FT Big Read

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

 

The Brexit shock not only sent Italian bank shares sliding and raised doubts over reform of the industry. It also sharpened the conflict between Rome and the EU over state aid rules and put the political survival of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at risk, say Rachel Sanderson, Alex Barker and Claire Jones

 

The likes of the US, UK and Switzerland are extending their reach as global policemen to track, recover and return stolen assets. Some groups estimate that as much as $1tn a year is stolen from developing nations. But in the crackdown on kleptocracy, Kara Scannell reports how authorities have faced difficulties in returning illicit assets to citizens

 

What will Brexit mean for the City of London? Whatever terms Britain manages to negotiate with the other 27 member states, countries across the EU are eager for a bigger bite of the financial services sector that the City enjoys the lion’s share of today, say Financial Editor Patrick Jenkins and FT reporters. The big question is which rivals are likely to benefit most

 

Six years after the deal that is still seen as a test case for Beijing’s industrial ambitions, the Swedish carmaker is back in profit, say Richard Milne and Christian Shepherd. But there are still challenges for the marque and its Chinese owner as Volvo tries to catch up with its rivals

 

Suntory’s $16bn takeover of US spirits maker Beam in 2014 catapulted the Japanese group to number 3 in the global spirits markets. The tie-up was not without its problems, and Kana Inagaki explains how Beam is trying to overcome the differences in the Japanese and American corporate cultures.

 

Three decades ago the management consultancy set up a private hedge fund for its partners and alumni in a bid to keep staff tempted by the financial rewards of banking and private equity. But some experts warn of possible conflicts of interest, say Harriet Agnew and Miles Johnson

 

As bank profits feel the pressure, savers suffer pain and populism is on the rise, criticism of the ECB’s loose monetary policy is increasing, say James Shotter and Stefan Wagstyl. With parliamentary elections due next year, the argument over ultra-low interest rates will not go away

 

As inequality grows, welfare costs soar and technological disruption escalates, many people are growing warmer to the idea of a guaranteed basic income for everyone, say John Thornhill and Ralph Atkins. Switzerland, which votes on the UBI in June, is not the only country considering a new social model