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'A puzzling argument on the value of economics'

Self-employed face greater risk of bankruptcy

Singer and former EastEnders star Martine McCutcheon was this week declared bankrupt. The 36-year-old filed for insolvency at Kingston upon Thames County Court after being unable to meet debts of £187,000.

Average London house £½m by end of decade

The price of an average London home will rise to at least £500,000 by the end of the decade – an increase of more than 30 per cent on today's £383,000 average – according to research published today.

Private housing boosts growth

Britain's construction firms ended a year-long run of decline in the final quarter of last year, but the sector is far from out of the woods, experts said yesterday. Industry output rose 0.9 per cent between October and December, the Office for National Statistics said, halting a slide which began in the third quarter of 2011. Private housing made the biggest contribution to growth.

Jim O'Neill (aka Mr Bric and Red Knight) to retire from Goldman Sachs

Jim O'Neill, the Goldman Sachs economist credited with coining the "Brics" acronym to refer to the fast-growing economies in Brazil, Russia, India and China, will retire from the Wall Street bank later this year.

David Cameron (top centre) at a cabinet meeting in Leeds today. The PM sayts he is detemined to push ahead with HS2

Snow hits rate of sales growth at John Lewis

John Lewis sounded the alarm bell for Britain's retailers yesterday when it warned that snow had hit sales.

Last Night's Viewing: Bob Servant Independent, BBC4
Life after War: Haunted by Helmand, BBC3

Bob Servant apparently owes his existence to email scammers. Like Henry Root, Willie Donaldson's imaginary letter writer, Servant was Neil Forsyth's alter ego in writing to online swindlers and con men, responding to them with a garrulous energy that drove even the most persistent of them to the point of distraction in the end.

BSA boss Coles set to stand down

Adrian Coles, the director-general of the Building Societies Association, has revealed plans to stand down once a successor can be found for him, probably later this year.

Traders' email messages give frauds away, study shows

Rogue traders capable of losing banks and other financial institutions billions in illegal or unauthorised transactions could be caught before their losses soar too high by analysing their email exchanges with colleagues, new research has found.

Shrinking in services rings alarm for a triple-dip recession

Fears of a triple-dip recession were stoked yesterday after an alarming new survey revealed the UK's powerhouse services sector contracting for the first time in two years.

James Moore: And you thought the OBR's forecasts were meant to be right?

Outlook Remember when the Office for Budget Responsibility was set up? There was a big song and dance about how it would provide clean and independent fiscal forecasts that would help to prevent governments from fiddling the figures, an accusation repeatedly levelled at Gordon Brown's administration – and most of its predecessors at some point.

Arm’s length: Doris Day and John Raitt in the 1957 romantic comedy The Pajama Game

Love's big secret? Play hard to get

That's the strategy used by both men and women to test a potential partner's commitment, claims new research

What the Sunday Papers said…

The Independent on Sunday: Chancellor will need to use 'dark arts' to meet targets

Dr King, our finances need a shot in the arm

Sir Mervyn King took a break from the woes of the economy yesterday as the Bank of England Governor picked up an honorary doctor of civil law degree from the University of Kent.

Eurozone downturn set to gather pace

The eurozone is on course for a deepening recession in the final quarter of 2012 as the worst slump in activity for more than three years looms. The financial data provider Markit's snapshot of manufacturing and services output across the region – where a score under 50 signals contraction – was stuck at 45.8 in November, close to its lowest since June 2009.

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