Stephen King: Does the Bank of England know something the rest of us don't?

They can prevent the worst economic outcomes. They cannot create the best

Stephen King: The emerging world deserves to catch up – and we must grow up

On either side of the Atlantic, housing markets are no longer in free-fall. On Friday, we discovered that US housing starts had unexpectedly risen in June, posting the highest number in seven months. Building permits, which indicate future homebuilding activity, also picked up smartly.

Stephen King: China takes small steps towards breaking the sway of the US dollar

For nations sitting on piles of dollar assets, the fall in the dollar's value is hardly good news

Stephen King: The perils of learning from the past

High hopes dashed. No, not Andy Murray's unsuccessful quest to win Wimbledon this year. I'm thinking of last Thursday's US employment report for June. It was hardly the best news ahead of the July 4th Independence Day celebrations.

Stephen King: Who will end this financial insanity?

Mervyn isn't happy with Alistair because Alistair's housekeeping doesn't quite add up. Adair isn't happy with Mervyn because Mervyn wants to play with Adair's regulatory toys. Alistair doesn't trust Mervyn because he suspects Mervyn is sneaking off to tell George all of Alistair's secrets. Mervyn is irritated because Alistair refuses to show Mervyn his new White Paper. But George is full of cheer because he thinks Mervyn is his new best friend. That, I think, is the human aspect of the rumpus that's unfolded over the past few days. Personalities aside, the row reveals obvious tensions in the UK's monetary, fiscal and regulatory framework.

Stephen King: Good luck, not good providence, was at the core of happier times

It is now difficult to talk with a straight face of the so-called era of stability

Stephen King: The housing market is one of the main unknowns in any upturn

The flexible labour market may mean tremendous downward pressure on wages

Stephen King: The economic mess began when profligacy replaced prudence

The UK economy had been suffering fiscal neglect long before the credit crunch

Stephen King: Runaway growth was a sign of excess credit and risk-taking

The Bank of England never properly dealt with inflation shocks from abroad

Stephen King: Spring is in the in the air, but not all green shoots make it to summer

Like swine fever, economic buds seem to be turning up all over the place

Stephen King: The Chancellor's golden goose is no more and the cash has run out

A rebalancing of the economy may leave the Treasury permanently short of money

Stephen King: Economic forecasters could learn something from meteorologists

Forecasters got their projections badly wrong – the Treasury's were particularly misleading

Stephen King: Domestic demands may scupper a worldwide economic solution

How much will the financial crisis eventually cost? I'm not talking about the billions of pounds or the trillions of dollars being spent to rebuild the world's financial system. These numbers are now so big that, in thinking about them, I feel decidedly numb. Moreover, the asset purchase and insurance schemes launched by governments may not cost that much over the longer term: not all the assets being purchased or insured against will prove toxic and a recovery in economic activity would probably leave governments and taxpayers nursing only modest losses. Indeed, with any luck, they might even make money.

Stephen King: Experiments that could blow us up

It is bad enough explaining to people what quantitative easing is, let alone what it actually does. Part of the problem lies with the different approaches adopted by central banks on either side of the Atlantic. The Bank of England deliberately intends to increase the supply of money, whereas the Federal Reserve has, so far, made no such commitment. Both central banks are, though, supposedly engaged in quantitative easing.

Stephen King: The rest of the world still has a lot to learn from the Japanese

What, today, counts as economic policy success? The G20 finance ministers, pictured, promised over the weekend to "take whatever action is necessary until growth is restored." That, though, is a rather weak formulation. Even after the Great Depression, growth eventually made a welcome return. The bigger concerns surely relate to the length and depth of the current downswing and, importantly, the likely pace of growth once the world economy bottoms out. Merely promising a restoration of growth at some unspecified future point doesn't quite do the trick.

News
Rich, young Russians won’t dump their English lives unless they have absolutely no other option, says Jim Armitage
News
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
News
News
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
News
Six in 10 small businesses are owed late payments and the average small business is currently owed £38,186 in overdue bills, Bacs says
SMEs are today owed £39.4bn in overdue bills. The figures are nothing short of a scandal, says David Prosser
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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
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Can you mix business with pleasure? Matt Gingell explores
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Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

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Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
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Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
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The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

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US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform