of international summits with Donald Trump last week. “The times in which we can fully count on others are somewhat over, as I have experienced in the past few days,” Ms Merkel told a political rally in Munich on Sunday. “We Europeans must really take our destiny into our own hands.” 

The comments came after a sometimes frosty G7 summit, where Mr Trump walked out at loggerheads with the rest of the big western economies over climate change. While Mr Trump has publicly said he will decide on the Paris accord later this week, he has reportedly privately told some confidants that the US will quit it. Mr Trump said his trip was a “great success”. Eliot Cohen argues that beyond some forced smiles and awkward sword dances, Mr Trump didn’t accomplish much at all on his first foreign trip.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump went on the offensive over reports that his son-in-law and top adviser Jared Kushner is under FBI scrutiny for improper contacts with Moscow. (FT, Axios, Atlantic, NYT)

In the news

US and European private companies are worth $490bn
The value of late-stage private companies in the US and Europe has soared to nearly half a trillion dollars, a fivefold increase over the past four years, according to a new index, as technology companies such as Uber eschew public markets in favour of remaining private. (FT)

UBI no guarantee says OECD A universal basic income paid at a flat rate to all citizens would fail to reduce poverty levels in advanced economies and require substantially higher taxes to fund its simplicity, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has concluded in a detailed study of the idea. (FT)

Nintendo ramping up Switch production 
The blockbuster success of the new gaming console has helped to boost the Japanese company’s valuation to its highest level since 2008. The planned production hike is designed to meet demand ahead of the Thanksgiving and Christmas sales peak in late autumn. (FT)

India bans sale of unproductive cattle slaughter 
In his latest move popular with hardline Hindu nationalists, Narendra Modi, prime minister, has issued tough new rules to suppress the trade in aged livestock for slaughter — a move that will severely disrupt the livestock supply chain at the heart of the rural economy and marginalise Muslim traders. It is likely to prove the undoing of India’s $5bn in beef exports. (FT)

BA IT failure fallout
British Airways passengers around the world were struck by a second day of cancellations and delays on Sunday as the airline struggled to regain control after a computer system failure caused chaos during one of the busiest travel weekends of the year in the UK. (FT)

Sharp plans US factory 
The Foxconn-owned company said it will build a plant in the US that will make small displays. (NAR)

The day ahead

The UK debates 
Sky News interviews both Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as the UK general election campaign comes back in to full swing after a break following the Manchester attack. The Tory lead is slipping, and Mrs May is on the attack. Here’s a dissection of Labour’s advance in the polls. (FT)

Modi visits Germany 
Mr Modi begins a two-day trip for talks with Angela Merkel, German chancellor. The two are expected to discuss trade, investment, energy and defence, with India looking to arm its military with a new generation of imported weapons. 

Keep up with the important business, economic and political stories in the coming days with the FT’s Week Ahead.

What we’re reading

Is China’s economy turning Japanese? 
It is more than 30 years since Tokyo began inflating a property and stock market bubble, as fears grow that Beijing faces a similar fate. (FT)

Lunch with Mahathir Mohamad 
The former Malaysian prime minister was once one of the world’s most controversial leaders, now the 91-year-old is spending his retirement trying to overthrow his successors (and he has some thoughts on the rise of China). (FT)

The missing monk and the hidden millions 
Phra Dhammachayo, the 73-year-old spiritual leader with a temple ten times the size of the Vatican, is one of Thailand’s most well-known figures. But he’s been missing since March, when the government accused him of fraud. (WSJ)

Bin Laden’s son steps into his father’s shoes 
Hamza bin Laden, scion of the 9/11 mastermind, is taking up the family business as al-Qaeda attempts to mount a comeback with a violent new campaign. (WaPo) 

An American epic 
A conversation with musician Jack White about history, technology, vinyl and the birth of modern music. You can watch the associated three-part documentary on history of modern music here. (FT, PBS)

How Ramadan brings the joys of cooking into focus For thirty days starting later this week, many of the world’s 1.6bn Muslims will fast. When they eat after the sun goes down — and before it rises again — their food is imbued with an added meaning. (NYT)

Video of the day

The week ahead 
Josh de la Mare provides a briefing of the stories to watch in the week ahead, including the UK election campaign after the Manchester bombing, European unemployment figures and the latest rocket launch by SpaceX. (FT)

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