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Moral hazard. That was the principle behind calls ten years ago to let Lehman Brothers go to the wall. But in his column this week John Gapper revisits this advice to the US Treasury secretary Hank Paulson — including his own “jaunty” imprecations against saving the bank — and concludes that it was wrong.

John writes that intervention to save Lehman should have been seen as a necessity, albeit a painful one. He likens the inconsistent decisions about who to prop up and who to let fail to trying to plug multiple holes at a time when Wall Street was springing leaks all over.

And now? “Banks are less leveraged but the system is just as amorphous,” he observes. “One study found that non-banks such as hedge funds make 30 per cent of loans to mid-sized US companies.” The anniversary of the global financial crisis has been marked by a series of FT pieces asking whether we are safer now. John’s answer to that question seems far from reassuring.

Idlib is shaping up to be the worst conflict of the Syrian war, writes David Gardner

Turnout will be key to the US midterm elections, writes Victoria Bassetti of NYU

Britain should be welcoming international students, argues Roula Khalaf

A new twist in the ECB’s reinvestment policy is analysed by Morgan Stanley’s Reza Moghadam

Ethiopia’s ‘Abiymania’ has not yet bitten the dust, according to David Pilling

What you’ve been saying

Letter from Martin Blaiklock in response to the FT View ‘ China's reputation as development financier on the line

To those governments considering infrastructure investment funded with hard currency, I say caveat emptor — unless a ‘rich uncle’ like the IMF or a development bank fixes the exchange rate at the outset.”

Letter from Mitchell Baker, executive chairwoman, Mozilla in response to ‘ MEPs warned to back overhaul of EU digital copyright rules

The debate over copyright reform is often portrayed as a battle of media giants against technology giants. But that framing misses a critical point: it is those caught in the middle who would suffer: creators, small businesses including software developers and, most of all, Europe's internet users.”

Comment by Manofiona in response to Cynthia Nixon’s bagel-gate is the political drama we need

“Over 40 years ago, Alistair Cooke (the journalist, not the cricketer), the Guardians correspondent in the US, prepared an article for the paper discussing the effect of a recent glut of salmon on the market in New York, which had led to a significant price reduction for consumers, together with attendant consequences. In his wired report to the Guardian, he proposed the following headline: Lox loss brings bagel boom. He got the following reply from England: Your message with your article about salmon is completely garbled. It reads, Lox loss brings bagel boom. Could you please re-send it?” ”

Today’s opinion

Ethiopia’s new leader is whittling away the old guard’s power
The ‘Abiymania’ that greeted the prime minister’s rise to power has not yet bitten the dust

EM Squared: Private equity investors shun bulk of emerging world
Barring Asia, fundraising and investment falls to historic lows

A new twist in the ECB’s reinvestment policy
There is nothing unusual about a central bank managing the maturity of its assets

Britain should be welcoming international students
But those coming to study in the UK have been dragged into the immigration debate

Idlib conflict shaping up to be the worst of Syrian war
The Assad regime is preparing an offensive on the last rebel stronghold

Instant Insight: Challenging Theresa May’s leadership: an ‘act of sabotage’
Tory Eurosceptics want a cleaner Brexit but they lack an alternative plan

Free Lunch: EU membership has played to UK’s export strengths
Leaving the union puts at risk what Britain does particularly well

Turnout will be key to the US midterm elections
Republicans historically have an advantage but Democratic enthusiasm is high

My naive part in Lehman’s downfall
John Gapper: I was wrong to call for the bank to be allowed to fail

FT Alphaville: The EM rout is not made in America

Emerging markets can still drive global growth
McKinsey chief says fundamentals remain sound despite turbulence

Inside Business: Jack Ma is hard act to follow in a hyper competitive market
Alibaba founder’s departure should raise questions about leadership at other tech groups

FT View

The FT View: An overdue look at the effects of monopoly distortion
US antitrust hearings must tackle the nefarious effects of unfettered capitalism

The FT View: John McDonnell’s radical plans for the British jobs market
Labour risks alienating employers with efforts to tackle insecurity

The Big Read

The Big Read: JPMorgan: defying attempts to end ‘too big to fail’
Jamie Dimon has led the biggest winner of the post-crisis decade, but is there a convincing succession plan at the US bank?

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