Stephen Colbert Doesn't Make the Ballot

MEDIA
• Hollywood and television writers have decided to strike and will announce a walk-out deadline by noon today. Late night will be most immediately effected — guess we'll find out just how funny Jon Stewart and David Letterman really are. [NYT]
• The South Carolina Democratic executive committee rejected self-proclaimed "favorite son" Stephen Colbert's attempt to get on the ballot. Colbert now has to accumulate 10,000 signatures to make the ballot as an independent or pay the Republicans $35,000. Tough decision. [HuffPo]
• Don Imus signed a deal with Citadel to return to radio, broadcasting on WABC in New York and syndicated nationally on ABC Radio. The I-Man had to settle for $5 million a year, half of what he made with CBS. [WSJ]

FINANCE
• Bear Stearns got a chance for some karmic payback last night, as their homeboy Josh "The Matrix" Weintraub beat the shit out of Goldman Sachs's Shane "Second Coming" Kinahan at the Wall Street charity boxing event. [Fortune]
• Meredith Whitney, a 37-year-old analyst at CIBC World Markets, managed to wipe out $369 billion in U.S. stock-market value almost single-handedly with her ballsy downgrade of Citigroup's prospects. You go, girl. [Bloomberg]
• The SEC is looking into Merrill Lynch's deal with hedge funds that may conceal still greater losses. [WSJ]

LAW
• McDermott announced they will create a new class of lower-paid, non-partnership-track associates to give regular associates more self-esteem, er…cut down on high billing costs to clients. [Law Blog/WSJ]
Davis Polk, Paul Weiss, and Milbank all matched Cravath's early announcement of increased associate bonuses, but Kirkland & Ellis refused to be dragged into BigLaw's adoption of the super-long Christmas season. [Above the Law]
• With no pay raise from Albany, court administrators found enough in the piggy bank to give judges an extra $5,000 to cover unexpected medical costs and other job-related expenses. [New York Law Journal]

FASHION
• Vivienne Westwood bans fur from her designs. That’s so punk rock! [British Vogue]
• Proving he doesn’t know what retirement means, Valentino is re-showing his spring 2008 collection in Abu Dhabi. [Fashionista]
• Marc Jacobs continues his West Village domination plan. [Racked]