In this week's essential reading guide Kohler, Gottliebsen and Burgess unpick Labor's upheaval, Bartholomeusz delves into gold's decline and Koukoulas predicts a house price push.

The year of two elections
Alan Kohler
It’s partly coincidence, but as terms of trade fell so did Julia Gillard’s popularity. Of course there were also horrible mistakes that made 2013 a year of historic political tumult.

The risk in Rudd’s second turn at the helm
Robert Gottliebsen
Australia needs a tough government to get it out of its current mess. Two looming decisions will show where Kevin Rudd stands.

Squashing the gold bugs
Stephen Bartholomeusz
The steepness of gold’s decline has taken investors by surprise, but there’s still plenty of potential overhang in the yellow metal's market. 

A dynamic cocktail for house prices
Stephen Koukoulas
House prices may rise as much as 10 per cent this year, and will continue to climb in 2014. Higher household income, low interest rates and an increasing population are what's stirring the market.

Great News! The Great Exit is coming
Alan Kohler
Monetary stimulus won’t cut it, the BIS said bluntly overnight. And it looks like central banks can’t avoid a sharp rise in bond yields as they pull back, but that means rays of sunshine for Australia.

How Europe's making the market a nervous wreck
Robert Gottliebsen
The global stock market is on the edge of its seat for fear European banks have lost even more money. To the extent some central banks are invested in bonds, it's not just big trading banks that will be under pressure.

Tools to lock away global trade
Oliver Marc Hartwich
As the US and EU get serious about TTIP, it’s clear their plans could hinder a truly global free trade order. Australia would be one of the biggest losers.

Why the markets didn't blink at Canberra's affray
Stephen Koukoulas
So far there’s no hint of change to Canberra’s policy agenda, and markets expect the role of Treasurer to remain in safe hands. But all eyes will be fixed on Kevin Rudd as his views on key issues emerge.

Rudd’s triumph of style over substance
Rob Burgess
Where Julia Gillard failed to win favour with the media and electorate, Kevin Rudd has been victorious. But his success is built on hollow rhetoric and hypocrisy.

Kevin belts out the tunes of '07
Michelle Grattan
Kevin Rudd’s reminding the world of his campaigning strength as he steams ahead, messing with Tony Abbott’s mind and creating a sense of momentum at the same time.

Why China's crunch is serious this time
John Lee
Even as a short-medium term technical fix, the risks of Beijing’s decision to engineer a sudden liquidity tightening are considerable.

Europe's still blind to its hidden debt mountain
Wolfgang Münchau
European banks are playing dirty 'pretend and extend' tricks by not recognising the full extent of their underwater assets, which could be as much as €1 trillion.

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