EDITOR'S PICKS

In this week's essential reading guide Kohler unpacks the Coalition's plan for government, Gottliebsen puts Mr Infrastructure under scrutiny, Bartholomeusz spots a foreign investment flub and Koukoulas takes a punt on GDP data.

Abbott's secret Fightback plan
Alan Kohler
Very quietly, the Coalition has for the last three years been sitting on one of the most elaborate plans for government ever prepared in opposition

Syria strikes the markets
Alan Kohler
As momentum builds towards a US strike against Bashar Hafez al-Assad, there's plenty of reason for markets with stretched valuations to focus on broader negatives.

Road bumps ahead for Mr Infrastructure
Robert Gottliebsen

Industry and self-managed funds are hungry to join Tony Abbott’s infrastructure funding push. But it will be a struggle to convince infrastructure users to pay enough to justify the investment.

Jobs are becoming a Coalition baptism of fire
Robert Gottliebsen
Whoever wins the election will be faced with a potential employment disaster. Generals Motors' call on Holden and mining projects ending could bring the toll to 300,000.

A double data shot may shake and stir
Stephen Koukoulas
GDP figures next week will make an impression on voters, as would any surprise from the Reserve Bank. But which way are the data most likely to sway?

Rudd has spooked Abbott into bad policy
Rob Burgess
Unnerved by Kevin Rudd’s crafty salesmanship, the Coalition has swapped sound economic policy for consumer sweeteners at a time when the economy desperately needs a leg-up.

Shocked young voters could save Rudd
Rob Burgess
Voting among younger Australians is far more fluid than other segments. If Labor’s slight polling comeback is to become a scraping-over-the-line win, something will have to sway this vote.

Rudd nearly Rooty'd rural Australia
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Foreign direct investment is vital to Australia's economy, especially agriculture, and Kevin Rudd's populist stance may jeopardise our standing with investors.

Woolworths' almost wonderful world
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Bar hardware, Grant O'Brien's tinkering has swung Woolworths to a decisively better place, with earnings growing, return on funds improving, expansion costs peaking and online flowing.

Greece is the word that could sink Merkel
Oliver Marc Hartwich
Wolfgang Schäuble’s bailout comments – a major blow to Angela Merkel’s re-election campaign – were no accident. So what’s going on between the Chancellor and her finance minister?

Luck be Labor for an Abbott cabinet
Michael Gawenda
In his first term at least, Prime Minister Abbott will be lucky enough to have a Labor opposition as dysfunctional and riven by conflict as the government confronting him in opposition.

Crisis in the pipeline: AGL's ominous adjustment
Stephen Bartholomeusz
AGL's writedowns of its CSG assets speak volumes about NSW's policy intentions and reinforces the supply threat to that state and others.

From Bo to Weibo, an open China is still on trial
Geoff Raby
Bo Xilai’s ‘show trial’ was touted as a salute to a more open and accountable China, but behind its theatre other crackdowns are underway ahead of the Third Party Plenum.

Why simplicity in banking is risky business
Peter Sands - Financial Times
The temptation to using simple ratios for bank capital requirements may be appealing, but a robust approach to bank solvency should also include risk-weighting of assets.

ASHES: Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory
Stephen Fay
The Ashes was littered with disappointment and sometimes embarrassment but some players dazzled in their defiance of a quality English side. The future is looking brighter for the Aussies.

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