FirstFT: Only 14% of US voters say Biden has made them better off

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Good morning.

In the latest sign that US president Joe Biden’s economic record could undermine his re-election prospects, a new poll has found that only 14 per cent of voters believe they are better off financially now than when Biden took office.

The survey conducted for the Financial Times and the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business found that almost 70 per cent of voters thought Biden’s economic policies had either hurt the US economy or had no impact, including 33 per cent who said they believed the president’s policies had “hurt the economy a lot”. Only 26 per cent said his policies had helped.

The negative view of the White House’s economic record comes despite record jobs growth and almost three years of economic expansion under Biden. The president’s political allies believe that voters can still be won over as the campaign heats up and more Americans scrutinise his achievements.

The monthly FT-Michigan Ross poll will seek to track how economic sentiment affects the race for the White House. Read more from the survey results here.

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

  • Economic data: The European Commission publishes its quarterly forecasts for the EU and its member countries, S&P releases its regional purchasing managers’ index for the UK and Opec has its monthly oil market report.

  • Web Summit: The annual technology conference that brings together industry big names from Microsoft to Alibaba begins in Lisbon, Portugal, today.

  • Results: British Land, Grindr, Mizuho Financial Group, Samsonite and Tyson Foods report.

Five more top stories

1. The UK’s investment screening powers are to be pared back to make them “more business friendly”. Oliver Dowden, the deputy prime minister, told the Financial Times he would launch a review this week aimed at “narrowing and refining” the National Security and Investment Act to ensure “as little regulatory burden as necessary”. Read more on why the government’s position has shifted less than two years after the law came into force.

2. EY executives have clashed over whether age should be a factor in appointing a new global leader. Some partners are worried that 57-year-old Andy Baldwin, one of the leading contenders to succeed Carmine Di Sibio, will be unable to serve a full four-year term unless he is given an exemption. Baldwin has warned that by taking age into consideration without a specific business reason, people involved in the selection process risked breaching UK age discrimination laws.

3. The US has warned Israel not to fire on hospitals in Gaza and endanger the lives of patients and sheltering civilians. Jake Sullivan, US national security adviser, said the US “does not want to see firefights in hospitals where innocent people — patients receiving medical care — are caught in the crossfire”. His remarks reflect rising international alarm over the dire conditions in Gaza’s hospitals.

4. Diplomats from the EU and the UK have been accused of trying to “kill” proposals that seek to give more voice to developing countries in international tax negotiations. Countries including Nigeria, Ghana, India and Brazil have been pushing for a legally binding role for the UN in discussions. European countries, however, are concerned that such a move would undermine existing procedures at the OECD and fragment the international tax system.

5. Geopolitical risks are at their highest level in half a century, the head of one of the world’s biggest oilfield services companies has said. Lorenzo Simonelli, chief executive of Baker Hughes, said Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and the war between Israel and Hamas in the Middle East threatened instability similar to the 1973 oil embargo.

The Big Read

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© FT montage/Bloomberg

At the height of his power, FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried was seen as the crypto industry’s most likely route to respectability, winning backing from top investors including Sequoia and BlackRock. But following his conviction, the industry he championed is faced with the choice of collectively regrouping to become part of mainstream finance or retreating to the fringes as a niche market.

We’re also reading . . . 

Chart of the day

A sharp deceleration in electric vehicle sales growth has prompted carmakers in leading western markets to significantly increase the range and scale of discounts. For the first time, manufacturers have had to offer deals on battery models in order to shift vehicles that previously had months-long waiting lists.

Chart of EV discounts

Take a break from the news

Paul Ainsworth at his restaurant in Padstow, Cornwall
Paul Ainsworth at his restaurant in Padstow, Cornwall © Marco Kesseler

Paul Ainsworth, the man behind the eponymous Michelin-starred restaurant, takes us to seven of his favourite dining destinations in London.

Additional reporting by Benjamin Wilhelm

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