In this week's essential reading guide Burgess wonders if Australia should try democracy, Maley dives the Spanish Titanic and Bartholomeusz argues the RBA should have held fire.

Should Australia try democracy?
Rob Burgess
Democracy is on the rocks in Australia as political party membership stagnates and the government does undemocratic deals, but would a move to US-style primary elections make any difference?

Rearranging bonds on the Spanish Titanic
Karen Maley
As Spain gets closer to a bailout, there are calls for Germany to issue eurobonds to pave the way for a 'banking union'. Berlin insists these measures cannot be introduced quickly and austerity is still required.

Politicians can't hide the EMU's foul stench
Alan Kohler
Central bankers and politicians, including Wayne Swan, are trying to spin low interest rates as a good thing in an effort to calm the markets, but the reality is European Monetary Union doesn't work and Australia will feel the effects.

How safe is Germany, really?
Alan Kohler
As the principal creditor to the eurozone, Germany is seriously exposed to the European monetary system, making a German exit from the eurozone perhaps more likely than a Greek or Spanish exit.

Ten ways Australia can regain momentum
Robert Gottliebsen
There are many strategies we can embrace to help save non-mining Australia, including weaning ourselves off the European banking system, looking at alternative fuel sources, and further reforming industrial relations.

The RBA should have held fire
Stephen Bartholomeusz
The central bank's decision to cut rates today shows how worried it is, but it was premature because it's too soon to measure the impact of the last rate cut and the Greek elections could be another eurozone flashpoint.

Qantas gives Hickey a hospital handpass
Stephen Bartholomeusz
The national carrier is under attack from all angles as its international business haemorrhages, its profitable domestic business faces the threat of Borghetti's Virgin, and a myriad of market pressures continue to weigh.

Paul Krugman: economic guru, European hero
Steve Weissman & Frank Browning, Salon.com
Paul Krugman's advocacy for a Keynesian response to Europe's debt crisis, and his sharp eye for identifying hidden political agendas in economic arguments, is making him a hero in Spain and beyond.

TECHNOLOGY SPECTATOR: Are CIOs ready for the carbon tax?
Nate Cochrane
The carbon tax is almost here but many CIOs are yet to get their head around what that means for their power costs and energy use.

Why 'saving' Spain could destroy it
Oliver Marc Hartwich
The argument that a country needs a bailout to avoid the problem spreading to other countries has been proven incorrect – for Spain, its membership of the eurozone actually prevents any economic recovery.

For better or worse, Ireland chooses Europe
Cliona O'Dowd
With the threat of bailout fund withdrawal hanging over their heads, the Irish people have voted decisively in favour of the austere Fiscal Treaty and have shown they are in Europe for the long haul.

Panic has become all too rational
Martin Wolf, Financial Times
The west is in a contained depression and the failure of the eurozone could take 'contained' out of the equation. Now is not the time for policy makers to be making huge errors.

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