In this week's essential reading guide Gottliebsen laments the loss of Merkozy, Bartholomeusz sizes up a rate cut and Koukoulas defends the RBA's independence.

Gillard's pokie glass slipper
Alan Kohler
With Peter Slipper's vote lost Julia Gillard will need to revisit her poker machine promises to Andrew Wilkie and mandatory pre-commitment, no matter how unsavoury in some electorates, will be back on the table.

Deserting the good ship Merkozy
Robert Gottliebsen
Europe has been able to keep its leaky ship together through the remarkable combination of Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel. Now that's unravelling, markets are trembling.

Will Gillard's Wolverine subsidy bite back?
Paul Wallbank
Large Australian subsidies for Hollywood productions are good news for the world's biggest studios. But they may damage, more than help, the local film industry.

Surviving a supermarket price war
Robert Gottliebsen
The days when food manufacturers could pass on poor management costs to shoppers are ending, and today's bosses must bring unions and workers together to lift the game, or lose their jobs.

Politics for toxic people
Bernard Keane
The allegations about Peter Slipper remain unproven but they beg the question: Why do parties of all persuasions tolerate MPs behaving badly?

Playing politics with the RBA
Stephen Koukoulas
If the RBA really was losing its independence it would be missing its inflation targets – that's not happening and only a brief look at history reveals it was the Liberal Party-appointed RBA board that most recently did so.

Voters turn right, investors to Germany
Karen Maley
Economic fear seems to be back in the ascendancy in Europe as sharemarkets tumble and the first of perhaps many waves of political instability sweep across the continent.

Size all that matters now for RBA
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Yesterday's inflation figures have made an interest rate cut inevitable. Now the RBA must weigh bank margins, the federal budget, China and Europe in deciding how much to lop off next month.

Politicians and Murdoch's invisible hand
John Gapper, Financial Times
Rupert Murdoch says he never asks for favours from politicians, but so strong is his ability to elicit cooperation it's clear he doesn't have to ask out loud.

TECHNOLOGY SPECTATOR: Apple's consistent growth trajectory
Horace Dediu
The tech giant's spectacular quarterly results show the iPad has achieved in two years what took the iPhone four years, and despite the loss of Steve Jobs, Apple has never been more predictable.

A collective of Huawei emperors
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Huawei's novel decision to rotate chief executives each six months can only work if the leaders govern by consensus, but even if it fails the Chinese telco provider won't regret its choice.

CLIMATE SPECTATOR: Abbott clings to a fossil fuel future
Andrew Bray
Tony Abbott fails to understand the value of renewable energy sufficiently to overcome his sense of political opportunity. Such an approach as PM will leave Australia desperately clinging to fossil fuel dependence.



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