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Alan Greenspan: ‘Not My Fault’

FINANCE • Alan Greenspan says don't blame him for the credit crisis. He may not have understood the dangers until recently, but the former Fed chief claims there's nothing he could have done. [NYP] • Who needs Wall Street 2 when Gordon Gekko is already back in the guise of Steve Schwarzman? The Blackstone founder just bought a big stake in a firm called BlueStar, the same name as the central company in the original Wall Street. [DealBook/NYT] • Big surprise: Funds that invest in Vice typically do far better than those that insist on Virtue. [NYT]

Joseph Lewis Doesn't Play Bridge

FINANCE • Henry Kravis failed to come to terms with top banks on financing for his all-important $26 billion buyout of First Data, the first in over $300 billion worth of LBOs that the banks need to get off their books. Negotiations will be pushed back another week, but it's not looking good. [DealBook/NYT] • The new rumor on the Street is that Joseph Lewis, the billionaire British currency speculator, bought into Bear Stearns on the advice of longtime Bear broker Kurt Butenhoff. The previous rumor, that Lewis got the idea from CEO Jimmy Cayne while playing bridge, seems unlikely since Lewis doesn't even play bridge. [CNBC] • Thanks to their friends at NASA, the CEOs of Google can park their three private jets — including a huge Boeing 767 — just seven minutes away from the tech-giants headquarters. Something tells us no Manhattan CEO's helicopter perks will beat that. [NYT]

Even Iraq Can't Save Katie

MEDIA • Jon Stewart will get another chance to piss off Old Hollywood — the Academy just decided to let him host the Oscars again. [NYT] • If you thought Katie Couric's Iraq trip was nothing but a ratings stunt, you might want to check the numbers: The week-long tour tied her previous record for the lowest CBS viewership in over two decades. [AP] • The Wall Street Journal's softball team celebrates its last season as an "independently" owned team by printing up a cute little fake story. No mention whether Murdoch plans to fire the lot of them and bring in juiced replacements. [Radar Online]

Clarence Thomas, Porn Addict?

FINANCE • Henry Kravis supposedly gave a big concession when he let the banks place restrictions on the debt offering for the all-important First Data deal, but banks are now complaining the concession is less an olive branch than a fig leaf. [DealBook/NYT] • Hits on hedge-fund bonuses may not be as bad as we all thought: While they won't set any records, they're still set to grow 1 to 9 percent from last year, and general compensation is still climbing. [Globe & Mail via DealBook/NYT] • Jordan Belfort, the former broker who swindled investors out of $100 million, didn't discover Jesus in prison, but he did chance upon Tom Wolfe. His new book, The Wolf of Wall Street, looks back on the good times selling bogus stocks while tripping on quaaludes. [NYT]

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]

Someone Get This Lawyer a Monkey!

LAW • Did David Souter really weep when the Supreme Court handed down Bush v. Gore? Or is Jeffrey Toobin nothing but a big bad liar? [Above the Law] • Big Law partner to summer associate: "Now the reason I'm giving this project to you, and not my secretary, or say, a monkey, is my secretary is busy doing much more important things, and I don't have a monkey." [Urban Agora via Above the Law] • Jack Bauer, law professor? Georgetown plans to offer a course in The Law of 24. [Above the Law]

Our Next President Will Probably Be a Lawyer. Objections?

FINANCE • A former Morgan Stanley VP and her hedge-fund husband pleaded guilty in yet another instance of "pillow-talk" insider trading. [Bloomberg] • Richard Josephberg, a longtime financier and former Goldman analyst, was sentenced to four years behind bars for failing to pay his taxes for 29 years. That's one year in the slammer for every seven without the IRS, not bad. [NYT] • The unexplained cancellation of Henry Kravis's little talk at the NYPL has some wondering whether he's riding Steve Schwarzman's coattails once again — only this time out of the spotlight. [Deal Journal/WSJ]

Miss Manners Hates Your BlackBerry

FINANCE • Blackstone founders Stephen Schwarzman and Pete Peterson shot up 30 places to No. 4 in Vanity Fair's annual ranking of "The New Establishment." Henry Kravis, who made the list for the first time, will have to console himself with No. 51. [VF, DealBook/NYT] • Maybe CEOs aren't all automatons after all: Scholars found that the death of a child or wife typically results in a 15 to 20 percent hit on profits — though the death of a mother-in-law often means good news for business. Let's just hope they're not confusing cause and effect, here. [WSJ] • Beat this, Spence girls: The daughter of Qwest CEO Edward Mueller gets free use of the corporate jet to help ferry her from Denver to California for high school. [DealBook/NYT]

Valentino Resigns, Greenspan Blogs

FASHION • Valentino is set to stop designing. He'll announce today that he'll do two more shows, and then call it quits. You know, to catch up on all that missed tanning. [WWD] • Pierre Hardy to be the latest big name designer to work with the Gap. [British Vogue] • Instead of bowing at Fashion Week, former Trovata designers Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos will debut their new menswear line online at men.style.com. That should save everyone a little headache and VitaminWater. WWD]

Facebook Exerts Yet More Power

FINANCE • Kathleen Corbet, the president of Standard & Poor's, agreed to step down after her company failed to accurately rate subprime bonds. Deven Sharma, an executive vice-president at S&P, will take her place as president. [Bloomberg] • An angry Facebook group convinced HSBC, Britain's largest bank, to stop charging interest on overdrafts by recent grads. You see, interest rates are so Web 1.0. [Times of London via DealBreaker] • With few big M&A deals on the horizon, it may seem like investment bankers could just stay in the Hamptons for the rest of the year. But the backlog of big deals from the halcyon days of last spring should keep them plenty busy — as long as the deals don't fall through. [Deal Journal/WSJ]

