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When All Fails, What Else? A Country Song

FINANCE • The nation's largest mortgage lender, Countrywide Financial, almost out of credit. Oh. No. [NYP] • Recent hedge-fund woes look far from contained — they've even inspired a country song. [DealBook/NYT] • Chuck Schumer's bright new plan for taxing private equity: raise taxes on all partnerships, not just big firms like Blackstone. How Democratic. [Reuters via DealBook/NYT]

Imus Not Hiding As Much Cash Under His Hat As It Appears

MEDIA • Don Imus may not have gotten that full $20 million; no one knows where he's going to work next; and he may have to pay an unspecified amount to settle a defamation suit brought by a Rutgers player. Oh my! [NYT, AP via NYT] • One staffer at Portfolio compared editor-in-chief Joanne Lipman to the captain in Mutiny on the Bounty who gets thrown over board, confirming the total geekdom of staffers at Portfolio. [NYP] • Dow Jones union suggests members fight the power by using anti-Murdoch wallpaper on their computers, and Jack Shafer thinks the term "genocidal tyrant" fits Murdoch nicely. [FishbowlNY/Mediabistro, Slate]

CBS' Bill Plante Remembers Something, and Topshop Employs Slaves

MEDIA CBS News’ Bill Plante shouts after Rove and Bush: “If he’s so smart, how come you lost Congress?” Snap! [NYO] • Graduates of journalism programs see a stalled job market. Thank golly we didn't go to one. [Cox Center] • Google and YouTube plan to call Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to testify for the defense in the $1 billion suit that Viacom, the owners of Comedy Central, filed against the Internet companies. [CNet via Mediabistro]

Alan Greenspan Gets a Job, Richard Branson Goes Bananas

FINANCE: • After touring the lecture circuit for the last year, Alan Greenspan finally got a real job advising Deutsche Bank's securities division. [Bloomberg] • Which heads will roll when all the dust from subprime settles? Some say John Mack, the CEO of Morgan Stanley, others Chuck Prince of Citigroup, but the biggest danger may be for Goldman Sachs’ “It” boy Lloyd Blankfein, who bet more than anyone else. [NYT] • Time for another party? Steve Schwarzman's Blackstone group tripled its quarterly profits, sending stock back up. [CNN and NYT]

Goldman, Merrill Open Books, Loosen Collars

FINANCE • The SEC is investigating whether banks and brokerages are hiding subprime lending losses. Goldman and Merrill are the first to be scrutinized. [WSJ] • This is how bad the market is right now: Even music bloggers are worried about it. [DealBreaker] • KPS Capital Partners is ditching its MetLife Building penthouse for a two-story space on 66th and Lex that leaves room for expansion. [Deal Journal/WSJ]

Bear Stearns Execs Cashed Out Before Stock Dropped

FINANCE • James Cayne and three other top Bear Stearns execs cashed out $57 million in stock before the bank took a nose dive, pawning off $16 million in losses on regular investors. [TheStreet.com via DealBreaker] • With Ellyn McColgan's departure, Fidelity president Rodger Lawson has gone from new guy in town to likely successor. [Boston Globe via DealBook/NYT] • Blackstone raised $21.7 billion for its latest private-equity fund. Apparently drumming up the last $6 billion was pretty tough. