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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.

House prices keep rising, but fears of a setback grow

Value of average UK home rose by 2.9 per cent last year

'Mad Dog' rejects idea of captaining England

With a large portrait of the Prince Regent adorning the wall above him, Lewis Moody is speaking on the subject of leading England. A legendarily madcap character somewhat taken aback to find himself vested with the hopes of a nation, yet determined to show he is up to the job – and dear old Georgie boy had a notably colourful life, too.

Britain out of recession, says NIESR

Worst economic downturn since 1921 saw GDP decline by 4.8 per cent last year

Greece's debt rating cut by Moody's

Moody's Investors Service cut Greece's debt rating yesterday but partially reassured financial markets by saying that the country remained far from a crisis, igniting a rally in Greek bonds and bank stocks.

Spain tops doom list, but UK warned

Britain is running out of time in its battle to keep its treasured Aaa credit rating, Moody's warned again yesterday, despite reporting that Spain potentially faces more trouble with its public finances than any other developed economy.

Moody's lifts UK's credit rating gloom – for now

Britain's credit rating is secure for now but could be cut if the Government fails to show it can rebuild the public finances by 2013, Moody's said yesterday, in the first public statement from a major credit rating agency since Wednesday's pre-Budget report.

Darling under fire as UK edges nearer to credit downgrade

Chancellor told to cut budget deficit as Moody's warns on country's rating

David Prosser: Darling's impossible dilemma

Outlook Will Alistair Darling live to regret his determination to put the question of tackling the budget deficit on the back burner until he is convinced the UK economy is firmly in recovery mode? The Chancellor let it be known at the weekend that he would rather get it in the neck for pulling support from the economy too late than for pulling it too early. But he would not be human had yesterday's news from the credit ratings agencies not given him pause for thought.

England want to answer critics says Moody

Lewis Moody insists England's wounded players are "chomping at the bit" to prove their army of critics wrong in tomorrow's final autumn showdown against New Zealand.

James Moore: Time for a new brolly?

Outlook: Has Legal & General's umbrella just sprung a leak? It might sound terribly technical, but there's more than meets the eye to Moody's decision to change the way it rates hybrid securities and subordinated debt instruments issued by banks. Before the financial crisis the ratings agency had taken the view that investors in this type of debt would benefit, at least to an extent, from support provided to a troubled bank by national governments or central banks. Now we know that ain't necessarily so. The EC thinks that bond holders should share the pain of a bailout.

James Moore: Those ratings agencies can still bite hard

Outlook In the world of ratings agencies there is a very definite hierarchy. Standard & Poor's sits at the top of the tree, a branch or two above Moody's. Fitch occupies third place and, as a result of this, it has often proved rather more willing to say rather more interesting things than the others. This is probably because it knows they won't have quite the same impact, so there is less risk. That wasn't the case yesterday, however, when Fitch warned that of all the major economies, Britain's prized AAA credit rating was most at risk of a downgrade.

Little's last-gasp penalty scrapes a draw for Bath

Bath 20 Leicester Tigers 20: Leicester finally score a try, but Staunton's missed kicks let rivals off the hook

Spending plans should help UK keep AAA status

Public spending cuts and tax hikes after the next election should enable the UK to hang on to its gold-plated triple A credit rating, a leading agency said today.

Business sentiment growing more confident

Britain's businesses feel more confident about their prospects than at any other time in the past 12 months, figures to be published today reveal, providing further evidence of improving sentiment in the economy as the slowdown at least bottoms out.

Morrisons joins cull of final-salary pensions

The Bradford-based grocer Morrisons has become the latest company to axe its final-salary pension scheme for existing members.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?