EDITOR'S PICKS

In this week's essential reading, Alan Kohler profiles a fifth generation family business, Stephen Bartholomeusz explains how BHP Billiton's search for a CEO is good corporate governance and Robert Gottliebsen identifies the firms in Wayne Swan's surplus firing line.

FAMILY BUSINESS: Selkirk Bricks
Alan Kohler
Most family companies are sold or broken up before the fifth generation takes the reins, but Selkirk Bricks has bucked the trend thanks to shrewd management policy.

The right must purge itself of paranoia
Rob Burgess
If the Coalition can't rid itself of the cynical campaigning which shot the Republican Party in the foot, there's every chance Tony Abbott will 'do a Romney'.

A dangerous German-Greek growth stunt
Stephen Koukoulas
As Greece's austerity vote determines its future in the region, news out of the eurozone suggests a decade of parlous economic growth and German bond yields are again turning negative.

Method to Wall Street's election madness
Alan Kohler
Part of Wall Street's overnight fall is simply removal of the pricing of a Romney victory. But the bigger issue for the market is what will happen to the fiscal cliff.

BHP won't chop Kloppers
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Speculation that BHP Billiton's board is looking for a successor should be taken as a sign of good governance, not as a sign Marius Kloppers is doing his job poorly. His record is exemplary.

A Bouris-Macquarie mortgage magnet?
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Macquarie Group and YBR's joint foray into the retail mortgage market is disturbing to the big four, and the new entity's combined strengths position it well to overcome current challenges in the sector.

A vote, a rally and the RBA
Alan Kohler
It's likely the RBA will scramble to cut soon as demand slows. But both Stevens and Wall Street are hawkish on the US – ignoring that the election front-runners are gridlock and dysfunction.

Australia's super debt drain
Susan Thorp
Retirees are currently running off their super contributions to pay down debt, and this won't change unless the government restructures the existing super rules and incentives.

RBA keeps its powder dry
Stephen Bartholomeusz
It looks like Glenn Stevens' unorthodox decision to hold rates was a good one – with commodities prices and the global economy hanging in the balance, the RBA has preserved its precious firepower.

Time is on Turnbull's side
Rob Burgess
As unemployment figures reveal a growing army of 'house-bound unemployed', Malcolm Turnbull has an opportunity to outmanoeuvre Labor on the NBN rollout. But voters are increasingly suggesting his goal should be even bigger.

KGB: Future Fund's Mark Burgess
Kohler, Gottliebsen & Bartholomeusz
The Future Fund's managing director discusses the difficulties in finding the right infrastructure investment, which overseas markets offer the best returns and what the fund's views are on the Australian dollar.

US markets uncoupling from US reality
Stephen Koukoulas
It looks like this quarter will show the strongest growth for seven years in the US but markets reacted poorly to the news. Why? Because strong growth means turning off the US printing presses.

CLIMATE SPECTATOR: Carbon price won’t halt Australia’s emissions
Tristan Edis
Even with a carbon price in place, Australia’s domestic emissions are set to lift through 2020. This is driven to a large extent by expansion of LNG and a blip in land use and agriculture emissions.

Small biz in Swan's surplus sights
Robert Gottliebsen
A recent tax victory by the Pratt family was an embarrassing failure for the Tax Commissioner. So if Swan hopes to use a tax avoidance crackdown to achieve a budget surplus, SMEs will be an easier target.

The IMF gets radical?
Steve Keen
A recent IMF working paper lays bare the true nature of banks and lending that neoclassical economists have been ignoring for years.

Abbott's changing the sermon
Alister Drysdale
A new Tony Abbott is emerging as the Gillard government regains electorate approval. Direct attacks are losing their impact and if the Coalition is to defeat Labor then considered policy debate must be its new weapon.

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