Mitch Feierstein: Morals go pop as greedy banks make millions from the great IPO rip-off

At a select committee towards the end of last year Vince Cable was grilled about the huge leap in the Royal Mail’s stock market value. As you’ll remember, the company was floated at 330p a share and traded as high as 600p in November, a rise of 82 per cent in a few months.

Back to reality: The news you missed over Christmas

Did Christmas presents take precedent over world events during the festive period? Here is a quick round up of the top news stories from the past week

Market Report: Santa Rally shows no signs of slowing

The Santa Rally shows no signs of slowing, with the top-flight index closing on its sixth day of gains, its best run since October.

2013 - the year in review: Slowly, the world economy is turning a corner

An uneven recovery began to strengthen. The US, despite having to cope with feuding over its budget, seems to have sped up

Hedge fund multi-millionaire Robert W. Wilson, 87, jumped from the 16th floor of his luxury San Remo apartment building: a prestigious address in New York’s Upper East Side

Tycoon Robert Wilson gives away $800 million fortune before jumping to death

He has since been praised as a 'legend' by his peers, after pledging his entire worth to charity before ending his life

Jordan Belfort had to pay $110m to the victims of his fraud

Jordan Belfort: The real Wolf of Wall Street

The anti-hero of Martin Scorsese’s new film seems like a grotesque caricature of the ‘greed is good’ mantra. But he’s real. Nikhil Kumar tells Jordan Belfort’s story

To die for: Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho (2000)

Style File: Dressed to kill - Get the look of an American Psycho

Patrick Bateman’s latest incarnation is as the unlikely antihero of a London stage musical. It’s all in rather questionable taste  – unlike his perennially sharp suiting, says Alexander Fury

Chimpanzee dressed in a suit roller-skating through prostitutes and dwarves in Wolf of Wall Street prompts boycott calls

An animal rights group is calling for a boycott of Martin Scorsese's upcoming film, The Wolf of Wall Street, because it features a chimpanzee in a suit roller-skating through an office.

Outlook: Americans are no better off – their lawyers are just richer

Outlook Every time a bank, particularly one part-owned by the taxpayer, is engulfed in a humdinging scandal like this, one wonders: would they behave so badly if we had a US-style legal system? Would the bankers bin their morals so quickly if they knew a super-brainy, super-greedy army of lawyers was waiting in the wings to rip their legs off in court?

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.

'The Wire' creator David Simon describes America as a "horror show" in a powerful speech on capitalism

David Simon, the creator of the critically acclaimed television series The Wire, delivered a powerful criticism of modern America during an appearance at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney.

The talk took place in November but details only recently surfaced after an edited transcript of the speech appeared online.

Vincent Tan mulls Singapore IPO for Cardiff City football club

Billionaire Vincent Tan looks set to list Cardiff City Football Club in Singapore next year after plans to float in his own country were shut down by regulators.

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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones