2020 Trump Fruit Machine

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It has become an article of faith among liberal opponents of Donald Trump that the 2020 election campaign will coincide with an economic downturn and that this will deprive the US president of a second term (if impeachment doesn't intervene first).

Certainly, it could be argued that the trade war with China, the declining value of technology stocks and likely oil price rises all portend a slowdown. But, as Edward Luce points out in a column, other data suggest a different trajectory: American unemployment is at a 50-year low and wage rates are picking up.

Meanwhile, secular trends — including rising inequality — might actually play into Mr Trump's hands. He is, after all, highly adept at playing on voters' resentments. His defeat in 2020, Ed concludes, is not inevitable.

Wolfgang Münchau fears that the eurozone may soon be facing stormy economic weather, and that this time, the European Central Bank, having announced an end to quantitative easing last week, will not be in a position to come to the rescue.

Former UK Conservative Cabinet minister Justine Greening makes the case for a second Brexit referendum to break the deadlock in parliament.

Year in a Word — TechlashRana Foroohar on 12 months in which the reputation of Big Tech took a battering.

What you’ve been saying

Mark toddler milestone with a sound investment: letter from Donna Anton, Hayle, Cornwall, UK

The things one learns in nearly 20 years of reading the FT. Who knew there were £2,000 live-in ‘potty whisperers’ for recalcitrant toddlers who prefer nappies to porcelain (FT Weekend, December 8). If I had invested a rate-adjusted £2,000 back in 1988, on the sunny June day when I convinced my two-and-a-half-year-old son that freedom from cloth wedgies was the way forward, by golly, I’d now have almost £20,000 to shop in How to Spend It!

In response to " May must call the Brexit hardliners’ bluff", Nick Antill says: 

May will quite rightly not countenance a referendum with remain as an option, because that decision has already been taken. Deal or no deal is another matter.

Saving humanity: letter from Philip Warland, London SE1, UK

On Simon Kuper’s “How to sell climate change and save the planet” (FT Magazine, December 8), the issue is not saving the planet. The planet is likely to be here in 50, 250, 250,000 years’ time. It may be a desert or an ice field, we just don’t know. The point of resisting climate change is not to save the planet it is to save human life as we know it.

Today’s opinion

Markets fear faster UK inflation as Brexit looms
Rise in inflation swaps has occurred at a time when those in other major economies have fallen markedly

Year in a Word: Techlash
The reputation of big tech faltered as scandals emerged over the past months with regularity

Small Talk — Companies: Wates principles for private business reflects lost trust
Corporate failures of the likes of BHS have prompted regulators to beef up oversight

Britain’s outsourcing crisis shows markets are working
Companies will be forced to innovate or shrink and what emerges should be stronger

The eurozone risks sleepwalking into a downturn
The bad news is that the economy might tank early. The ECB has a record of optimistic forecasts

Liberals make a risky bet on a Trump recession
The most fiscally irresponsible presidency since that of George W Bush has luck on its side

The job interview of the future is already here
Companies are drastically reshaping the way they measure people’s abilities

FT View

The FT View: Deloitte helps show the way on harassment
Admissions over partners dismissed for abuses are a step forward

The Big Read

The Big Read: Italy: pinning the blame on Brussels
Matteo Salvini has transformed the League into a major political force and shifted Italian attitudes to Europe

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