In this week's essential reading guide Kohler says the dollar must be stopped, Bartholomeusz charts Gunns' slow demise, Gottliebsen spells out the hard road to profit growth and Koukoulas sees signs of a housing recovery.

The RBA must act on the dollar
Alan Kohler
The Aussie dollar is so popular it can no longer protect the economy from an offshore downturn, without intercession from the Reserve Bank. So what to do, exactly?

Fiscal incompetence? No, just not very good
Alan Kohler
If Cabinet wasn’t a board of acolytes and subordinates, Wayne Swan would be lambasted for yesterday's budget report. As it is he gets away with shenanigans corporates can only dream of.

Gunns felled by the inevitable
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Gunns has been stranded in the wilderness for some time, an unfinished pulp mill dragging it down. When Richard Chandler lost interest, it was an almost inevitable slide into administration.

The RBA's reasonable bank paranoia
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Australia's banks are in a healthier state than pre-GFC, but more can be done to improve their funding composition. The RBA hopes another economic shock won't derail that process.

Four ways to flick a profit switch
Robert Gottliebsen
Everywhere we turn there are threats to the economy – especially from external forces. Accepting this, what options do business leaders have to thrive rather than just survive?

A warning for suppliers stressed to the Nine
Robert Gottliebsen
It's doubtful Nine Network's lenders would let the company go into receivership, but unsecured creditors must tread very carefully.

The end of a house price hiatus
Stephen Koukoulas
After 18 months of falls, house prices seem to have turned the corner in recent months. And with unemployment low and interest rates heading down, the outlook is favourable for more rises.

Long wait for a new market dawn
Stephen Koukoulas
How long before we can pronounce the effectiveness of US and European stimulus? Market calm indicates a begrudging acceptance policymakers are getting it right – but in the end, recovery will be up to the private sector.

Why exit is an option for Germany
Martin Wolf
If Germany were to limit conversions to the deutschmark an exit could be feasible, leading to an appreciating currency, smaller margins and greater productivity.

Time to shut down our oldest tax dodge
Rob Burgess
As Australia struggles to meet investment needs, the baby boomer generation is happily exploiting gaping personal tax loopholes. Something's got to give.

The Greens must embrace fiscal conservatism
Rob Burgess
Running through Christine Milne's economic vision is a risk of rising budget revenue and expenditure, as real investment piles on top of vote buying. It's a theme ignoring the most important lesson of recent years.

China's export retreat is inevitable
Michael Pettis
China needs to rebalance its economy. However it chooses to do this – and the value of the renminbi is but one available mechanism – its short-term export competitiveness will suffer.

Europe's moment of marvellous deceit
Oliver Marc Hartwich
The combined firepower of the ECB and ESM has increased optimism the euro crisis may soon be over. In fact, we are merely in a moment of deceptive tranquillity.

Stoking a violent Spanish fantasy
Cliona O'Dowd
Ahead of Athens' budget hand down protests have flared up in Spain and Greece, while the countries' leaders foolishly stoke popular hopes of an impossible anti-austerity solution.

Labor electricity perks unplugged
Keith Orchison
Rather awkwardly for Julia Gillard, one submission to her power price inquiry indicates state Labor governments may have milked power network loans for over $6 billion in the last 10 years.

When economists brush with death
Steve Keen
The journey of Irving Fisher shows disequilibrium ultimately rules in the marketplace, just as in ordinary life. Economists owe the world a model that reflects this.

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