EDITORS' PICKS

In this week's essential reading guide, Kohler explores the outbreak of optimism among central bankers, Gottliebsen asks whether the Australian dream of home ownership is dying and Bartholomeusz explains why the banks are being squeezed by politics.

From here to prosperity
Alan Kohler
Faced with a sudden outbreak of deeply unnerving central banker optimism Glenn Stevens should remember that for England, the US and Europe the road between recovery and prosperity is very bumpy.

Buffett's as good as gold
Alan Kohler
Warren Buffett is sinking a fortune into carting coal and wheat by rail to American ports for export. To win, this strategy requires the US dollar to keep falling – something gold buyers are already betting on in a big way.

A change of tack from the BCA
Robert Gottliebsen
The Business Council of Australia appears content to not rock the boat when it comes to industrial relations, preferring to work with the government from 'inside the tent'. Let's hope they're right.

End of the Australian dream
Robert Gottliebsen
All the wheels are now in motion to turn Australia into a nation of renters. The government may not realise it yet, but for many the prospect of home ownership is rapidly vanishing.

Pressure point for banks
Stephen Bartholomeusz
The politics of mortgages will continue to constrain the ability of the banks to fully pass on their higher funding costs and has created a big squeeze for two of Australia's largest banks.

Greed and the greenback
Stephen Bartholomeusz
The massive carry trade taking place in US dollars will be unwound at the first sign of economic stability in the US. Could this new highly leveraged asset bubble set the scene for a new financial crisis?

Approach with caution
Q&A Isabelle Oderberg
The Australian government and RBA should be taking a very cautious approach to economic policy, warns Bill Clinton's former economic adviser Robert J Shapiro, who also explains his key requirements for a self-sustaining US recovery.

Environmental policy all at sea
Sarah Danckert
Resources minister Martin Ferguson has promised an independent inquiry into the disastrous West Atlas oil spill and fire. Examining proactive safeguards should be high on the agenda.

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