The OECD has warned that chances are increasing that the global economy will suffer a hard landing, with currency markets savagely dumping the US dollar and throwing much of the world into recession, The Age reports. One scenario implied in the group’s latest economic outlook, could see the Australian dollar jump to $US1, putting the economy under huge pressure when the brakes slam down on global growth.

Woolworths is unlikely to face significant problems from the competition watchdog over plans to pick up an extra 20 or so Australian supermarkets as part of its $2 billion deal for Foodland’s New Zealand supermarket business, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. And in the leapfrog being played by Woolworths and Coles Myer, the deal announced yesterday should put the Sydney grocers firmly back in first place – at least in sales growth, says Elizabeth Knight in the SMH. Woolworths chief Roger Corbett appears prepared to pay top dollar to stay No1, says Robert Gottliebsen in The Australian. And if Woolworths succeeds it will be the second time in a year that Fletcher has handed Corbett dominance.

The person who replaces Ziggy Switkowski at the helm of Telstra is likely to be an American – possibly a senior executive lured away from AT&T by a salary big enough to startle the local punters, reports Garry Barker in the Smage. But Treasurer Peter Costello’s decision to join the Macquarie Bank salary binge-bashing bandwagon last week may have ruled out an American, says Alan Kohler in the Smage. Ahead of the management and board is one of the most challenging transitions ever undertaken by an Australian company, and its controlling shareholder has made the job of finding someone to lead it immensely more difficult.

The Australian Tax Office is under fire for withholding $20 billion of GST refunds, after it was found that the biggest repayments owed to business had been sytematically delayed without justification, reports the Fin Review. Also in the AFR, the ATO plans to check millions of property sales against its capital gains tax and GST records to catch people operating outside the tax system.

Sir Ron Brierley’s audacious bid to build a stake in gaming giant Tattersall’s before its $2.1 billion-plus stock market float next month has ended in failure, reports The Australian. Talk of a third party – believed to be the London arm of investment bank JP Morgan – entering the bidding to buy shares from Tattersall’s “beneficiaries” has prevented the Brierley-backed investment vehicle Rattoon reaching its target of a 5 per cent, $100 million stake in the company.

On Wall Street, US stocks rallied into the close overnight, but sharp declines in General Motors after yet another ratings agency downgraded its debt to “junk” status, kept blue chips mired in the red – the Dow Jones closed down 19 points, or 0.2%, at 10,503. Marketwatch has a full report here.