EDITORS' PICKS

In this week's essential reading guide Kohler examines Labor's difficult carbon reality, Gottliebsen calls for a leadership purge at Leighton, Bartholomeusz looks behind Rio Tinto's weather-beaten numbers, and Maley warns Iceland's austericy chills could spread to the US.

How REA Group is extending its house
Alan Kohler
Real estate website chief Greg Ellis explains how his group is planning to expand.

Carbon reality bites
Alan Kohler
With two of Australia's most politically powerful groups – the Greens and resource exporters – preparing for a knock-down fight over the carbon tax, the government has a real problem.

David Bryant's 'Alan Bond' moment
Robert Gottliebsen
The Rural Funds Management boss talks about managing good fortune and how his now rekindled company is planning to cash in on Australia's looming agricultural boom.

Time for a Leighton leadership purge
Robert Gottliebsen
Leighton's results reveal the huge losses its units are incurring over unworkable labour deals. But we should not blame the unions for exploiting appalling management.

Behind Rio's battered numbers
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Rio Tinto's weather-beaten production figures aren't as ugly as they appear, and the miner knows it can win back most of the lost ground.

Woodside's shell is cracking
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Whether or not BHP Billiton plans to eventually bid for Woodside, sooner or later there is going to be a restructuring of Woodside's ownership.

A PIMCO-China bond bear union
Karen Maley
Significant forces are building against US bonds with PIMCO building up a short position and a former Chinese central banker labelling the market a 'giant Ponzi scheme'.

Will Iceland's austerity chill spread?
Karen Maley
The patience of Icelandic voters has snapped, no longer able to tolerate paying for their irresponsible lenders. Next in line for the austerity test is Portugal and the US, and the signs aren't good.

The protectionism Labor won't mention
Rob Burgess
Labor's planned carbon subsidies look a lot like protectionism, leaving Australia vulnerable to messy international trade disputes.

Visas aren't fixing our skills crisis
Rob Burgess
The government is handing out temporary visas to skilled workers as fast as it can. But they're not easy to find and when they undercut local wages, even for exorbitant deals negotiated by unions, they're not welcome.

CLIMATE SPECTATOR: The global power shift
Giles Parkinson
A new world order, led by a low-carbon coalition of energy importers, is shaping international climate action. And it’s likely to result in global tariffs on high-carbon products by 2020. Australia, take note.

This housing bubble could break our banks
Steve Keen
Don't believe the hype – Australian banks, and their share prices, won't fare any better than US banks when our property bubble bursts.

Out of Iceland's ashes
Oliver Marc Hartwich
Iceland’s banking crisis has finally alerted the resilient nation to the importance of independence from the European Union.

Facebook powers past Google
Charis Palmer
Details released by Facebook of its custom-engineered data centre technology show it has the edge over Google on energy efficiency and street cred enhancing transparency.

Our Aussie dollar saviour
Saul Eslake
While the rising Australian dollar is certainly bad news for some industries, it's also helping Australia cope with the pressures of an enormous commodities boom.

IR ghosts of Leighton past
Ken Phillips
The financial woes of Leighton's Thiess and the NBN Co's cancelled tender are just the tip of an industrial relations iceberg that will have a chilling effect on Australian productivity.

What Obama missed in his budget fix
Kristina Costa
The US President's plan to slash the budget deficit by $4 trillion is smarter than the Republican's machete-approach. But there were still a few key elements missing in the Democrats' plan.

Australia Post – our dead letter office
Josh Dowse
The public investment in Australia Post means we should pay more attention as the confused business burns our assets at a profligate rate.