EDITOR'S PICKS

In this week's essential reading guide Kohler charts a super revival, Gottliebsen highlights Leighton's IR manoeuvring, Bartholomeusz explains why the MRRT is working just as planned and Koukoulas demands some federal budget truths.

More super profits, less risky business
Alan Kohler
Government won't reform the super system, even though it's costing them a fortune. So it's up to the industry to structure savings plans that provide more certainty and less risk.

Self-managed super storm brews over Canberra
Robert Gottliebsen
The government's planned super reforms target about 30 per cent of the self-managed super movement. If Julia Gillard isn't careful she may, via accountants, unleash a voting force capable of wiping her out in September.

The premier factors undermining the MRRT
Stephen Bartholomeusz
The mining tax is working as intended, it's just that royalty rates and mining economics have been working against it. Only a sector uptick and the restoration of state relations can put federal revenues back on track.

Step right up to a budget sensation
Stephen Koukoulas
Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott must both come clean on the trade-offs that will fund a growing list of budget promises, or their spending plans are nothing but pageantry.

It's not what Gina Rinehart wants...
Rob Burgess
Northern development and Enterprise Migration Agreements would certainly make Gina Rinehart happy. But the left risks junking them for no reason other than its deep-seated aversion to the magnate.

Don't look for high-rise house prices
Steve Keen
It's true a 'slower fall' in mortgage debt is putting short-term, upward pressure on house prices. But forecasts of a 10 per cent rise would require mortgage debt to hit an unlikely 2-3 per cent of GDP this year.

CBA compiles a handsome half
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Commonwealth Bank has delivered a very solid if not spectacular half amid low credit demand and still rising funding costs. The results also reveal a company building an impressively sustainable future.

Leighton builds a union bypass
Robert Gottliebsen
As building unions continue to feather their nests despite New South Wales’ attempts at tougher rules, Leighton’s Hamish Tyrwhitt is finding ways to circumvent them.

Obama rides the US around the corner
Stephen Koukoulas
Barack Obama's State of the Union address outlined a range of economic, social and environmental reforms. Despite criticism from the right, his plans will fuel an already promising American comeback.

Bill’s excellent inventions
Alan Kohler
The story of Bill Cowie's $20 million a year trailer hire business is a classic yarn about noticing and seizing opportunities – including his own Alan Bond moment.

Brutal data on a Western debt march
Oliver Marc Hartwich
Morgan Stanley calculations have the debt levels of some major Western governments at 800 to 1000 per cent of GDP. Central banks can only support this trajectory for so long.

MARKET SPECTATOR: Small wonders
Ben Potter
As large cap stocks hit huge valuations, investors will be looking for the next place to put their money. Small and micro stocks could be next in line for the rally.

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