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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

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.

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.

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".

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.

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

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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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?