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the week’s highlights

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. Inside the Market delivers up-to-the-minute insights on market news as it develops.

Here are our editors' picks of some of the best reads available to Globe Unlimited subscribers this week.

The robots are coming!

The gains made by robotics have long been the bane of blue-collar workers, but those sporting white collars are now feeling the pain, too. The big question is whether we're seeing fundamental structural changes in the labour market, or just a painful adjustment in the wake of the Great Recession. In ROB Insight, Kevin Carmichael examines the trends, and discusses the challenges central banks face in plotting out policy in the face of increasing automation.

Looking for silver linings in the Cloud

The revelation this week that a bevy of Hollywood stars and starlets had, um, "personal" photos of themselves splayed across the Internet has driven not just salacious gossip and unprintable jokes, but a renewed attention to security in corporate circles. The market for cloud computing grew to $58-billion (U.S.) in 2013, and continuing reports of the hacking of even major companies have made a lot of people nervous. In Inside the Market, Scott Barlow looks at the industry, and discusses whether stocks in the sector could be in for a drubbing or have a bright future.

No fun in the sun for RBC

As RBC's head in the Caribbean steps down next month, current president of Caribbean banking Kirk Dudtschak takes the helm at RBC's worst performing unit. In 2008 the bank splashed out $2.2-billion to expand its footprint in the region, and has probably regretted it ever since. In Streetwise, Boyd Erman examines the unit's lacklustre performance and the dismal prospects for growth. At least the beaches there are nice.

Power to the people

We've been hearing for some time how alternative energy sources will upend the fossil-fuel sector and the ways we create and distribute power. Although the technology for solar and wind power has advanced by leaps and bounds, the tipping point won't be reached until we deal with the problem of energy storage. And that that point may be just around the corner, writes Carl Mortished in ROB Insight, where he discusses the coming power revolution and the implications for utilities.

Building an RESP, from cradle to frosh

The decision to set up an RESP is pretty much a no-brainer, what with the cash the federal government kicks in every year when parents make contributions. The tougher decision to make is how to allocate the money. Should you go for equities, with all their inherent risks, or play it safe with your child's future in the bond market, despite what are now pretty paltry returns. What about cash, or GICs? The answer is yes, says Rob Carrick in Inside the Market, where he outlines a detailed strategy that benefits from market upside without risking your kid's education nest egg.

Oil patch IPO in the pipeline

Another player in the oil patch is said to be preparing to go public, with its sights set on an October launch. Valuations of the company are elusive, with no trading on the grey market that many privately-held concerns usually have, writes Jeffrey Jones in Streetwise. The light oil producer, in which the CPPIB holds the biggest stake, is keeping any plans for a market debut under wraps for now, as is the banks reported to be handling the deal.

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