Ben Chu

Ben Chu is The Independent's Economics Editor. Previously he was the newspaper's chief leader writer.

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Bank of England divided over dilemma of soaring house prices

UK house prices are rising at an annual rate of around 11% according to the Nationwide building society, but the price increases in London have been ever steeper

France goes into battle with US over BNP Paribas fine

French government has expressed its anger at reports the US authorities are planning to slap a $10bn fine on one of its major banks

Currency markets brace for clampdown after scandals

The Treasury and the UK’s financial regulators have signalled their intention to clampdown on the £3.1-trillion-a day foreign exchange market in the wake of the abuse allegations that have hit confidence in currency benchmarks.

Mario Draghi, the President of the ECB

German inflation plunge paves way for ECB rate cut

Inflation in the eurozone’s dominant economy sank to 0.6%

Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, translated by Arthur Goldhammer - book review: 'Rich pickings in a convincing critique of capitalism'

Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century is simultaneously ambitious and modest. The book is ambitious because Piketty sets out to tell a high-level history of the global economy and to outline a fresh theory of where we are heading. It's the sort of grand intellectual enterprise that was common in the 19th century, but has become a rarity in our era of more specialised scholarship. But Capital's also modest because Piketty wants to put economics, his own discipline, back in its place. Refreshingly, he regards economics as merely a branch of the social sciences, eschewing the hubristic claims for supremacy made by some practitioners.

Visionary? Thomas Piketty’s thesis, that the West is in the midst of a new Gilded Age of inequality, has divided the US
Ducks in a row: François Hollande responded to a US offer for France’s Alstom with new powers to block bids

Takeovers: Why don't we protect like the French?

As France increases its power to veto bids and the UK debates Pfizer's move on Astra Ben Chu considers the case for protectionism
Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warns economy has yet to reach ‘ultimate goal’ of expansion

Bank forecasts that the number out of work will continue to fall during 2014

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Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game