It's been a big week in business and we've selected some of our best material for you including: Alan Kohler and Robert Gottliebsen on the budget, Stephen Bartholomeusz's on the St George-Westpac merger and Giles Parkinson on carbon trading.

Nip, cut, slash
Alan Kohler
This is more Lindsay Tanner’s budget than Wayne Swan’s or Kevin Rudd’s. Remarkably, Tanner has found $2 billion more in savings than Swan and Rudd are spending.

Mauling higher incomes
Robert Gottliebsen
Treasurer Wayne Swan and Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner have unveiled a secret weapon to maul the finances of higher income families – and all in the name of tax 'fairness'.

Advantage Westpac
Stephen Bartholomeusz
A merger with Westpac will solve many of St George's problems and no-one knows those problems better than Westpac's chief executive Gail Kelly.

Competition woes
Stephen Bartholomeusz
The increase in St George's cost of funding has substantially reduced its ability to compete. But with non-banks decimated and foreign banks retreating from our shores, the Federal Government may be tempted to create a 'fifth pillar'.

Trading in the dark
Giles Parkinson
The market for carbon trading is growing at tremendous speed, but as long as investors continue to operate in a knowledge vacuum it will remain highly speculative.

May cause insomnia
Alan Kohler
The global market for over-the-counter derivatives is now worth about $US681 trillion. That sounds like an awful lot to me. Should I be concerned or should I just try to go back to sleep?

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