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We want to hear from you. Today we are publishing a new guide to make it easier for people to submit opinion pieces to us for possible publication. Our goal is to inspire a wider range of contributors and to tap FT readers’ extraordinary range of professional expertise and personal experience.
In a bit of housekeeping, we are also changing the name of our section from “Comment” to “Opinion” to help readers distinguish our carefully selected and edited articles from the online “comments” below stories. We have also decided to drop the introductory “Sir” that traditionally starts each letter to the editor. The title not only feels old-fashioned, but also may one day be inaccurate.
Marketing squeeze: The advertising business has long been an extraordinary money-spinner for “creative” professionals in some of the world’s most expensive cities. Among the most prominent is Martin Sorrell, who has just resigned from WPP, the marketing conglomerate he built by gobbling up a string of boutique, and larger, agencies. But John Gapper argues that the good times may be coming to an end. Fundamental changes linked to the growing dominance of Google and Facebook in online advertising are shrinking margins.
Molecular movement: Researchers at Harvard have conducted the world’s smallest chemistry experiment, coaxing together a single sodium atom and a single caesium atom, using optical tweezers to manipulate them into an alloy. Anjana Ahuja explains that the precision-tooling of molecules at this scale bodes well for the development of super-fast quantum computers, which rely on “qubits”, the quantum equivalent of classical bits. A sodium-caesium molecule (NaCs) would possess just the right electrical properties for a qubit, she writes.
Land war: It is time for South Africa to address its “original sin” — the dispossession of black farmers, driving them off the land and turning them into a rootless proletariat to work as cheap labour in gold and diamond mines. David Pilling examines the issue and concludes that land redistribution is crucial for economic development. Farmers are not incentivised to work land they do not own. Nor can they use it as collateral to borrow, he writes.
Best of the rest
America continues to ignore the risks of election hacking — Sue Halpern in the New Yorker
Emmanuel Macron could be Trump’s Tony Blair — Yasmeen Serhan in the Atlantic
Legalisation is the only way to stop this drugs carnage — Ian Birrell in the Times of London
What you’ve been saying
Global economic risks are seriously understated — letter from Desmond Lachman
In the past, higher interest rates have often been the trigger that has caused asset bubbles to burst and credit markets to reprice. This should be alerting one now to the real risk that higher than currently anticipated interest rates could soon roil global financial markets.
Comment from Kitanomaru on Wall Street still has lessons to learn about overworked staff
Clients need to do their part and proactively ask difficult questions about the company’s internal work culture. 12:30am emails are part of the office power game that many junior analysts experience, but the tables can also be easily turned by publicly naming the mid-level banker in question.
Cambridge’s commercial links require close scrutiny — letter from Michael Lane
I’m horrified to discover that, according to Cambridge university, commercial collaborations carried out there are not normally scrutinised or supervised by the institution’s ethics committees. Isn’t it work of this nature that most needs such scrutiny?
Want to write a piece for the Financial Times op-ed page?
Read this first, say the people who edit it
The 10 things that will now shape Brexit
The UK government’s professed intentions are not that significant
The smallest ever chemistry experiment is no mean scientific feat
Creating a new molecule bodes well for the future of quantum computing
Instant Insight: Kim, Pompeo and the art of a North Korean deal
A peace treaty and a freeze on Pyongyang’s missile programme could have wide appeal
The legal net closing in on Donald Trump
In the president’s world, as in the Mafia, disloyalty is the unforgivable sin
How to submit a letter to the editor
Keep it short and free of jargon
Give land to South Africa’s dispossessed
Whites have enjoyed excellent property rights, but blacks have been less protected
Assad of Syria has learnt never to compromise — or to fear the west
The regime will probably follow the suspected chemical attack with more barbaric acts
Advertising’s acquisition carousel is slowing
Sorrell’s departure from WPP makes it harder for creative entrepreneurs to get rich
EM Squared: Emerging market growth ‘losing momentum’
Warning comes as IMF and IIF stand by forecasts of faster growth in 2018
Barbara Bush, former US First Lady, 1925-2018
Matriarch of formidable political clan was known for her sharp tongue and strong character
Larry Summers’ blog: The boom in Puerto Rican debt has nothing to do with reality
Speculators reap windfalls as estimates of hurricane damage are revised up
FT View: A British illusion of Commonwealth trade after Brexit
Deals with disparate economies cannot replace the EU single market
FT View: Trump’s short-sighted mistreatment of Japan
Failure to support an indispensable ally will have consequences
The Big Read
The Big Read: Pakistan shuns US for Chinese high-tech weapons
In sign of shifting balance of power, Islamabad is buying advanced military equipment from Beijing