EDITOR'S PICKS 2013

It was a tumultuous year in both economics and politics and Business Spectator's readers spoke with their clicks. Your most read stories addressed the housing boom, or bust; a vitriol-laced election; a raid on superannuation or the pivot on the NBN; and the wasted opportunities of the mining boom.

The NBN board has run away. Why?
Alan Kohler
It's not because Malcolm Turnbull is unreasonable, or because they're all fibre fanatics. But there's a real problem at the heart of the Coalition's NBN policy.

Retirees will pay for the Paid Parental Leave scheme
Robert Gottliebsen
The Coalition is targeting retirees to pay for a slice of the parental leave scheme in a cunning move that the media and the ALP missed. The older generation is in for a rude shock.

Reserve's rethink points to an economic morass
Stephen Bartholomeusz
What looked like expansionary trends emerging within the Australian economy have proven to be otherwise, forcing the Reserve Bank to administer a reluctant jolt.

Abbott's nightmare is unfolding in WA
Rob Burgess
Tony Abbott is likely sweating bullets with the threat of a new half-Senate election in Western Australia. It could cost him his friendly Senate and derail the carbon tax repeal.

Who's responsible for Australia's 'debt crisis'?
Steve Keen
Economic management, and the question of who's better at it, will be a deciding factor on September 7. Tony Abbott argues debt created under Labor is a sign of poor stewardship. Time to look at the figures.

Rudd's red-hot payback plan
Michael Gawenda
Kevin Rudd's burning determination to punish those who ended his prime ministership looks set to reach its climax, with devastating consequences for his party.

The ugly economics of Swan's super slug
Robert Gottliebsen
Those with $800,000 in super savings, including the majority of women, are not rich. And Labor's proposal to punish them will backfire on Treasury.

A housing bubble? You bewdy!
Alan Kohler
What could be better than another housing bubble? Maybe measures to brace the massive portion of our GDP growth that's now falling away…

Has Rudd walked into an almighty trap?
Rob Burgess
By all appearances, Kevin Rudd seems to be on top of the world. But could the serene faces on the outgoing Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan betray his real fate?

How the big miners blew the boom
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Running through old supply-demand equations should not be the key task for mining executives looking to learn from a wasted decade.

How to spot a housing bubble before it bursts
Steve Keen
BIS private debt and property price databases indicate which countries are at risk of a housing bubble, including the potential ‘big daddy’ bubble of them all.

The murky side of Australian Solar Panels
Tristan Edis
The ACCC's recent action against Euro Solar and the Australian Solar Panel that isn't made in Australia, raises a broader threat from companies that cut corners.

House prices shoot towards a ceiling
Steve Keen
Current house price rises are coming entirely from speculators rather than owner-occupier investment. And there's limited potential for further gains... unless one possible loophole is exploited.

Abbott's secret Fightback plan
Alan Kohler
Very quietly, the Coalition has for the last three years been sitting on one of the most elaborate plans for government ever prepared in opposition.

Abbott's 12-point plan to transform Australia: Part 2
Robert Gottliebsen
The Abbott government will leave no stone unturned in its overhaul of the Australian economy. Changes to IR and productivity are even more important than those highlighted yesterday, but just as scarcely understood.

Albanese crashes on a $30bn blunder
Stephen Bartholomeusz
With writedowns totalling near $30 billion, Rio Tinto's Alcan deal will go down as one of the worst acquisitions in corporate history. But Sam Walsh's appointment will help the group sidestep the worst instability it could have caused.

Rudd must call a snap election – or face Turnbull
Rob Burgess
Faced with the Rudd renaissance and a neck-and-neck battle, it's only a matter of time before Coalition MPs turn towards Malcolm Turnbull – and almost guaranteed victory.

Seven deadly Gillard sins
Robert Gottliebsen
From poor business relations to IR blunders, Julia Gillard’s mistakes have revealed unfortunate similarities to Kevin Rudd.

Turnbull has saved the NBN
Alan Kohler
Malcolm Turnbull has somehow turned the Liberals into an NBN party, creating a plan only a little worse than Labor’s and rescuing the Opposition from a terrible mess.

Beware the mother of all housing booms
Robert Gottliebsen
Australians are rushing for bricks and mortar as they've always done in times like this. With interest rates low but banks wary, the market is set to blow up.

I will be wrong on house prices
Steve Keen
When the hot air finally leaves this new housing bubble, its deflation will be too slow to result in a 40 per cent fall from June 2010 to June 2025.

A plague on Aussie housing
Philip Soos
As aggregate net rental returns run negative, and price to rent ratios indicate severe overvaluation, Australian residential property may be seeing its largest bubble on record.

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