EDITOR'S PICKS

In this week's essential reading guide Kohler ruminates on a political end-game, Gottliebsen spots an ASX election ring, Bartholomeusz analyses NAB's coup and Koukoulas sets the scene for an August easing.

Seeking a vote for the end of the world
Alan Kohler
Boats, cars and carbon have been sorted. At this rate, Kevin Rudd's 'policy on the fly' approach should mean that all problems are solved come election time.

Bet on the election? Trade McMillan
Robert Gottliebsen
McMillan Shakespeare shares will be a proxy for those looking to gamble on who wins the election. No-one can predict whether the FBT rules will stay or be repealed and the ASX should have kept the trades closed.

America is back
Robert Gottliebsen
The next few decades belong to the US. It has vast oil and gas supplies, a skyrocketing housing market and an abundance of cheap labour and technology. The engine of growth is firing again.

Killing Fairfax, or making it unwell
Alan Kohler
Packer, Murdoch and some smart entrepreneurs siphoned off Fairfax’s famed ‘rivers of gold’ and the company has never recovered. Journalism will survive but under a very different model.

NAB bets big on the Drummond effect
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Craig Drummond's appointment should ease market concerns about National Australia Bank's direction, but it will create a volatile environment for chief Cameron Clyne.

On hold, Telstra is shunted from 'brand Adam' to plan B
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Telstra envisioned Adam Internet providing it a discount second brand but the competition regulator's eternal evaluation has forced the telco giant to consider plan B.

Why the RBA will cut rates
Stephen Koukoulas
With a slow rise in unemployment and a worryingly low inflation rate, the Reserve Bank should cut rates at the August meeting.

Europe has stemmed the blood flow
Stephen Koukoulas
Positive economic news across Europe suggests the worst may finally be over. While still a long way off decent growth, glimmers of hope are emerging.

Europe's new 'liability' union
Oliver Marc Hartwich
Moves are afoot for a European banking union. While it's advertised as a unification of regulatory standards, it's really about who pays the euro crisis bill.

Abbott can win on carbon: here's how
Rob Burgess
The election will be won and lost on 'boats' and 'carbon' policy. Abbott should let the media do his work on Rudd's 'PNG solution', but has one huge opportunity on carbon.

China bears are safe to come out
John Lee
Major institutions like the World Bank and the Asia Development Bank have been behind the curve on China because of self-censorship. That kept research bullish long after cracks began to appear.

Determining America's debt
Steve Keen
Building a stronger picture of historical US debt requires a trip back to 1790. It's an inexact science but it appears to prove that the current crisis features higher private debt than during the Great Depression.