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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
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Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy