In this week's essential reading guide, Kohler questions Rudd's rush back to surplus, Gottliebsen pinpoints one of the core issues driving the NAB, AMP, AXA takeover battle, and Bartholomeusz looks at the offshore threats to Australia's already fragile economy.

Europe's premature emaciation
Alan Kohler
Major economic thinkers believe Europe is trimming its fiscal excesses too rapidly. But if their cuts are overdone, Kevin Rudd's rush back to surplus is clearly all about the coming election.

Defeat of the great big bank tax
Alan Kohler
How ironic that Treasurer Wayne Swan has played such a visible role in South Korea in opposing the G20's new bank tax, while at the same time working so hard back home to force through the mining tax.

A wealth of better platforms
Robert Gottliebsen
The debate about investment platforms goes to the heart of Australia's financial planning revolution – so, not surprisingly, it's a core issue in the takeover battle between NAB, AMP and AXA.

Australia's double-barrel disaster
Robert Gottliebsen
The Prime Minister and Treasurer are breaking new ground – no other country has even contemplated loading two guns and shooting itself in both feet at a time of great global uncertainty.

A basis for suing Goldmans?
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Basis Yield Alpha Fund's attempt to sue Goldman Sachs over a 'shitty' CDO deal reignites the debate over whether the caveat emptor principle still applies to deals between consenting professionals.

China contagion is nothing to sneeze at
Stephen Bartholomeusz
A deflation of China's property bubble will hit the Australian dollar hard and will have serious implications for local banks dependent on offshore funding.

The dollar and the damage done
Stephen Bartholomeusz
It's not just the problems in Europe and the resource rent tax behind the plunge in Australian dollar and equity markets – the recent boom in speculative carry trades is also biting.

iPhone, therefore iAd
Isabelle Oderberg
The launch of Apple's new advertising platform, iAd, might have been eclipsed by the unveiling of iPhone 4, but it could be the beginning of a mobile advertising revolution.

Putting the 'eco' back in economy
Giles Parkinson
A high profile investment banker is leading a study to show why not accounting for environmental damage makes us all dramatically poorer. 

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