In this week's essential reading guide, Kohler examines the savings recession we had to have, Gottliebsen calls for more protection for bank deposits and Bartholomeusz looks at the vexed issue of executive pay.

Saving is such sweet sorrow
Alan Kohler
The national accounts suggest that a profound shift in thinking has taken place in Australia from spending to thrift, from consumption to saving. This is a good thing, but it’s going to hurt.

Gambling with our money
Robert Gottliebsen
Australian banks, while having avoided the worst of the global financial crisis, may yet be tempted to take high risks in order to recover profits. It's time for legislation to protect depositors' money.

Make an executive call
Stephen Bartholomeusz
If institutional shareholders fail to make an example of boards that ignore shareholders' opinions on executive remuneration, the government will be under pressure to  take radical action.

The regulation nobody wants
Tony Boyd
Australia will have little choice but to adopt stricter financial regulation if the US and Europe do so, says ASIC chairman Tony D'Aloisio, yet there are fears it will create unwelcome inefficiencies. 

A captive audience
Q&A by James Frost
Banks are enjoying bigger margins and an increase in market share according to Matthew Davison, Merrill Lynch's head of Australian bank research, prompting him to change his view on the sector from neutral to overweight.

Global cooling
Giles Parkinson
There is growing international concern that cap-and-trade carbon reduction schemes might prove unworkable, prompting renewed calls for carbon taxes or even a 'carbon central bank' to be created instead.

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