FT Big Read

The sunshine state is a key battleground, and it is one that Donald Trump must win to clinch the US presidential election, says Sam Fleming. Victory in the biggest swing state hinges on whether older white voters or the rapidly growing Hispanic population hold more sway

http://media.acast.com/ft-big-read/trumpvsclinton-fightingoverflorida/media.mp3

 

The burkini bans are not the first time the country has been divided over religious dress, says Anne-Sylvaine Chassany. In 1908 the Catholic soutane was at the centre of a clash as the hijab and niqab are today, highlighting the tension between hardline and liberal secularism, dividing Muslims and threatening national unity

 

Regulators have pushed the banking sector to behave more like the most humdrum utilities in a bid to end the ‘too big to fail’ culture. Now with valuations and profit levels converging, Patrick Jenkins assesses what the shift means for the sector

 

The number of electric cars topped 1 million last year, boosted by government subsidies, and they could make up a quarter of the world’s automobiles by 2040. How will this shift in the auto industry affect oil demand — and price, ask Pilita Clark and Peter Campbell

 

A dramatic decline in bond yields has added to the pressures of longer lifespans and falling birth rates to create a looming social and political pensions crisis, say John Authers and Robin Wigglesworth. In this report they examine the outlook for retirees. You can also listen to John and Robin discuss the pensions squeeze at podcast.ft.com.

 

After years of flat revenues, executives are hunting for new income streams, says Ben McLannahan. Can the Wall Street bank be a friend to the consumer and small businesses?

 

Midea’s €4.5bn purchase of robot maker Kuka was the largest ever Chinese takeover of a German company, and the latest in a string of deals that have made Germany the top target in Europe as Chinese investors seek innovative engineering and technology, says Guy Chazan. But it has raised concerns in Berlin for the country’s strategic industries

 

There is a dearth of new business start-ups across much of America, famously the home of capitalist mojo, says Sam Fleming. Domineering incumbents, too much red tape and an unwillingness to risk failing are all blamed for a worrying trend that is hurting productivity and depressing dynamism, Sam reports.

 

Xi Jinping, China’s leader since 2012, came from humble beginnings. How has he grown to have such power in such a short time and what does he want to do with it? James Kynge, the FT’s Emerging Markets Editor, talks to Kerry Brown, Professor of Chinese politics at King’s College, and Tom Mitchell, FT Beijing Bureau Chief.

 

Online fraud from software masquerading as genuine consumers is forecast to cost marketers up to $7bn this year — but the industry is finding such crime very hard to combat and even to detect, says Robert Cookson