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My Week If there was any justice in the financial world, the people who run the big debt rating agencies would be hanging from lamp-posts along with the investment bankers for the way in which their activities contributed to the 2008 financial crash. But they emerged pretty well unscathed, barring a few uncomfortable sessions before congressional committees. Politicians threatened all sorts of legislative nasties at the time, but it turned out to be all sound and fury signifying not very much.

Five Questions About: Credit cards

The Business On... Jules Kroll, Founder of Kroll Inc

Even the name causes a shiver

Irish debt downgrade raises fears of international deflation spiral

The colossal expense of rescuing Ireland's troubled banking sector has hit the republic's international credit rating once again.

David Prosser: 'Deficit deniers' are not the problem: it's the debt extremists we should fear

Outlook This is becoming rather tiresome. It may make for good knockabout politics, but George Osborne cannot simply go on dismissing all critics of the Coalition Government's cuts as "deficit deniers", as he did yesterday. That phrase was particularly unfortunate given its connotations, but the underlying issue is the growing concern about the programme upon which the Chancellor has embarked and the fact that Mr Osborne dismisses it so cheaply.

The Last Word: Another Chinese takeaway leaves a bitter taste

Liverpool need a saviour and are praying that new 'King Kenny' fits the bill – but the game shoots itself in the foot with abject fit-and-proper-person test

David Prosser: China plots a move into credit ratings

Outlook Given the kicking the three big American credit-ratings agencies have taken for their failures during the financial crisis, they can hardly be surprised to see would-be rivals emerging. There is already talk of the launch of a new European agency, but the greater threat to Standard & Poor's, Moody's and Fitch might come from China.

Moody's warns of worse to come as it cuts Portugal rating

Portugal was dealt a blow yesterday as Moody's cut its credit rating, warning the economy would weaken further in the next few years.

Poll result puts Japan's credit rating at risk

The ratings agency Standard & Poor's warned yesterday that it might cut Japan's sovereign grade as the ruling party's mauling in a weekend election created new hurdles for the plans of the new Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, to cut huge public debt.

DVD: Leap Year (PG)

Amy Adams's credit rating plunges in this offensively unfunny dross. She plays Anna, an uptight Bostonian who pursues her smug doctor boyfriend (Adam Scott) to Dublin in order to propose to the dullard.

Fitch: Budget boost to UK's AAA credit rating

The UK's gold-plated AAA credit rating received a major boost today after ratings agency Fitch said Chancellor George Osborne's Budget would "materially strengthen confidence" in the nation's public finances.

US bank tells traders not to sign long-term deals with BP after credit rating dives

One of Wall Street's biggest banks has told its traders not to sign any contracts with BP that last more than a year, as concerns over its financial position continued to buffet the market.

BP credit rating cut amid oil spill cost fears

Beleaguered oil giant BP came under more pressure today after its credit rating was cut amid fears over the soaring cost of the Gulf of Mexico disaster.

General strike on the cards as Spain's credit rating falls

Threats of a general strike in Spain intensified this weekend following Friday's decision by the credit agency Fitch Ratings to downgrade the country's debt from AAA to AA+.

David Prosser: How Wall Street played the system

Slowly but surely, America's justice system is waking up to the idea that there is some mileage in going after the banks at the centre of the financial crash of 2008. Hot on the heels of the Goldman Sachs SEC charges comes an investigation by the New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo into whether eight Wall Street banks misled the big credit ratings agencies so they would give the mortgage securities at the centre of the collapse a clean bill of health.

Markets mixed as coalition comes to power in Westminster

The markets were mixed as the UK's new coalition government took shape yesterday, with shares and gilts rising on hopes of swift action on the yawning budget deficit, but sterling falling against the euro and the dollar after the Bank of England issued dovish growth and inflation forecasts.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us