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Some Bank of England regulators wanted lenders to be forced to raise even more fresh capital than the £25 billion they were told to produce last week, minutes from the latest meeting of the financial policy committee indicate.

City & Business: Barclays rides storm

When Barclays announced 10 days ago that it was flogging part of BZW, the cry went up that the last best hope of British merchant banking was being destroyed. Now the dust has settled a bit, it is clear that the normally sure-footed Barclays chief, Martin Taylor, has made a mess of the sale.

BZW sale could be hindered by exodus

Fears were growing yesterday that Barclays will fail to retain key staff at BZW for long enough to finalise a satisfactory sale of the investment bank's equities and corporate finance arms. Tom Stevenson, Financial Editor, reports.

BZW businesses for sale as Barclays gives up global ambitions

Barclays abandoned its ambition to be a global player in investment banking yesterday, putting BZW's equities and corporate finance businesses up for sale. Tom Stevenson, Financial Editor, reports on the bank's change of heart.

Outlook: What happened to vision and ambition?

This has been a bad week for the global ambitions of corporate Britain. BT's plans to merge with MCI of the US and join the super-league of world telecom companies are pretty much dead in the water following the counter-bid from WorldCom, while Barclays, our last hope of a British- owned global investment bank, yesterday announced that it was throwing in the towel.

Barclays set to reveal the sale of BZW to a foreign buyer

Staff at BZW have been summoned to an early morning meeting today to be told that the investment bank is to be sold to a continental buyer. Tom Stevenson and Lea Paterson report on a volte face by its parent, Barclays.

Why my blow for women was bad for the poor

polly toynbee on tax and marriage

Football: Confident Watford take a grip on proceedings

Watford 2 Wycombe Wanderers 1

Cockburn walks out early

Bill Cockburn, the WH Smith chief executive whose shock decision to quit the ailing retailer was announced in June, has already left the business. Mr Cockburn was supposed to remain at the company until October, when he joins BT as head of its domestic operations. But Mr Cockburn left at the beginning of August. He was entitled to a full month of holiday but will not return during September.

Why government and business don't really mix

'No right-thinking person would these days feel comfortable with the idea of un-elected trade unionists running the country. Why should we feel any happier if it is businessmen pulling the levers of power?'

There's no New Deal for women Woman's lot is still a forgotten one

Diane Coyle fears a 'laddish' Budget which looks set to ignore the needs of half the population

Brown's radical Budget

Gordon Brown will signal a long-term overhaul of the tax and benefit systems in next Wednesday's Budget. He will also announce radical plans to reshape the entire Budget process.

Global Markets: Eastern Europe - Young and Volatile

Investing in this region is fine for people with strong constitutions and nerves of steel, writes Abigail Montrose

Man from the Pru to lead welfare-to-work team

The chairman of the Prudential insurance group, Sir Peter Davis, is to head the task force that will oversee Labour's welfare-to-work programme, it emerged last night.

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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own