EconomyFirstFT: Rupert Murdoch marks end of an era and...

FirstFT: Rupert Murdoch marks end of an era and hands over reins to son Lachlan

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Good morning.

Rupert Murdoch’s decision to relinquish control of Fox and News Corp and make his elder son Lachlan the sole chair marks the end of an era for the powerful media billionaire.

The Australia-born mogul, 92, has over the past seven decades transformed an Adelaide newspaper that he inherited from his father into a global media empire, which is feared and courted by politicians across the English-speaking world.

Murdoch told employees yesterday that he would remain engaged in the company as chair emeritus and promised to “be involved every day in the contest of ideas”.

In a memo sent to staff he said he was in “robust” health as he lambasted elites in the media and elsewhere in society.

“Elites have open contempt for those who are not members of their rarefied class. Most of the media is in cahoots with those elites, peddling political narratives rather than pursuing the truth. In my new role, I can guarantee you that I will be involved every day in the contest of ideas,” he wrote.

We have more on yesterday’s announcement, including Murdoch’s farewell memo in full.

  • Analysis: Lachlan Murdoch faces several strategic questions as he inherits the influential media empire, though insiders are doubtful that his father will truly give up control.

  • Opinion: Without much family drama, the Murdoch succession question seems to be settled, writes Matthew Garrahan. Or is it?

Here’s what else I’m keeping tabs on today:

  • Economic data: S&P Global will release its flash manufacturing and services purchasing managers’ indices for September. Mexico updates on inflation and Canada releases retail sales for July.

  • Monetary policy: US Federal Reserve governor Lisa Cook will give the keynote address at the National Bureau of Economic Research Economics of Artificial Intelligence Conference in Toronto.

  • Zelenskyy to speak in Canada: Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy will speak to the Canadian parliament as part of his campaign to bolster support from western allies for Ukraine’s war against Russia’s invasion.

One more thing: We are launching a new central banks newsletter for premium subscribers. Chris Giles will use nearly 20 years of experience as the Financial Times’s economics editor to provide weekly insights on interest rates and monetary policy as the global battle against inflation rages on. Don’t miss the first issue on October 17 — sign up here.

Five more top stories

1. Exclusive: Western leaders raised the issue of a Canadian Sikh leader’s killing with Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, when they met at the G20 summit this month. According to people familiar with the talks, US president Joe Biden and other members of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network raised the issue at the urging of Canada, which claims New Delhi was involved in the killing. Read the full story.

2. Microsoft’s proposal to acquire Activision Blizzard took a big step forward today after the UK’s competition regulator provisionally accepted the tech company’s amendments to the $75bn takeover. The Competition and Markets Authority, which blocked the merger in April, has been seen as the last big legal hurdle facing the takeover. Here’s the latest on the world’s largest video games deal.

3. The Bank of Japan today maintained its low interest rates, signalling at the end of a two-day policy meeting that it will remain in stimulus mode. Speculation has mounted in financial markets in recent weeks that the BoJ is preparing to exit its decades of ultra-loose monetary policy. The outcome of Friday’s meeting sent the yen tumbling against the dollar.

4. The Pentagon’s costly fleet of F-35 fighter jets can only fly a little over half the time, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office. The report from the independent congressional watchdog was published just days after a Marine Corps F-35 crashed in South Carolina. Here’s more on the damning findings.

5. The Federal Trade Commission has brought its first antitrust lawsuit under chair Lina Khan challenging serial acquisitions by private equity groups. The FTC accused New York-based Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe of a “multiyear anti-competitive scheme” targeting anaesthesiology practices.

How well did you keep up with the news this week? Take our quiz.

News in-depth

Wildfire in Athens
Wildfires on the outskirts of Athens last month. The latest political wrangles over climate change follow the hottest summer season on record © Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty Images

Governments are facing mounting pressure as the world approaches 2030, the year by which scientists say the planet must cut greenhouse gas emissions by almost half. But politicians now have to reconcile meeting net zero goals with political risk, as climate change moves from a peripheral concern for voters to a central election issue globally.

We’re also reading . . . 

  • China’s stock market: By using listing and trading rules to direct capital into sectors that fit his priorities, Chinese president Xi Jinping wants the market to serve the state.

  • 🎧 Is Bidenomics working? Gideon Rachman talks to Brian Deese, former head of the National Economic Council in the Biden White House, in the first in a three-part series on the US president’s economic policy.

  • Bosses and WFH: Company managers may not like working from home but it is better for society and should keep getting more productive, argues Simon Kuper.

Chart of the day

Brazil is seeking to raise up to $2bn from its first sustainable sovereign bond, with the proceeds earmarked for ecological and social purposes. It will become the eighth country in Latin America to issue a bond with a sustainability label and has held roadshows in London, New York and Boston in recent days to outline the proposals and gauge interest.

Bar chart of Total issued by companies and governments ($bn) showing Chile and Mexico are the biggest issuers of sustainable debt

Take a break from the news

Here are the six finalists for the Financial Times and Schroders Business Book of the Year Award — including Walter Isaacson’s newly published biography of Elon Musk.

FT montage of this year’s book covers
© FT Montage

Additional contributions from Tee Zhuo and Benjamin Wilhelm

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