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Midweek View: The Gogarburn HQ is a great monument to Mr Goodwin's vanity. The detail here is frightening, and laughable

Boyd Tonkin: Literature and the banks

This Saturday, the Edinburgh International Book Festival begins, cramming into its temporary tent village in Charlotte Square Gardens a 700-event programme that trounces in both range and quality almost every other literary jamboree on earth. This time, however, the identity of one stalwart main sponsor may attract more than the usual passing glance: the Royal Bank of Scotland.

James Moore: Pursuit of the Phoenix Four is a diversion

Outlook: Nearly a decade ago, John Towers was hailed as a hero as he entered stage left with a bold promise to save Rover as a mass-market UK car maker, something BMW, which knows a thing or two about the motor industry, had conspicuously failed to do.

David Prosser: Success or failure is not about gender

Outlook: Harriet Harman can't seem to help herself. Having talked utter nonsense earlier this year about Sir Fred Goodwin and the court of public opinion, now she's returned to another favourite theme – how the credit crisis is all the fault of blokes.

Business Diary: 03/08/2009

Foxton's boss calls the end of the downturn

Here's the best buy signal we've seen yet for the housing market. Jon Hunt, the founder of the estate agency Foxton's, reckons the slump is over and that prices have fallen to levels where good opportunities now exist. Mr Hunt famously sold Foxton's at the top of the market and was rumoured to be considering buying back in after it plunged in value. A man to follow then.

The Thrift Book, By India Knight

India Knight's real asset is her talent for convincing displays of soul-baring. When she says that she is "naturally spectacularly crap with money", has had her "fair share of bailiffs over the years" and was served with bankruptcy papers, I believe her absolutely. For all I know, as a bestselling writer with a long-running column in a London newspaper, she could actually be as crafty as Fred Goodwin when it comes to her own money.

RBS accused of bullying firms for £1bn in fees

Rivals claim Stephen Hester's bank is barging into rights issues using its strength in corporate lending

Minister attacks the City's 'moral neglect'

The multimillionaire City minister Lord Myners has criticised his former colleagues in the Square Mile for their greed and obsession with money.

James Moore: Still too risky to take on bank bosses?

Outlook The banking crisis was all about risk and the abject failure of banks to manage it. This was as true of executives like Sir Fred Goodwin – whose hubris caused them to blindly run into deals of paralysing stupidity – as it was of the traders and dealmakers paid fortunes for playing high stakes poker with other people's money.

Cad files: Sam West turns supervillain in a new play about the collapse of energy titan Enron

Born into theatrical royalty, Sam West made his name playing 'linen' parts in Merchant Ivory productions. So how did he come to be taking on one of this century's biggest corporate villains?

RBS chief Stephen Hester set for £9.6m incentive package

Royal Bank of Scotland is set to reveal a £9.6 million pay package for its chief executive, it was reported today.

Business Diary: 20/06/2009

Chocolate is easier to deliver than gold

The marketing folk at Jon Moulton's Alchemy private equity business have a sense of humour. Investment folk are always making wild claims, of course, but at least Alchemy has stopped short of insisting it can actually do what its name implies. Moulton often hands out company-branded choccies to visitors, embossed with the rather witty slogan, "base metals to chocolate – an interim stage".

Goodwin agrees to scrape by on £342,500 a year

Banker who presided over the collapse of RBS bows to public pressure and accepts 40 per cent reduction in his pension deal

Leading article: And the moral is...

Far be it from us to belittle the sacrifice made by Sir Fred Goodwin (or Willie Walsh for that matter). Fifty per cent (still more, 90 per cent) of an enormous amount is still quite a sizeable sum. Neither is going to be exactly on the breadline. But in reaching agreement with the bank he once headed to have his pension reduced by £200,000 a year, Sir Fred finally seems to have understood what was required of him, even if it was in the face of threatened legal action from Royal Bank of Scotland.

Former RBS boss Sir Fred Goodwin agrees to pension cut

Former Royal Bank of Scotland boss Sir Fred Goodwin bowed to public pressure today and offered to hand back more than £210,000 a year of his controversial pension payout.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Back to the bad old days of greed

All around us are signs of business as usual after a brief spell of detox
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff