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My Week If there was any justice in the financial world, the people who run the big debt rating agencies would be hanging from lamp-posts along with the investment bankers for the way in which their activities contributed to the 2008 financial crash. But they emerged pretty well unscathed, barring a few uncomfortable sessions before congressional committees. Politicians threatened all sorts of legislative nasties at the time, but it turned out to be all sound and fury signifying not very much.

Italy passes market test after Moody's downgrade

Italy passed a tough market test today as its three-year borrowing costs fell well below 5 per cent at an auction hours after Moody's cut the country's rating to two notches above junk status.

Barclays credit rating outlook downgraded ahead of banking inquiry debate

A leading credit ratings agency today downgraded Barclays’ outlook to negative in the wake of Bob Diamond's resignation and continuing turmoil at the bank.

Blow for Santander UK as it faces a reduction in credit rating by Moody's

The British arm of Spanish banking giant Santander yesterdayday suffered a blow as it faced a downgrade by a leading credit-ratings agency.

Stephen Foley: Moody's will tighten the vice on bank downgrades

US Outlook: Arbitrary! Backward looking! Completely unwarranted! Complaining by the banks downgraded by Moody's started the second the rating agency's actions hit the wire late on Thursday night. Citigroup sounded especially aggrieved at the two-notch cut to its credit rating, but all the affected institutions rushed out statements to assert that they have never been safer.

Moody's downgrade for UK banks raises fears of credit crunch

Some of the world's biggest banks – including Barclays, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland – had their credit ratings downgraded last night as a result of the eurozone crisis.

Banks fear Moody's credit rating cut

Some of Britain's biggest banks are reportedly facing credit rating cuts as early as tonight in a move which will stretch lenders' already taut finances.

EU credit rating reform in tatters

Commissioner Michel Barnier is forced to step back from plans to make bond-issuers rotate agencies

Borrowing blowout highlights Osborne's challenge

A Budget-day borrowing blow for Chancellor George Osborne yesterday underlined the scale of his deficit-cutting task despite slightly better news on growth from his independent forecaster.

Agencies still refuse to say sorry for role in financial crisis

The world's biggest credit ratings agencies came under heavy fire yesterday when they repeatedly refused to apologise to MPs for the debacle over toxic mortgage-backed securities which triggered the financial crisis.

Ratings agencies still refuse to say sorry for helping to cause the financial crisis

The world's biggest credit ratings agencies came under heavy fire yesterday, as they repeatedly refused to apologise to MPs for the debacle over the toxic mortgage-backed securities that triggered the global financial crisis.

James Moore: This is Osborne's chance to clamp down on stupidity in the public sector

Outlook Did George Osborne just get a little bit of breathing room? Yesterday's public sector borrowing figures contained some welcome news for the Chancellor. January is traditionally a month in which the Government pays back a bit of what it owes, but the £7.75bn returned to creditors this time around was better than most forecasters had expected and well ahead of the £5.2bn surplus recorded in January 2011.

Simon English: Moody's six years too late with its alert on RBS

Outlook The prize for the stupidest thing said about banks yesterday – it was a cut-throat day in an always competitive field – came from Moody's.

James Moore: Should we care what Paris Hilton thinks of our party?

The fact that the UK has so far escaped any hint of a credit downgrade has long been cited by the Coalition to support its preferred combination of spending cuts and tax rises to deal with the budget deficit. For goodness sake stop complaining about your hospital closing: Britain's still a AAA nation (Aa1 or somesuch in Moody's speak).

James Moore: Should we really care what Paris Hilton thinks about our party?

Outlook The fact that the UK has so far escaped any hint of a credit downgrade has long been cited by the Coalition to support its preferred combination of spending cuts and tax rises to deal with the budget deficit. For goodness sake stop complaining about your hospital closing: Britain's still a AAA nation (Aa1 or somesuch in Moody's speak).

Leading article: Not much economic wriggle room

The shadow Chancellor claims that Moody's decision to place Britain's triple-A credit rating on "negative outlook" proves that the Government is cutting too far, too fast. Meanwhile, George Osborne insists that the agency's warning shot – suggesting a one-in-three chance of a downgrade to come – is a "reality check" that reinforces his commitment to cutting national debt.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

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People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

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Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

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Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

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Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
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Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas