In this week's essential reading guide Kohler discusses employers' new militancy in the IR battlefield, Gottliebsen finds Australian chief executives wanting, Bartholomeusz scrutinises David Jones' bleak outlook and Burgess explains why old Holdens never die in Canberra.

New port in an IR storm
Alan Kohler
Without the possibility of pay rises ahead, unions have focused on weekend penalty rates. Moreover, as the Asciano dispute reveals, the successful Qantas lockout has unleashed a new employer militancy.

Subsidies for squeaky wheels
Paul Wallbank
Government support programs like the one offered to Holden distort an already twisted economy at the expense of businesses that genuinely need help.

Australian CEOs don't measure up
Robert Gottliebsen
The failure of Australian corporate and government leaders to measure their organisation's productivity is hurting growth and revenue.

Rugging up for a bleak DJs winter
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Department store operators face a daunting challenge in the medium term, and David Jones in particular faces some very tough times as the sector experiences radical and costly change.

Eslake ponders a productivity pickle
Karen Maley
The former ANZ chief economist explains why productivity pressure is mounting but both sides of politics lack the skills and vision for reform, while business is forging ahead. And the RBA may underestimate the impact of corporate action.

Old Holdens never die in Canberra
Rob Burgess
There are plenty of strong arguments the federal government can roll out for its Holden subsidies, not least the prospect of a slow return to competitiveness in the sector.

Don't mention the housing negative
Craig Peacock
With house prices falling, repossessions on the rise and more home owners facing negative equity, it's no surprise the RBA is warning lenders to be prudent. Unfortunately the opposite appears to be happening.

Gillard's productivity machine gun
Rob Burgess
Labor's three-part plan to boost Australia's productivity draws the lines for an ideological battle – but will its 'USI' be enough to convince voters?

Abbott must reshuffle his deck
Alister Drysdale
Tony Abbott doesn't yet have a team in place that can handle Australia's complex economic challenges, and he can't afford to wait any longer to make some changes.

Ending the entrenched real estate racket
Philip Soos
The property industry is conflicted to the core, with little incentive for real estate agents to represent the true interests of their clients. But to reform the market, politicians must take on the $4 trillion landowning class.

Treachery behind Labor's small business curtain
Ken Phillips
While fronting up friendly stage lines on small business the government has, behind the scenes, introduced legislation that will cripple two significant small business sectors.

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