In this week's essential reading guide, Kohler discusses the myopic focus of the election campaign, Gottliebsen rouses an election sleeper issue, Bartholomeusz points to the fork in gold's road, and Maley reveals how Bernanke learned to stop worrying.

A far-sighted focus
Alan Kohler
While the election campaign will be shaped by a fixation on the 'local', the next few years will require a Prime Minister who has their eye firmly on the growing global challenges.

The sleeper issue awakes
Robert Gottliebsen
The government's plan to change independent contracting legislation has so far been overlooked as a major election issue. But with so many contractors living in marginal seats, it can't be ignored.

Leaving banking behind
Robert Gottliebsen
For all their slogans and promises, neither the Labor Party nor the Liberal Party appears aware of the dangers facings Australian banks.

What's weighing on Woolies
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Although Woolworths' full-year sales growth fell just short of CEO Michael Luscombe's hopeful projection of 5 per cent, the retailer successfully weathered a particularly challenging period in the industry.

A fork in gold's road
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Physical gold and gold equities have diverged from their traditional price partnership – a split driven by market volatility during the financial crisis, forecasting difficulties and depleting reserves.

Bernanke learns to love the bomb
Karen Maley
Ben Bernanke's prescription for the distressed US economy has been left unchanged. He's hoping that the patient will improve without emergency medication, which carries some unsightly side effects.

Has China reached tipping point?
Karen Maley
Industrialisation is finally exhausting China's cheap rural labour market. This could be the long-awaited 'tipping point', from which China gradually transitions to domestic consumption.

The full house-price picture
Christopher Joye
The early signs are that the June quarter house price figures will possibly be low enough to create a buyer's market in the second half.

The IR demons that haunt Abbott
Nicholas Way
Tony Abbott has abandoned many of Robert Menzies' 'forgotten people' by running scared from the industrial relations conversation that Australia should have had before WorkChoices.

Age before beauty
Natasha Stott Despoja
Despite the attraction of the youth vote, the reality is that most voters are over 45 years of age – and it will be this group that will shape the election.

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