EDITOR'S PICKS

In this week's essential reading guide Gottliebsen assesses both parties' election chances and what that means for business, Bartholomeusz welcomes a debate about the dollar and productivity and Kohler has good news for the publishing industry.

Gillard and Abbott's election punch-up
Robert Gottliebsen
The vicious lead-up to this year's election will see Julia Gillard play hard on WorkChoices fears, and Tony Abbott shout the dangers of a Labor attack on superannuation.

At last, the dollar debate has arrived
Stephen Bartholomeusz
The PM has indicated the high-dollar handbrake will be a key election issue, rightly dismissing speculation the currency is due for a major fall. It sets the stage for the productivity debate we had to have.

The death of the book is e-fiction
Alan Kohler
As digital publishing sees book prices fall, author profit ratios are rising and books becoming more like joint ventures than risk management exercises. In fact, publishing is improving as a business.

Who's afraid of China's big bad rebalancing?
Geoff Raby
Dire predictions about a sharp fall in Chinese GDP as the country shifts away from investment and toward consumption are exaggerated. The rebalancing is happening, but there's nothing to fear.

Gillard's seven-month data tease
Stephen Koukoulas
Before the federal election there'll be eight Reserve Bank board meetings, eight jobs data releases and three GDP prints – one ten days before polling. Each will be vital to Labor's chances.

CLIMATE SPECTATOR: Banging against a wind sceptic wall
Tristan Edis
Arguments about wind not reducing emissions have been refuted time and time again. But in the climate debate never let facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory.

TECHNOLOGY SPECTATOR: Optus braces for SingTel's strategy
Harrison Polites
How Optus plays the coming spectrum auction will reveal much about the telco’s future in Australia. But that strategy will be designed in Singapore.

Swan and Hockey's fiscal furphies
Rob Burgess
The Coalition looks set for cost-cutting plans so aggressive they'll be very difficult to sell at the polls. But Labor is also headed for trouble with the charade it can afford its election promises.

MARKETS SPECTATOR: Welcome back wealth
Ben Potter
The 'wealth effect' is said to be the most important factors in determining consumer spending so the house price turnaround, coupled with bullish equities, bodes well for the economy.


Gaming Canberra's harebrained system
Alister Drysdale
There's a simple solution to the metamorphosis of Canberra's governance into a frivolous contest where policy and the players themselves are second string.

CLIMATE SPECTATOR: Preparing now for the new climate
Ziggy Switkowski
With global climate change action slow on the ground, governments must start looking at ways to mitigate the adverse consequences. A Darwinian contest is at play.