Jonathan Guthrie, Head of Lex and FT Associate Editor, explains why the FT’s unrivalled Lex column offers indispensable perspectives to corporate teams and the global business community.
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As the oldest and arguably most influential column of its kind, FT readers and business teams around the world rely on Lex to understand the risks and opportunities likely to impact their decisions. Jonathan Guthrie tells us more:
Who should read Lex?
Anyone interested in the story of global capital, viewed through the prism of corporate news. Our core readers are senior executives in business, finance and professional services.
Where did the name Lex come from?
The name is a riff on the Latin phrase for “Law of the Markets”. It is a daily investment column on world business and finance that aims to be succinct, funny and informed. It has been going for ages and has several imitators.
Can you sum up what makes Lex different in the global media market?
Lex is a collective columnist. We are a team of financial commentators in London, New York, San Francisco and Hong Kong with shared views on the central issues we cover. We do not put the byline of an author under each note because it would be inaccurate.
What do readers like most about Lex?
Brevity. Financial literacy. Clear opinions. Terrible puns. Lex entertains even as it informs. We unpick complex situations in under 400 words. Less noise. More signal. That’s the mission.
How do you think Lex can be used as a business tool?
In forming an investment view. We don’t believe in buying peaks or selling dips. Lex doesn’t tell you what’s happening. Instead, it explains why - distilling key data and market information from many sources into an easily read, concise format. By focusing on the numbers and looking behind the headline news, Lex informs the decision making process with impartial and trustworthy intelligence.
What are the major stories you’re watching right now?
The US/China trade war. Tech giants in their tricky teenage years. Comeuppance for hydrocarbons.
What recent columns are you particularly proud of?
I thought we did a good job on a recent Friday. We analysed Norway’s swerve away from oil, examined the death of traditional UK retailing and pointed out there are more statues of cats in the City of London than of prominent businesswomen.
Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?
Nailing our colours to the mast.
What plans are there to enhance Lex in 2019?
We are planning some deep dives on tech giants and a video series on business megatrends.
Lex is part of the FT’s premium content. Why is this?
We are pleased many subscribers are willing to pay extra for the FT’s premium package, of which Lex is the flagship. This gives us the resources to research deeply and edit hard. Many free blogs are longer. Most say less. Lex is more!
How can readers sign up for Lex?
If you are already an FT Group subscriber, you can click the links below to automatically start receiving your preferred newsletters, including the Best of Lex. This allows you to catch up with a letter from Lex’s four centres around the world each Wednesday, and a review of the week’s best commentary every Friday.
Three other things you may not know about Lex
- Everyone who writes comment for Lex has a nickname appropriate to roller derby.
- The readership of the Lex column is 1.3m and research shows that almost two-thirds of FT readers read Lex every day.
- Robert Armstrong, FT chief editorial writer and former Lex editor, wrote an article on what Lex stands for, including beliefs which hold true today.
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