In this week's essential reading guide, Gottliebsen explains how retailers can avoid Fairfax's online mistake, Bartholomeusz reveals why BHP Billiton's plans to expand its oil assets are looking shaky and Maley details the economic impact of Queensland's floods.

Shorten's favour to retailers
Robert Gottliebsen
In another year or two, internet shopping will be having a major impact on Australia's biggest retailers. If they refuse to accept that what's driving this growth is not the GST they could suffer the same fate as Fairfax.

BHP's Gulf gulp
Stephen Bartholomeusz
A new report on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill could derail BHP Billiton's widely speculated bid for the well's part-owner, Anadarko Petroleum, which could have a quarter of its market value wiped out if it is held liable.

The ace in Myer's online hand
Stephen Bartholomeusz
There are obvious attractions for major local retailers in establishing themselves online, but especially for Myer, whose MyerOne loyalty program presents a very interesting opportunity for the company.

False iPad hope?
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Rupert Murdoch's tablet-only publication and the New York Times' paywall will no doubt have an impact on online journalism. But whether this new approach will help to stop the old media rot is still anyone's guess.

Portugal enters uncharted EU waters
Karen Maley
It's not been a good start to 2011 for debt-laden eurozone economies. The bond markets have handed Portugal a sharp interest rate hike, as Germany and France continue to argue over the creation of a permanent rescue plan.

Opening China's inflation floodgates
Karen Maley
As coal prices soar on the devastating Queensland floods China's inflationary pressures will only get worse, increasing the risk that Beijing will be forced to slow the economy too sharply.

Obama needs Conroy
Paul Budde
The US President's backdown on key broadband reforms shows how powerful the US telco lobby has become. If he wishes to push through his reforms he should take a look at Labor's treatment of Telstra.

Making friends and influencing policy
Natasha Stott Despoja
In politics this year, more than ever, friends will make a big difference. And if Julia Gillard wants to leave a policy legacy she will need to keep them close.

In the grip of a great convergence
Martin Wolf, Financial Times
Rapid convergence on the productivity of advanced western economies is not unprecedented. But there's a key difference between the rise of Japan in the 1970s and the rise of China today – the scale.

Estonia should have listened to Marx
Oliver Marc Hartwich
Europe's eager embrace of Estonia and its enviable public finances should have rung warning bells for the small Baltic nation, which will pay a hefty price for its eurozone membership.

The MRRT mind-shift
Stephen Grenville
With the financial crisis demonstrating the perils of funding large current account deficits it's time Australia managed the income from the mining boom better. The best way to do that is a tax on windfall profits.

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