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.

Voices
Ringing the changes: BT has come a long way since the days of the General Post Office
BT's basic business of running wires into homes and businesses is hugely profitable, writes Hamish McRae
News
Satyajit Das: Donors are free to channel funds to their chosen causes, some noble, some hubristic and some just plain odd
News
The Uber app allows passengers to hail a taxi with a smartphone
Uber facing down the cabbies by recruiting lobbyists to push for law changes, says Oscar Williams-Grut
News
VIDEO City analysts sound the alarm over the upcoming Premier League rights auction as shares in TV giant slide
News
Self-employment is particularly important in construction
Self-employment conveys considerable risks: many lose their jobs, their houses, and even their marriages, writes David Blanchflower
News
Mark Carney inside the Bank of England in Threadneedle Street, London
The charismatic Canadian is now 18 months into his stint as Governor of the Bank of England. So how does he think he’s doing? James Ashton catches up with Carney
News
Gucci’s spring/summer 2015 collection was launched in Milan in September
The power couple who ran Gucci have gone, and in comes an insider charged with making the designer label even more exclusive says Laura Chesters
News
The final curtain is calling for theatrical performances on tax avoidance. Now it’s time to see if big accountants, clever multinationals and Britain’s blue chips can adapt to the emerging tax system, says Mark Leftly
News
The Ferrari factory in Maranello churns out cars whose high-end credentials could be diluted by the diversification championed by chairman Sergio Marchionne
As the Italian marque prepares to float, it is also ‘fleeing to London’ and putting its famous badge on products such as netbooks. Sean O’Grady asks if it risks losing its cachet
News
Retail billionaire has confounded many in the square mile with his leftfield moves and kept the entire retail sector guessing hinting at new shares bets
News
Twitter could be used to improve public services, just as it does private
More than 300 million people around the world reckoned to be using photo app
News
At the moment that possibilityof default is discounted by the markets, but if it were to occur, the plight of Greece would become an issue for Europe as a whole.
News
Alan Rusbridger is to let a ‘younger pair of hands take over the reins’
Under Alan Rusbridger, the loss-making paper spent fortunes on the web and won a Pulitzer. After 20 years, he is stepping down.
News
The FCA has imposed £1.1bn in fines on five banks over forex trading practices
Video: The Independent's Jim Armitage takes a closer look at damning report criticising the FCA's for botched report which ended up costing some of the country's biggest insurers billions of pounds
News
Twitter could be used to improve public services, just as it does private
The pressure will be on the next government to use this extraordinarily powerful tool, says Hamish McRae
News
Tesco’s chief executive Dave Lewis is reforming the struggling retailer, but he will need to raise some cash fast to make progress
There's no polite way of putting that Tesco is nowhere as good as everyone thought. It's time for some ruthless surgery and cash-raising
News
Hard rain at Tesco: the company is acting decisively in the wake of the scandal
Video: Alex Lawson provides a run-down of the day's major news from the City
News
Sales at Abercrombie & Fitch fell 12 per cent in the last quarter
Mike Jeffries turned a sleepy retailer into a global fashion giant. Now he’s stepping down – but few will miss his imperious ways, says Jim Armitage
News
Dating is one of the industries transformed by the internet, but that doesn’t explain why Cupid sold a potentially lucrative part of its business
After a high-profile AIM listing in 2010, the online dating specialist Cupid has become a shell of its former self. Simon Neville reports on what went wrong
News
The eurozone may be 'the new Japan' but the UK isn't, and we won't become a mini-America either, writes Hamish McRae
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Scandi crush: Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

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La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
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Homeless Veterans campaign

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Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
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Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

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Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser
'Enhanced interrogation techniques?' When language is distorted to hide state crimes

Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report'

Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing
Radio 1’s new chart host must placate the Swifties and Azaleans

Radio 1 to mediate between the Swifties and Azaleans

New chart host Clara Amfo must placate pop's fan armies
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

The head of Veterans Aid on how his charity is changing perceptions of ex-servicemen and women in need
Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Its use is always wrong and, despite CIA justifications post 9/11, the information obtained from it is invariably tainted, argues Patrick Cockburn
Rebranding Christmas: More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence

Rebranding Christmas

More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence. They are missing the point, and we all need to grow up