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Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin are both self-declared strong men who believe that prizes should go to the powerful, and that multilateral institutions and rules are calculated to ensnare them, writes Philip Stephens. In Mr Trump's case, that impulse has led him to abandon American foreign policy principles that date back to the 1950s.

But in the end, the US will suffer at the expense of its largest potential rivals, Philip observes. He writes that China has bristled at the US presence in Asia; Russia wants a return in Europe to 19th-century power balancing. They could never have imagined that a US president would deliver to them such a prize.

John Kasich, the Republican Ohio governor, warns that Midwestern states like his will bear the brunt of a US-China trade war and urges the American government to reconsider.

Chris Giles argues that a "goods only" Brexit deal puts service sector jobs at risk, and that is no small thing because services account for 80 per cent of the value created by the UK economy.

Gillian Tett explores the risks posed to the global financial system by a potential lack of liquidity in the bond markets.

Henry Mance imagines Brexit: The Movie, and concludes it may be the dullest story ever told.

What you’ve been saying

We should be fighting for a reformed EU— Letter from Robert Mercer-Nairne:

Once again we seem to be sleepwalking towards disaster. Europe is in turmoil with an unstable monetary system and facing waves of immigration armed only with a non-existent immigration policy. Justified by the frustrated opinion of 37.48 per cent of registered voters (51.9 per cent of the 72.21 per cent who did vote), the British government has signalled its intention to leave the EU (a free trade area with political aspirations not all its members share). To the west, the US is signalling loud and clear that it no longer intends to be the guarantor of the world order. To the east China is asserting its regained power.

Comment by Econ. on Regulators’ pursuit of junior staff and not managers is a travesty:

Not one senior banker has been prosecuted (let alone gone to jail or been personally fined) for the biggest fraud in world history, which was the 2008/09 financial crises and matters leading up to it. This crisis and the effects of it, which persist today, have devastated trust in western civilization (the 'liberal world order'), and decimated lots of poor people in certain developing countries. It also gave rise to populism. The costs cannot be solely measured in monetary terms; the bigger costs are social, physiological, intangible . . . I always say: "A good way to rob a bank is to own one. An even better way is to work for a bank in a senior position."

Neither side wants the immigrants— Letter from Gustavo Rinaldi:

Your editorial “ Europe muddles through the migration challenge” (June 30) suggests some thoughts. On one hand there are such “populists on the right” as those in the coalition of Giuseppe Conte, the Italian prime minister. They do not want the migrants to cross from Libya to Italy, and if migrants reach Italy they want a proportion of the them to be taken by other countries. On the other side there are such “mainstream politicians” as Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, who does not want immigrants to cross the Italian-French border, UK prime minister Theresa May, who does not want them to cross the channel, or chancellor Angela Merkel, who does not want them to remain in Germany and has asked several countries to take them back.

Today’s opinion

Summer bond markets low on liquidity could trigger volatility
Debt funds have loaded up on risky assets and could struggle to meet crisis demands

Brexit: not the greatest story ever told
How to pitch the UK’s tale of liberation to a sceptical Hollywood

Free Lunch: Free Lunch, served up by readers
Responding to reactions on topics that have touched a nerve

The US midwest will suffer in Donald Trump’s trade war
Rants, rage and unilateral actions only result in self-inflicted wounds

A goods-only Brexit deal puts UK services sector jobs at risk
Rolls-Royce technicians, lecturers and musicians are as vital as Airbus wing makers

Instant Insight: Resignations at Chequers are a clear and present danger for May
More than one UK minister may quit if the cabinet think Brexit is being betrayed

Donald Trump has sounded America’s global retreat
Russia and China will be the big winners from the end of US leadership

FT Alphaville: Oh, the digital humanity

FT View

The FT View: The EU is losing its battle against money laundering
Baltic banking scandals highlight the need for greater co-ordination

The FT View: The limits of America’s energy independence
Booming oil production does not mean the US can ignore Opec

The Big Read

The Big Read: The AI arms race: the tech fear behind Donald Trump’s trade war with China
America’s anxiety about Chinese technological prowess is reflected in Washington where politicians are rethinking their attitudes to foreign investment

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