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

Stephen Foley: So, what 'should we' make of Goldmans?

US Outlook: Bankers aren't chastened or changed, part 2. (It has been a depressing few days.)

Bailed-out banks put up cost of public works by over £1bn

Banks partly owned by the Government were allowed to increase the amount they charged to finance new schools, hospitals and roads by over £1 billion during the height of the credit crunch.

Life on the front line of Britain's debt

Business has been booming for the Consumer Credit Counselling Service. Julian Knight meets the charity's founder

M25 project delay 'behind £660m cost rise'

The cost of widening Britain's busiest motorway has increased by 24%, or £660 million, partly due to the slow way the Highways Agency took the project forward, a report by a Government spending watchdog said today.

David Prosser: Adviser to Bank gets even more contrary

Outlook Adam Posen, one of the external members of the Monetary Policy Committee, has been taking a contrary stance for some months now, warning that unless the Bank of England begins a second round of quantitative easing, the UK economy will slip back into a downturn damaging enough for the effects to be felt for a generation.

Frankie Boyle: I Would Happily Punch Every One of You in the Face, New Theatre, Oxford

Who better, I thought, to shake us out of credit-crunch fatigue and the cuts commotion than the scything Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle? It's a last act of "kindness" before his early retirement from live performance, announced two years ago and which finally begins at the end of this tour.

Directors' pay falls but bonuses return

British executives suffered the second largest fall in salaries in Europe over the last year, but were compensated with a sharp jump in the value of their bonuses.

Financial services success story amid the gloom

Britain's financial services industry continues to rise above the gloom of the faltering economy, the Confederation of British Industry will say today, while also warning that the sector is now growing less quickly than had been expected.

Reinsurance: Executives fear regulation growth

European reinsurers have overhauled their operations since the credit crunch, while US and Bermuda-based rivals have maintained their business models, a report out tomorrow is expected to conclude.

UK plc 'shuns overseas M&A'

British businesses have been slow to spend their way out of the recession, leaving the UK lagging behind other economies, according to a report by KPMG.

How we learned to start worrying and love Mahler

The Austrian composer is more popular than ever, with a host of anniversary concerts planned. Yet at first his work was overlooked because his sense of doom was out of tune with the times

House Doctor: 'Are we wasting our time trying to find a mortgage if we have only a 5% deposit?'

Question: Is there any kind of mortgage for first-time buyers with a 5 per cent deposit? I see a lot about 90 per cent loan-to-value (LTV) loans but nothing for people like us who have at last just scraped 5 per cent (in our case, £7,500) for a flat worth roughly £150,000. Are we wasting our time?

David Prosser: Bankers are not leaving the City

Outlook The reaction of the British Bankers' Association to proposed new rules from the Financial Services Authority on bonuses has been drearily predictable: yet another warning that the City's finest will flee the country if we police their pay more stringently than other jurisdictions.

House prices 'reach summer 2006 levels'

House prices are now back at the levels seen in the summer of 2006 after rising further in June, according to Land Registry figures today.

School holidays special: Money matters

Julian Knight on how to stretch your pound abroad
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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
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