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: Are these green shoots, or just the end of destocking?

Outlook One of the main reasons international trade and industrial production have fallen off a cliff over the past six months is because of a massive and all-embracing inventory adjustment across all sectors of the world economy.

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.

News
Amazon have just launched their new streaming service in the UK
Jeff Bezos says his Prime Music service is 'the best bargain in the history of shopping'. Ian Burrell wonders whether British listeners will agree
News
Autumn is a magical time of year here in London. However; once the clocks go back one hour in late October, getting up for work in the mornings will become an increasingly dark and cold affair, whilst the days become brief.
The UK is still behind the US and China
News
Apple has accumulated piles of cash – how should it spend it?
The Bank of England’s chief economist is the latest to warn that companies’ dividend payouts are too high while investment is too low. Ben Chu reports
Voices
On a high: the 24-arch Ribblehead Viaduct symbolises this scenic railway
Ideology can contribute nothing to debates about privatisation
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The stresses of modern life are thought to have created
These are the UK companies with the best work-life balance
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Cans of fizzy drinks
Coca-Cola said that global sales of Diet Coke fell 7% on the same quarter last year
News
Visitors shop around Samsung's smart-phones at a shopping mall in Seoul, South Korea
Investors fear that the smartphone market might be reaching its limit
News
Losing its shine? The precious metal has previously been a good bet in turbulent times
Five tonnes of gold were dumped on the Shanghai exchange yesterday, pushing the price to its lowest since 2010. Has this safe haven had its day? Russell Lynch reports
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A pro-Euro protester holds an umbrella with the European Union symbol during a rally in front of the parliament building in Athens
The euro is a capricious god, meting out punishment to sinners and saints alike, writes Matt O'Brien
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A Greek protester casts German leader Angela Merkel in the role of villain. Neither side is blameless
Ben Chu on why there are times when only statistics will do
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While Iran still has vast reserves, some fields will need Western technology to fully exploit resources
With prices falling and equipment issues raised, post-sanctions investment might be risky. But Tom Bawden finds it may prove irresistible...
Life and Style
There aren’t 3D holograms in shops yet, but the sort of targeted advertising demonstrated in Minority Report is possible today, and Apple Pay’s spending profiles could help it to happen
As Apple's new mobile-based payment system launches in the UK, questions remain over security and privacy, as it can collect a detailed profile of its users’ shopping habits. Jamie Nimmo reports on the new contactless technology
News
Beside the seaside: A glorious vista missed
A strong pound, tight visa restrictions and poor accessibility are causing money-spending tourists to skip the UK, writes Joanna Bourke
News
George Osborne holds up the red briefcase outside No 11 Downing Street
The Chancellor has loosened the squeeze on day-to-day Whitehall spending - but why? Ben Chu explains
News
Investors use computers to trade stocks at a brokerage office in Beijing
Beijing is getting desperate as its stock markets continue to plummet. Ben Chu looks at the unique conditions behind the 'Great Fall of China' headlines
News
Tour operators Thomas Cook and Tui have cut forecasts for this year
Travel companies may be feeling the pinch as Aegean holidays dwindle, but car sales are buoyant, says Jamie Nimmo
Voices
Polonius in ‘Hamlet’ counselled against debt
'Neither a borrower nor a lender be,' burbled Shakespeare’s Polonius. Ben Chu says it’s worth asking: Why do we borrow?
News
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin empire

Jim Armitage says that while it may sound good the $500m project has many pitfalls

News
The Chinese way: many investors haven’t completed high school

Shanghai Duolun Industry, a Chinese real estate company, managed to win over investors with a little re-branding in May. Ana Swanson reports.

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Quindell deals in insurance claims but now faces its own sink or swim situation
The insurance claim outsourcer – the one-time darling of AIM – has shares suspended as new inquiry begins. Jamie Nimmo reports on an extraordinary fall from grace
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VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
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Vegetarian food gets a makeover

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The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
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Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
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The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
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Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen