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Outlook Remember that arcade game in the 1980s – Whac-a-Mole? You get a mallet and clobber the brown, furry creatures that pop out of holes in the machine. Each time you whack one, another jumps up in its place.

Economic slumps are often followed by novels that are rich in words expressing emotional unhappiness

If the slump wasn't bad enough, stand by for the literary misery that's bound to follow

Scientists discover link between downturns and an increase in frequency of words of 'emotional malaise'

RBS and Barclays face new probe by US regulators

RBS is said to be among nine banks being investigated for selling subprime mortgages

The housing market varies greatly across the country

Number of people planning to move home has doubled over the last 12 months

"New Year is traditionally a time for planning and looking ahead, and moving home is again becoming a priority for many people"

Richard Desmond

Man Group denies it misled Richard Desmond over 'incomprehensible' deal

Hedge fund giant Man Group has brushed off Richard Desmond's £20 million High Court claim for losses on a financial product, insisting it did not even act as the counter-party in the disputed transaction.

Satyajit Das: The financial markets still bear little relationship to the real economy

Das Capital: Politicians everywhere have proved reluctant to tackle much-needed reforms

OUTLOOK: Banking reform will not be complete until individuals are punished

The natural reaction to the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) announcement of an investigation into the Co-operative Bank is to say “what took you so long”?

Yellen will take over leadership of the Fed as it begins to reduce its $85 billion a month 'quantitative easing' programme

Janet Yellen voted in to become first woman to chair US Federal Reserve

The US Senate on Monday confirmed Janet Yellen as the new chairman of the Federal Reserve by a vote of 56 to 26.

The Week Ahead: Tesco and M&S are expected to confirm more cracks in their foundations

Shareholders in Caledonia Investments will be looking for signs that the group can make it 47 years of successive annual dividend pay-outs in its third-quarter results today.

Artur Mas wrote to EU leaders asking for support in a vote for independence from Spain

Catalonia seeks support from EU for independence

Catalonia’s president has called on European Union leaders for support as the region seeks a vote on independence in November this year, the source of an increasingly bitter fight with Spain’s central government.

Co-co bank bonds could make financial system 'unstable', warns expert

New bonds designed to prevent future bank bailouts could make the financial system dangerously unstable, Kames Capital bond fund manager Gregory Turnbull-Schwartz has warned.

Got a New Year's Eve hangover? Call for an Angel

In Kent, you can order a Mummy-style service - if you're willing to pay

CBI chief tells companies to pay more as the economy improves

CBI warns the number of workers on minimum wage is "a serious challenge"

Insurance brokers make claim for unfair treatment by FCA

Ten industry investigations within nine months branded disproportionate

President Hollande's approval rating has fallen faster than that of any other French President in the Fifth Republic, with 3.5 million French people out of work

François Hollande heading for crisis as he fails to deliver his promise to reduce unemployment

The French President staked his political credibility on a fall in the number of unemployed by the end of the year, but the figures are not going his way. What now for France’s increasingly unpopular leader, asks John Lichfield

Staff distrust of their managers ‘risks damaging businesses’

Low productivity is hitting output, with just 37% of staff saying they trust their bosses

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

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DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

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Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

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