This is a guest post by Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Chairman and Co-Founder, Open Data Institute

The UK is a world leader in open data. Open data is data that is published for anyone to use for any purpose at no cost. Open data about transport, spending, health, crime, the environment, mapping and much more is now freely available from the UK government. We are also seeing companies release some of their data as open data. Open data is not usually personal data unless it is released as aggregate or anonymised data that does not identify an individual. Read more

Valentina Romei

“The good school” is the title of the reform to the Italian educational system proposed by the Prime Minister Matteo Renzi that was approved by the lower chamber of parliament on the 20th of May and that now needs to be approved by the upper chamber in the next few weeks.

In the words of the Ministry of Education Stefania Giannini the reform is aimed at improving “autonomy, transparency, responsibility, fair valuation and merits” in the educational system. The reforms involve funding for hiring thousands of temporary teachers on permanent contracts, more training, the introduction of a one year trial for new teachers and larger school autonomy among other – sometimes controversial – measures. Read more

Martin Stabe

Banks have paid more than $160bn in fines and legal settlements with US regulators since the financial crisis, data compiled by FT reporters shows. Update, May 22, 2015: Six global banks – Bank of America, UBS, RBS, JP Morgan, Citigroup, and Barclays – will pay more than $5.6bn to settle allegations that they rigged foreign exchange markets. Separately, New York’s banking regulator is intensifying a probe into the use of computer-driven currency trading to allegedly abuse forex markets. Update, April 24, 2015: The data now includes Deutsche Bank’s settlements over Libor manipulation. Deutsche Bank paid out $775m to the US Department of Justice, $800m to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and $600m to the New York Department of Financial Services. Update, November 12, 2014: Our dataset now includes the settlements with the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission relating to the global probe into allegations of widespread forex rate-rigging. The new data bring the total fines and settlements in 2014 to $56.7bn, making it the most expensive year on record. Update, August 7, 2014: Bank of America’s $16bn settlement over allegations of misselling mortgage-backed securities brings the total for the first eight months of 2014 to more than $54bn, exceeding the total collected in the whole of 2013.

You can now download the full bank fines data as a CSV file that can be imported into any spreadsheet or statistical software package. This link will always provide the most up-to-date version of the data compiled by the FT.

FT Baseline

Last week we looked at the top goalscorers in modern European football, focusing on the importance of remaining injury free for those who go on to become true greats.

This time around we’re taking a different view of the same data to tell another side to the story: the important distinction between a clinical finisher and a reliable source of goals. Read more

Valentina Romei

The growth in Chinese import has been slowing since the start of 2011 and actually contracted in the first months of this year due to falling demand and lower commodity prices.

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Valentina Romei

Gross domestic product (GDP) – the product generated in a country- is similar to the gross national product (GNP) – the income of the country’s residents, in most countries.

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Emily Cadman

(c) Getty Images

After a month of silence from the Bank of England as a result of purdah – the constitutionally imposed pre-election quiet period for public bodies – front row seats for Wednesday’s inflation report are at a premium. Read more

Before Labour tear themselves apart trying to figure out how to proceed from the general election result it’s worth taking a look at how the voters behaved.

The data suggests that Labour’s problems are far more nuanced than a one dimensional disagreement about economic positioning, but reflect deeper structural shifts that can be seen right across Europe. Read more

A network analysis of the Twitter conversations about the general election sheds some light on the hype around Labour in the run-up to the big day.  Read more

Most seats in the UK are projected to declare the winner between 2am and 5am in the general election held today. Labour leaning seats, which tend to be in urban areas and have lower turnout, are often the first to declare.

When the Conservative Liberal Democrat coalition took office in 2010 the majority of the public told pollsters that the economy was the most important issue facing the country. As the economy has recovered and the financial sector appeared more stable, it declined in importance in voters minds.

However, concern about the economy fell faster and further than worries about unemployment. In fact the percentage saying that unemployment is one of the important issues facing the UK is roughly the same as it was in 2010 despite record job growth. Either voters aren’t paying attention or they’re using unemployment as a shorthand for wider concerns about insecurity and the conditions of employment. Read more

Guest post by Paul Hodges

Demographic change is creating major headwinds for the US economy, as confirmed by its disappointing first quarter GDP growth of 0.2 per cent. Consumption accounts for around 70 per cent of US GDP, and new data on household spending from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) demonstrate how the ageing of the US population is creating major structural change in the economy. Read more

Here’s a simple question: which of Britain’s parliamentary constituencies have seen the biggest job market recoveries since the coalition government took office in 2010?

The answer, I thought, might well generate a news story in the week of the UK general election. So I downloaded a time-series of the number of Jobseeker’s Allowance benefit claimants in each constituency. (I used JSA claimant data because, when you’re looking at small geographical areas, they’re far more accurate than survey-based measures of employment and unemployment.) Read more

By Robin Kwong and Steve Bernard

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FT Baseline

By John Burn-Murdoch and Gavin Jackson

Over a typical Premier League season we would expect any given team to pick up more points per match against weaker opponents than better ones, relative to its own strength. Read more

Keith Fray


In 1985 all sovereign bond issues rated by Moody’s were investment grade. Since then riskier emerging markets have gained access to debt markets and some advanced economies have been downgraded following the global crisis


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According to the latest data from research firm Strategy Analytics, the number of smartphone sales rose by 21 per cent on an annual basis in the first quarter of 2015. Samsung overtook Apple to once again be the biggest smartphone seller by volume


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New York, Rome, Berlin and Mexico City. Which is the odd one out?

It is Rome. It missed out on being in the top 10 cities out of 55 indexed by Youthful Cities, a Toronto-based organisation that has started ranking metropolises based on their ability to meet the demands of their young residents (aged 15-29).

New York topped the list, with London coming in second and Berlin third. More interestingly Mexico City slipped into the top 10, the only non US, Canadian or European city to do so. The mix gets more interesting for the top 20, with the likes of Tel Aviv, Hong Kong and Santiago making the cut. (See full post for list.) Read more


The amount of cash and cash equivalents held by Apple has more than quadrupled since 2010, enough to buy Coca-Cola or Disney outright. Amazon, however, is out of reach due to a recent surge in the share price. Read more

Polls suggest that the UK general election on May 7 will result in a hung parliament. A coalition, or a minority government backed by a “confidence and supply” deal with other parties, is likely to come to power.

This interactive graphic shows the scenarios possible based on the current projection from Read more