Listen to this article
This is an experimental feature. Give us your feedback. Thank you for your feedback.
What do you think?
Sign up to receive FirstFT by email here
Rome has moved to shore up confidence in its fragile banking system, spending €17bn of taxpayers’ money to cover losses in two failed banks. The government decided to wind down Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza, based in the country’s prosperous industrial north-eastern Veneto region, after the European Central Bank on Friday said they were failing. Late on Sunday the European Commission approved Italy’s plan to inject state funds on the grounds that it would otherwise disproportionately hurt the regional economy.
In the news
Airbag scandal overwhelms Takata
Japanese automotive supplier Takata has filed for bankruptcy in Japan and the US. The company was at the centre of a global recall of exploding airbags, which have been linked to 17 deaths and more than 100 injuries. More than 100m cars with Takata airbags, including 70m vehicles in the US, have been recalled since concerns first emerged in 2007. It is the biggest safety recall in automotive history. Toyota and Honda are also likely to take a hit from the bankruptcy — they may not be able to collect the billions of dollars they are owed by the Japanese airbag maker. (FT, BBC, NAR)
Flamboyant former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi led centre-right parties to victories in Italian local elections over the weekend. Candidates from the centre-right won key run-off contests for mayor in Genoa, a leftwing bastion, and Verona in the industrial north-east. (FT)
Deaf ears on fire hazards
The insurance industry warned the UK government about the dangers of flammable external surfaces on buildings a month before the Grenfell Tower fire that killed at least 79 people. It has also emerged that the London council that owns the building ignored calls for tighter control of work done by contractors from as far back as 2009. Meanwhile, the number of high-rises around the country to fail emergency fire tests has nearly doubled to 60. (Reuters, FT, Independent)
Moscow suspected in UK parliament hack
The Russian government is suspected of being behind a cyber attack on the British parliament. It comes as European countries deploy a variety of bold tactics and tools to expose Russian attempts to sway voters and weaken European unity. (Guardian, WaPo)
Qatar rejects demands
Doha has dismissed a 13-point list of demands from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt as excessive. They include shutting down Al Jazeera and curbing relations with Iran. US secretary of state Rex Tillerson agreed and warned all the governments involved that they needed to tone down their rhetoric. (FT)
The day ahead
Trade talks between the EU and Mexico begin as officials try to finalise an update to a deal made in 2000. Both sides appear keen to reach an agreement this year as a means of leverage on the Trump administration.
Theresa May is set to publish details today of how she intends to protect the rights of 3.2m EU nationals residing in the UK once the country has left the bloc. The move comes after continental leaders criticised Britain’s initial proposal. (Bloomberg)
A ‘no frills’ Modi-Trump summit
India has promised a low-key meeting when Narendra Modi visits Donald Trump. The two leaders will meet today in Washington — but don’t expect the elaborate affairs that accompanied the Indian prime minister’s two previous US trips. (FT)
Martin Shkreli goes on trial for fraud
The “pharma-bro” who gained international notoriety for increasing prices for an Aids and cancer medicine by 5,000 per cent will appear in court, charged with allegedly defrauding investors in a hedge fund before he became known for price gouging. Mr Shkreli has plead not guilty. (FT)
Keep up with the important business, economic and political stories in the coming days with the FT’s Week Ahead.
What we’re reading
Xi Jinping’s war on ‘financial crocodiles’
Minxin Pei on how China is trying to pass off a “politically motivated purge” as a tough regulatory crackdown. As the Chinese saying goes, you slaughter a chicken to warn the monkeys. (FT)
Tech giants squeeze ad agencies
The world of advertising is starting to feel the impact of disruption, despite profiting from online publicity, as brands and companies review the way they sell and market their products to consumers. (FT)
Secret lives of young Isis fighters
Smartphones found on the battlefield reveal the extraordinary story of three militants’ private lives and their transformation into hardened jihadis. (BBC)
In 10 years your iPhone won’t be a phone any more
Trying to predict where technology will be in a decade may be a fool’s errand. But here’s an argument on why by the time the iPhone celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2027, the “phone” concept will be entirely uprooted. (WSJ)
Baby gangs in Naples
Police success in imprisoning clan bosses from the Camorra mafia has, paradoxically, caused a surge in violence. With their fathers in jail, increasingly reckless teenage sons and clan members are battling ruthlessly to maintain and expand their turf. (Economist)
Video of the day
The week ahead
Veronica Kan-Dapaah highlights some of the big stories the FT is watching in the week ahead, with Nato defence ministers meeting in Brussels, the latest round of EU-Mexico trade talks beginning in Mexico City and the insurance world gathering for the ABI Brexit conference in London. (FT)