Jeremy Warner: G20 must be careful not to make cure worse than disease

Outlook: Few events are guaranteed to produce quite so much hot air as international summits of global political leaders. Common ground is so difficult to find that rarely do their communiqués add up to anything more than a string of meaningless platitudes.

Jeremy Warner: Now it's public debt we must worry about

Outlook The public finances are continuing to deteriorate at an alarming rate, with growing unemployment, falling corporate tax receipts but still-rising Government spending, further enhanced by repeated bank bailouts.

Jeremy Warner: Tucker exits Pru at top of his game

Outlook Most chief executives outstay their welcome. Mark Tucker, chief executive of Prudential, seems to be doing the reverse. He's leaving with almost indecent haste after little more than four years at the helm. Yet despite the arrival of a new chairman earlier this year and rumours of strat-egic differences – Mr Tucker is said to have been hot to trot over the acq-uisition of AIG's Asian assets while the new chairman may not have been quite so keen – I think we have to accept his insistence that he's going of his own accord having achieved much of what he set out to do at the Pru.

Jeremy Warner: MPC hawk out, Brown crony in

Outlook No one will ever admit it publicly, but the Government top brass has not been impressed by the Bank of England's handling of the economic crisis. Ministers believe the Monetary Policy Committee was too slow to act on interest rates and liquidity, and it is plain that even the Bank's plan of action on quantitative easing has created tension with the Treasury. It seems to have taken for ever to agree the terms of a policy that was announced in principle ages ago.

Jeremy Warner: Ferrovial's BAA nightmare

Outlook Ferrovial, the Spanish construction company, cannot claim it wasn't warned. Midway through its top-of-the-market bid for BAA, the Office of Fair Trading announced that it was conducting a competition inquiry into ownership of Britain's airports which could result in the company's eventual break-up. Ferrovial could have cited force majeure, and withdrawn. With the bravado of the matador, Rafael del Pino, Ferrovial's chairman, merely turned his back on the bull and bowed to the crowd. My god did that man have cojones.

Jeremy Warner: Out goes light touch, in comes the iron fist

Outlook As you would expect from McKinsey man, Lord Turner has done a masterful job in steering his way through the conflicting demands of the politicians for root-and-branch changes in the way banks are regulated and the need to preserve at least some elements of the free-market system.

Jeremy Warner: Unemployment surges higher

Outlook Mass unemployment is back, and this time it's serious. Yesterday's data puts the country on track to exceed the jobless totals of both the two previous recessions, at least in nominal terms, with some possibility that even in percentage terms the ranks of the unemployed will outstrip those of the early 1980s, when the jobless rate reached 12 per cent.

Jeremy Warner: Here's one approach to miscreant banks – just break them up

Outlook Time to bring back Glass-Steagall, the legislation introduced in the US in the 1930s to enforce a rigid separation between ordinary commercial banking and the fee-driven inventiveness of investment banking? I'm pleased to see that my once lonely campaign to reinstate this division, abandoned under the Clinton administration in the late 1990s, seems to be attracting a growing following.

Jeremy Warner: Bank Governor's reverse ferret may be wrong

Outlook Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, is like the sinner who repents. Having been far too cautious in the early stages of the credit crunch when he was more concerned with the principles of moral hazard than saving the banking system, he now implicitly criticises our European neighbours for an insufficiently robust macro-economic response to the crisis. Looking at the latest shock forecasts from the International Monetary Fund, it is perhaps easy to see why Mr King has taken so wholeheartedly to throwing everything he has, including the kitchen sink, at the problem. The IMF is predicting a 3.8 per cent contraction in the UK economy this year, plus a bit more the year after. This would make us worse than any other advanced economic region other than Japan.

Jeremy Warner: America moves in on short sellers

Outlook It's the way with regulators. With perfect timing in July 2007 as the bull market was reaching its zenith, the US Securities & Exchange Commission abandoned the "uptick" rule, a measure originally introduced as far back as the Great Depression to limit the supposedly damaging consequences of speculative short selling.

Jeremy Warner: Is the Bank shooting at the wrong target in aiming at gilts?

Outlook Chocks away. The Bank of England's latest attempt to get us out of the present mess – quantitative easing – manoeuvred awkwardly on to the runway yesterday. The first "reverse auction" of gilt-edged stock, whereby banks and investment institutions are asked to tender UK government bonds to the Bank which then buys them with newly created cash, couldn't be counted as entirely successful.

Jeremy Warner: A mighty cull of billionaires

Outlook The annual Forbes billionaires list used to make dull old reading. Every year there would be more of them, until eventually they became so common that there hardly seemed any point in being one. Uncle Tom Cobley and all seemed to join this once exclusive club. But no more. The latest list, published today, reveals a shocking, credit-crunched, cull. Out go the likes of Sir Tom Hunter – was he ever one in the first place? – and Icap's Michael Spencer. There appear to be no new British additions at all, and even Sir Philip Green, the retail financier, has found his estimated fortune nearly halved to £4.8bn. Poor dear. Must be tough to rub along on so little.

Jeremy Warner: Remember the knights who were after HBOS?

Outlook One of the joys of financial crises is that they are great levellers. They make fools of even the most arrogant and pompous of financiers. So take heart from the two Scottish bankers who, puffed up with their own sense of self importance, who thought the Lloyds TSB takeover of HBOS such a bad deal for Scotland that they boldly announced they were drumming up financial support for a counter.

Jeremy Warner: Depression and the protectionist threat

Outlook Another grim set of manufacturing figures, with UK industrial production down a further 2.6 per cent in January, bringing its year-on-year fall to 11.4 per cent, has raised the question afresh of whether Britain should be following its European neighbours with root and branch aid and support for struggling manufacturers.

Jeremy Warner: Wolseley makes case for rights issue queue

Outlook: Bring back the "rights issue queue". The cry has gone up anew following the spectacle of Wolseley's £1bn share issue. The present glut of distress rights issues has forced the UK-based building supplies company into the most extraordinary contortions to secure desperately needed new equity funding.

News
Tax on a typical North Sea oil field is now 50 per cent – as it was in 2010
Financial markets have generally assumed lower oil prices are good for asset prices, resulting from the positive effect on growth and lower inflation which extends the period of low interest rates. In reality, the large movement in oil prices has the potential to create significant financial instability, especially in debt markets, says Satyajit Das
News
Philip Smith quit RSA in November 2013, calling the internal investigation ‘fundamentally flawed’
The former chief executive, Philip Smith, is taking the insurer to a Dublin employment tribunal for constructive dismissal. Joe Brennan reports on the scandal that triggered the biggest sell-off in the company’s shares for almost a decade.
News
‘Too much delay’: Louise Ellman, chair of the Commons Transport Committee
Holey Corporate Governance! is how one law firm describes professional services outfit Quindell, in a nod to the classic 1960s Batman TV-show, writes James Moore
News
The Louis Vuitton store in Austria had its windows smashed by protesters last year
If there is any lesson to be learnt from the high-profile arrest of the billionaire gas tycoon Dmitry Firtash, it is this: watch where you do your luxury shopping in Vienna, says Jim Armitage
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
There has been progress in boosting female entrepreneurship in recent years, but nowhere near enough, says David Prosser
News
Ben Bernanke said deflation was usually caused by a collapse in demand
It seems likely the UK will become the 23rd European country to catch the deflation disease, says David Blanchflower
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
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Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

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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