In this week's essential reading guide Kohler listens in on an interesting crisis conversation, Burgess finds parliament's breaking point and Michael Gawenda returns and is longing for a courageous political leader.

Operator! Hold the Grexit
Alan Kohler
Europe's real need is not to persuade Greece to stay in the eurozone, but to convince Germany to let fiscal adjustment slow down. But what's that Tasmania's saying?

Labor's phoney war over Rinehart
Rob Burgess
Importing foreign workers to boost the mining sector means more tax revenue for Labor's coffers, including cash to spend on skills training. That's why the Left faction's anger is just theatre.

Parliament is being pushed to breaking point
Rob Burgess
Amid the absurd and tasteless scenes enacted in parliament yesterday, serious economic questions were struggling to get a hearing.

Staring down a Spanish bank stampede
Karen Maley
As Europe waits for Spain to reveal its bank recapitalisation plans, households and companies are continuing to pull their cash out of the country's lenders.

Longing for a courageous leader
Michael Gawenda
The failure of Julia Gillard to show political courage may well signal the end of the Labor movement as a major political force. Sadly, Tony Abbott is also a master of timidity.

Canberra's very own Hunger Games
Alister Drysdale
Australian politics has descended into a vitriolic, inhuman workplace made up of former apparatchiks willing to do whatever it takes to gain power. Parliament's new low is a bigger issue than the Labor leadership.

Irish 'ayes' aren't smiling
Siobhan Dowling, GlobalPost
Ireland is likely to vote 'yes' on the German-driven Fiscal Treaty due to fears a 'no' vote will threaten bailout funds. But the anger towards the political and financial elite will make it a bitter 'aye'.

A mining boom killed by class warfare
Ken Phillips
Labor's love affair with class warfare is dangerous and threatens to harm mining sector growth as the unavailability of skilled workers and industrial relations problems make new mines unviable.

No 'WOW' in an online retail slowdown
Stephen Bartholomeusz
The latest NAB retail sales index shows a sharp slowdown in online growth, but this was due to weakness in household and electrical goods, so traditional retailers can't be consoled by the numbers.

Packer's audacious Echo gamble
Stephen Mayne
For sheer corporate chutzpah in recent months, nothing compares to James Packer’s extraordinary play to install Jeff Kennett as Echo Entertainment chairman.

Seeking a cure for Europe's banking plague
Robert Gottliebsen
Europe's broken banks lie wounded by a failure to recapitalise, spluttering their problems into the global wholesale funding market. Only a big event will wean them off the elixir of government money.

Alarm bells sound on Rinehart's hill
Robert Gottliebsen
The price of performance guarantees on mining loans is set to rise, while the cost of owning and operating sites has gone through the roof – none of which augurs well for Gina Rinehart's Roy Hill project.

CLIMATE SPECTATOR: Why The Australian is wrong on wind farms
Tristan Edis
On The Australian's front page yesterday was a report that Queensland Health is rallying against wind farms due to health concerns. It is not – and that's not the only problem with the article.

TECHNOLOGY SPECTATOR: Optus gets its NBN goody bag
Supratim Adhikari
ACCC approval for Optus' NBN deal will free the telco's cash for a looming mobile battle, while the SKA telescope lands in WA.

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