EDITORS' PICKS

In this week's essential reading guide Kohler dissects the impact of bond vigilantes, Gottliebsen exposes a banking super-profits tax, Bartholomeusz discusses the latest RBA move and Maley assesses the risks in further ECB intervention.

Beware the bond vigilantes
Alan Kohler
Bond market vigilantes are at it again, forcing governments around the world into action just like in the 1980s – except this time it's not about inflation. The big four's cloak and dagger dance
Alan Kohler
Our major banks are shooting themselves in their collective feet by only moving rates when the RBA does. So why do they do it?

Gillard's super-sized bank slug
Robert Gottliebsen
As the federal government gets frustrated with the major banks on interest rates, it appears to have found a way to get something back – a banking super-profits tax.

A wake-up call for Australian banks
Robert Gottliebsen
The recent S&P ratings downgrade may not pose a concern for our banks, but it does highlight the risks they face if they continue to play the housing game as they have previously.

Reasoning through a rate cut
Stephen Bartholomeusz
The RBA's rate cut gives needed respite to Australia's retail sector and while the bank may have pulled the trigger a little early, its board was clearly most concerned about developments in Europe.

ANZ leaps into rates reality
Stephen Bartholomeusz
The prospect of decoupling rates from RBA moves should be compelling for all the majors. Meanwhile, the real test of ANZ's new approach will come when it does move rates independently.

Countdown to an EU implosion?
Karen Maley
Eurozone fears are worsening as investors realise that even if the ECB embarks on a massive bond-buying spree, it may not be enough to restore market confidence.

Caught short by an EU bank storm
Karen Maley
The latest banking stress tests in Europe highlight the dire plight of the region's financial sector, raising the risk of bigger bailouts and a deep recession.

Don't hold your breath for RBA surprises
Christopher Joye
Yesterday's rates decision gave a keen insight into how the RBA board operates, and shows its dynamics today are dramatically different to the pre-GFC period.

Germany's blissful euro ignorance
Oliver Marc Hartwich
While the world follows Germany's every move in response to the euro debt crisis, many inside the country are turning a blind eye.

CLIMATE SPECTATOR: Olympic Dam's renewable future?
Giles Parkinson
Could BHP's Olympic Dam expansion be powered by geothermal, solar and wind energy? That's the billion-dollar vision of Petratherm head Terry Kallis.

TECHNOLOGY SPECTATOR: Banking's Facebook frenemies
Charis Palmer
Banks are tapping into social media channels to better connect with customers, but are they willing to respond to suggestions in order to make friends?

Will Gillard make a good innings?
Alister Drysdale
For the government and opposition, short-term thinking and shallow discourse were the order of the day in 2011. But will things change next year?

Sinking in social media scandals
Leon Gettler

Top corporates should know better than to leave social media users to run free.

Mining's red IR alert
Ken Phillips

Corporate profits are increasingly under threat by union posturing and the resources sector appears next in line for a hit akin to those seen at Qantas and Leighton.