We've selected six of the best pieces of the past week including Kohler on credit-default-swap catastrophe, Gottliebsen on 'living dead' executives, Bartholomeusz on Rio Tinto's eroding power, Nicholas Way on union blunders and Giles Parkinson on an overlooked way to cut carbon.

Good, bad and ugly news
Alan Kohler:Markets are producing plenty for both optimists and pessimists to cling to, but no news is good news on the terrifying prospect of a credit-default-swap meltdown.

Beware the litigious dead
Robert Gottliebsen:An army of 'living dead' executives are working insane hours to preserve extravagant lifestyles. Companies looking to cut their bonuses this year should do so with extreme caution.

This one's different
Robert Gottliebsen:Treasurer Wayne Swan's first budget will be shaped by a prime minister in regular touch with CEOs and a finance minister who is passionate about spending cuts. This is no ordinary budget.

Rio Tinto under pressure
Stephen Bartholomeusz:BHP's single minded pursuit of Rio Tinto is beginning to yield some results. As Rio Tinto eases to trade roughly in line with the offer, its negotiating position has weakened significantly.

Longing for the bad old days
Nicholas Way
In the 1980s, economically savvy unions laid the foundations of 17 years of prosperity. Now, some unions seem hell bent on returning the economy, and their members, to more difficult times.

It's energy efficiency, stupid
Giles Parkinson:Amid all the fuss over carbon prices and soaring energy costs, it’s about time business and government began to focus a little more on reducing usage.

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