In this week's essential reading guide Kohler slams Wayne Swan's budget update, Gottliebsen finds Australia's food manufacturing sector falling to its knees, Bartholomeusz analyses the latest Qantas numbers and Maley looks into the desperation of the latest central bank moves.

Wake up and smell a budget stinker
Alan Kohler
Does yesterday's MYEFO pass the smell test? No way Mr Swan – it's time to go back and try again.

Budget for a fool's paradise
Alan Kohler

As the world faces the hazard of a self-fulfilling run on the euro, the economic outlook over the next two years is so uncertain that all Canberra budget forecasts are meaningless.

Who's devouring our food manufacturers?
Robert Gottliebsen
Supermarket and union behaviour is cannibalising Australia's food processing industry, putting it in danger of a complete capitulation within a few years.

Five ways the budget is broken
Robert Gottliebsen
It's time to face the truth about the federal budget – its mining revenue forecasts are rubbish, and there's no chance of balancing the books next year.

Joyce finds vindication in numbers
Stephen Bartholomeusz
The Qantas grounding has caused a significant hit to the airline's bottom line but at least it can afford it. If Alan Joyce had waited a few more months, however, that might not have been the case.

Europe's new CDO with a twist
Stephen Bartholomeusz
The eurozone appears set to repackage a failed plan to solve its sovereign debt problem, but with investors avoiding eurozone bonds like the plague, it has little hope of working.

A flimsy prop for Europe's banks
Karen Maley
Wednesday's liquidity move does nothing to address the eurozone's underlying insolvency problem, but it shows central bankers realise how close we are to a global financial meltdown.

Spotting the big four's euro bonus
Karen Maley
Far from being wholly dreadful for our major banks, the eurozone crisis is boosting retail funding and allowing them to cherry-pick new customers.

Bankers throw Gillard a lifeline
Rob Burgess
A global move to keep the interbank lending market liquid is a momentary rescue for Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan, but whether they can hold on to it remains to be seen.

When Barnaby holds hands with the Greens
Rob Burgess
The prospect of Barnaby Joyce siding with the Greens to block the Murray Darling Basin plan is a little unsettling – not least because of the prospect of another decade of bickering.

Rates firepower for another day
Christopher Joye
Markets have been pricing a near certain December rate cut for some time now, but the RBA would be better off preserving its policy firepower for a later date.

Merkozy's palliative care pact
Oliver Marc Hartwich
Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy are clutching at straws with their rumoured eurozone stability treaty. It might appear to buy some time, but it won't save the euro.

CLIMATE SPECTATOR: Why we won't need coal
Giles Parkinson
Australia risks being lumped with tens of billions of dollars in stranded coal and energy infrastructure assets – a situation that's entirely due to short-term thinking.

TECHNOLOGY SPECTATOR: Finding Facebook's true worth
Charis Palmer
An IPO could value Facebook at $US100 billion, but it's the users who will have the final say on the social network's real merit.

Something borrowed from market blues
Christopher J Tipler
Business managers shouldn't worry about what's happening in the eurozone, but rather see it as a chance to distil some powerful insights from the noise.

Online marketing goes wild
Ben Shepherd

Most blue-chip brands don't want their ads running next to adult content, so why are online marketers investing so heavily in metrics that often ensure this happens?

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