Money

In 1990 interest rates were at 15 per cent. You didn't need to be brain of Britain to know that rates at that level were not going to last. It should be easy, therefore, to look at interest rates today – standing at 0.5 per cent – and see this must be the bottom of the interest rate cycle, with little chance of them remaining at record lows in the medium to long term.

Fed to keep pumping cash into US economy

Investors were reassured after America's central bank signalled yesterday that it would continue to support the world's largest economy by buying billions of dollars worth of bonds every month.

State could end up with big QE profit

If interest rates stay low the Treasury could be in line for a £50bn windfall

Investment insider: Low interest rates should not mean lower standards

Strange things can happen in a low-interest-rate economy. For instance, the interest that we earn on our savings has dropped to such pitiful levels that our nest eggs are losing money in real terms.

George Osborne in Eastleigh last week

Britain's loss of AAA credit rating a 'humiliating blow' to George Osborne, says Ed Balls

The Chancellor George Osborne has been accused of having suffered a “humiliating blow” after Britain was stripped of its AAA credit rating.

Satyajit Das: Europe does not have the funds to solve sovereign debt crisis

Midweek View: The Lisbon treaty prohibits the European Central Bank from directly buying national governments' debt

World's oldest bank caught up in trading scandal

We've already had "Bunga Bunga" parties and football-match fixing. Now Italy's latest controversy finds the world's oldest bank at the centre of a near-€1bn (£852m) trading scandal.

James Moore: Bankers and bosses in line for bonuses – whether they deserve them or not

Plus: Goldman Sachs’ sneaky move to beat the taxman, Raise your glasses in a toast to Greene King

Julian Knight: The sobering truth about the rush for retail bonds is enough to drive anyone to drink

Fancy owning your local pub? It's probably a secret desire of many Britons, particularly if it came with free drinks. And that's exactly what the people of Wrexham, a depressed north Wales town, are being offered through the Enterprise hub project sponsored by the Co-operative bank. Locals are being asked if they'd like shares in the Seven Stars pub at a cost of £100 a pop.

The LDP leader, Shinzo Abe, right, with the party’s secretary general Shigeru Ishiba

Asian neighbours nervous after election comeback for Japanese 'warmonger'

LDP leader Shinzo Abe vows to challenge the pacifist constitution and spend on defence

Use council bonds for infrastructure, top engineer urges

The Chancellor should encourage local councils to fund new infrastructure projects by using government-backed municipal bonds, according to a top boss at CrossRail contractor URS.

UK losing AAA rating 'not so bad'

Chancellor George Osborne's attempts to cling onto the nation's triple-A credit rating look doomed but the loss would be "symbolic, not catastrophic", the UK's biggest bank says.

UK downgrade looms 'but it could be a help'

Chancellor George Osborne's attempts to cling onto the nation's triple-A credit rating look doomed but the loss would be "symbolic, not catastrophic", the UK's biggest bank says.

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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
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

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Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

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Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

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The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

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The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

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Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick