Listen to this article
Sign up to receive FirstFT by email here
Hillary Clinton savaged the economic policies and business record of Donald Trump on Tuesday, describing her Republican rival as a ruthless and reckless billionaire who would destroy the US economy, weaken the dollar and line the pockets of Wall Street billionaires. “We can’t let him bankrupt America like we are one of his failed casinos,” Mrs Clinton told supporters in Columbus, Ohio.
Mrs Clinton “went after Donald Trump’s personal business career as outrageously and unusually exploitative of the middle class — characterising not just his policies but his business career as motivated by lies and greed. “This is [Trump’s] one move. He makes over-the-top promises that if people stick with him and put their faith in him, he’ll make them wildly successful,” Clinton said. “Then everything falls apart, and everyone gets hurt.” (FT, Vox)
Keep track of the race with the FT’s daily US politics newsletter. Sign up here.
In the news
Musk seeks to create integrated solar company Elon Musk has taken a step towards rolling up his different corporate interests, using the high-flying stock of electric car company Tesla Motors to make an all-stock offer worth nearly $3bn for solar power company SolarCity. The prospect of Tesla paying a substantial premium for a company in which Mr Musk is already the chairman and the largest shareholder unnerved Wall Street and knocked nearly 13 per cent from Tesla shares in after-market trading. Musk eats the shorts (FT, WSJ)
SoftBank succession plan collapses Billionaire founder Masayoshi Son sought to reassure investors on Wednesday that the company’s growth strategy was intact, emphasising an amicable break with Nikesh Arora, his handpicked successor and president at SoftBank who oversaw a flood of technology investments during his tenure of less than two years. Mr Son had pledged to hand over the reins to Mr Arora, a deal-savvy star in Silicon Valley and India who SoftBank poached from Google in 2014, when he turned 60 next year. But the succession plan collapsed as the Japanese billionaire decided he was re-energised to lead for “at least another five to 10 years”. (FT)
Former Visium fund manager found dead Sanjay Valvani, who was charged last week with netting about $25m in profits from insider trading, was found dead in Brooklyn of an apparent suicide. (FT)
SEC preparing Merrill Lynch enforcement case The Securities and Exchange Commission is preparing a civil enforcement case against Merrill Lynch over an investment that fell as much as 95 per cent in value and was marketed in a way that one of the firm’s financial advisers called “borderline crooked”, people close to the probe said. The expected case underscores some of the risks of so-called structured notes, securities custom-built by banks out of options and other derivatives and often sold to retail investors. (WSJ)
N Korea tests missiles North Korea has test-fired two mid-range ballistic missiles from a base on the Sea of Japan, says South Korea. The first launch was considered to have failed, travelling about 150km (90 miles) before landing in the sea. But the second, launched hours later, flew about 400km and reached an altitude of 1,000km, the most effective test to date. A confirmed successful test would mark a step forward for North Korea after four failed launches in recent months. (BBC)
It’s a big day for
The Brexit campaigns Channel 4 holds the final debate before voting on Thursday as the Leave and Remain camps make their closing pitches. David Cameron sat down with the FT to make a pitch for Britain staying in the EU, predicting a “Remain dividend” if the country votes to stay part of the bloc. “I think on Friday that businesses, wealth creators, job creators will think: Britain has made a decision, let’s pile back into the economy and create jobs and opportunity because it’s a great place to do business,” he said. But the prime minister cautioned that the close polls mean “nobody knows what’s going to happen” in the vote.
While US funds are cutting exposure to UK equities amid fears of a Brexit, Lawrence Summers argues that leaving would have dire economic consequences, and Martin Wolf makes his case for why Britain belongs in Europe. (FT)
Click here to see our special Brexit hub page on the new FT website.
Food for thought
Will robots block path to prosperity for developing world? Industrialisation was the west’s route to riches. There are strong links between manufacturing jobs and the development of a secure middle class. Exporting manufactured goods powers “catch-up growth” and technological convergence with advanced economies, so the theory goes. But developing countries are displaying signs of what Harvard professor Dani Rodrik calls “ premature deindustrialisation”. But it is not all gloom, writes Sarah O’Connor. Technology brings cheaper renewable energy, medicines, internet and smartphones and can create opportunities for developing countries to sell to the world. (FT)
Ireland: no place like home As the country grapples with the legacy of its financial crisis, its housebuilding industry, which fuelled much of the unsustainable later stage of its economic boom, has ground to a halt. (FT)
Trump questions Clinton’s religion Little is known about Hillary Clinton’s spiritual life, claimed Donald Trump during a private gathering with conservative evangelical Christian leaders. However, information about Mrs Clinton’s Methodist upbringing is “extremely easy to find, such as by typing ‘Hillary Clinton religion’ into the search engine of your choice and pressing Enter on your keyboard. Despite this, Donald Trump seems to think his competitor’s religious affiliation are still up for debate“. (The Hill, Gawker)
Isis and social media The terrorist group is using kittens, violence and western sex scandals in high-quality online videos to galvanise individuals seeking a sense of belonging. James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said he was “highly confident” that Omar Mateen, the gunman who killed 49 people and injured 53 at a gay nightclub in Orlando, was inspired in part by such material. An analysis by the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School found that nearly 80 per cent of individuals charged in Isis-inspired cases in the US were American citizens. Their average age was 26 and nearly all of their cases included an allegation that they were inspired by social media.(FT)
Video of the day
Solar plane revolution Track the remarkable progress of Bertrand Piccard as he embarks on the final leg of a quest to blaze a trail for the aircraft of the future, piloting a solar-powered plane with the wingspan of a 747 but the weight of a car. (FT)
Get alerts on World when a new story is published