In this week's essential reading guide Kohler grills Toll Holdings Paul Little, Gottliebsen explains why the stressed don't spend, Bartholomeusz probes for another internet bubble and Maley asks who will clean up Tokyo Electric.
Toll Holdings boss Paul Little explains why shareholders will be better off if he hangs around for just a little bit longer and why he still wishes the transportation and logistics giant was still a private company.
Capitalising on NSW's comedy of errors
Barry O’Farrell could raise $30 billion for NSW if he hadn’t wimped it and pledged not to privatise the state's electricity assets. He needs to quickly announce that the state’s finances are so bad that that promise can’t be kept.
The stressed don't spend
Stress is so rife among Australian consumers that retailers will continue to suffer until the property market and living costs stabilise and there is a sharemarket bounce.
There's still time to fix super mistakes
Labor's reworking of the superannuation system has taken fully funded retirement out of the grasp of the vast number of hard working Australians. But there's still time to get it right.
Sensis comes to its digital senses
After delaying a major digital push as long as it could to protect solid print revenues, Sensis is finally taking an ambitious punt on a different model for the different environment.
Is a Facebook bubble brewing?
Thanks to bigger audiences and proven revenue models, staggering valuations for companies such as Facebook and Groupon probably don't indicate another internet bubble – yet.
Containing Tokyo Electric
The company at the centre of Japan's nuclear crisis is determined to remain independent, but Japanese financials tied to the stricken utility company worry that government assistance will force its nationalisation.
Barry's triple-A timing
For Barry O'Farrell to save NSW's triple-A credit rating he must target the state's spiralling public sector wages which now account for about half of the NSW government's total spending.
The IR cease-fire is over
Australia deserves a grown-up debate on whether or not the Fair Work Act is holding the economy back. But with Labor already laying down new turf on its old IR battlegrounds that seems unlikely.
Bob Brown's risky tax plan
Bob Brown's decision to continue taking from corporates to fund public services will play well to the Greens' support base, but he risks destroying fragile business support for the MRRT.
CLIMATE SPECTATOR: The new energy order
Can we have economic growth without soaring energy costs, geopolitical conflict and global warming? Perhaps, but it will need a new energy mix, a change in behaviour, and massive government foresight.
Conroy's costly NBN mistake
Despite Stephen Conroy's claims to the contrary, the NBN pricing model will restrict a key group of internet providers from participating. Surely that's not in the interests of consumers.
Britain's debt time bomb is still ticking
Oliver Marc Hartwich
Despite the enormous coverage the UK budget has received, the main story is missing. A credible plan to cut spending and prevent excessive debt interest payments is nowhere in sight.
eBay's customers are now armed
Sensis and JB Hi-Fi, unmoved by warnings of competition risks, are paying the price for moving too late. Now that eBay's iPhone customers can access price comparison technology, consumers will punish stubbornness.
Haunted by China's ghost cities
If we think our economy can rely on relentless Chinese construction – increasingly of empty Chinese shopping malls and ghost cities – then we could be in for a hard landing.
Can't hack the NBN's sound numbers
Jim Hassell, NBN Co
Claims that NBN Co's wholesale pricing will lock out small internet provides are overly simplistic and misguided.