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.

Argentina on the brink as US court orders it to pay $1.3bn debt to 'vulture' funds

Decision pushes country close to default again but President vows not to cough up the cash

RUSSIA TIME: Employees work at computer screens at the RTS Stock Exchange in Moscow.

Russian traders lose to cows as winter crimps Moscow market

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's efforts to give his citizens a better night's sleep and ease stress for the nation's farm animals are undermining his push to make Moscow a global financial centre.

Simon Read: As cash pours in, worries about safe haven grow

There's been an investor flight to safety in the past year with corporate bond funds in particular seen as a steady home for institutional and retail investors uncomfortable with some of the wild fluctuations we've experienced in equity markets.

James Moore: Savers should be careful before they start a bond journey with Eddie Stobart

Outlook So now along with the advent calendar, cut-out clock and toy lorry you can get an Eddie Stobart bond paying 5.5 per cent! That'll go down well in the haulier's souvenir shop. The launch of said bond, aimed directly at retail investors, is serendipitous: it came on the same day inflation figures provided a nasty shock with the consumer prices index at an unexpectedly high 2.7 per cent.

Bank declines to turn on monetary taps

The Bank of England declined to pump more stimulus into the economy yesterday, despite signs that the GDP bounce registered in the third quarter of the year is fading.

Punch Taverns set to cut £2bn debt

The British pub industry is still in decline, the boss of the 4,500-strong Punch Taverns chain declared yesterday.

Anthony Hilton: How doing a good deed can add up to good business too

On Thursday I shared a stage with Sir Ronald Cohen, a man with a mission.

ECB leaves key interest rate at 0.75%

The European Central Bank has left its key interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.75 per cent.

Spain to release bank audits after austerity cuts

Spain is set to reveal how much trouble its banking system is in when it releases the results of audits of 14 lenders today.

Credit Suisse trader bailed on £1.8bn fraud charges

The former senior Credit Suisse trader who was this week arrested in London on fraud charges was granted bail in court yesterday, with his lawyer saying he would fight plans for his extradition to the US.

Gold coins are still a safe haven, but they are unlikely to offer great returns at present

A chance to buy into markets cheaply

With equities at historic lows they may offer more than gold and bonds

Mervyn King claims QE has boosted the economy by 2 per cent

Bank's stimulus plan 'has lined pockets of the rich'

Report shows wealthy do 240 times better out of QE than the poor

Simon English: It doesn't really have to be the end of the world

Outlook From Reuters: "Germany easily sold €4bn of new, interest-free, two-year bonds on Wednesday, with investors edgy about European Central Bank plans to curb the debt crisis... Germany sold bonds with a zero coupon – meaning it pays no interest to the holder – for the second time this year, reflecting a fall in its borrowing costs to historic lows..."

A view of Old Trafford

American billionaire George Soros buys stake in Manchester United

Crashing out of Europe can mean very different things to different people. Manchester United's early exit last year from the Champions League spelled a big hit to revenue and pride. George Soros, in contrast, made his name, and perhaps a billion pounds, when his Quantum fund bet that Britain would have to leave the European Exchange-Rate Mechanism in 1992. The octogenarian financier has now turned his attention to the Premier League giants. That could help lift investor sentiment about the recently floated Red Devils.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
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