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.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual press conference in Moscow
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Bankers who reach the dizzy heights of partnership status at Goldman Sachs achieve legendary status in the bank’s London office
Exclusive: Being a partner at the bank has an almost mythological status, and an internal memo seen by Jim Armitage shows the qualities needed to make it - like charging a pension fund $70m
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Rocket Internet’s founder Oliver Samwer, centre, with the incubator’s chief executive and finance director when it listed in October
The German-based start-up factory has churned out more than 100 businesses in recent years. And now it’s looking to replicate its success here, says Oscar Williams-Grut
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We are not facing anything like as grave a crisis as we have twice in the past decade, says Hamish McRae
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The rouble staged a brief recovery yesterday before resuming its slide
A massive central bank interest rate hike failed to support the rouble. This crisis is slipping out of Moscow’s control, says Ben Chu
Voices
Ringing the changes: BT has come a long way since the days of the General Post Office
BT's basic business of running wires into homes and businesses is hugely profitable, writes Hamish McRae
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Satyajit Das: Donors are free to channel funds to their chosen causes, some noble, some hubristic and some just plain odd
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The Uber app allows passengers to hail a taxi with a smartphone
Uber facing down the cabbies by recruiting lobbyists to push for law changes, says Oscar Williams-Grut
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VIDEO City analysts sound the alarm over the upcoming Premier League rights auction as shares in TV giant slide
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Self-employment is particularly important in construction
Self-employment conveys considerable risks: many lose their jobs, their houses, and even their marriages, writes David Blanchflower
News
Mark Carney inside the Bank of England in Threadneedle Street, London
The charismatic Canadian is now 18 months into his stint as Governor of the Bank of England. So how does he think he’s doing? James Ashton catches up with Carney
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Gucci’s spring/summer 2015 collection was launched in Milan in September
The power couple who ran Gucci have gone, and in comes an insider charged with making the designer label even more exclusive says Laura Chesters
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The final curtain is calling for theatrical performances on tax avoidance. Now it’s time to see if big accountants, clever multinationals and Britain’s blue chips can adapt to the emerging tax system, says Mark Leftly
News
The Ferrari factory in Maranello churns out cars whose high-end credentials could be diluted by the diversification championed by chairman Sergio Marchionne
As the Italian marque prepares to float, it is also ‘fleeing to London’ and putting its famous badge on products such as netbooks. Sean O’Grady asks if it risks losing its cachet
News
Retail billionaire has confounded many in the square mile with his leftfield moves and kept the entire retail sector guessing hinting at new shares bets
News
Twitter could be used to improve public services, just as it does private
More than 300 million people around the world reckoned to be using photo app
News
At the moment that possibilityof default is discounted by the markets, but if it were to occur, the plight of Greece would become an issue for Europe as a whole.
News
Alan Rusbridger is to let a ‘younger pair of hands take over the reins’
Under Alan Rusbridger, the loss-making paper spent fortunes on the web and won a Pulitzer. After 20 years, he is stepping down.
News
The FCA has imposed £1.1bn in fines on five banks over forex trading practices
Video: The Independent's Jim Armitage takes a closer look at damning report criticising the FCA's for botched report which ended up costing some of the country's biggest insurers billions of pounds
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Twitter could be used to improve public services, just as it does private
The pressure will be on the next government to use this extraordinarily powerful tool, says Hamish McRae
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