EDITOR'S PICKS

In this week's essential reading guide Kohler explains Glenn Stevens' rates call, Gottliebsen unpacks a business hiring strike, Koukoulas delves into the dollar's fall and Bartholomeusz says miners should avoid a dividend distraction.

Currency wars to the right, deposit wars to the left
Alan Kohler
The undeclared global currency wars and local bank deposit wars forced Glenn Stevens' hand on rates, but all to no avail.

How Gillard cooked the business goose
Robert Gottliebsen 
The capital and hiring strike among small and medium businesses, spotlighted by Dunn and Bradstreet, is primarily the fault of the chaos caused by the Gillard government.

Prepare for an Aussie parity party
Stephen Koukoulas
A sustained fall in the Australian dollar is on the way, and set to bring a degree of economic stimulus at a time of moderate growth.

Miners must bury a dividend distraction
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Shareholders are looking for increased yields just as miners face volatility threats to balance sheets. They'd be best to focus on quality capital investment.

A deficit debate that's all out of whack
Steve Keen
Data since 1975 shows Australia's economy largely controls politicians, not the other way around. Running a budget deficit will not drive inflation to devastating levels.

Unpacking the gravity of Australia's gas mess
Robert Gottliebsen
A combination of terrible industrial relations deals and bad government policy mean the states are running out of time to avoid a gas crisis. It will also hit the buyers of New South Wales’ key port assets.

Calm down, this is no rates emergency
Stephen Koukoulas
Those worried about a cash rate below GFC settings are missing a few key points. Fiscal policy and the Australian dollar are no longer the stimulatory factors they were then.

Last chance for a house-price fightback?
Rob Burgess
Australia's housing market is in a funk and if the latest rate cut doesn't do much to get it moving the spectre of falling prices will haunt the next government.

A budget to protect Labor's legacy
Jessica Irvine
A surplus in the forward estimates will be the centrepiece of this year’s budget, because the alternative, in the long-term, would be even more painful for Labor.

What’s GDP got to do with defence?
Alan Kohler
Nothing at all, that’s what. And the government’s failure to note its shift towards diplomacy is driven by lack of money is a complete farce.

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.

On chicks, cheques and churlish chaps
Rob Burgess
When bold and unbiased voices from the 'left' praise Tony Abbott's paid parental leave policy, it's a reminder genuine reform is pragmatic rather than ideological.

Swan's rolled-gold stuff-up
Tristan Edis
Despite today's move to scrap tax cuts from 2015, households will still be overcompensated for the carbon price. The public, however, won't grasp this reality, and the government really only has itself to blame.