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 Ferrovial could have cited force majeure, and withdrawn.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: 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
Network Rail (NR)
Politicians don't trust Network Rail, are fed up with late trains and don't think UK suppliers get a fair shout, says Mark Leftly
News
A worker arranges pasta at a factory in Allahabad. India’s finance minister said he hoped that growth would soon reach 7 or 8 per cent
A budget targeting growth and reducing the deficit has been praised, but will it be enough to help the country regain its economic footing?, Andrew Buncombe in Dehli
News
Can you mix business with pleasure? Matt Gingell explores
News
The central banks have printed shed-loads of money and it has to go somewhere, but the 'fear index' is creeping up, writes Hamish McRae
News
Bailey has little experience of actually running a company - and there is a world of difference between being a “chief creative officer” and a chief executive- no doubt shareholders are unhappy
News
Andrew Miller’s £1.4m bonus reflected the sale of Auto Trader
As the owner of The Guardian overcomes the decline of print with strong digital revenues, its chief executive tells Gideon Spanier how it is adapting to the new age of publishing
News
The oil giant was overtaken by Wal-Mart as the world's biggest revenue earner, as Mark McSherry reports, 27 other UK firms made it to the Fortune Global 500 list of biggest companies
News
Never mind the lack of dialogue and pointless explosions. You'd be a fool to underestimate Michael Bay, because if there's one thing he knows, it's how to make money by heading east, says Maria Tadeo
News
Models present creations for fashion house Gucci as part of the spring/summer 2014 ready-to-wear collections
The US has a taste for European luxury goods, as Francois Henri Pinault tells Laura Chesters, and labels like Mulberry and Burberry are betting their shirts on it
News
Team Tinkoff Saxo during a training session in Leeds ahead of Saturday’s start of the Tour de France
Inspired by the Olympic and road-race success, Britain has fallen in love with cycling. Retailers and sponsors are forming their own peloton, but Jamie Dunkley asks: will the phenomenon ride and ride?
News
Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England
Earnings are 8% lower than before the financial crisis. This is an odd definition of ‘normal’, says Ben Chu
News
Some payday lender customers rack up debts with several firms
Consumer credit is certainly not disappearing any time soon- surely that makes it more vital than ever that senior people involved are questioned rigorously in public
News
Out in the big wide world Mothercare is doing well, but the UK operation has significant problems
Britain's new parents may shop elsewhere these days, but the nation's biggest babywear retailer is not desperate enough to accept a tax-dubious US bid, writes Simon Neville
News
GlaxoSmithKline Chinese headquarters

As a sex video smears the pharmaceutical giant's China boss, Jim Armitage reports on how its private investigator voiced concerns about new secrecy rules weeks before his arrest.

News
Benjamin Lawsky

Benjamin Lawsky has worked hard to earn his moniker, the man who makes the banks tremble, writes Jim Armitage

News
US President Barack Obama delivers a speech at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels
Business editor James Ashton shares his top stories of the week
News
Lionel Messi celebrates his second goal for Argentina
Argentina due to make its next interest repayment on bonds as default looms large
News
David Higgins, at the HS2 offices in Victoria, has a track record on delivering expensive, controversial projects
The chairman of HS2 wants to speed up its arrival in the North and tells Chris Blackhurst the public will get on board
News
An effigy of Justice Secretary Chris Grayling is held up by National Association of Probation Officers protestors outside the Houses of Parliament
Despite an overall cost of £8bn to reorganise the probation service, Mark Leftly reveals that the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling is determined to ignore the critics and push ahead with his plans
Voices
The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has zero evidence to support this idea, says David Blanchflower
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Day In a Page

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Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor