Ben Chu

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

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Essar investors hire law firm as battle to resist Ruia takover steps up

The battle for the future of Essar Energy heated up yesterday, as City investors hired a law firm to help prevent the floated portion of the company being acquired by the Ruia brothers, who are reported to have a combined net worth of $4.9bn (£2.9bn).

Winter storms and floods caused slump in construction industry

House building and infrastructure held back by wettest weather since 1766

Greece mounts a successful return to bond market

Greece made an impressive return to the global capital markets after a four-year absence yesterday, with Athens raising €3bn (£2.5bn) in an offering of five-year bonds at a surprisingly low interest rate of 4.95 per cent.

OUTLOOK: Co-operation deficit at the Co op

Outlook There seems to be a co-operation deficit at the Co-op. On the one side are those who would like to see the group become more like a public company in its governance structure. Others are arguing this will undermine the essence of the mutual and wish to retain a powerful voice for members.

Ben Chu: Don't expect revisions to save the day

Outlook It turns out we're a nation of savers after all. That's what some headlines implied this week after the Office for National Statistics said the new pan-European Union statistical methods it will implement this autumn will have the effect of boosting the household savings ratio from its current paltry-looking 5 per cent to a much healthier 10 per cent.

Ben Chu: Can the International Monetary Fund warn us of the next crisis?

Outlook The International Monetary Fund is often accused of failing to foresee the global financial crisis of 2008. And there's an element of truth in that criticism. The Fund's Global Financial Stability Report which was published in April 2007 was hardly a klaxon of alarm, yet it wasn't a soothing lullaby either.

The Port of Felixstowe, in Suffolk, is the UK’s busiest container port

Just how balanced is the UK economy?

The IMF is sounding a warning shot over Britain's economic recovery. Ben Chu examines how concerned we should be about prospects for growth

UK manufacturing growth stronger than expected

UK manufacturing strengthened for a third consecutive month in February, boosting hopes that the economy is re-balancing.

George Osborne is delivering his Autumn Statement

Only time will tell if income tax changes prove worthwhile

It is too soon to judge the effect of George Osborne’s reduction in the rate to 45 per cent last year

UK prospects beat global economy

Firms have become considerably more confident about the outlook for the British economy than for the wider global economy, a survey suggests.

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?