Opinionomics: must-read analysis and comment

Featuring high tax, high art and high interest rates.

1. Gordon Brown is nowhere, yet everywhere (Independent)

Without acknowledgement from either side, it is Brown's rulebook that persists, writes Steve Richards.

2. How business can bypass banks (BBC)

A wonkish piece from Robert Peston, looking at one easy way to boost lending to small and medium enterprises: letting them borrow against invoices from big businesses.

3. Would a Higher Top Tax Rate Raise Revenues? (New York Times)

Bruce Bartlett presents an American angle on a question that has been asked in Britain for a while.

4. Auction-house opacity datapoint of the day (Reuters)

A bizarre piece of misdirection from the world of fine art becomes an enlightening microeconomic case-study for Felix Salmon.

5. A century of gilt (FT alphaville)

Joseph Cotterill goes into depth on the Chancellor's plan to sell 100-year bonds.

Gordon Brown's rulebook persists in Westminster today. Credit: Getty

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

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En français, s'il vous plaît! EU lead negotiator wants to talk Brexit in French

C'est très difficile. 

In November 2015, after the Paris attacks, Theresa May said: "Nous sommes solidaires avec vous, nous sommes tous ensemble." ("We are in solidarity with you, we are all together.")

But now the Prime Minister might have to brush up her French and take it to a much higher level.

Reuters reports the EU's lead Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, would like to hold the talks in French, not English (an EU spokeswoman said no official language had been agreed). 

As for the Home office? Aucun commentaire.

But on Twitter, British social media users are finding it all très amusant.

In the UK, foreign language teaching has suffered from years of neglect. The government may regret this now . . .

Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.