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.

Debt collectors pursued wrong people

Action has been taken against one of the UK's biggest debt collection agencies after it pursued the wrong people for money owed.

The Business On: Meredith Whitney, Meredith Whitney Advisory Group

The scourge of Wall Street?

Pension troubles remain for UK firms

British businesses are failing to reap any benefits from plugging their pension black holes, reveals a new report by Pricewaterhouse-Coopers.

Business Diary: Don't push your luck, Mervyn

It was brave of Mervyn King yesterday to compare the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee to England's cricket team, ready to attack or defend the next ball (or bout of inflation) depending on the line, length and pace of its delivery. Given the history of England teams and their collapses over the year, isn't the Governor rather tempting fate? Both for England's Ashes hopes in Australia this winter, and for the poor old British economy.

All Blacks will fight to the death for Mealamu

New Zealand today confirmed they will fight "to the death" against the four-week ban handed down to hooker Keven Mealamu for an apparent headbutt on England's Lewis Moody.

Simon Read: The battle to beat legal loan sharks hits Westminster

The battle against legal loan sharks hit Westminster this week when the Labour MP Stella Creasy's Consumer Credit Bill got the nod for a second reading next February. More excitingly, Stella has secured a debate on the Bill next Tuesday in Westminster Hall, where the Government will have to respond to her proposals.

Relief for Osborne on rare day of good news

George Osborne received a double helping of good news yesterday: better-than-expected figures on the strength of the recovery and an upgrade from the credit-ratings agency Standard & Poor.

Efficiency review finds 'staggering waste'

A review of Government efficiency by a leading businessman has uncovered a "staggering" waste of money, it was revealed today.

Errors in switching accounts put off customers

Fears over missed direct debit payments and administrative errors are stopping bank customers from switching current account providers according to Consumer Focus.

David Prosser: Ireland can't wake from its nightmare

Outlook What can Ireland do to end the cycle of bad news? Last year, the Irish government risked social unrest with a series of austerity budgets ushering in swingeing spending cuts. They were not enough to reassure the bond markets, with investors spending much of this summer fretting about the mounting cost of bailing out Irish banks. In response, the government unveiled a new plan last week, based on worst-case scenarios, to tackle that crisis. It was praised by banking experts as realistic and achievable (though very unpleasant). But that wasn't enough to appease the credit rating agencies. Fitch cut its rating of Irish sovereign debt yesterday, while Moody's is considering following suit.

Urban myths: Has street art sold out?

As a new show dedicated to graffiti, stencils and spray paint opens, Matilda Battersby asks if such anarchic work really belongs in a gallery

Debt collector Lowell for sale

Exponent Private Equity, the owner of debt collector Lowell Group, is set to appoint adviser Hawkpoint to sell the business.

Time called on debt management company rip-offs

Some firms fail to tell debtors that there are fees involved, let alone that there are free alternatives. Chiara Cavaglieri and Julian Knight report

Borrowing hits record ahead of Coalition cuts

The gaping hole in the public finances was laid bare yesterday after borrowing grew to a record level in August as interest payments on sovereign debt jumped in line with higher inflation.

Last Night's TV - Bouquet of Barbed Wire, ITV1; Grandma's House, BBC2

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before