China has officially ousted Germany as factory of the world. Cue angst in Berlin, cheering in the streets of Tiananmen Square?
Not a bit of it. All the data really tells us is that the world isn’t flat and manufacturing is fluid: so long as ships ply the seas, goods can be made wherever labour and factory space is cheapest. And there is no getting round it: China is cheap and, wage inflation notwithstanding, managing to make its exports cheaper still. Read more
Should we care about the resignation of Hector Sants as chief executive of the UK’s Financial Services Authority?
No disrespect to Mr Sants, but the City watchdog has been a lame duck regulator since the Tories made it clear they would break up the FSA if they win the UK general election in May – which they are likely to. Mr Sants will work his notice until the summer. He has made it clear, however, that he opposes the Tory plans to dismember his organisation, with the supervisory arm being folded into the Bank of England and a new agency taking over consumer protection. Both he and his chairman, Lord Turner, have apparently turned down running the former bit in a new role as a third deputy governor of the Bank. He is an experienced and qualified banker who will no doubt find an interesting new job. So this is not a personal tragedy. Read more
Hector Sants has resigned as head of the UK’s Financial Services Authority. Brooke Masters, the FT’s chief regulation correspondent, talks about the future of regulation in the UK.