Chloë Sevigny to Scowl All Over Fashion Week

FINANCE • Investment-banking revenue could fall 47 percent for banks like Bear and Deutsche. Or, you know, 70 percent. [WSJ, WSJ, NYT] • More analysts are comparing today's situation to the big collapses of 1987 and 1998. But with better fashion and worse music. [DealBreaker] • Happy birthday Warren Buffett! The Oracle of Omaha is 77. [DealBreaker]

Investment Banking: More Stressful Than Iraq

MEDIAThe New Yorker thinks men are funnier than woman — running more than eight times as many men as women authors in "Shouts & Murmurs." But what about cartoonists? [Radar] • The Gawker-Observer conveyor belt switches directions yet again: associate editor Doree Shafrir set to go legit and start covering "ideas" for the curiously pink paper. [Gawker] • Mark Deuze, the author of a new book on the media industry, claims that workers in media are the "most likely to accept exploitative labor practices." Duh! [I Want Media via Mixed Media/Portfolio]

Jeb's Job

FINANCE • Lehman landed former Florida governor Jeb Bush as an adviser. Makes you wonder which bank will get the honor of hiring W. when the "first MBA president" finally steps down. [Deal Journal/WSJ] • Does Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis's move to save Countrywide, the largest mortgage lender in the United States, make him a modern-day J.P. Morgan? [MarketWatch] • John Dyment, the global head of Deutsche Bank's hedge-fund unit, jumped ship for Shumway Capital Partners, a hedge fund based in Greenwich. [TheStreet.com]

Today, Andy Rooney and Charlie Gibson Equally Unfunny

MEDIA • Don Imus, his big settlement with CBS finally behind him, is now looking to make a comeback on ABC radio. [NYP] • Andy Rooney apologizes for crossing the line from crotchety to racist – sort of. [NYT] • Charlie Gibson wants you to remember that he, unlike Katie Couric and Brian Williams, is humorless. [NYT]

Question of the Day: What to Do When Rupert Calls?

MEDIA • Rupert Murdoch personally called several reporters at The Wall Street Journal, including Tara Parker-Pope, Kate Kelly, and Henny Sender, to try and persuade them to stay with the paper. Some staffers are jealous, others asking whether the media baron is already overinvolved. [LAT] • Despite its huge ad counts, the Times Magazine is cutting first and business-class flights for reporters. From now on they’ll have to get masthead-level approval to avoid us plebes back in coach. [Gawker] • Former Jane staffers hope subscribers trash the Glamour issues they’re being sent as substitutes for the shuttered mag. How Jane of them. [NYP]

Anna Wintour Puts Friends Before Fashion. Really.

FINANCE • Here come the job cuts: Lehman Brothers will shutter its subprime unit, leaving 1,200 employees out of work. [NYT] • A new study suggests raising taxes on private equity wouldn't make any difference because Steve Schwarzman and friends would just find new ways to wriggle out of them. After all, taxes are for the little people, right? [Bloomberg] • Alan Greenspan supposedly told his new bosses at Deutsche that he would have lowered rates by now, though he denies it. [WSJ]

Warren Buffett Tries to Save Us All, Except Kate Moss, Who is Doomed

FINANCE • The credit crunch may take down high-flying real-estate baron Harry Macklowe, who bought $7 billion worth of midtown office space with a mere $50 million of his own money. Here's a tip — when journalists start calling you "high-flying," you know you're in for a fall. [NYT] • The man behind the biggest fund in New York may be state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the sole trustee for the $154 billion state pension plan. Most states use a multi-trustee board, and some are complaining that DiNapoli has too much power. [NYT] • Warren Buffett, looking to cash in on the credit crunch, may buy failing Countrywide. Meanwhile, you still can't buy an apartment. [DealBook/NYT]

Arianna Huffington and Cory Booker — We Really Did Not See That Coming

MEDIA • Blogosopheric scoop of the month: Looks like Arianna Huffington and Cory Booker may be dating. [NYDN] • Elizabeth Spiers's crazy idea for Portfolio: Fire Joanne Lipman and put Tina Brown in charge. Wow. Elizabeth Spiers writes for The New Republic? [TNR] • Keith Olbermann's news show to run before NBC’s Sunday Night Football. You can go home, after all! [TV Newser, NYT]

Suri Cruise Experiments With Child Stardom, Wall Streeters Do Same With Honesty

FINANCE • A new poll shows more than half of Wall Street traders would commit a felony for a $10 million profit. Now our trust in these guys is really shaken. [NYP] • The Times outlines which funds are suffering the most — not that you should panic or anything. [NYT] • Round two in the housing meltdown: Get foreclosed on a $100,000 mortgage, and you owe the IRS $33,000 for the “forgiven” debt. Fortunately, the Manhattan market is still red-hot. So no, you still can't buy an apartment. [NYT, NYT]

Wait, Somebody Had to Sell His Helicopter? Now This Is Getting Really Bad.

MEDIA • Paranoid Fox News host John Gibson believes "the war on Gibson is real," thus solidifying our own belief – in awesomeness. [Radar] • Rumors of a purge at Alpha Media, formerly Dennis Publishing, were greatly exaggerated. Stuff's staff is tiny, only 16 of 34 were let go, and the survivors were rewarded with summer Friday's for the first time ever. [NYP] • Meet Publish2, a social-networking site for journalists. Or maybe they should call it Facebook2. [Folio]