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There are many ways in which Donald Trump has upended the norms of the US presidency. But one of his most striking departures from the usual terms of trade in the White House has been his indifference to the lobbying power of big business.

The president has given business the corporate tax cut it craved, as well as a rolling programme of deregulation. But, as Edward Luce observes, in other respects Mr Trump has chosen either to ignore the corporate lobby or actively to provoke it — by cracking down on immigration, stoking a trade war with China and causing the current shutdown of the federal government.

By cocking a deaf ear to big business, Edward argues, Mr Trump is merely crystallising a more long-term trend: the decline of the publicly listed company. A growing share of US capital today is going to private companies, and the amount of equity withdrawn from the US stock market exceeds the equity raised. The irony, of course, is that the president still treats the Dow Jones Industrial Average as a barometer of success.

Writing from Khartoum, Yousra Elbagir finds that after 30 years of dictatorial rule by President Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese people are losing patience with corruption and are hungry for change.

George Magnus, author of Red Flags: Why Xi’s China is in Jeopardy, suggests that a softening of the rhetoric on trade and other issues emanating from Beijing should not be taken as a sign that Chinese president Xi Jinping is planning a significant change of course.

Bronwen Maddox, director of the Institute for Government, hopes that the forthcoming renovation of the Palace of Westminster will prompt much-needed changes in the way members of the UK Parliament work.

What you’ve been saying

Jeff Beck hit was all about mainstream, letter from Dr Alan Bullion, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Janan Ganesh rightly welcomes the contemporary mainstreaming of bohemia (Life & Arts December 29), but this is nothing new. Some 50 years ago the British musician Jeff Beck predicted this phenomenon with the lines “You’re everywhere and nowhere baby, That’s where you’re at, Going down a bumpy hillside, In your hippy hat”, from his acerbic late 1960s anthem Hi Ho Silver Lining.

In response to “ Old wounds fester as Romania assumes the EU presidency”, Kusobaba says:

Why then do the Western countries of the EU keep on subsidizing these corrupt regimes in the Eastern part of the EU: one thinks not just of Romania but also Hungary and Poland. Yet, each year millions are dolled out to these three countries.

When you know it’s time to take another trip, letter from Patrick Dransfield, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Reflecting on James Max’s tips on top-flight business travel (FT Weekend, December 29), I recall my youngest son Jacob, then four, marching into our living room where a group of business associates had gathered for a significant birthday dinner, and announcing: “Dad — time for another business trip: we’ve run out of shampoo!”

Today’s opinion

Inside Business: May’s backstop could leave Britain uniquely disadvantaged
The UK could be vulnerable to subsidies from EU states aimed at poaching businesses

UK parliament should use renovation to rethink its ways
Westminster’s work habits are likely to change after seven years in temporary quarters

Sudan’s protesters show an unprecedented resolve
After 30 years of Bashir’s rule the people are losing patience at the corruption

The rhetoric is changing but Xi Jinping is staying the course
The president cannot risk caving in to anything that threatens China’s core interests

The fading of the US multinational lobby
Donald Trump is no longer listening to big business

Lex: Netflix: streampunk
Profits and subscriptions are rising, but self-sustainability is still elusive

Allow yourself to embrace ‘Jomo’ — the joy of missing out
In a hyperactive world of choices, the pared-back approach can help us achieve more

FT View

The FT View: Business lessons from a pioneer of cheap flights
Herb Kelleher’s larger-than-life career has insights for bosses today

The FT View: China and the US should be allies, not foes, in space
Landing on the dark side of the moon showcases Beijing’s capabilities

The Big Read

The Big Read: Sebastian Kurz: saviour of Europe’s mainstream or friend of the far-right?
Tough talk on migration has boosted centre-right but critics say chancellor legitimises extremist ideas

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