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
‘Pragmatic’ reforms may not be enough for the tax campaigners who protested outside Barclays’ AGM
Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
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Tesco has been audited by PwC since 1983
James Moore: Change the incentives and you change the behaviour – that’s the theory
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Athens is attempting to negotiate a better deal with its creditor nations in the European Union
Hamish McRae thinks that there will be a deal that enables the government to continue functioning in response for concessions that it can argue are just about within its red lines
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Nothing Thomas Cook could ever do would bring back the two children killed by carbon monoxide poisoning on a Greek holiday in 2006. But the firm’s handling of the case has been a lesson in how not to manage a crisis. Joanna Bourke reports
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Research showed that one individual lost more than £13,000 in a gambling session lasting more than seven hours
Having meandered rather aimlessly for a couple of years, the awkwardly named Bwin.party suddenly finds itself cast in the role of Portia in The Merchant of Venice, beset by suitors on all sides, says James Moore
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The chief executive of advertising giant WPP writes exclusively for The Independent
News
BrewDog, now Scotland’s largest independent brewer, has a great tale. David Prosser tells it
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Chancellor George Osborne says he has a mandate for more austerity
So we are supposed to believe wage growth, productivity and GDP growth will not be impacted by the austerity that is to come, even though they were last time? David Blanchflower doesn't think so
News
The Bank of England Governor wants to ‘dampen down’ the idea that migrant workers, such as these fruit-pickers in Surrey, are an economic problem
Claims have abounded this week that new migrants are to blame for weak pay growth in Britain in recent years - but the evidence suggests otherwise, says Ben Chu
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Verizon made the purchase in order to compete with the likes of Google and Facebook
The pop star Prince is enjoying something of a career revival in the United States. And, fittingly, Silicon Valley is also partying like it’s 1999. Andrew Dewson reports
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Bob Diamond raised $325m for his African venture in 2013
Zeus seems to have chucked a stray thunderbolt at the financial titan that is former Barclays boss Bob Diamond. Will he and his Atlas Mara now have to hold up the heavens as punishment, asks James Moore
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