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FT Big Interviews

FT Big Interviews

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The diplomat who has brought informal parties, skateboard ramps and turntables to the ‘special relationship’

Over a buffet lunch in Beijing, the Chinese law professor and novelist talks about his ‘nice dream’ for communism, tackling corruption — and how he won over his wife’s family. FT illustration of He Jiahong by Luke Waller

Lunch with the FT: He Jiahong -

‘The only reason I got to do “The Godfather” was that I was cheap, I was young, I was Italian and I was a screenwriter. It was a total stroke of luck. I had no business having such an important movie. I was always on the verge of getting fired. They didn’t like my ideas.’

Breakfast with the FT: Francis Ford Coppola -

Business leaders complain he’s anti-capitalist, cartoonists depict him as Mr Bean and his personal polls are dire. Yet he will be prime minister if the Labour party wins the general election — and he certainly believes he is up to the job

Exclusive interview: Is Ed Miliband ready? -

Over kale salad in New York, the IBM chief talks about having ‘cyber-conversations’ with half-a-million employees, machines making decisions and why she wishes they’d gone to Starbucks

The DeepMind founder’s aim is to make ‘machines smart’. Over seafood dim sum, he talks about computers acting like humans, joining forces with Google, and why eating is time wasted.

Anne Stausboll heads the largest pension fund in the US, with a portfolio of investments worth $295bn. Under her leadership Calpers has been crusading for environmental causes and for better corporate governance at the companies it owns, vigorously defending its pensioners’ benefits through the courts and, most recently, fighting to drive down the fees that fund managers charge.

Anne Stausboll, Calpers CEO: the $300bn woman -

At a Russian-owned steakhouse in London, the oligarch who crossed Putin explains why he thinks the Kremlin’s current master cannot keep power for ever.

Over afternoon tea in London, the director talks about the stage musical of his breakthrough film, Spain’s ‘horrific’ economic troubles — and reveals the title of his next movie

The Netscape founder and tech investor talks about the trouble with stock markets, what he looks for in entrepreneurs and why illegal immigration is good for America.

Over a long career he gave diplomatic advice to British prime ministers. Then, in his sixties, he lost his religion and finally told his family he was gay.

Amid growing challenges from rivals, HBO’s chief has to keep the hits coming. Over chicken in New York, he talks about nurturing creativity, the future of TV, and venting while running.

FT Masterclass: Pinterest co-founder Evan Sharp shows off his Frisbee skills Photo by Matthew Reamer

The mining magnate who has shaken up Australian politics in the past year talks about clashing with the PM, Chinese business partners and Murdoch’s media empire

Clive Palmer -

The author has become one of the voices of contemporary America. Over fried clams in Boston, he talks about migrant families, machismo and swearing in Spanish

Junot Díaz -

Eighteen months after his shock departure from US banking giant Citigroup, the financier talks about life after Wall Street, shadow banking and behavioural economics

Lunch with the FT: Vikram Pandit -

The billionaire Chinese financier was among the first to see the potential in homegrown internet companies. He talks about a career that began when he rented out comics at the age of seven.

Zhang Lei has Lunch with the FT -

Over pumpkin soup, the Nobel Prize-winning economist talks to the FT’s Martin Wolf about creativity and innovation

Edmund Phelps -

Now an artist creating work out of minced pork and litter, the former soldier and Tiananmen Square protester recalls the horrors of that night in Beijing 25 years ago.

Lunch with the FT: Guo Jian -

The 90-year-old heiress and pioneer of designer denim breaks from her daily peanut butter sandwich to talk about the triumphs and tragedies of an extraordinary life.

Gloria Vanderbilt -

‘I am very anti-bourgeois,’ the head of Lazard Frères in France tells Michael Stothard over sushi in Paris.

Lunch with the FT: Matthieu Pigasse -

Over Indian food in New York, the former US Treasury secretary talks about future risks, crisis management, mistakes and misperceptions

Lunch with the FT: Tim Geithner -

They used to say: "You never get fired for buying IBM". Now, increasingly it is: "No one gets fired for buying Amazon." This should send a chill down Big Blue's spine.

FT interview: Big blues -

Ed Balls tells chancellor to curb Help to Buy to boost recovery Ed Balls, shadow chancellor, said Mr Osborne needed to rein in the Help to Buy scheme in London, and put fresh effort into building new towns and more social housing to boost supply. Read interview here:

Is the chief executive of controversial driver-hailing app Uber a ‘trust-buster’ or an arch capitalist?

Lunch with the FT: Travis Kalanick -