News

The US Federal Reserve said it would continue to reduce its bond buying stimulus program by $10 billion a month and will keep interest rates extraordinarily low for as long as required.

US jobs shock creates doubt over Federal Reserve taper

A weak jobs report sent US government bond yields tumbling on Friday and created fresh uncertainty over the pace of the Federal Reserve’s tapering of its monetary stimulus programme.

Yellen will take over leadership of the Fed as it begins to reduce its $85 billion a month 'quantitative easing' programme

Janet Yellen voted in to become first woman to chair US Federal Reserve

The US Senate on Monday confirmed Janet Yellen as the new chairman of the Federal Reserve by a vote of 56 to 26.

Fed chairman Ben Bernanke's policy might not be cost-free

If the US rises from its economic sick bed, the world will follow

A week in Washington has convinced me that the economy there has turned the corner. Interest rates are rising, which means that ours will surely follow

Ben Bernanke prepares for Fed exit with upbeat assessment

The Federal Reserve remained committed to highly accommodative monetary policy despite having trimmed its bond-buying stimulus programme, Ben Bernanke said on Friday in what could be his last speech as Fed chairman.

The most annoying, pretentious and often useless business jargon City boys love... and probably don't understand

They're confusing, pretentious and often meaningless

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing through economic policies that have been coined Abenomics

2013 has been the year of smaller companies

Firms which avoided global woes provided the best returns

Review of the Year: View from the US saw a female hand on the Fed tiller, and two fine messes

The taper

After months of deliberation, during which time world markets convulsed wildly as investors speculated about the direction of monetary policy in the world’s largest economy, the US Federal Reserve this month reduced the size of its bond-buying programme.

The workforce is rising in some countries and falling in others. Why? Economists are puzzled …

These inactive folks stand ready to return to the labour force if jobs become available

Global markets rally as Fed reduces QE but pledges to keep rates low

Investors take the Fed's announcement as a sign that the US economy is strong enough to support further stock market gains

OUTLOOK: The world may not be ready yet to walk without central bankers' help

So, it's finally happened. The Fed's decision to slice $10bn (£6.1bn) a month off its quantitative easing programme is the clearest signal yet that Ben Bernanke, and his successor Janet Yellen, smell a real, full-blown recovery on the wind.

Bitcoin crashes after China bans banks from using virtual currency

The online currency Bitcoin plummeted more than 20 per cent today after Chinese regulators banned financial institutions from using it.

Bitcoin is an experimental digital currency that has gained popularity worldwide

Bitcoin value surpasses $1,000 for first time

The price at which a single unit of the digital currency trades has risen dramatically in recent months

Bitcoin is an experimental digital currency that has gained popularity worldwide

Bitcoin: 'Assassination Market' website raising the online virtual currency to hire assassins that target key US figures revealed

Those allegedly targeted on the site include Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, President Obama and NSA director Keith Alexander

Bitcoin price: exchange rate soars above $600 ahead of US Senate hearing

Letter from US Federal Reserve chairman highlights the "long-term promise" of virtual currencies

Fed chief dismisses suggestions that policies created 'bubble conditions'

The Federal Reserve chairman-designate Janet Yellen vigorously defended the central bank's stimulus policies today, dismissing suggestions it had created "bubble conditions" in financial markets. She left scant doubt the Fed under her leadership would continue this strategy until the economy had returned to normal.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there