FT Big Read

FT Big Read

United Kingdom

An audio version of the best of the Financial Times's Big Reads — in-depth reporting from FT correspondents around the world. Listen to longform stories that explore and explain key themes in world news, science and business. Produced by Anna Dedhar.

Episodes

MSF and the FT’s 2016 Seasonal Appeal: ‘The hospital is sacred’  

Médecins Sans Frontières, which the Financial Times has chosen as its partner for this year's Seasonal Appeal, is one of the few aid groups to continue working in war zones despite deadly attacks on its facilities. Erika Solomon discovers how the group’s commitment to impartiality helps staff stay on the front lines and in refugee camps in Yemen, Iraq and Syria

Thomas Mair: The making of a neo-Nazi killer  

Tom Burgis looks at the case of Thomas Mair, a white supremacist who on November 23 was given a whole life sentence for the murder of his local Labour MP Jo Cox. What drove the loner from Birstall in West Yorkshire to strike just days before the EU referendum?

Russia: Return of the nuclear threat  

Moscow's willingness to use its nuclear capability to put pressure on the west is raising the spectre of nuclear war 25 years after the world thought the end of the cold war had removed it for good, say Neil Buckley, Sam Jones and Kathrin Hille. Nato is alarmed and Donald Trump's election has brought fresh fears

Migration: Turning round Africa's exodus  

Some sub-Saharan nations and aid agencies are sceptical of the EU's push to tackle the causes that send so many thousands on the dangerous passage across Libya and the Mediterranean to enter Europe via Italy, say Maggie Fick, James Politi and Duncan Robinson

US election: What next for Brand Trump?  

The Republican candidate Donald Trump has a capacity for reinvention after business setbacks, says Gary Silverman. And, whether he gets to the White House or not, he will need his magic after the election to extricate himself from multiple cases of civil litigation and work out the way forward for Trump Inc

Iran: Battle for succession  

The Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has led the Islamic Republic since 1989. But after the nuclear deal with the US, questions have been raised over whether it is necessary to have a senior cleric in charge, says Najmeh Bozorgmehr. Now reformists and hardliners have begun to position themselves for influence over the future of the country

Social media: Talking down the jihadis  

Tech groups and digital media stars are taking the initiative in challenging terrorist propaganda from groups like Isis, say Madhumita Murgia and Hannah Kuchler. They are using 'counter speech' to fight extremists' propaganda with their own chosen tools of persuasion — such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Google

Germany: Berlin's battle with gentrification  

A property boom and an influx of new residents have put pressure on the city's affordable rental market, says Guy Chazan. The big fear of officials is that the German capital will see a housing crisis like London's

Gig economy: Corporate consultants break free  

A growing number of business advisers are seeking the flexibility and creativity of working for themselves independent of the big brands, says Andrew Hill, the FT's management editor. But the disruptive edge where McKinsey meets Uber has perils as well as attractions

UK politics: Can Theresa May pull it off?  

Post-Brexit vote, the UK's new prime minister faces the challenge of negotiating the country's exit from the EU while navigating its biggest political upheaval in a generation, say George Parker, Alex Barker and Kate Allen. With her speeches at the Conservative party conference, she has the chance to assert her authority

Trump vs Clinton: Fighting over Florida  

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

France: Islam vs secularism  

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

Banks: Too dull to fail?  

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

Motor industry: Auto charge  

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

Pensions: The dark future  

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.

Goldman Sachs: Turning to Main Street  

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?

Chinese M&A: Beijing's Berlin spree  

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

US economy: Where have all the entrepreneurs gone?  

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’s China: Power play  

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.

Digital advertising: Battling the bots  

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

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