EDITOR'S PICKS

In this week's essential reading guide Kohler draws a dollar downside, Gottliebsen spots a retiree rip-off, Bartholomeusz analyses BHP's results and Koukoulas questions a Fed hesitation.

Why the dollar could fall after the election
Alan Kohler
We could be in for two US greenback bull markets rolled into one… and the risks to the Australian dollar are decidedly on the downside.

Retirees will pay for the Paid Parental Leave scheme
Robert Gottliebsen
The Coalition is targeting retirees to pay for a slice of the parental leave scheme in a cunning move that the media and the ALP missed. The older generation is in for a rude shock.

The Age of Entitlement Election
Alan Kohler
The Coalition has shot itself in the foot with its poorly costed paid parental leave scheme. This new dollop of middle class welfare atop expensive policies like Gonski and DisabilityCare could not have come at a worse time.

BHP rides the tail of a changing China
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Falling commodity demand led by China sliced $US8.9 billion off BHP Billiton's earnings but the mining giant's cost cuts and potash play have it shaping up nicely for China's next chapter.

Facing up to the Fed's moment of truth
Stephen Koukoulas
FOMC members are agreed on what needs to be done, it’s just a matter of deciding when and how hard to pull back. Despite market protestations, a shift will come very soon. 

Political barstardry leaves us all in peril
Rob Burgess
The Coalition may sail into power without giving voters more than five minutes to scrutinise its policies. Distracted by Labor's buffoonery, the public is letting tight-lipped Liberal candidates off scot free.

Is the dollar back on the rise?
Stephen Koukoulas
Higher commodity prices, looming interest rate hikes and stronger GDP growth point to a rising Aussie dollar in 2014. A return towards parity could be on the cards.

Will the housing soufflé rise twice?
Steve Keen
Australia's housing debt has hit the historic highs seen in Japan and the US before their property bubbles burst. Will there be a similar deleveraging trigger here?

Woodside drives out of the boom with a full tank
Stephen Bartholomeusz
From a barnstorming Don Voelte during the boom to the cautionary Peter Coleman during its denouement, Woodside's results reinforce the merit of having the right leadership at the right time.

Billabong and Altamont weave past a panel hurdle
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Amendments to the complex rescue deal struck between Billabong and an Altamont-led consortium have appeased the Takeovers Panel, leaving the surfwear maker's alternative suitors almost stranded.

Chevron’s hot air over gas costs
Robert Gottliebsen
Poor management on site is to blame for Chevron's massive cost overruns, not the Australian economy.

The Coalition’s business booster shots
Robert Gottliebsen
A Coalition win would provide a much-needed fillip for the largest employer in the country, small business.

The electorate is jumping at debt shadows
Stephen Koukoulas
Big, impressive numbers are the hallmark of political campaigns and exist to delight, or terrify, potential voters. Time for some context.

Time to end the EU’s travelling circus
Oliver Marc Hartwich
The European Parliament is forced to commute back and forth between two locations. Such largesse is hard to defend, and promotes convoluted bureaucracy in the organisation itself.

China bulls bet on an urban fiction
Michael Pettis
More urbanisation is the latest go-to argument for Chinese growth, but it’s not the prosperity machine many observers think it is.

Charting the collapse of Kogan Mobile and ispONE
Supratim Adhikari
Ruslan Kogan’s telco experiment has turned to dust but the demise of Kogan Mobile was always on the cards even before the fracas between Telstra and ispONE came to light. So what went wrong?

The mid-sized duo flipping European wisdom
Martin Sandbu
Europe's politicians are lauding the early signs of a continent-wide recovery. But as the Netherlands and Portugal go off-script, Brussels may need new fables.

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