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: 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 Ferrovial could have cited force majeure, and withdrawn.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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is obsessed by sales
As its new smartphone makes its debut, it is sometimes hard to keep track of what Amazon does. And that's not a good sign
News
When God was giving out the moral outrage, Wall Streeters were inventing credit-default swaps. It's no surprise Ackman failed to take down Herbalife, says Mark McSherry
News
Fallen star Bo Xilai in court, in September last year; he was given a life sentence
The rules are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos , as he learns the dark arts from a master
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A brand new prescription: ‘Only using healthy mice and rats to find cures for ill humans is old-fashioned,” says George Freeman
The UK’s first-ever minister for life sciences tells Margareta Pagano about his new role at the departments of business and health, transforming how the UK develops and finances medicine
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Rich, young Russians won’t dump their English lives unless they have absolutely no other option, says Jim Armitage
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It’s not a question of if, but when... interest rates have been kept artificially low for long enough, says Hamish McRae
News
There may be trouble ahead … David Levy has very rarely been wrong in his forecasts
David Levy’s family has correctly called every major financial event in the US for decades. Now he’s warning of a global recession next year. Bernard Condon investigates
News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
The retailer is on its knees, thanks to a German war veteran who turned the family grocers into the Aldi chain, writes Tony Paterson
News
It was Paul Fisher’s job to oversee and implement quantitative easing
Paul Fisher has left the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee after five years. He tells Ben Chu what Threadneedle Street got right and why the Bank behaved properly over forex
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are big fans of an out of print 1960s business book. Seth Stevenson explores why
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Analysis: Some feel that Philip Clarke didn't get enough of a chance to prove himself
Voices
Mr Osborne, who is on a two-day trip to India with Foreign Secretary William Hague, said the two countries would see greater investment in each other’s economies and more job creation.
The young have been hurt the most by recession. They don't vote Tory and can't buy a house, so who cares?, writes David Blanchflower
News
One of the lines on the Metro do Porto network crosses the Dom Luis bridge
An interest rate swap arrangement has ended up costing a Portuguese state-owned transport company a fortune. So did it really understand the pages and pages of algebra in the contract, asks Jim Armitage
News
Is the new bank likely to be of much use? The emerging countries have done pretty well without it, says Hamish McRae
Life and Style
The value of Ruby Roman grapes has rocketed since they were first put on the market in 2008, finds Beckie Smith
News
Shopping centres, like the Hammerson one proposed for Leeds, have created opportunities, but more needs to be done
The death of traditional industries has left the region in need of regeneration. Retail developers are moving in – but is the Government doing enough to help? Laura Chesters investigates
News
After being hit by the smoking ban, recession and cheap supermarket booze, the pub industry is finally fighting back. Matthew Boyle finds a new breed of investor is moving into the sector
Voices
A strong currency isn't everything
At one time, presiding over a weakened currency would get you the chop... but things have changed, says Hamish McRae
Voices
Chancellor George Osborne (C) wears a high visibility jacket as he makes a visit to the Prysmian Group factory and speaks to factory manager Steve Price
Could a surprise drop in manufacturing output have wider implications, asks David Blanchflower
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