EDITORS' PICKS

In this week's essential reading guide Kohler welcomes the government's newfound practicality, Gottliebsen examines the forces behind the mortgage price war and Bartholomeusz spots a diamond for Telstra in a Foxtel-Austar merger.

What’s really greening Gillard’s gills
Alan Kohler
If the purpose of Julia Gillard's carbon tax was only to reduce carbon pollution, it would have a much larger focus on incentivisation. But the preference towards means testing shows there are much larger forces at work.

Automatons no more
Alan Kohler
The Gillard government, with its NBN policy and carbon pricing framework, has finally shown that it is willing to produce the sorts of policy that will lead to true practical economic reforms.

How Swan gave our banks a hot flush
Robert Gottliebsen
Flushed with money to lend and short of borrowers they trust, the banks have a big incentive to compete on margins. But the main ingredient to this mortgage price war was added not by banks or borrowers, but Wayne Swan.

The demons of AXA's directors
Robert Gottliebsen
There are 48 hours left before the AXA board lets their shareholders wave goodbye to a company with enormous unrealised potential. If I were an AXA director, I'd be seeking personal legal advice, quick.

Has Telstra found its NBN starpower?
Stephen Bartholomeusz
The triple-play of telephony, internet and video services that a united Foxtel and Austar would bring could finally provide Telstra with its NBN blueprint.

Escaping Centro's tangled web
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Centro's US property deal would ultimately allow the complex group to combine its remaining assets and emerge as a simpler – and more valuable – real estate investment trust.

The lie Gillard could have told
Rob Burgess
If Julia Gillard's media advisers had been on their toes before the election the prolonged 'liar, liar' campaign wouldn't be happening and the Coalition would have been forced to stick to the real carbon issues.

The petrol price war is a mistake
Rob Burgess
The Coalition's 'anti petrol tax' campaign might make things appear uncomfortable for the government, but by building a hardline case before a carbon price has even been set leaves Abbott, not Gillard, with little room to move.

CLIMATE SPECTATOR: Abbott's smoke signals
Giles Parkinson
Tony Abbott needs to come clean. The pledge to repeal the carbon price are the politics of climate denialism dressed up as populism. It might be opportunistic, but it's bad for business.

The thin end of Gillard's wedge
Natasha Stott Despoja
Both parties are playing wedge politics over the carbon price. But if the electorate does oppose an emissions scheme the issue as to who will wear any opprobrium will be a big political question.

A more serious problem for Ten
Ben Shepherd
If incoming Ten Network boss James Warburton wants to win back the prized youth audience – and the advertisers they attract – he needs to look beyond television and build the group's online offering.

The ascent of lying
Oliver Marc Hartwich
Julia Gillard's carbon indiscretions pale in comparison to the incredible level of fraud and deceit uncovered at the highest level of government in Germany, which could bring down the only star in Angela Merkel's cabinet.