EDITORS' PICKS

In this week's essential reading guide, Kohler explains why the Australian dollar could turn, Bartholomeusz reveals the danger behind Gillard's flood levy and Maley asks whether it's time to bank profits from the weakening 'inflation trade'.

The day our dollar turned
Alan Kohler
With Chinese growth slowing and our own rate hikes disappearing into the future, currency strategists are starting to think it's all downhill for the Australian dollar against the greenback.

The cost of our surplus obsession
Alan Kohler
A levy to fund flood rebuilding is simply not needed. The federal budget could easily handle the reconstruction, but only if both sides of politics get over their dogmatic, irrational commitment to budget surpluses.

Gillard's spinning in a straitjacket
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Julia Gillard's flood levy is the unnecessary result of a potentially dangerous unwillingness to budge on a return to surplus regardless of the economic context.

Woolworths' trolley wobbles
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Woolworths' big earnings downgrade highlights the combination of adverse circumstances facing retailers more generally. Fear is growing over how shoppers will hold up in the face of multiple rate rises this year.

Time to bank inflation profits?
Karen Maley
The 'inflation trade' has produced strong returns for many traders in equities and commodities. But with gold, oil and copper showing signs of weakness, the party may finally be over.

Obama's states of disrepair
Karen Maley
Barack Obama's State of the Union address will need more than vague promises to bring spiralling deficits under control to satisfy the bond markets, particularly with financial strain extending to a long list of state governments as well.

Why Turnbull will be PM
Alister Drysdale
Fears that Tony Abbott will lead the Liberals too far to the right will spread doubt about whether he can beat Julia Gillard at the next federal election. A Turnbull win, on the other hand, would be a near certainty.

Why Turnbull won't oust Abbott
Phil Quin
The attractiveness of Malcolm Turnbull's centrism and his perceived suitability to high office are overstated. It is Tony Abbott who is best placed to make Julia Gillard a one-term PM.

Let's hold the line on immigration
Oliver Marc Hartwich
Rebuilding Queensland will be an enormous task with big labour market implications, but a skills shortage mustn't be allowed to compromise Australia's immigration policy.

The biggest bust is well underway
Steve Keen
The World Economic Forum’s 'Report on sustainable credit' puts credit on the map as a cause of financial crises, but tragically fails to notice that we're still in one.

CLIMATE SPECTATOR: Big solar's big problem
Giles Parkinson
Australia has one of the best solar resources in world, and now the federal government is being urged to implement the policies that can exploit it.

Demolishing pricey property claims
Patrick Stafford
Local experts are questioning the method of a study that ranks Melbourne and Sydney among the world's least affordable property markets.