News
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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Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
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Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
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Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
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Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment