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The Co-operative Bank's disgraced former chairman, Paul Flowers, apparently won the job because he beat his rivals' psychometric test scores, MPs on the Treasury Committee have been told.

Investors stash $6 trillion in hedge funds and PE

The value of assets held by hedge funds, private-equity firms and real-estate fund managers reached $6trn (£3.6trn) last year as investors regained their appetite for risk.

Third Point takes significant shareholding in Dow Chemical

Third Point, the hedge fund run by activist investor Daniel Loeb, has taken a significant shareholding in Dow Chemical and is urging the company to explore a spin off of its petrochemical business so it can concentrate on being a specialty chemicals firm.

Alternative assets industry hits £6 trillion mark

The value of assets held by hedge fund, private equity and real estate fund managers reached $6 trillion (£3.6 trillion) last year as investors regained their appetite for risk.

Tom Sandell urges FirstGroup to reassess 'premature' break-up rejection

Billionaire activist investor Tom Sandell has accused the £1.7 billion transport group of a “premature” rejection of its break-up plans for the business.

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.

In Brief: Australia extends Serco Christmas Island deal

Australia extends Serco Christmas Island deal

Serco, the outsourcing giant which repaid £68.5m to the UK Ministry of Justice last week, has received a vote of confidence from the Australian government. It has extended Serco’s contract with its border protection department to run 17 detention centres in the country’s mainland and on Christmas Island.

US regulators seek $1.1m from former Goldman trader Fabrice Tourre

America’s Securities and Exchange Commission has taken former Goldman Sachs London banker Fabrice 'Fabulous' Tourre to court demanding $1.1 million (£674,000) in fines and other penalties for his role in a failed mortgage-backed securities deal which cost investors $1 billion.

Rule to curb risky trades by banks in US is finally passed

Nearly four years after President Obama first proposed curbs to rein in the risky bets on Wall Street, US regulators have finally ratified a strict new regime aimed at stopping banks from making speculative trades that could cause another meltdown.

Tom Hodgkinson: Who arrives at the door when the pig has been killed? The Methodist minister

Around 10 years ago, I opened an account with the Co-operative Bank. I was attracted by its policy of not lending money at excessive rates of interest to the very poor and staying out of the way of arms deals and the like. It seemed by far the best of a bad bunch in the sense that it appeared to have morals. At around the same time, in a feeble anti-capitalist campaign, I joined the Phone Co-operative and an energy supplier called Ecotricity, which apparently supplies its power via windmills.

Co-operative Bank loses customers after Paul Flowers scandal

The Co-operative Bank has admitted for the first time it is losing customers after a series of scandals including alleged drug-taking by former chairman Paul Flowers.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Hedge funds, the Tories’ cash cow, eagerly repay favours

A measure in George Osborne’s 2013 Budget which made no headlines outside the financial pages was the abolition of stamp duty reserve tax on UK-domiciled asset management funds. That may not sound like an attention grabber, but it was manna for Britain’s hedge-fund bosses, who by the Government’s estimate saw £145m drop off their companies’ collective annual tax bill.

MPs summon corporate advisers to explain their valuations of Royal Mail

A group of the City’s best-known corporate advisers has been summoned to appear before a committee of MPs to discuss the price at which Royal Mail was floated on the London Stock Exchange last month.

MPs have voiced fresh concern that the Government's controversial privatisation of the Royal Mail

Royal Mail flotation: MPs voice fresh concern over controversial privatisation

An Early Day Motion has been tabled in Parliament calling on the Coalition to review its decision

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Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor