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FirstFT – Britain’s self-employed; picking stocks; why billionaires have more sons

Summary:
Sign up to receive FirstFT by email hereBritain’s self-employed workers are earning less than they did 20 years ago, according to data that expose the low incomes of many people in this growing part of the workforce.According to the Resolution Foundation think-tank, the official data show that the typical weekly earnings of a self-employed worker in 2014/15 were about £240 a week. After adjusting for inflation, that is less than in 1994/95, as far back as the data go.The figures will feed the debate over whether rising self-employment in the UK is to be celebrated or feared. (FT)In the newsTrump TV Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, one of his top advisers, has informally approached a top media industry banker about the prospect of setting up a Trump television network after

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Britain’s self-employed workers are earning less than they did 20 years ago, according to data that expose the low incomes of many people in this growing part of the workforce.

According to the Resolution Foundation think-tank, the official data show that the typical weekly earnings of a self-employed worker in 2014/15 were about £240 a week. After adjusting for inflation, that is less than in 1994/95, as far back as the data go.

The figures will feed the debate over whether rising self-employment in the UK is to be celebrated or feared. (FT)

In the news

Trump TV Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, one of his top advisers, has informally approached a top media industry banker about the prospect of setting up a Trump television network after the presidential election in November. Trump TV may be the logical next step for the former reality TV star, particularly with polls showing a widening lead for Hillary Clinton. Keep track of the 2016 presidential race with our daily US politics newsletter. Sign up here.

Netflix and thrill Shares were up nearly 20 per cent in after-hours trade on Monday as the video streaming group raced past forecasts for subscriber growth. Its total subscriber base is now nearly 87m. (FT)

Goldman Sachs’ top Asia banker to go Mark Schwartz, chairman of Asia Pacific, is to retire at the end of the year after 27 years with the bank. The move comes after Goldman cut about 15 per cent of its investment bankers across the region in the past month. (FT)

Mosul and Obama’s legacy on Isis The bid to recapture Iraq’s second-largest city is not just the biggest test yet of the reformulated Iraqi military forces — it is also a critical moment for US President Barack Obama who once dismissed Isis as a “JV” team, the term for a university’s reserve sports squad, before it seized Mosul in 2014. (FT)

Knockin’ on Dylan’s door Days after it awarded Bob Dylan the Nobel Prize in Literature, the Swedish Academy has given up trying to contact the songwriter: he isn’t returning their calls. (The Guardian)

Japan to propose Kuril rapprochement Japan is considering joint administration of the contested southernmost Kuril Islands with Russia in the hope of achieving a breakthrough in what has been an intractable territorial dispute. (NAR)

It’s a big day for

Heathrow expansion Theresa May is to discuss proposals for the expansion of Heathrow airport at a cabinet meeting. The prime minister is minded to approve the plans in an effort to demonstrate to the world that the UK is open for business despite Brexit, according to Whitehall officials. (FT)

US-Italy relations President Barack Obama hosts Matteo Renzi for a state dinner — potentially the last of his presidency — that may serve as encouragement for the Italian prime minister, who is fighting for his political life. (FT)

Food for thought

A distracted America in a dangerous world The next three months will be a perilous time from Mosul to the South China Sea. A temporarily distracted America might not matter much in normal times — but big and dangerous decisions are looming, writes Gideon Rachman. (FT)

Changing the jihadi narrative online Criticised for not doing enough to take down extremist material, tech groups are beginning to take the initiative. (FT)

The dying business of picking stocks Passive investing has become investors’ default, driving billions into funds that track indexes. It’s transforming Wall Street, corporate boardrooms and the life of the neighbourhood broker. (WSJ)

The legal letter that went viral When the New York Times’ lawyer, David McGraw, responded to the threat of legal action by Donald Trump, he anticipated his letter would generate some buzz. He never realised just how far it would go. In this piece, he give us a glimpse into how the now famous letter was composed and how the world reacted. (NYT)

The transformation of a racist How Derek Black, the heir apparent of the US white supremacist movement, changed his views. (WaPo)

Why billionaires have more sons The odds of having a boy or having a girl have never been exactly 50:50 — and research shows a wide array of often bizarre factors can influence events. Think bad weather, or even a taste for breakfast cereal. (BBC)

Video of the day

SNP faces referendum dilemma Party members are divided on whether to push for an early independence poll after the UK’s Brexit vote. The FT’s Mure Dickie hears tough rhetoric from leader Nicola Sturgeon but finds some party members worry that moving too quickly could be disastrous. (FT)


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Bryan Harris
Bryan Harris is a lead writer at Financial Times. He is a Hong Kong-based journalist with a penchant for international crime stories.

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