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The cost of insuring against a catastrophic US default jumped to its  highest level in more than two years today after talks to prevent a breach of the nation’s $16.7 trillion (£10.5 trillion) debt ceiling faltered.

There you go, then: any snide comments are just envy. Really, we all want to be Robert Peston.

Hero or Villain? Robert Peston

Fiscal policy, eh? Phwoar! Triple-A ratings: they get the blood pumping, don't they? And don't even get us started on eurozone rescue-fund implementation...

Margareta Pagano: Eurobond or no? The Iron Lady is not for turning

The bloc's big noises are trying to persuade German Chancellor Angela Merkel to support the latest patch-up measure. But she is determined to resist
Lagarde: 'Economic recovery in the UK has not yet taken hold'

Growth is too slow and unemploymentis too high, IMF chief warns Chancellor

George Osborne must adopt an economic "Plan B" and slow the pace of public spending cuts if the British economy remains weak, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned the Chancellor yesterday.

George Osborne listens as IMF chief Christine Lagarde delivers her verdict on the UK economy

Leading article: Beware false promises of easy economic growth

Austerity is now pitted against recovery as if politicians have merely to choose

Japan pledges 60 billion US dollars in loans to the International Monetary Fund

Japan pledged 60 billion US dollars in loans to the International Monetary Fund today in an effort to ensure that the debt crisis in some European economies will not spread.

Italian borrowing costs rise as debt fears intensify

Market nerves about the Spanish economy showed signs of spreading to Italy yesterday as Rome saw its medium-term borrowing costs spike. Italy sold €2.9bn in three-year debt at 3.89 per cent yesterday, higher than the 2.76 per cent it was forced to pay at a similar auction last month. Demand for the debt issue was also muted.

Greece secures bailout to avoid debt default

Greece won a second massive financial bailout in the early hours of today when its partners in the 17-country eurozone finally stitched together a 130 billion euro rescue, meant to avoid a potentially disastrous default and secure the euro currency's future.

World Economic Forum: Thousands gather, with billions to spend. Will the world benefit?

As the global elite meet in Davos, Ben Chu asks what the annual shindig can hope to achieve

Does the IMF have the right tools?

Hungary has called in the Fund. But what, asks Ben Chu, would happen if a larger state needed help?
Nick Clegg is ruling out the possibility of the Government's new free schools being run for profit

Nick Clegg tells France to stop attacks

France was told by Nick Clegg today to end "simply unacceptable" attacks on the UK economy amid mounting cross-Channel tensions over the eurozone crisis.

Diary: Bostock mystery deepens

What is the truth about the Nathan Bostock affair? The facts of the matter are that months ago, Bostock agreed to leave Royal Bank of Scotland, where he is head of risk, to become head of wholesale banking at Lloyds Banking Group, only to change his mind 10 days ago.

Diary: Danny's £40bn IMF gift wouldn't cost a penny

Nothing brightens a gloomy Sabbath morn like Danny Alexander, and the Treasury's Chief Secretary was on cracking form when chatting with Superinjunction Marr's stand-in Jeremy Vine on BBC1. For all that, I was alarmed by Danny's thoughts on contributing up to £40bn to the IMF. What we credulous halfwits should know, explained Danny (I paraphrase a soupçon), is that this wouldn't mean actually handing over any cash.

'We're running out of time,' Largarde warns leaders

The head of the International Monetary Fund yesterday warned world leaders that they are running out of time to prevent another global slump and urged them to rediscover a "collective momentum" in order to head off disaster.

IMF chief urges collective action to prevent another global slump

The head of the International Monetary Fund yesterday warned world leaders that they are running out of time to prevent another global slump and urged them to rediscover a "collective momentum" in order to head off disaster.

Business Diary: O'Neill celebrates Bric anniversary

Ker-ching. Is that the sound of cashing in we hear? Not that Jim O'Neill, the Goldman Sachs economist, is in need of the money, but presumably Penguin is chucking him a few quid for a new book on the Bric economies. It's a decade since O'Neill came up with the Bric idea – the acronym stands for Brazil, Russia, India and China – and his prediction that they were about to become the world's economic powerhouses looks ever more prescient by the day. Penguin's Joel Rickett crows: "Jim O'Neill is one of the world's most influential economic thinkers – no wonder he has been described as Goldman Sachs'rock star."

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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas