News The more modern town of Salford, where the latest investment of the English Cities Fund is expected to be announced

Could Britain’s chronic housing shortage be solved by using insurers’ assets? Jamie Dunkley and Russell Lynch report

Simon English: Is there any way back for the banks after this blow to moral authority?

Outlook It is easy to be holier than thou when writing about banks. Not to mention fun. Even Mafia bosses are presently raising their eyebrows, à la Sir Mervyn King, at the ongoings at Standard Chartered, Barclays and the rest, and wondering just how these guys got away with it for so long.

Property/Stamp duty hike reduces sales

The Chancellor's Budget stamp duty raid on homes worth more than £2m has triggered a 23 per cent fall in sales of properties valued between £2m and £10m in the capital, the estate agency Knight Frank said yesterday.

Leading article: A damning judgment on the SFO

It is difficult to overstate the seriousness of the debacle that was the Serious Fraud Office's high-profile investigation of the property tycoons Vincent and Robert Tchenguiz. Indeed, the High Court judgment against the SFO yesterday represents a wholesale challenge to the competence and, worse still, good faith of the organisation which investigates and prosecutes complex fraud cases in the UK.

Billionaire property magnate Vincent Tchenguiz

Vincent Tchenguiz warrants to be set aside

Search warrants issued to the Serious Fraud Office against property magnates Robert and Vincent Tchenguiz are to be set aside.

The Spotlight On: Mary Schapiro, chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission

The world's most powerful female regulator?

Safe-haven seekers propel prime London house prices to new highs

Property prices in prime central London locations jumped by 0.7 per cent to a new record in May as wealthy Europeans flocked to the capital looking for a safe haven for their money amid the Eurozone crisis.

Weavering boss Magnus Peterson guilty of fraud

Magnus Peterson, the head of the collapsed hedge fund business Weavering, has been found in the High Court to have defrauded investors and ordered to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

Small talk: Now is the time for Britain's small businesses to be brave

Britain's small and medium-sized enterprises have much to worry about as the European sovereign debt crisis spirals out of control once more. When the banks shut up shop again in a full-blown repeat of the first credit crunch – as they surely will if Greece walks – you can bet it will be SMEs that are starved of debt first, whatever financiers say in public.

Mark Steel: Austerity? Actually there is an alternative

Until now the argument has been that there's no alternative. We have to slash public spending and wages because there's so much debt that otherwise there'll be chaos. The joy of this is it saves having to make a case for your actions, so it ought to be used more often. Journalists accused of phone hacking could say: "I had no choice but to listen to a dead soldier's voicemail because otherwise there'd be chaos. Just look at Greece, they didn't hack any phones and look at the mess they're in."

Mark Steel: Starve the Greeks and they'll feel better

The bill for rubber stamps alone comes to twice that of the defence budget

Don Lewin started Clinton Cards in the 1960s

Clinton Cards: The shop that played its hand wrong

Don Lewin turned £500 into a huge gift-shop empire. But Clinton Cards failed to adapt to the internet age – and now may be forced to fold

GMG and Apax boosted by deal at Top Right

Guardian Media Group and Apax Partners have received a boost from their troubled investment in the media giant formerly known as Emap as they offloaded its car data business CAP for an estimated £175m yesterday.

Africa Funky Fairtrade: Bra top £25, and trousers £40, Asos Africa, from 30 April, asos.com

A Magic Formula: Recession-proof collections from Asos

As fashion site Asos launches three new collections, Harriet Walker takes a look at a recession-proof shopping phenomenon

Spotlight On... Gerald Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster

So the Duke of Westminster has fallen on hard times?

Golden goodbyes for Premier bosses

A trio of senior bosses at the Oxo-to-Hovis giant Premier Foods left with a total of £1.4m in extra payments last year, following a management shake-up of the struggling business.

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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
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform