The Big Read

To buy or build the next boss? The changes of regime at General Electric and Uber highlight the shifts we are seeing in how companies choose their senior executives, says Andrew Hill. GE has always meticulously groomed its leaders in house and had John Flannery primed ready to take over when Jeff Immelt stood down. But that model is becoming rare

 

Can remarkable science be turned into mass-market products, asks David Crow. Cell therapies to treat blood cancers offer hope to patients who have exhausted all other possibilities and are likely to get regulatory approval this year. But they are expensive and production is time consuming, says David. The process needs to be streamlined and capacity matched to demand.

 

Has the party ended for high-end housing developers, asks Judith Evans. After a five-year boom, they are feeling the chill as apartments in their gleaming towers stand empty, with many failing to sell despite offered discounts and gifts

 

Rising house prices and stock market values are fuelling fears of an implosion like the one that dogged Tokyo for decades and President Xi Jinping has urged China’s leadership to safeguard their country’s financial security, say Leo Lewis, Tom Mitchell and Yuan Yang.

 

President Michel Temer has been caught up in the latest bribery probe, centred on JBS, one of the country’s biggest multinationals. A series of investigations since 2014 has exposed a system of patronage that is entrenched among the business and political elite but Joe Leahy and Andres Schipani say the culture is proving hard to change

 

The run-up to Friday’s polls has resounded with arguments over inequality and corruption in the deeply divided Islamic Republic, says Najmeh Bozorgmehr. And there is more at stake than who is to be president. The incumbent Hassan Rouhani or his hardline challenger Ebrahim Raisi could become the next supreme leader, says Najmeh

 

The solace that the European establishment is drawing from the election of Emmanuel Macron as French president should not disguise the fact that the political extremes are still gaining ground in Europe – and the centre is still fragmenting. But Gideon Rachman argues that for all the tension around slow eurozone growth, security and migration, European voters have nevertheless demonstrated more resilience and calm than many pundits and politicians anticipated

 

Companies and countries that displease Beijing can find state-backed consumer campaigns marshalled against them. James Kynge, the FT’s emerging markets editor, asks south China correspondent Ben Bland how effective such sanctions are. You can read the full report on China’s ‘boycott diplomacy’ on www.ft.com/

 

The sport has only once been played in the summer Games but some now believe the wider exposure inclusion would give it is necessary for its survival, says Murad Ahmed. First, though, cricket modernisers must convince sceptics in India

 

The Vix index is known as Wall Street’s ‘fear gauge’ and was once just a measure of market movements. But volatility has itself become a tradable asset and financial engineers have used the index to create high-risk products and strategies that can act as siren calls to unwary investors, says Robin Wigglesworth