Citigroup Posts $2.5 Billion Loss

FINANCE
• Citigroup kingpin Vikram Pandit thinks his firm's $2.5 billion second-quarter loss is...progress? "We cut our second-quarter losses in half compared to the first quarter," he said. [NYT]
• In the wake of a senate inquiry, UBS will no longer offer secret offshore accounts to Americans. [NYP]
• Freddie Mac is considering selling as much as $10 billion in new shares to investors. And since the S.E.C. announced new regulations to curb naked shorting, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shares have already jumped several percentage points. [WSJ & NYP]

MEDIA
• There's a battle brewing in the blogosphere! Entertainment-industry bloggers claim that Variety and the Hollywood Reporter have been taking news from their posts without linking back. The bloggers are calling for a trade publication–link boycott. [Folio]
• Even residents in Debuque, Iowa, get the infamous New Yorker Obama cover. "Anyone with above-average intelligence and cultural awareness would see that something like that is satire," one Iowan says. [NYT]
• The guild that represents Wall Street Journal workers thinks that the Dow Jones' latest round of layoffs was handled improperly. [Poynter]

REAL ESTATE
• Brooke Astor's $46 million Park Avenue duplex has been taken off the market until Labor Day as "minor alterations" (like raising a ceiling) are being made. [NYO]
• An Israeli businessman who rented out Manhattan apartments to business travelers and vacationers never actually owned any of the properties — he was subletting them from their owners, who may not have been aware that he was using them as hotels. [NYP]
• Care to open up your pocketbook? Lincoln Center needs $22 million to build a visitor center. [NYS]

LAW
• Dan Rather's lawyers let their tempers fly as they met in lower Manhattan for another round in the former anchor's ongoing $70 million civil lawsuit against CBS. [NYO]
• NBC's attorney Orin Synder, from Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, argued on behalf of Jeff Zucker as the Peacock Network clashed with the Weinstein Company over Project Runway. [AdWeek]
• Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is cracking down on Craigslist scammers such as Innovative Apartments and Screening Services, a "rental agency" that might have been too innovative for its own good: The company is being charged with bilking New Yorkers out of almost $1 million by charging $200 for credit and background checks that were never conducted. [WSJ]