Globalists are wringing their hands about the impact of the potential trade war that Donald Trump has just started by imposing up to $50bn in tariffs on Chinese goods. But for now, argues Rana Foroohar, the US president is winning the public relations battle for the hearts of his American supporters. On television, where most of them still get their news, he appears cool and secure in his views, and so far the US economy is thriving.
Rana believes that Mr Trump is attacking the wrong targets on trade but she says his opponents need to understand that much of the US heartland agrees with him. The economic and political devil may be in the detail of his plans, but she argues that public opinion is not shaped by details, it is shaped by optics.
Very few people have the courage to say no to Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, but Wolfgang Munchau writes about one man who does: Horst Seehofer, interior minister and chairman of the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party that is critical to Ms Merkel’s majority.
Michael Moritz argues that the US may be home to the biggest tech giants right now, but the long term winners are bound to be Chinese. Of the 50 biggest private companies, 27 are Chinese, and just 16 are American.
In the wake of controversy over Polish plumbers and other workers from lower income economies, some EU countries are tightening up the rules for new workers. The Brussels orthodoxy that freedom of movement is an “untouchable” principle is unsustainable, writes Nick Clegg.
What you’ve been saying
Ever-increasing data traffic is the latest of the ‘network effects’— Letter from NS McPhater:
Each technological revolution occurs in a repeating cycle, each cycle lasting about 60 to 70 years and having two phases: installation and deployment. I believe the installation, or early adoption, phase is now giving way to Mr Gapper’s “widespread adoption”, i.e. deployment, in the same way that electricity enabled reconfiguration of factory floor layout to such beneficial effect in the early 20th century. On this basis it is quite possible there may be a couple of decades of “widespread adoption” still to come.
Comment from washu on Emmanuel Macron uses ‘les Bleus’ as a political football:
Les Bleus are a symbol of France. Remember when the entire team went on strike during a World Cup? So much for patriotism, etc. That being said, I think this particular team and this particular manager have shown the best team attitude and talent I’ve seen in a French side. Mr Macron is placing an intelligent bet.
Vollgeld defeat comes as a relief to central bankers— Letter from Bob Sleeper:
Fortunately Swiss voters realised that Vollgeld failed to recognise the profound differences between the roles of central banks and commercial banks in an open free market society.
If commercial banks were required to keep 100 per cent of their deposits at the central bank, the responsibility for making private sector loans and risking non-repayment would be transferred to the central bank. No central bank would want that responsibility.
EM crisis clashes with Fed hawkishness
Emerging markets currency crash has left Fed chairman Powell unmoved
Donald Trump’s trade tirades show his mastery of the message
With the economy growing, talking tough on tariffs is paying off with his base
China is winning the global tech race
Admirers say Chinese technology investments are akin to the Belt and Road Initiative
Germany’s political crisis is about the future of Europe
The CSU’s unilateralism is in conflict with Merkel’s support for European integration
Tantalising glimpse of an EU compromise on freedom of movement
Member states are already watering down immigration principles that prompted Brexit
FT View: A welcome, if overdue, funding rise for the NHS
However, voters should not be fooled by talk of a Brexit ‘dividend’
FT View: The unsettling return of bullish investment banks
Does being back to pre-crisis levels of profit signal a cyclical top?
The Big Read
The Big Read: AIG — The long struggle to repair its reputation
A decade after it needed a $185bn state bailout, the insurer is on the acquisition trail again, but investors remain wary
This article is from today’s FT Opinion email. Sign up to receive a daily digest of the big issues straight to your inbox.