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.

News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEpic YouTube video features boundary-pushing staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
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Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
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peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
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Robyn Lawley
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
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Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star