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A perfect financial storm

The British government is under attack for being too soft on the "super-rich." A new book by the BBC's Robert Peston describes the excesses of private equity and City bonuses. But can these be reined in without damaging a vital industry?

By Jonathan Ford   March 2008

When the governor of the Bank of England warns of hard times, it’s time to sit up and take notice. In the bluntest of warnings to the British middle classes, Mervyn King has pointed out that higher energy and food costs are causing “a genuine reduction in our standard of living.” In simple terms, we are getting poorer.

This will not come as a surprise to many people. Newspapers are crammed with penny-pinching tips and cries from middle-class professionals about how hard it’s getting out there. House prices have been falling faster than at any time since 1990-92, although February…

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