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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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?