In this week's essential reading guide, Kohler takes a stand against the untrammeled greed of our elites, Gottliebsen compares election policies and Barthomeusz dissects bank results.

The moral bankruptcy of our ruling classes
Alan Kohler
The world is increasingly dominated by elites. Once they were self-sacrificing, now they are self-serving.

Clear Hayman vision for Australia
Robert Gottliebsen
At the ADC Leadership forum in Hayman Island, Wayne Swan delivered a surprisingly comprehensive vision for the country.

Where is all the money going?
Stephen Koukoulas
The current electricity price debate is poorly indicative of the way households spend their cash. So if not on power bills, where is the money really going?

Coalition on carbon tax: Repeal or resign
Robert Gottliebsen
The Shadow Finance Minister says if the Coalition doesn't repeal the carbon tax, he'll resign. He also spells out the Coalition plan to reshape the Australian economy, and radically alter Commonwealth - state relations.

Can Labor win? Yes it can
Alan Kohler
As Labor begins the process of defusing carbon tax and asylum seeker policy as election issues, Tony Abbott's task will become increasingly painful.

The boats 'debate' was a failure of simple logic
Rob Burgess
Much untruthful emotion that obfuscated the refugee policy debate has been washed away by Angus Houston's report. Now parliament, and the media, have no excuse not to face the real story.

Bankers gone wild
Karen Maley
Five years on from the beginning of the global financial crisis, there's far too much evidence financial regulators have been overly trusting of investment banks – and bankers are taking advantage of this.

Victorious CBA passes on the champagne
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Despite a record profit CBA's chief is not celebrating. Instead Ian Narev used the earnings announcement to spell out the very real pressures facing Australia's banking sector.

NAB eyeballs a term deposits raid
Robert Gottliebsen
UBS is using low overseas interest rates to arbitrage Australian term deposits – and looks set to force National Australia Bank to reduce its own deposit rates in the process.

Shackled NAB bumbles along
Stephen Bartholomeusz
National Australia Bank is feeling the pinch from weak credit demand, higher funding costs and a UK recession. But it is also scoring wins from marketing, cost reductions and its deposit surplus.

JB Hi-Fi walks an expansion highwire
Cliona O'Dowd
Electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi is continuing to step into the store space vacated by its struggling competitors. As the consumer recovery continues to stall, and the online market grows, it's a bold move.

A radical exit from global financial crisis
Oliver Marc Hartwich
Even with stimulus programs, bank bailouts, quantitative easing and more, neither the US, Europe or Japan are escaping their financial gloom. But there is another solution.

A wise tax cut that won't happen
James Thomson
Once again, a tax review has suggested a cut to company tax in order to spread the benefits of the mining boom. And once again, this pragmatic plan will fail to clear the political hurdles.

Westfield's bold split ends well
Stephen Bartholomeusz
The Lowy family's decision to split Westfield's shopping centre portfolio has paid off with both entities leading their peers and adding significant value in one of the economy's most troubled sectors.

Property seduction will sting China
Karen Maley
As Chinese buyers ramp up their property presence across the globe, capital outflows from the country are a major challenge for Beijing, which is also battling the fallout from Europe.

Echo takes a sound beating
Cliona O'Dowd
With its rival dominating the VIP scene, and with a bad string of luck in the high roller room, Echo Entertainment is enduring a rocky road – with very little relief in sight.

Romney chains himself to the base
Steve Kornacki, Salon.com
Many believe that deep down Mitt Romney is a moderate, even centrist, politician. But his choice of VP highlights how he has been taken over by the Republican Party's non-compromising base.

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