Good news about RBS? Focus on the bumpy road ahead

Good news about RBS? It’s something of a shock. The sight of a Dodo ambling up Oxford Street would be less surprising.

Too much information? One day the state might be selling the family data

Westminster Outlook Appropriately for a man whose greatest achievement/failure in the coalition so far has been the privatisation of Royal Mail, Michael Fallon spent his final hours as a business minister announcing a sell-off. The proposed privatisation of Constructionline, though, was rather lost in the reshuffle excitement as Mr Fallon reached the top rank of government with a promotion to Defence Secretary.

They needed this diver to go in at the deep end in Portsmouth

Westminster Outlook What’s the point of a reshuffle if you promote MPs to the wrong roles?

Jim Armitage: Agents of their own destruction – at last?

Outlook As British firms pour back into corruption-prone Iran in the hope of an imminent end to sanctions, a little-noticed Supreme Court judgment brings some cheer to their stressed compliance departments.

The Russians won’t skip the country just yet

Outlook: A few words on this talk of the exodus of rich Russians, and their money, from London.

Standard Chartered’s chief is now under fire from within and without

Outlook Peter Sands’s hold on the chief executive position at Standard Chartered seems ever more tenuous. Yesterday, an exhaustively researched story in the Financial Times was splashed across its front cover, with a further page inside, documenting the extreme difficulties the emerging markets bank is going through.

Hamish McRae: It’s not a question of if, but when... interest rates have been kept artificially low for long enough

Economic View: Monetary policy has become easier without the Bank of England doing anything

Vitol's London headquarters at Belgrave House (Teri Pengilley)

Vitol: Tough work but staff stay loyal due to huge bonuses

When it comes to the financial industry’s richest and most risk-taking executives, few top those in the world of energy trading.

James Moore: Crocs makers bitten, but they will survive

Outlook It wasn’t all that long ago that the makers of Crocs were aspiring to be the biggest reptiles in the footwear world.

James Moore: Fines for standing? Let’s applaud the LME

Outlook The City is now in the midst of the summer silly season as regards news. So here’s an apparently silly story.

James Moore: RBS has a lot to learn if it’s to regain customers’ trust

Outlook Oh dear. Just days after its chief executive Ross McEwan had again talked about his ambition to turn Royal Bank of Scotland into a paragon of banking virtue, it has egg all over its face again.

Separating the advice from the firms that are flogging pension products is essential

The Chancellor hopes his announcement yesterday will lead to a world where retiring people make informed decisions about their pension choices.

Every little helps, they say, and it didn’t take much to lift Tesco shares

Outlook: Mr Clarke pulled Tesco out of its disastrous American adventure and identified the problem with its antiseptic and unfriendly UK stores

Shopper’s view: Sweaty and frustrating - the Tesco experience

“Unexpected item in bagging area”. One of the most irritating phrases in modern life, of course.

Mark McSherry: Wall Street needs Alibaba to works its magic on floats

Global Outlook Is it still “open sesame” for the monster initial public offering in New York of the Chinese internet retail giant Alibaba this summer?

News
Fallen star Bo Xilai in court, in September last year; he was given a life sentence
The rules are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos , as he learns the dark arts from a master
News
A brand new prescription: ‘Only using healthy mice and rats to find cures for ill humans is old-fashioned,” says George Freeman
The UK’s first-ever minister for life sciences tells Margareta Pagano about his new role at the departments of business and health, transforming how the UK develops and finances medicine
News
Rich, young Russians won’t dump their English lives unless they have absolutely no other option, says Jim Armitage
News
It’s not a question of if, but when... interest rates have been kept artificially low for long enough, says Hamish McRae
News
There may be trouble ahead … David Levy has very rarely been wrong in his forecasts
David Levy’s family has correctly called every major financial event in the US for decades. Now he’s warning of a global recession next year. Bernard Condon investigates
News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
The retailer is on its knees, thanks to a German war veteran who turned the family grocers into the Aldi chain, writes Tony Paterson
News
It was Paul Fisher’s job to oversee and implement quantitative easing
Paul Fisher has left the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee after five years. He tells Ben Chu what Threadneedle Street got right and why the Bank behaved properly over forex
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are big fans of an out of print 1960s business book. Seth Stevenson explores why
News
News
Analysis: Some feel that Philip Clarke didn't get enough of a chance to prove himself
Voices
Mr Osborne, who is on a two-day trip to India with Foreign Secretary William Hague, said the two countries would see greater investment in each other’s economies and more job creation.
The young have been hurt the most by recession. They don't vote Tory and can't buy a house, so who cares?, writes David Blanchflower
News
One of the lines on the Metro do Porto network crosses the Dom Luis bridge
An interest rate swap arrangement has ended up costing a Portuguese state-owned transport company a fortune. So did it really understand the pages and pages of algebra in the contract, asks Jim Armitage
News
Is the new bank likely to be of much use? The emerging countries have done pretty well without it, says Hamish McRae
Life and Style
The value of Ruby Roman grapes has rocketed since they were first put on the market in 2008, finds Beckie Smith
News
Shopping centres, like the Hammerson one proposed for Leeds, have created opportunities, but more needs to be done
The death of traditional industries has left the region in need of regeneration. Retail developers are moving in – but is the Government doing enough to help? Laura Chesters investigates
News
After being hit by the smoking ban, recession and cheap supermarket booze, the pub industry is finally fighting back. Matthew Boyle finds a new breed of investor is moving into the sector
Voices
A strong currency isn't everything
At one time, presiding over a weakened currency would get you the chop... but things have changed, says Hamish McRae
Voices
Chancellor George Osborne (C) wears a high visibility jacket as he makes a visit to the Prysmian Group factory and speaks to factory manager Steve Price
Could a surprise drop in manufacturing output have wider implications, asks David Blanchflower
News
Six in 10 small businesses are owed late payments and the average small business is currently owed £38,186 in overdue bills, Bacs says
SMEs are today owed £39.4bn in overdue bills. The figures are nothing short of a scandal, says David Prosser
News
Network Rail (NR)
Politicians don't trust Network Rail, are fed up with late trains and don't think UK suppliers get a fair shout, says Mark Leftly
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Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
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