Fashion Week to Continue to Trample Bryant Park

FINANCE
• Will the city council outlaw the 'R' word next? As Merrill Lynch's chief economist puts it, calling the recent downturn a recession "is like looking a client in the eye and telling them that their child is ugly." [FT via MSN]
• Second Life's going through something of a recession too, but the Post thinks the cyber version of Fed chief Ben Bernanke is taking a more proactive role. Snap! [NYP]
• The hardest hit hedge funds in August include lots of big names, like Paul Tudor Jones, Louis Bacon, and Bruce Kovner. [FT via MSN]

MEDIA
• Reporters at the Journal plan to ratchet up their half-hearted demands for better contracts today, as journos move from a cat-and-mouse game of plastering posters with Murdoch's bright visage to a lunch-break long picket line. [NYT, Mixed Media/Portfolio]
• Among the prominent firms that approached Dow Jones with potential rival bids: Blackstone, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, and Russian energy giant Gazprom, the mysterious Russian holding company with its own private army. Staffers at the Journal will have to get by with Rupe's good looks and charm. [MarketWatch, Deal Journal/WSJ]
• Bill Boyle, a senior editor at the Daily News, died Saturday of melanoma at age 54. He was still editing columns from his hospital bed as recently as three weeks ago. [NYDN]

LAW
• Law-firm partners, pissed off at recent associate pay raises eating into your bonus? Here's how to stop the little buggers. [Above the Law]
• Weil Gotshal partners look to start racking up more frequent flyer miles: the firm just announced a new Hong Kong office, Beijing is next, soon to be followed cities in India and Japan. [Legal Week]
• Are the Feds targeting high-profile plaintiffs lawyers like Milberg Weiss for political reasons, or is the plaintiffs' bar just a bunch of fraudulent schmucks? [National Law Journal]

FASHION
• Christian Louboutin attempts to trademark the red soles on his infamous shoes. [British Vogue]
• Fashionista liked Hills star Lauren Conrad's self-made dress at the MTV Video Music Awards. We thought it looked like the drapes in our parents basement. [Fashionista]
• Fashion Week will be in Bryant Park for at least two more years, instead of moving to Lincoln Center next season. [WWD]