EDITOR'S PICKS

In this week's essential reading guide Kohler explains why the world has gone short, Gottliebsen unearths the job losses statisticians are missing, Bartholomeusz praises Fortescue's funding feat and Hartwich discovers Germany's exit loopholes.

The world has gone short
Alan Kohler
Ailing economies can stimulate and deregulate all they like, but unless they can attract capital investment it will be in vain. And capital won't take long-term bets while deflation looms so large.

Invisible cuts to the middle class
Robert Gottliebsen
Official employment data is failing to catch underlying trends that look set to see unemployment rise above 6 per cent in 2013, and middle class ranks wounded.

Fortescue pair pirouette through the panic
Stephen Bartholomeusz
By convincing bankers of their commitment to right the ship, and thus securing refinancing which then enabled them to ditch their Leucadia drag, Fortescue's top two have turned a tight spot into a positive.

Has Germany's court set the stage for an exit?
Oliver Marc Hartwich
When Germany’s Constitutional Court cleared the path for Europe's new rescue plan, it approved a fundamentally different mechanism than the one the EU had sought to establish.

Miners dig their own profit pit
Alan Kohler
Mining costs are blowing out and market share being lost because of a labour shortage that is only going to get worse. What are the companies doing?

Gillard mustn't bruise a budget surplus
Stephen Koukoulas
In light of favourable polls, Labor may be tempted to soften its budget stance. This would be a mistake for many reasons, not least the flow-on effect of higher interest rates.

Baillieu seeks a Chinese fortune
Jackson Hewett
As Australia's share of non-resources exports to China declines, with other Asian nations taking share, Victoria is conducting the country's largest ever trade mission into the heart of Beijing.

Gerry Harvey – sucker or savant?
James Kirby
Is the Harvey Norman supremo an internet dinosaur or a pragmatist who's ahead of the pack?

Turnbull's 'smile that wins'
Rob Burgess
As Tony Abbott scrapes and grimaces through political blunders, Malcolm Turnbull is leading voter preferences for Coalition leader. How long could Turnbull's luck last?

Ironing out the miners' cost kinks
Josh Kenworthy
As resources profits fall, extraction costs and technology will come under intense focus. And the miners are beginning to queue for help on this 'make or break' challenge.

No soft landing for hard commodities
Michael Pettis
The effect of China's slowdown on iron ore, and other hard commodity prices, has only just begun. It will likely continue until 2015, causing deep slumps for certain metals.

DJs takes heart from its plan – and its property
Cliona O'Dowd
David Jones is taking a multi-pronged but hardly revolutionary approach to boosting earnings. At the same time, it is also communicating to the market its understated value as a takeover target.

Bain sends Billabong back to reality
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Bain has bailed and Billabong is back to where it was: simultaneously working to glean the best possible offer out of sole suitor TPG while also preparing to go it alone.

Bernardi has let the beast out of the bag
Rob Burgess
Cory Bernardi's risible comments on same-sex marriage will put considerable pressure on Tony Abbott to convince voters he is engaged with their views.

US housing horror slips into history
Stephen Koukoulas
As US house prices lift, homebuilder confidence trebles and some states face the prospect of undersupply, it looks like 2013 will see housing construction lead the way on solid growth.

Collection time for Romney's great tax gaffe
Alexander Liddington-Cox
Mitt Romney's latest blunder on US taxpayer demographics is as likely to offend Republicans as Democrats, and has many commentators calling the end of his presidential campaign.

Beijing sizes up a stimulus tightrope
John Lee
China's recently announced fiscal stimulus won't be enough to achieve a 'soft landing', but neither can the country repeat the boom of past years. This time around a more nuanced response is required.

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