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What does Donald Trump have in common with Napoleon? The answer is rather a lot, if you accept the 19th-century philosopher Georg Hegel’s description of the French statesman as a “world spirit on horseback”. Whether you like or loathe the US president, writes Gideon Rachman in his column, it is hard to deny that he embodies the spirit of our age.

Like Napoleon, Gideon notes, Mr Trump has an instinctive grasp of the currents that move the public. He has harnessed and embodied forces that he himself only half-understands, breaking with the elite consensus about how to wield US power at home and overseas. His zero-sum politics may look savage, but it resonates with Americans who increasingly feel bullied and marginalised by globalisation.

Trouble may lie ahead for Mr Trump. The economy might overheat, his trade wars might backfire, and the rest of the world could unite against him. But ultimately, Gideon writes, even failure cannot destroy Mr Trump’s legacy as a truly historic president.

Paul Johnson pinpoints a career-defining choice facing UK chancellor Philip Hammond ahead of next week’s Budget. The director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies notes that Mr Hammond is under political pressure to end austerity and loosen spending. But will he?

Amy Kazmin wonders whether India’s #MeToo moment could be a turning point. The recent online outburst of accusations of sexual harassment in the workplace and other private spaces suggests the burden of shame is finally being shifted away from Indian women.

John Thornhill assesses the mixed evidence that the global innovation race is slowing. A report reveals that while innovation has globalised, with tech centres spread geographically, the top six cities in the world still attract more than half of all venture capital investment.

Anjana Ahuja warns that nations must lay down the rules of engagement for cyber warfare before it is too late. Unlike other kinds of skirmish — on land and sea, in the air and in space — cyber is a virtual free-for-all and the threat is growing ever greater.

What you’ve been saying

Equity investors look forward, not backwards: letter from Peter Kleeman, Crookham, Berks, UK

Martin Wolf’s scary column, “Politics puts the skids under bull market”, makes some valuable points. However, perhaps he is mistaken to quote the Shiller cyclically adjusted price/earnings ratio as a significant factor for an overvalued US stock market. Equity investors look forward, not backwards. The Shiller p/e is 80 per cent comprised of sub-growth periods under former president Barack Obama and does not reflect the current climate. A forward-looking p/e of 16 for the S&P 500 Index should ameliorate his anxiety.

In response to “Germany’s political centre cannot hold”, john9973 says:

As awareness of climate changes increases it is clear to most voters that the biggest problem facing us all is environmental not economic. Given the SPD’s policies are all essentially economic and addressing problems that were actually mostly solved decades ago it is hardly surprising that support for the Greens is increasing.

Death of JFK did bring joy to some parts of Texas: letter from Marc McDonald, Fort Worth, TX, US

Michael J Bond claims that “no Texan or any American celebrated President John F Kennedy’s death in Dallas” (Letters). This simply isn’t true. As historian William Manchester wrote in his 1967 book ‘The Death of a President’, there were reports of celebrations in Texas when Kennedy was assassinated. He also wrote: “In Dallas itself a man whooped and tossed his expensive Stetson in the air, and it was in a wealthy Dallas suburb that the pupils of a fourth-grade class, told that the president of the United States had been murdered in their city, burst into spontaneous applause.”

Today’s opinion

A spikier yet flatter world for innovative start-ups beckons
The venture-capital game is evolving with deals declining even as their value rises

This #MeToo moment looks like a turning point for India
An online outpouring suggests the burden of shame is finally being shifted from women

Lay down rules of engagement for cyber war before it is too late
Computerised assaults are easy to unleash but hard to trace, and befuddle the enemy

Donald Trump embodies the spirit of our age
Even ultimate failure would not invalidate his claim to be a truly historic president

UK chancellor’s Budget choice that promises to define his career
Philip Hammond promised spending ‘envelope’ will determine whether austerity is over

Markets Insight: Beijing finds unlikely anti-Trump weapon in global indices
Inclusion of Chinese shares in major EM index has helped steady inflows

FT Alphaville: Subprime code: a very avoidable crisis

What Jamal Khashoggi’s death could mean for oil markets
While the Saudis have US support, the kingdom will boost production

What if — whisper it — management consultants are not vital to success?
Americans are addicted to advisers but other countries seem to manage fine

Inside Business: Brexit uncertainty puts stockpiling on agenda for UK companies
Warehousing and financing will test businesses’ efforts to keep supply chains moving

FT View

The FT View: Britain must strive for a cooler political climate
Derogatory anonymous briefings are poisoning public discourse

The FT View: The squandering of American soft power
Perceptions of the US are hardening around the world

The Big Read

The Big Read: Saudi Arabia: how the Khashoggi killing threatens the prince’s project
The role of the PIF is to reshape the kingdom’s economy and attract overseas money, its mission is now much harder

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