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

Sean O'Grady: Celebrating the boom? Me neither

The brutal truth is that we won’t get back to normal levels of output until about 2012, maybe later. Your living standards will take equally long to get back to normal

Ben Chu: Why no plan B, Mr Osborne?

Robert Peston has an excellent post on the BBC outlining the risk of a second credit crunch as the Bank of England support for UK banks is unwound.

Families face tax-credit crisis again

The Budget contains hidden hardships for poorer families, writes Alison Shepherd

Business costs drop by 0.5%

Business costs have fallen by 0.5% as firms benefit from lower borrowing charges, according to a new report today.

Londoners top 'new business' table

Londoners start more new businesses than people from anywhere else in the country, new statistics reveal.

FSA urged to explain delays in financial start-ups authorisation

A leading solicitor today called on the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to explain why it was now taking almost twice as long to authorise businesses to begin offering financial services and products as a year ago.

David Prosser: Pru's shareholders hold it to account

Outlook It is too early to say whether Tidjane Thiam can carry on as chief executive of Prudential in the wake of his misjudgement of the willingness of investors to back the insurer's purchase of AIA. But what has happened at Pru is that this has been a triumph for those who want shareholders to assert themselves more aggressively.

Construction activity gathers pace

Britain's construction sector continued to expand in May, with the pace of growth accelerating to its fastest since before the credit crunch struck in 2008.

Courts hit by a deluge of civil credit crunch cases

The financial crisis has prompted a continuing surge in the number of high-value commercial disputes reaching the High Court, figures published today by Reynolds Porter Chamberlain reveal.

Album: The Divine Comedy, Bang Goes the Knighthood (Divine Comedy Records)

Another Divine lesson in the art of elegant outsiderdom

House market up since Hips dumped

The number of homes being put on the market has risen by a third since the Government announced plans to scrap home information packs, an estate agency said today.

Business Diary: Credit crunch chroniclers stranded by ash

The volcanic ash cloud has done the world's banks one small favour. Writers Michael Lewis and Vicky Ward both have books out chronicling different aspects of the credit crisis and both had planned trips to Europe this week to promote their tomes, two of the most accessible portraits of the crunch. Sadly, neither has been able to get here due to the travel chaos – so maybe a few less readers will now hear about the banks' behaviour.

Stephen Foley: Crisis inquiry will not find smoking gun

US Outlook: The chairman of the US commission of inquiry into the financial crisis complains that $8m is far too little money for an investigation of this size and scope. He's right – but thank goodness he wasn't given any more. On the evidence of the past few days, it is clear that $8m is going down the drain.

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam