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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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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there