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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
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Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
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Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
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Thurston Moore interview

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Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

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Bradley Cooper is terrific