EDITOR'S PICKS

In this week's essential reading guide, Kohler reflects on an IMF inversion, Gottliebsen fears a housing bubble boost, Bartholomeusz looks at Fortescue's luck while Koukoulas makes the case for sticking with the surplus.

The IMF's world-changing U-turn
Alan Kohler
The IMF has completely changed its view on the fiscal multiplier and now believes austerity is counterproductive. The Keynesians are back on top.

FAMILY BUSINESS: Mail Call
Alan Kohler
Today Alan Kohler starts a new weekly series on family businesses, the bedrock of the Australian economy. Today – Mail Call, the Sydney courier business owned by the Pearse family.

Adding air to a housing bubble
Robert Gottliebsen
The conditions for property to come roaring back are ripe. Unless banks rein in easy credit, we could again be at the start of a property bubble. That means interest rates and the dollar will have to rise.

The changing state of Victorian construction
Robert Gottliebsen
Lend Lease is putting Victoria's attempts to cut building costs by 20 per cent to the test with their new industrial agreement. How the Victorian government and the unions respond could mark a new federalist era.

Fighting Fortescue shakes off the shackles
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Via its decisive response to the dip in iron ore price, Fortescue won the support of surprisingly bold investors and is now back on track as Chinese-led steel demand heads back up.

Telstra ushers in a new normal
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Telstra has today marked for itself new beginnings, including on dividend policy as well as in the competition arena as the core of its old monopoly is displaced by the NBN.

ASX shows its hand on continuous disclosure
Stephen Bartholomeusz
The ASX today released its draft guidance note on continuous disclosure. The emphasis placed on trading halts and early consultation is arguably the most important sub-text to the proposed changes.

Why Swan should deliver a surplus
Stephen Koukoulas
Despite recent anti-austerity rhetoric, the Gillard government should continue plans for a budget surplus. The country is in good shape and to start backpedalling now would be bad economic management.

China delivering on stimulus plan
Stephen Koukoulas
Economic data out of China suggests that there are rays of hope for the world economy. China's stimulus appears to be working and Australia will be one of the first beneficiaries.

Ambitious Germany asserts its power
Stephen Koukoulas
Ahead of the upcoming EU summit, Germany has tabled a proposal that is likely to antagonise other member states – namely to appoint a currency commissioner to oversee national budgets.

The richest, sleaziest, most sexist people on Earth
Rob Burgess
In the eyes of the newly interested international community, if you put Slipper and Thomson together you come up with two words – "Labor, sleaze".

A carbon tax win but not for the Greens
Rob Burgess
The Productivity Commission's draft electricity networks report was a mixed bag for the Greens, given that privatisation appears to be the best way to reduce emissions.

The affairs we had to have?
Michael Gawenda
In Canberra at the moment, we seem to be living in an age of affairs, each with an undercurrent of failing male-female relations. These turgid political battles may be ugly, but they are substantive.

The EU deserved its peace prize – and more
Oliver Marc Hartwich
The Nobel Committee has come under fire for awarding the European Union with the much coveted peace prize. But for the leaders of the EU, the next big question is how to spend the money?

Citi down, Pandit out
Alexander Liddington-Cox
Compared to his peers at America's other big banks, Vikram Pandit was considered a minor talent. After a five-year reign in which Citigroup's share price has plunged, the board has seemingly backed that consensus.

Can Obama stop the plunge?
Alexander Liddington-Cox
Bookies tend to have their finger on the true pulse of presidential elections and since the first debate this race has tightened dramatically, in their view. Tomorrow's second encounter looks set to be a crucial one.

Australia's acquisition aversion
Cliona O'Dowd
Australian companies are passing on a rare opportunity to exploit weakness in their American and European counterparts to pick up cheap acquisition deals in Asia.

Romney's war on China
Craig Mark
The latest debate saw Mitt Romney reiterate his support for increased protectionism to save jobs. The stance threatens to ignite a trade war with China that could have global implications.

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