FT Big Read

Alan Rusbridger was a crusading editor of the newspaper, says John Gapper. But since he retired, questions over the cost of his tenure have grown and they are intensified by his return as the head of the trust that owns the liberal beacon

 

With a €404bn turnover and 792,500 employees last year, the car industry is crucial to Germany and there is a revolving door between government and the industry. But did this lead Angela Merkel’s administration to lobby for favourable legislation and turn a blind eye to some of its practices? Guy Chazan reports.

 

With a €404bn turnover and 792,500 employees last year, the car industry is crucial to Germany and there is a revolving door between government and the industry. But did this lead Angela Merkel’s administration to lobby for favourable legislation and turn a blind eye to some of its practices? Guy Chazan reports.

 

China’s online services sector is red-hot as customers turn to their smartphones to order services such as taxis, massages and food deliveries. But with an estimated Rmb50BN being spent a year on subsidies as competitors race to win market share, some see parallels with Silicon Valley in 1999

 

Growth and prosperity had come to be seen as the hallmark of President Vladimir Putin’s reign. But after two years of recession, Kathrin Hille says the social wellbeing that replaced the hardships of the post-Soviet Union era is wearing thin. Sanctions, the falling oil price and an ageing population are all increasing pressures on the economy

 

It is more than a game to the Chinese. President Xi Jinping’s plan to create a ‘great sports nation’ is spurring a tide of investment in foreign star players and stakes in overseas clubs, say Ben Bland and Charles Clover. There are worries, though, over the financial foundations of the country’s latest binge

 

The $3tn debt mountain built up when the global oil and gas industry believed high prices were here to stay threatens further destabilisation, says Ed Crooks

 

Surging mergers and Y10tn in outbound deals in 2015 are being cited as evidence that the once-mightyinterventionist ministry of international trade — reborn as Meti — is reclaiming power, boosted by the Abenomics stimulus project and seeking to compete more effectively with China, say Leo Lewis and Kana Inagaki

 

An FT investigation by David Crow and Robin Kwong has found that, despite post-crisis anger at expensive benefits for corporate bosses and their subsequent reining in, S&P 500 company aircraft are still being used for personal trips. Additional reporting by Jennifer Bissell

 

The country’s huge, inefficient and indebted state-owned companies are crying out for reform as growth slows. But few believe that Beijing’s approach of merging them to create even bigger giants will solve the problem, says Gabriel Wildau