Weekend Economist: Steady as she goes

Despite some significant changes in the Australian dollar and commodity prices, the Reserve Bank is likely to upgrade its growth forecasts.

Picks of the Week

In this week's essential reading guide, Kohler appraises Gough Whitlam's legacy and Gottliebsen glimpses the goddess of war on the ASX.

The Week Ahead

Local observers will keenly await comments on the housing market by the Reserve Bank's Luci Ellis, while attention abroad will turn to the Fed.

The best of this week's The Ticker

How Abbott is cutting more than red tape, two graphs on the NBN’s growth challenges and why comparison sites are Medibank’s next greatest threat.

An exhibit that passes the smell test

'Hyper-Natural: Scent From Design to Art' at the National Gallery of Victoria celebrates the artistry of perfumes.

House prices have created a ‘lost generation’

The despair of a younger generation with little prospect of getting on the property ladder is aggravated by the knowledge that their parent's generation had it so much easier.

All eyes are on the renminbi's rising cachet

Beijing has undertaken a number of initiatives to raise the renminbi's status in the international monetary system, but there is still plenty of work to be done.

Alibaba on cloud nine

Among the lesser-known arms of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding is a business called AliCloud.

Telstra's quest to stay relevant

The 'customer first' mantra may motivate the troops but true digital transformation requires a deeper, cultural change about where the customer fits into the final equation.

AGL CEO: Scrap RET, start again fresh

AGL's Michael Fraser claims investors no longer have confidence in RET sufficient to support investment in new projects, suggests we need new policy framework which also encourages exit of old generators. Self-serving - yes, but can we restore investor confidence?

Whitlam’s boldness killed by tabloid politics

The Victorian election campaign is being drowned in mediocrity, as bold policies - including climate measures - fall foul of cost-of-living fundamentalists.

Some space for change in Hong Kong negotiations

The Hong Kong protesters got a polite hearing this week, but real change is still unlikely.

Don't be misled by the Medibank IPO

When examining Medibank's offering, make sure you read the fine print.

Rating Peabody: A coal giant on the ropes

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The world’s largest private pure play coal miner is an increasing financial risk following net losses in the US and Australia. Management would be prudent to consider the new climate 'normal'.

Here come the rest: Micropower's quiet takeover

Micropower - a category defined as modern renewables plus cogeneration – now produces one-quarter of world electricity ... yet some utilities still regard it as trivial.

Top 5 must-have travel apps

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With apps changing perceptions of what we should demand from our international adventures, here are five apps you need on your smartphone before you next head aboard.

Telstra-NBN deal a Christmas gift for the Coalition

With NBN Co making steady progress in its quest to get a million or so premises ready to be connected to the NBN by the end of fiscal 2015, chief executive Bill Morrow has some good news on the $11.2 billion renegotiation with Telstra.

Silicon Valley tech giants: real innovators or spoilt rich kids?

Innovation on a whim is founded on the myth of special people with a magic touch. Silicon Valley just might be where radical ideas end up, rather than where they come from.

The Ticker: Modern business life

Our new live blog featuring rolling snippets of analysis, data and insight, all around the theme of modern business in Australia.

Barnaby Joyce as Deputy Prime Minister – a thought for the future

With Warren Truss unlikely to contest the next election, a changing of the guard at the top of the Nationals could usher in some interesting times for the Coalition.