EDITOR'S PICKS

In this week's essential reading guide Kohler chews over Australia's bizarre fibre diet, Gottliebsen augurs BHP Billiton's future and Bartholomeusz explains how the big miners blew the boom.

Australia’s bizarre fibre diet
Alan Kohler
However strange the NBN debate's exclusion of recent technological developments, it won't change until after the election. At that point WiFi connections should be explored.

Sliding doors at Rio reveal BHP's future
Robert Gottliebsen
Andrew Mackenzie's position at BHP came about through hard work and a series of serendipitous events, and his time at Rio Tinto holds the key to understanding BHP's direction.

How the big miners blew the boom
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Running through old supply-demand equations should not be the key task for mining executives looking to learn from a wasted decade.

In the end, the joke's on Italy
Jessica Irvine
Voters have responded to the humorous antics of Italy's government candidates with a sobering message: they're no longer prepared to swallow the bitter pill of budget austerity so readily.

How to avoid the axe that got Warburton
Ben Shepherd
James Warburton was the most prominent casualty in last week's media carnage, but even the strongest media companies must rethink over reliance on advertising revenue or pay the price.

O'Brien maintains Woolworths' subtle success
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Woolworths' sales growth will inevitably be compared to Coles', but what this will not reveal is that Grant O'Brien's focus on leveraging his far larger sales and customer base is going exactly to plan.

Mackenzie's clean break is bigger than you think
Robert Gottliebsen
The appointment of Andrew Mackenzie is unlike that of any other chief executive at BHP. It will change the group's operation with a magnitude those at the top are not yet fully aware of.

Swan's snagged in a Reserve Bank beat-up
Stephen Koukoulas
An indifferent market reaction and a look at the long-term political context reveal the Reserve Bank's 2011-12 government dividend payment is hardly problematic.

A free kick for Turnbull on the NBN
Rob Burgess
Whatever the reasons behind Mike Quigley's call for an industry study of NBN technologies, he's looking downright politically flaky. And he's doing no favours to Stephen Conroy.

The hackers are coming, the hackers are coming
Alan Kohler
Increasingly, China's cyber industrial espionage is focused on critical infrastructure operators, and using data theft for trade advantages. That needs to be taken very seriously by Australian companies.

Abbott is preying on Rudd's crusade
Alister Drysdale
Tony Abbott's 'small target strategy' will keep the spotlight on Labor as it consumes itself with Kevin Rudd and the innards of leadership. For Julia Gillard, public policy and long-term goals will make little difference.

An empirical nail for the austerity coffin
Steve Keen
Fresh analysis disproving the correlation between debt levels and eurozone bond spreads puts the brakes on the allure of austerity.

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