News

Retail sales rose at their fastest rate in nine years in December, the Office for National Statistics reported yesterday. However, some City analysts immediately cast doubt on the reliability of the figures.

Credit Crisis Diary: 06/04/2009

Anti-G20 protesters 1, BNP Paribas 0

Clearly the compliance bods at the London offices of French bank BNP Paribas are more influential in these days of riots and anti-capitalism.

Deborah Orr: Can women save the economy? At least give us a chance to try

Fern Britton, the television presenter, raised cheers – and a few boos – on Question Time the other night when she suggested that Britain's financial crisis would not have occurred if women had been in charge. It's not quite as simple as that, of course. But the gist of her argument is already in the mainstream.

Murray in semi-finals after Ljubicic victory

Andy Murray secured his place in the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open semi-finals here after coming through a tough encounter with Ivan Ljubicic 7-5 7-6 (8-6). Murray overcame the 74th-ranked Ljubicic in a little over two hours and will now meet the winner of the Roger Federer-Fernando Verdasco quarter-final.

Murray makes progress with easy victory

Andy Murray continued his comeback from illness by easing into the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open at the expense of Paul-Henri Mathieu last night.

Sport in Brief: Victory in singles gives Murray a happy return

Andy Murray advanced to the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells with a hard-fought victory over Albert Montanes last night. Murray battled to a 7-5 6-3 win in his first singles match since being forced to withdraw before his quarter-final with Richard Gasquet in Dubai last month.

HSBC set to launch £12bn rights issue

Banking giant to ask investors to strengthen balance sheet following 26 per cent drop in pre-tax profits

Investment Column: GSK promises investors a shot in the arm

Compass Group; BG Group

Banks fear for billions in Wall St 'scam'

Financial giants revealed potential losses of almost £4 billion today as they joined a queue of investors caught up in an alleged fraud by investment manager Bernard Madoff.

Reed Elsevier to keep its business arm after rejecting bidders' demands

Reed Elsevier's attempts to offload its $1bn (£680m) business arm collapsed yesterday after its remaining suitor made an offer that was "impossible" to accept, insiders said.

Bain close to clinching $1bn 'Variety' deal

Reed Elsevier, the Ftse-100 media giant, is close to selling the publisher of New Scientist and Variety to US buyout group Bain Capital for $1bn (£680m), after its main rival pulled out.

Credit crisis diary: 29/11/2008

A victory cheer that was a little premature

Standard Chartered Bank no doubt pays Finsbury a healthy retainer for its services, but the City PR firm does its best to earn its money. As the market closed on Thursday, when Standard Chartered's shares went ex-rights, Finsbury emailed contacts to crow about the 11 per cent gain the stock had racked up over the day. Sadly, come the end of the closing auction a few minutes later, the gain had turned into a 2 per cent loss. Still, you can't fault Finsbury for its efforts in getting even the briefest bit of good news out there for its clients.

Black Monday II: the worst for decades

More than £93 billion was wiped from the value of the UK's biggest companies today as London's FTSE 100 suffered its biggest fall since Black Monday.

Pressure on UK to match German savings pledge

Last night the Danish government became the fourth European country to announce that it would guarantee all deposits in Danish banks. Last week, the Irish government promised to protect all retail, commercial and inter-bank deposits, as well as senior debt, which caused investors to flock to Irish banks. The Greek government has made a similar pledge.

American real-estate market hit by sharpest ever annual drop in prices

An end to the American housing recession, something that many observers regard as essential to ending the credit crunch, seemed little closer yesterday, with US real estate prices falling by the sharpest annual rate ever in July, though the monthly rate of decline is slowing.

Darling accused of prompting crisis in confidence

Pound at record low against euro w Mortgage approvals dive more than 70% w Export orders fall
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn