In this week's essential reading guide Kohler calculates the cost of Durban's dubious climate victory, Gottliebsen sights a looming global credit crunch, Bartholomeusz lays out the case for a retail corporate bond market and Maley investigates Europe's efforts to ward off disaster.

Paying the price of a Durban victory
Alan Kohler
The trouble with the Durban agreement is that it's based on an economic world order that is unravelling in front of us. Meanwhile, Australia is courageously – and uncomfortably – alone.

Torture rack for a dying media
Alan Kohler
The government's media inquiry is agonising for the industry, but it won't throw either effective regulation or financial support at the sector.

On the brink of a global credit crunch
Robert Gottliebsen
As European bank lending is increasingly constricted by two major, unavoidable forces, the ripples will be felt in lending markets around the world.

A perfect storm for Aussie banks
Robert Gottliebsen
Australian banks will face a myriad of challenges in 2012, as wholesale funding markets remain expensive at best and debts taken on during the GFC mature.

High time for corporate bond action
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Malfunctioning of Europe's markets makes the case for a proper retail corporate bond market even more compelling today than when Wayne Swan first announced it.

Origin's track to LNG fortune
Stephen Bartholomeusz
If Origin and ConocoPhillips' APLNG deal with Sinopec goes ahead, it will underwrite the output of a second train at Gladstone and transform the project's economics.

Europe fires a big bank bazooka
Karen Maley
European banks' strong motivation to use new ECB credit lines is good news for the region, but it may be tempered by tough new banking regulations.

Deflating hopes of a global recovery
Karen Maley
The global economy will see significant deflation through 2012, but it will take time for investors to realise the extent of the problem, Gluskin Sheff chief economist David Rosenberg warns.

CLIMATE SPECTATOR: A real climate roadmap?
Giles Parkinson
The biggest barrier to a climate pact – which countries are bound and which are not – is now removed thanks to Durban. And the implications for investors are significant.

Let the bank bashing begin
Christopher Joye
The 'insiders network' in Australia's banking sector is impeding regulation and leaving us exposed to the risks inherent in having four too-big-to-fail organisations.

How boomers could burst the bubble
Michael Matusik
The demographic forces at work in Australia will hurt our property sector, and likely restrict price growth for the next decade.

A British pawn in Europe's game
Oliver Marc Hartwich
Did Germany and France actively want Britain out of the way? Regardless, their debt summit manoeuvrings provided the perfect cover for a lack of progress.

Australia's clean energy dawdle
Keith Orchison
New government statistics suggest Labor's 'clean energy future' plan will do little to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, leaving Greg Combet with some explaining to do.

TECHNOLOGY SPECTATOR: Samsung's Galaxy black hole
Supratim Adhikari
Samsung may have won its fight against Apple but the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is still no iPad killer.

Launching a second-half budget blitz
Christopher J Tipler
At this stage of the year, it should be clear how your company's budget is tracking and if it's not looking good, there are a few simple ways you can get back on track.

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