Good morning. Today’s editorial is about a controversy at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. But first I’d like to introduce myself, as I only started writing this newsletter two weeks ago, and I encourage you to let me know what stories you’d like to see in your FirstFT newsletter. Send your opinion to firstname.lastname@example.org. I like to hear from you!
A Canadian communications chief of the multilateral lender that is China’s answer to the World Bank has resigned, claiming the institution is run by communist party members who “operate like an internal secret police”.
Bob Pickard, the Canadian director-general for communications for the Beijing-based multilateral lender, said he flew to Tokyo on Wednesday because he feared for his safety after raising concerns about what he believes was the party’s infiltration of the lender. used to be.
The allegations underscore tensions in multilateral institutions trying to bridge the growing divide between China and the West.
“These people are like an invisible government within the bank and I can’t be part of that,” Pickard told the Financial Times from Tokyo. “I don’t want to be a useful idiot.”
The AIIB said in a statement that Pickard’s “recent public comments and characterization of the Bank are unfounded and disappointing.”
Here’s what else I’m keeping an eye on today:
Monetary policy: China is expected to cut nominal interest rates for the first time in nearly a year, and economists are confident that the European Central Bank will raise rates by another quarter of a percentage point today.
meetings: NATO defense ministers begin a two-day meeting in Brussels, and US national security adviser Jake Sullivan visits Tokyo, where he will meet with colleagues from Japan, the Philippines and South Korea.
Sam Bankman Fried: Lawyers for the former FTX chief, who faces multiple charges, including wire fraud, will plead in New York.
Five more top stories
1. The Indian government has denied reports of a leak of highly sensitive personal data which experts say could be one of the country’s worst digital security breaches. The alleged breach came from the government’s Co-Win online vaccination platform via a “bot” on the Telegram messaging app.
2. The US Federal Reserve stopped raising interest rates after 10 consecutive hikes but indicated its intention to make further increases this year. The Fed kept the benchmark interest rate within its existing range of 5 percent to 5.25 percent, the first delay since the Federal Reserve embarked on an aggressive monetary tightening program last year.
3. Vladimir Putin has backed a plan to bring Russia’s irregular forces fighting in Ukraine under the authority of the Ministry of Defense, appears to be siding with the military in its long-running dispute with the Wagner paramilitary group. Learn about the drive to bring Yevgeny Prigozhin’s militia under central control.
4. Exclusive: The EU is funding Huawei to conduct groundbreaking research in technology ranging from artificial intelligence and cloud computing to 6G, the FT has discovered. The funding comes despite the EU pushing for tighter restraints on the company over security fears.
5. China has offered to mediate between rival Palestinian factions and facilitate peace talks with Israel, in Beijing’s latest move to bolster its diplomatic role in the Middle East.
Airlines around the world are joining the dream: a battery-powered aircraft that takes off and lands like a helicopter, flies like an airplane, and is blessed by regulators for commercial use. Yet the journey to build, certify and fly such an aircraft remains expensive, uncertain and competitive. Which flying taxi leaves first?
We also read and listen to . . .
Open Source AI: Experts are waking up to the threat posed by AI tools if they fall into malicious hands, writes Gillian Tett.
Edward Luke: A victory in next year’s presidential election would be Trump’s card to get out of jail free — and America’s funeral.
FT’s New Unhedged Podcast 🎧: In the debut episode, the FT’s Ethan Wu and Katie Martin try to make sense of the confusing US economy and the possibility of a recession. Free to listen.
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Chart of the day
Chinese policymakers took action earlier this week to boost financial sector liquidity. But many economists believe that even stronger action is needed to revive the world’s second-largest economy. Our analysis reveals months of disappointing data.
Take a break from the news
With their ability to fly, birds are truly world creatures. And as three new books show, the contemplation of these animals offers a simple way to interact with the world outside ourselves, and can also lead to what you might think of as a broader planetary awareness, writes Olivia Judson in this compelling essay.
Additional contributions from Tee Zhuo and Gordon Smith