In this week's essential reading guide Kohler explains the political wizardry of a carbon backflip, Gottliebsen asks whether global central banks will or won't, Bartholomeusz examines the iron ore floor and Koukoulas delivers a broadside to budget bashers.

Carbon backflip with a double pricing pike
Alan Kohler
With some dextrous political gymnastics, Labor has enabled recessionary carbon permit prices during boom time growth and pulled the rug from under Tony Abbott. But there are still big questions for business.

Three stimulus stars are rising
Robert Gottliebsen
Amid great nervousness, markets are betting on a coincidence of stimulus measures from Europe, the US and China. But central banks may have a tough time delivering as much investors expect.

Politburo pulls the floor from under iron ore
Stephen Bartholomeusz
The continuation of loss-making iron ore and steel production in China has undermined the iron ore price floor – and any floor likely won't be reinstated until China's political nervousness eases post-handover.

Shorten must win the Grocon battle
Rob Burgess
The CFMEU tactics are a bald play for power ahead of a potential Abbott government. If they win, it's back to the 'rust belt' 1980s.

A deficit of budget surplus sense
Stephen Koukoulas
Behind all the blathering about a government spending spree, both budget numbers and the broader economic environment show spending-to-GDP ratios are clearly well contained.

An IR cartoon, but Abbott's not laughing
Alan Kohler
Tony Abbott likely advocates individual workplace contracts with a no disadvantage test. But the Coalition has turned national debate into such a caricature it's impossible for anyone to state their true position.

IR is now Abbott's carbon tax
Rob Burgess
Just as the Greens failed to foresee their carbon push draining Labor's power, it seems some Liberals are forgetting voters' susceptibility to swallow a 'return to WorkChoices' argument.

CLIMATE SPECTATOR: Can Europe save the carbon market?
Tristan Edis
Labor's move to get rid of the floor price and link with Europes leaves us broadly in the same place – with a weak and uncertain carbon price. But if Europe can get organised, the potential price upside is extensive.

Virgin has Qantas on the hop
Robert Gottliebsen
Qantas has the harder task in changing costs and culture. And Virgin's John Borghetti believes that gives him to opportunity to wrest control of the front of the plane.

How do you say 'bailout' in Spanish?
Cliona O'Dowd
A request for assistance by Spain's largest region, Catalonia, is prompting fears that Spain will need a full bailout. That has driven interest rate yields back to dangerous levels.

The myth of mighty Merkel
Oliver Marc Hartwich
In comparison to the US president or British PM, the German chancellor doesn't have much constitutional power. And the incumbent's lack of conviction and understanding limits her office even more.

Can China's debt withstand a downturn?
Michael Pettis
It's hard to argue China's debt isn't rising at an unsustainable pace. So what would happen if commodity prices drop by 50 per cent over the next three years?

BHP enriches its balance sheet
Stephen Bartholomeusz
The timely sale of BHP Billiton's Western Australian uranium mine – Yeelirrie – is in line with the company's policy of cashing out some peripheral interests so it can concentrate on the big commodities.

Rinehart should abandon Fairfax dream
Robert Gottliebsen
Gina Rinehart has to decide if she is a miner or a right-wing newspaper proprietor. Her backers won't let her be both.

Abbott's not-so-golden years
Steve Keen
If Tony Abbott wants to replicate the growth John Howard's prime ministership saw, he'll need to let private debt rise: to a 265 per cent private debt-to-GDP ratio if he spends as long in office as Howard did.

How will Gen Y handle the big chair?
Leon Gettler
Generation Y is tech savvy, self-confident, lifestyle conscious and has been cotton-wooled from competition. Now its ranks are moving into management – and are set to shake up the role.

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