EDITOR'S PICKS

In this week's essential reading guide Kohler warns of a looming energy capital strike, Bartholomeusz sings Harvey Norman's electric blues and Gettler reviews a new 'biography of the office'.

We need to talk about energy, not rates
Alan Kohler
While Australia obsesses over ineffectual rate cuts, a capital strike against base load power generation is set to devastate businesses unless politicians get their act together, fast.

Harvey Norman catches the electric blues
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Even diversified retailers are being mauled by the soaring competition in the electrical goods sector. While some of the factors causing the price pressure may fall away medium term, others are here to stay.

The office stripped bare
Leon Gettler
A new 'biography of the office' from Melbourne-based writer Gideon Haigh captures at last the centrality of office work in our lives.

When 50 basis points doesn't equal panic
Stephen Bartholomeusz
By opting for a 50 basis point cut to the cash rate, which would historically have rung alarm bells, the RBA has effectively ensured borrowers will receive around 35 bps off their actual mortgage.

Derailing Australia's gravy train
Robert Gottliebsen
Despite the mining boom, large parts of Australia are starting to look like Europe and the Reserve Bank's interest rate decisions mean the 'lucky country gravy train' is about to come to an abrupt stop.

Wading through the housing furphies
Steve Keen
Even among the accepted data there is much smoke and mirrors in the property game. Figuring out what figures to trust is the key to understanding Australia's housing bubble.

PRODUCTIVITY SPECTATOR: A new broom at Spotless
Jackson Hewett
The fall of Spotless to private equity despite what looked like a turnaround is the result of a failure to properly measure productivity. It's not an unfamiliar story, and one PEP will be happy to leverage.

More trouble ahead for Murdoch
Mike Mangan
The damning – though ultimately split – findings from a key UK committee that Rupert Murdoch ‘is not a fit person’ will have immediate effects, including a possible sell down of BSkyB.

Merkel's bumpy road to austerity
Karen Maley
Germany's Angela Merkel has bowed to the anti-austerity outrage that is growing in Europe by giving the thumbs up to European infrastructure plans, but will it be enough to silence the critics?

Abbott's cutting carbon already
Rob Burgess
A presentation from Origin Energy's Grant King will be music to Tony Abbott's ears – it highlights how Coalition rhetoric on the carbon tax is cutting through, and paves the way for a reduction in the renewable energy target.

Blue sky for media regulation
Bernard Keane
The Convergence Review proposes an entirely different philosophy of media regulation from the one we’ve had for nearly a century, and that's the key reason it will never be implemented.

CLIMATE SPECTATOR: Putting action into Direct Action
Tristan Edis
With the Coalition dominating the polls, it's time Tony Abbott nailed down some gospel truths about the Direct Action policy – and here's how he can do it.

TECHNOLOGY SPECTATOR: Husic vs the tech goliaths
Harrison Polites
Labor backbencher Ed Husic reckons the likes of Apple and Microsoft owe consumers an explanation – its time for them to come clean on pricing.