Jeremy Warner: Competence, not ideology, is all that matters in economics

Outlook: There is an air of fin de siècle about the present wallowing around in the old ideas of big government and state activism

Jeremy Warner: Chancellor already in trouble on forecasts

Outlook: I may have spoken too soon earlier this week when I dismissed the IMF's forecast of a 4.1 per cent contraction in the UK economy this year as too pessimistic. Figures released yesterday show that the UK economy shrank a stomach-churning 1.9 per cent in the first quarter of this year, putting the current recession on track to be the worst peak-to-trough economic contraction since the Second World War.

Jeremy Warner: Pensions muddle just gets worse and worse

Outlook: Not content with the mess it has already made of Britain's private sector pension arrangements, the Government seems intent on doing them even more damage in its desperation for new sources of tax revenue. Just three years after introducing some much-needed simplicity into the rules governing pension contributions, ministers have gone spectacularly, and for many ruinously, into reverse with the Budget announcement that higher- rate tax relief on contributions from earnings above £150,000 is going to be removed.

Jeremy Warner: A decade of pain looms as full horror story is revealed

Outlook Even on the day, the Budget arithmetic looked bad enough. The day after the night before, it looks even worse. In a characteristically penetrating analysis, the Institute for Fiscal Studies yesterday spelt out the full horror of the period of austerity that now awaits ordinary Britons, well-off, middle income and poor alike, as the Government struggles to bring a decade of let-rip public spending under control.

Jeremy Warner: Grade should be calling it a day at ITV

Outlook ITV is breaking one of the first rules of corporate governance practice by allowing Michael Grade, effectively chief executive for the last two and half years, to move seamlessly into the position of non-executive chairman.

Jeremy Warner: IMF is being unduly alarmist

Outlook What with the Budget, I've not found space so far this week to engage in a favourite sport – IMF bashing. So a little late, here's my take on a couple of bizarrely alarmist reports published this week by the International Monetary Fund – the Global Financial Stability Report and the World Economic Outlook.

Jeremy Warner: A bogus Budget that ducks the inevitable pain of spending cuts

Budget Outlook In terms of its economics, this was undoubtedly one of the most unconvincing and wrong- headed Budgets of the modern era. Once everyone sees through this lack of economic credibility, it may not look politically that clever either, despite the usual bewildering array of classically Brownite "populist" measures.

Jeremy Warner: Despite recession, Tesco juggernaut just keeps on rolling

Outlook There is still no sign of the wheels coming off the Tesco trolley. To the contrary, there's every indication in yesterday's full-year profits that the recession and accompanying banking crisis, far from marking the beginning of the end for the Tesco growth story, is providing new opportunities that will further strengthen its position in the years ahead.

Jeremy Warner: Recession? Some of us are living in clover

Outlook If you happen to match the following profile – well-paid civil servant with big mortgage planning on buying a new house and car – then you've good reason to celebrate. Thanks to lower mortgage costs, your disposable income will be soaring.

Jeremy Warner's Outlook: Eddie George - a wise old bird remembered

Few central bank governors get more than a footnote in the history books. Lord George's role in presiding over the first four years of independence for the Bank of England ensures more generous coverage. On a personal level, Lord George, who died at the weekend, will also be fondly remembered by all who knew him.

Jeremy Warner's Outlook: Fine words, but where's the money going to come from?

The age of government activism is back. Or is it? Once you've waded through the grandiose-sounding principles and statement of objectives, yesterday's government paper purporting to set out an industrial strategy for the future – New Industry, New Jobs: Building Britain's Future – doesn't add up to a hill of beans, or given its focus on creating "green-collar" jobs, one might even say a hill of green beans.

Jeremy Warner: Nemesis of the mutually owned building societies

Outlook: First, Dunfermline Building Society went bust; then Moody's downgraded the credit rating of nine smaller building societies, some of them to only just above junk; now a self-styled "whistle-blower" comes forward to claim that the Financial Services Authority had stood idly by while building societies expanded their lending into ever more risky areas and were "eaten alive" by avaricious investment bankers.

Jeremy Warner: Bolstering confidence must be Chancellor's Budget priority

Outlook: It's always dangerous to double-guess the Budget this close to the event. The proximity means that readers remember what you've said when confronted by a policy response which is the exact opposite to the one forecast, whereas, if you have made your predictions further out, you can always claim that they were right at the time but that events and politics intervened to make them redundant.

Jeremy Warner: How sustainable is the stock market bounce?

Outlook There may or may not be a rapid bounce back in the economy, but the stock market, which tends to discount some way into the future, already seems to have made up its mind and is celebrating as if spring has already fully sprung. Since its low point in early March, the FTSE 100 share index has leapt 15 per cent, led by the banking sector, which has risen by an astonishing 55 per cent. This was admittedly from an extraordinarily low point, but even so, it's quite a rally.

Jeremy Warner: Don't count on China to act as the locomotive

Outlook As expected, the big emerging- market economies of Asia are proving more resilient to the global recession than the advanced, industrialised economies of the West and Japan. But can that resilience lift the rest of the world out of its funk? This seems rather less likely.

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Kristin Forbes is also a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Saudi Arabia’s oil production looks set to be overtaken by the United States within a couple of years. It may have already happened
Falling energy prices boost growth in consuming countries. We can feel that here in the UK, says Hamish McRae
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Pro-democracy protesters fill the streets in front of the Hong Kong government offices on a third day of the Occupy Central campaign
China is likely to prevail over the Occupy Central movement. But in doing so, it will undermine the longer-term economic vibrancy of both, writes Mohamed El-Erian
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Tesco and Sainsburys both receive some bad news
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Banks getting round the table with the watchdog to negotiate their fines shows what’s wrong with the system, writes Chris Blackhurst
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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 Independent's economics editor Ben Chu takes a closer look at the revised GDP figures
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Carmen Segarra had said she was surprised by a remark at Goldman. A fellow regulator told her, ‘You didn’t hear that’
The leaking of confidential conversations with the Fed reveals an alarming truth: Wall Street regulators are paid by Wall Street to take Wall Street at its word. No wonder the banks always seem to get away with it, says the acclaimed author Michael Lewis
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The Italian banking system has been under severe pressure for years, losing money in 2011, 2012 and 2013, according to ECB figures, says David Brierly
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