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Every day ROB Insight delivers exclusive analysis on breaking business news and market-moving events. Streetwise offers news and analysis on Bay Street and the world of finance.

Here are our editors' picks of some of the best reads of the week. (The articles are available to Globe Unlimited subscribers only.)

Why you'll feel a French recession

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New data shows France is following Italy and Spain into recession-land, as industrial production and consumer spending took bigger tumbles than expected. Credit market weakness and export competitiveness are two areas where Canadian investors might feel the knock-on effects, writes Scott Barlow in ROB Insight.

BAM builds Canadian PE war chest

Brookfield Asset Management has always been a keener for turnarounds – and now it has an extra $1-billion to put to work. It's just closed the biggest private-equity fund in Canada in three years, writes Boyd Erman in Streetwise, a quarter of which came from it own pockets.

All aboard the Oil Sands Express

With lagging pipeline capacity, producers have been shipping crude south by rail, but it's a duct-tape solution, David Parkinson explains in ROB Insight. It's a good business for the railway people, but it adds another $10 a barrel to costs for producers – not to mention the big backlog of tanker cars on order and the bad press from oil spills. And with more attractive opportunities in other countries, investors can just take their cash elsewhere.

Sprott still feeling the pain

After income from management fees tanked 20 per cent last year and an investment in the now-defunct Flatiron Capital was written off, Sprott continues to feel the squeeze, Tim Kiladze explains in Streetwise.

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Mining the taxpayer's pocket

If a mining operation pollutes the land or water, or leaves behind toxic byproducts, who should pay for the cleanup? Often it's you, my friend, because the company has gone bust or simply hasn't put enough aside to cover the costs. The former Giant Mine in the Northwest Territories went into receivership in 1999, and Ottawa will spend close to $1-billion to set things right. The federal and provincial legislation that mandates cleanups needs an overhaul, argues Sean Silcoff in ROB Insight.

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