In this week's essential reading guide Kohler looks ahead to a political budget, Gottliebsen foresees a super shambles, Bartholomeusz highlights a Leighton time-bomb and Koukoulas points to housing's health.

After Labor’s purge, now for the budget
Alan Kohler
Labor's civil war appears to be over, with the pro-reform, anti-union forces vanquished. It makes fiscal restraint in May's budget an unlikely prospect.

Eurotruth and Eurospin
Alan Kohler
Is it possible Holland’s finance minister let the cat out of the bag on Europe's 'austerity without devaluation' experiment? Either way, Europe as we know it can't go on forever.

The ugly economics of Swan's super slug
Robert Gottliebsen
Those with $800,000 in super savings, including the majority of women, are not rich. And Labor's proposal to punish them will backfire on Treasury.

Resourceful Gray gets a small business googly
Robert Gottliebsen
Gary Gray has the credentials to be a very good resources minister but the economically and politically crucial small business portfolio will test his talents.

Ripping out Leighton’s boardroom insulation
Stephen Bartholomeusz
The stressed state of Hochtief and its own majority shareholder, ACS, make its thirst for control of Leighton’s boardroom a concern for the group’s minorities and lenders.

Europe's 11th hour swing to salvation
Stephen Bartholomeusz
Finally European policymakers have got the bailout equation right in Cyprus, removing some of the moral hazard tempting other faltering banking systems.

Architects of housing fortune
Stephen Koukoulas
A healthy stock market and strong demand means property gains will continue until the Reserve Bank hikes at least a few times. It seems likely house prices will lift 10 per cent or more in 2013.

Drastic surgery to ease Cyprus' suffering
Stephen Koukoulas
However scary for Cyprus, its radical rescue package just might work in the short term. But risks lie ahead which could require further bailouts.

Why the world needs reckless bankers
Michael Pettis - Financial Times
In a post-GFC world, the idea of unrestrained banking activity can set hairs on end. But the irony is that a risk-friendly landscape is the best fertiliser for economic growth.

Last charge for Gillard’s light brigade
Rob Burgess
The appointment of new faces to Julia Gillard's cabinet is unlikely to convince voters that much has changed in the Labor party. Instead, experience will be forged in the heat of electoral annihilation.

Swamped with artless energy policies
Keith Orchison
Australian governments of various types have implemented 230 schemes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Yet the energy equation is still hopelessly wrong.

MARKETS SPECTATOR: Cometh the mid-caps
Ben Potter
The blue chips have nearly been tapped out, according to some brokers, paving the way for a move to smaller stocks.

China's gasping leap forward
Geoff Raby
The numbers may be positive but China’s grow at all costs approach is looking strained. China’s new leaders can no longer paper over the cracks of a wild-west financial sector and a decaying environment.

Modelling economic balance like it's 1975
Steve Keen
As it turns out, Paul Krugman applies a standard equilibrium interpretation to the IS-LM model. But its creator used the 1975 US depression to show he couldn't accept this.

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