In this week's essential reading, Kohler says to ignore electoral farce and focus on Australia's debt; Gottliebsen calls out Kevin Rudd and Bartholomeusz hits the bullseye on Target.

The problem is debt, not the election

Alan Kohler

We’re already in a domestic recession, and households aren't going to suddenly open up and start spending after the election. But in some ways a recession proper could suit Tony Abbott.

Rudd's the king of chaos

Robert Gottliebsen

That Kevin Rudd could conceivably fight the next election as incumbent prime minister is a dangerous development for Australia.

Time for Target to clean up its toys

Stephen Bartholomeusz

Target has complicated its product offering as well as operating and cost structures. Beyond this week’s job cuts the challenge will be to develop a simpler, clearer brand.

The recession we want to have?

Jessica Irvine

With all the hue and cry about the state of the economy, you'd think we were already in recession. But the economic figures tell a very different tale.

Overreach in Gillard's gender speech

Rob Burgess

Yesterday was the moment Julia Gillard's 'gender card' became a liability rather than an asset, as she herself turned women's health into a political plaything.

CLIMATE SPECTATOR: Why did Whyalla solar fall over?

Tristan Edis

The saga behind the failure of the Whyalla solar thermal project is like a tragic comedy played out over nearly a decade. It's like a combination of Hollowmen and Yes Minister all rolled into one.

A pliant China is just California dreamin'

John Lee

Hopes for a 'G2' on the back of Barack Obama and Xi Jinping’s summit will be sorely disappointed. The prospect of a serious conflict between the US and China is very real.

Pinning down a possible Newcrest leaker

Stephen Bartholomeusz

While Newcrest's dour update on Friday would not have completely shocked the market the likelihood broker downgrades in preceding days were due purely to savvy analysts stretches credulity.

Why the global monetary makeover is wearing off

Oliver Marc Hartwich

There’s only so long monetary policy can pretend to solve painfully real problems of public debt, demographics and inflexible economies in Europe and Japan.

Why Apple's iRadio could fly or flop

Ben Shepherd

Apple's new iRadio has the potential to 'destroy' rivals like Pandora, especially if it can throw its weight around to reduce content acquisition costs.

AH Beard wants to get China into bed

Alan Kohler

Australian manufacturing is being shown the way by bed maker AH Beard, now looking to expand into China. But the family business has had a few sleepless nights along the way.

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