EDITOR'S PICKS

In this week's essential reading guide Kohler and Gottliebsen demystify the gold slump, Bartholomeusz quells hype on the China slowdown and Keen slings an arrow through the house price boom.

What is gold (and a bitcoin) really worth?
Alan Kohler
Many people see bitcoins as a potential safe haven, much like gold. Both are still rare and useful but figuring out what they are really worth is an inexact science.

Why the gold slide signals an Australian alert
Robert Gottliebsen
The sharp fall in the gold price is not of itself a major threat to Australia, but it's highly significant because it's tied to global structural economic shifts that could leave us high and dry.

Keeping cool as China's new reality sets in
Stephen Bartholomeusz
A Chinese growth slowdown is undoubtedly in the pipeline but investors need not be so sensitive as Beijing will manage any dips and miners have been long preparing.

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.

How forecasting errors will affect the budget
Stephen Koukoulas
Treasury’s expected to forecast 3 per cent real GDP growth, 5.5 per cent unemployment and 2.5 per cent inflation for 2013-14. This is in line with a small deficit, but real world outcomes could vary dramatically.

Buckle your seatbelts for an Australian automotive revival
Robert Gottliebsen
If energy and commodity prices continue their current trajectory the Australian dollar will fall sharply, opening a new era for automotive manufacturing in Australia.

No jump-starter for stalling cars
Stephen Koukoulas
Falls in European car sales will trigger huge spare capacity and ongoing discounting that further compromises the Australian industry.

Labor’s ‘govern and be damned’ strategy
Rob Burgess
Labor's persistent ramming through of big legislation makes life more difficult for an Abbott government, which will have to 'cruelly' unwind it all as revenue diminishes.

Contract killers for the mining boom
Ken Phillips
As labor productivity in the resources sector collapses construction costs have blown out, including by 45 per cent over five years in the Pilbara. Queensland and WA need to wake up.

Egg on the face for macroeconomic heavyweights
Jessica Irvine
New research has found several errors in Carmen Reinhard and Kenneth Rogoff’s theory of national growth and government debt, opening up a new wave of economic debate.

Carbon permits are worse than junk bonds
Tristan Edis
The investment credibility of carbon pricing across the globe has taken a massive blow overnight.