Jeremy Warner: Ronson won't call the turn quite yet

Outlook To London's Dorchester Hotel, where Gerald Ronson was yesterday hosting his annual City lunch. The Heron International boss is as seasoned a participant of the European property market as they come, having successfully managed his way through at least three cycles. This must be his fourth.

Jeremy Warner: Keeping American dream on the road

Outlook President Barack Obama gave a number of reasons for wanting to save the core of the American car industry yesterday after rejecting the survival plans submitted by management. Unfortunately, very few of these reasons were commercial. Rather, the President referred in dewy-eyed hyperbole to the importance of the automobile as an emblem of the American spirit that had helped to build the very fabric of the nation. The car, he concluded, was the very essence of the American dream.

Jeremy Warner: FSA finds that Barclays is telling the truth

Outlook: Right from the start of the banking crisis, Barclays has attempted to argue that it should be viewed differently from other banks, that it had managed its risks more effectively than rivals during the long boom, and that there was therefore no need for the UK Government support that the others had had to avail themselves of.

Jeremy Warner: More banks is what we chiefly need

Outlook: Dear old Alan Greenspan. Ever since the banking crisis first broke, the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve has been furiously scribbling away in an attempt to defend his legacy from the growing weight of lacerating commentary which blames Greenspan himself for allowing financial markets to run amok and the boom to get out of control.

Jeremy Warner: Inflationary nemesis awaits gilts investment

Outlook After Wednesday's gilt auction flop, yesterday there came a rip-roaring success in government debt issuance, with the latest offering 2.7 times subscribed. So is the buyers' strike over before it had even properly begun? It would be unwise for the Debt Management Office to assume so. Yesterday's issue was an index-linked gilt, and if you think what the Government is doing by borrowing so much is inflationary, that's the only form of government debt you'd be interested in buying. There are two ways of defaulting on your debt. One is simply not to pay. The other is to inflate it all away. Post-war British governments have been particularly good at this latter form of default, and that's what's going to happen this time too.

Jeremy Warner: Canary Wharf owner teeters on the brink

Outlook Those with long memories will recall that Canary Wharf, the London Docklands development which is home to some of the City's largest investment banks, went spectacularly bust in the last recession. With the economy once more contracting fast, and the financial services industry contracting even faster, is it about to go under for a second time? Perhaps oddly, given the meltdown in investment banking and London commercial property values, this actually doesn't seem terribly likely. The complex is close to fully let, there's cash on the balance sheet, there's no speculative development going on (new offices for which there are no tenants pre-signed), most existing tenants are on long leases, and even the building once occupied by the now-defunct Lehman Brothers looks safe enough. The rent was insured for four years with AIG.

Jeremy Warner: Despite Brown's best efforts, G20 can only disappoint

Outlook Hopes of winning agreement at next week's summit of the G20 for a co-ordinated fiscal stimulus have turned to dust before the meeting could even begin. France and Germany were never in favour of it in the first place, preferring instead to preach the virtues of fiscal discipline and insisting that time must be given first to seeing whether current fiscal stimuli were working before considering even more. Now even our own Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, one of the keenest proponents of global action to deal with the recession, has been forced to concede that he's already so over-borrowed he cannot spend or cut taxes any further. As if Tuesday's warning from the Governor of the Bank of England wasn't salutary enough, the markets sent their own message the following day by shunning an issue of long-dated gilts. There are limits to how much the UK Government will be allowed to borrow.

Jeremy Warner: Gilt auction failure highlights challenge of the public finances

Outlook Last week, I expressed the view that the recession should prove just about affordable for the UK assuming nothing further by way of fiscal stimulus. Now I'm not so sure. With the failure of yesterday's long-dated gilt auction – the first such failure in seven years – we may be seeing the beginnings of a buyers' strike that will make the fiscal deficit increasingly difficult to fund.

Jeremy Warner: Legal & General halves dividend for investors

Outlook Who would be a non-executive director of a life insurance company right now? Banks look almost transparent by comparison, while even if the chief executive isn't pulling the wool over your eyes, figuring out whether the company is solvent or not is like trying to get your head around the theory of relativity. It all depends crucially on what assumptions you use and the myriad different ways you can value your assets.

Jeremy Warner: Goldman may not be allowed to repay Tarp

Outlook Goldman Sachs is reportedly desperate to repay the $10bn of Tarp money it was forced to take in the thick of the banking crisis last autumn and believes itself easily capable of doing so. That way it escapes the conditions on pay and oversight the money imposed. Other more solvent banks are said to be trying to do the same thing.

Jeremy Warner: The inflationary parrot is not yet deceased

Having been declared dead, it appears that the parrot still lives. I'm talking about inflation, which to the surprise of most forecasters actually rose last month as measured by the Consumer Prices Index. To believe the headlines, you would think we were already in an age of deflation, yet the latest numbers have bizarrely forced the Governor of the Bank of England again to write to the Chancellor explaining why inflation is still so much above target. Wait a while, he might have said, and I'll be writing to you to explain why we are so far below target.

