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.

Would women have averted the bubble on Wall Street?

If women ran America's banks they couldn't have done worse, says Geithner

David Prosser: A battle the hedge funds must win

Outlook: If the UK's Financial Services Authority is satisfied that US hedge funds based here are safe, that should be enough for the EU

G7 financial leaders focus on budget crises

A crisis in Europe over budget belt-tightening has upended global markets and seized the attention of financial leaders meeting in the Canadian Arctic.

David Prosser: Man of the year struggles in January

Outlook: There is a certain irony in seeing Mr Bernanke saved by the Republicans

David Prosser: An odd time to applaud Bernanke

Outlook Congratulations then to Ben Bernanke, Time magazine's person of the year. In a year when the competition for the title was not hotly contested – judging by the other contenders the magazine says it considered – the US Federal Reserve chairman won because without him "a weak economy could have been much, much weaker".

Business Diary: Google boss takes fight to the enemy

Good to see The Wall Street Journal give its writers free rein. In an op-ed piece yesterday, Google boss Eric Schmidt said: "With dwindling revenue and diminished resources, frustrated newspaper executives are looking for someone to blame. Much of their anger is currently directed at Google... the facts suggest otherwise." Chief of the get-Google brigade is, of course, Rupert Murdoch, the Journal's owner.

Darling urges action on climate change

Chancellor Alistair Darling today urged the world's most powerful finance ministers to treat climate change with the same urgency they gave to the world economic turmoil.

Geithner presses package over dangerous failures

US Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner went to Capitol Hill to press Congress to pass the Wall Street reform package that will allow the government to wind up huge financial firms whose uncontrolled collapse would threaten the entire economy. Members of the House of Representatives financial services committee questioned some aspects of the proposals, including the plan to have companies with more than $10bn in assets repay costs to unwind a firm after it fails. “Most of us don’t die and then buy a life insurance policy,” said Luis Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat, saying the funds should be put in place in advance. Mr Geithner said that “would create expectations that the government would step in to protect shareholders and creditors from losses.”

Vincent Cable: How to tackle the recovery

The Crunch one year on: A professional economist as Chancellor of the Exchequer? Sean O'Grady talks to the Liberal Democrats' 'Shadow Chancellor' about how we got into this mess, and how his party would get us out of it

Stephen Foley: Why we need bonus rules

US Outlook: Only on Wall Street could the phrase "guaranteed bonus" not be an oxymoron, and there is something so outrageous about the notion of pre-agreeing multi-year bonus packages that it has become a lightning rod for public over finance industry pay.

Crash of a titan: The inside story of the fall of Lehman Brothers

One year ago, the assembled brains of the Fed and Wall Street sealed the fate of one of its oldest banks. In this gripping account of that weekend last September, Stephen Foley counts the cost of high finance's darkest hour

London G20 meeting rejects plan to cap bankers' bonuses

But a new 'clawback' scheme means they can be forfeited if deals later prove unsuccessful

Britain and US frustrate global deal on bonus cap

Opponents of pay policy say attempt to limit bankers' income would be unworkable

Tories side with Europe over stimulus plan

The Conservative Party backed Germany and France yesterday in their row with the British Government over how long the global economic bailout should continue.

Obama declares new era of co-operation with China

President Barack Obama declared a new era of "co-operation, not confrontation" with China today, even though two days of high-level talks were not expected to resolve differences over the two nations' yawning trade gap and China's unease over soaring US budget deficits.

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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas