News Jack Lew’s previous squiggle of a signature, above, and the new one, below

When US President Barack Obama nominated Jack Lew as the new Secretary of the US Treasury in January, the media had one overwhelming concern about the appointment: Lew’s illegible signature, which resembles the doodle of an absent-minded child, would now appear on every US banknote.

Governor of the Bank of England Sir Mervyn King says Barclays 'was in state of denial' about regulators' concerns

Sir Mervyn King said that Barclays’ board had been “deeply reluctant” to face up to concerns of the Financial Services Agency.

US bank bosses set for tough Libor questions

This week's earnings reports to put American managers in the dock

Leading article: Tensions that expose a gaping US-China divide

The most humane outcome would be for Beijing to give up Mr Chen quietly

France's Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany's Angela Merkel are trying to stand united

Merkel and Sarkozy close to agreement on major step towards fiscal unity for eurozone

So begin five days of meetings to try to salvage the continent's economies

Business Diary: Fixture clash is narrowly avoided

Full marks to David Cameron and Sir Mervyn King who avoided what might have been an embarrassing clash yesterday. The Prime Minister was originally set to make his latest statement on the riots at 10.30am, just as the Governor of the Bank of England was cutting his forecasts for economic growth. That might have looked as if the Government was trying to bury the bad news and the PM's office sensibly put his briefing back by half an hour.

Senate passes bill to prevent US default

The US avoided a feared and catastrophic default on the American debt, as lawmakers on today passed a measure that ties an agreement to raise the government's capacity to borrow to steep cuts in government spending.

Deadlock in talks to bring US economy back from the brink

The stakes are still rising in a game of political chicken that now threatens the immediate future of the global economy, as President Barack Obama continues attempts to negotiate a deal to raise the US government's debt limit.

Obama pledges tough choices on economy

President Barack Obama insisted yesterday he was prepared to make "tough choices" for a sweeping deficit-reduction deal to avert a US default, despite being warned by Democrats not to make too many concessions.

'No deal' on ending US debt impasse

President Barack Obama insisted he was prepared to make "tough choices" for a sweeping deficit-reduction deal to avert a US default, despite being warned by Democrats not to make too many concessions.

Geithner may quit Treasury this year for sake of family

Timothy Geithner, the US Treasury Secretary, may leave office later this year, it was reported yesterday.

Christine Lagarde set to become new IMF boss

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde is poised to become the next leader of the scandal-rocked International Monetary Fund, with a major endorsement from the Obama administration.

David Prosser: And the solution to our economic woes is... there is no solution

Outlook: When more than half the economy depends on two drivers, it's difficult to see how there can be growth if those two drivers are weakening

Adrian Hamilton: This is no way to treat an accused man

International Studies

$14.294 trillion in the red, so US Treasury must stop borrowing

After months of hand-wringing, the US Government has reached its debt limit, forcing lawmakers to embark on a series of emergency measures to prevent public finances from going into immediate default.

Business Diary: Miller puts the past behind him

Alan Miller is a widely respected fund manager in the City, but is probably best known beyond the Square Mile for his exceptionally messy divorce from his wife Melissa – she got £5m in a judgment that he appealed all the way to the House of Lords before losing. It's good to see the episode hasn't put Miller off women. Interviewed in the latest issue of Spear's magazine, Miller reveals he has only two personal speed dial numbers on his phone: "The two most important women in my life – my [new] wife and my mum."

Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
News
news
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
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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
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all