Jeremy Warner: Governor tells Brown he cannot afford to spend any more

Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, has broken one of the big unwritten taboos in publicly warning the Government off any further fiscal stimulus. The deal is that just as the Government stays out of the conduct of monetary policy, the Bank of England minds its own business on fiscal matters, at least publicly. There is always the odd bit of sniping on each other's territories, made the more intense by the financial and economic crisis of the past two years, but nothing as overt as yesterday's warning has happened in ages.

Jeremy Warner: Can the Geithner bounce be maintained?

Will Tim Geithner's $1 trillion public-private partnership plan for buying up the banking industry's toxic assets mark the bottom of the bear market, as the massive Wall Street rally on Monday seemed to suggest? The not terribly helpful answer to this question is that it depends whether the US Treasury Secretary's plan works. We are not going to know this for some months, and even then it may not presage a sustained rally. What can be said is that we must now be pretty close to the bottom of the financial crisis. Much less certain is what shape the recovery might take. Is it the sharp bounce-back anticipated by some, or will we just bump along at depressed levels for years to come? Whatever the answer, the outlook for equity markets is for the time being one of more volatility.

Jeremy Warner: Daily Mail sees signs of stabilisation

Outlook: More than half of Daily Mail's profits now come from business-to-business activities, which for the time being are proving relatively resilient

Jeremy Warner: Believe it if you will as Geithner's $1trn elephant takes flight

Outlook: For some banks there remains a certain inevitability about at least a temporary period of state ownership
News
A piece of the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Donetsk
Last year was more expensive for air disasters than any year since 2001. Jamie Dunkley examines the cost to the underwriters of aviation risk
News
The rise in the number of whistleblowers is impressive whichever way you look at it, says James Moore
News
The institution is now controlled not by a co-operative but by hedge funds, where these sort of payments are par for the course, says James Moore
News
The Treasury Select Committee will today take one of its last chances before Parliament’s dissolution to bowl another bouncer at the chest of the Financial Conduct Authority. James Moore on why we must watch over our watchmen
News
Princess Anne talks to Anthony Constantinou at the London Boat Show
Anthony Constantinou’s infancy was shattered by tragedy, but he went on to build a multimillion-pound City of London  business. Yet now the shadow of the law hangs over the boss of Capital World Markets, reports Jim Armitage
News
USC was put into administration by Sports Direct and was bought back immediately also by Sports Direct, with its £15.3m debts to staff, suppliers and landlords wiped clear
We’ve known for a while that Sports Direct sails close to the wind in terms of its business practices. After the performance of its chairman, James Moore says a more apt metaphor might be that it has been dancing with a hurricane
News
Ben Chu has the answers
News
MP Stella Creasy
Picking a team is fun, says Mark Leftly
News
The law on annuities will be changed from April 2016
History has shown that if you propose even a modest reform to the UK’s pension market you’re guaranteed a migraine from the bellyaching, notes James Moore
News
Ticket signs at Victoria Station on January 2, 2015 in London, England. Increased rail fares averaging 2.5% come into effect today, pushing the cost of some commuters annual rail fares to more than �5,000. Earlier this week, Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said that he would not be receiving his annual bonus because of the major rail disruption passengers faced over the Christmas period, which was caused by engineering works that overran.
Far from relieving the pressure on trains, the 16 per cent increase in seats might not even be enough to cope with the growth in passenger numbers, says James Moore
News
The story of Georgiou’s alleged fraud snugly fits the victim narrative so beloved of the country’s government, says Jim Armitage
News
The law on annuities will be changed from April 2016
Could pension providers’ loss be small businesses’ gain? David Prosser finds out
News
George Osborne was accused of a ‘roller-coaster’ approach to public spending
No ifs or buts, says David Blanchflower: last week’s mean-spirited heartless roller-coaster Budget was designed to smash the state and make the poor poorer.
News
What a shame that Next doesn’t do more to share that success with its employees, says James Moore
News
Spring breakers enjoy a pool party – but some fear that university debt will soon cripple the US economy
The cost of going to college has fuelled a $1.3trn debt bubble that some experts fear could burst just like the subprime mortgage one did. Andrew Dewson reports on how a degree may no longer be the route to an affluent lifestyle in the US
News
Now that George Osborne has finished throwing his confetti of numbers down the aisle of the House of Commons in an attempt to prolong his marriage with a weary nation’s finances, James Moore asks an important question: do they add up?
News
People queue at a currency exchange office in Geneva on 15 January, after the shock move by Switzerland’s central bank
The spread-betting giant IG has admitted that it may never claw back most of the £18m lost by its clients after the Swiss scrapped their currency ceiling – and now its credit controls are under scrutiny. Russell Lynch investigates
News
George Osborne will present his sixth Budget on Tuesday
Follow the build-up to George Osborne's last pre-election Budget as it happens
News
James Moore: it says a lot about the supermarket sector that Sainsbury’s reporting a 1.9 per cent fall in sales at stores open at least a year is being viewed as a good result
News
Follow financial markets for long enough and you’ll realise once-in-a-lifetime events are more common than people would have you believe, says James Moore
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Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

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The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing