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.

AIG boss faces music over $165m in bonuses

Payments are distasteful but necessary, chairman tells congress committee

Obama feels backlash on 'Main Street' over bailout

Scramble to aid small businesses that employ 70 per cent of workers

Bernanke sees US recovery from 2010

The Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested in a taped interview yesterday that the US recession could last most of the year and said the biggest risk was that the political will needed to fix the fractured financial system could be lacking.

Larry Summers: Can he make the sums add up?

They don't come much cleverer than Barack Obama's main economic adviser. Now the world waits to see if his ideas are smart enough to save us

China 'worried' about US Treasury holdings

China's premier today expressed concern about its holdings of Treasuries and other US debt, appealing to Washington to safeguard their value, and said Beijing is ready to expand its stimulus if economic conditions worsen.

Pound fails to help exports as demand for UK goods collapses

Exports slump even more than imports to leave trade deficit yawning alarmingly

Cabinet chief: Obama team 'unreachable'

Last week, it was all smiles and handshakes as Gordon Brown and President Barack Obama put on a show of unity in Washington.

Leading article: The world is relying on Mr Obama's rescue plan

Our fates are bound up with the success of the US President's efforts

Bernanke predicts recession could end this year

Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the US Federal Reserve, held out the tentative hope yesterday that the severe recession in the United States might be brought to an end before the end of this year on condition that the correct steps are taken over the coming days and weeks to restore financial stability and to shore up teetering banks.

Margareta Pagano: Wall Street must wait for the Messiah to speak

Markets look for a miracle from Obama's government

Obama: one month in the White House

He has committed a few rookie errors and had to deal with a global recession that is only getting worse, but Barack Obama is yet to lose the gloss that won him the election. Rupert Cornwell reports

Europe's Black Friday seized on to defend British policies

As G7 finance ministers gather, damning report shows scale of Germany's economic woes

Obama forces Citigroup to cancel $50m executive jet order

Citigroup, the banking giant which is being propped up with funds from the US taxpayer, has scrapped plans to take delivery of a $50m corporate jet, after a public outcry and a reprimand from President Barack Obama.

America goes green

Obama makes good his promise to protect the planet by allowing states to set tough laws on car emissions and planning the appointment of a new climate change envoy
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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
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015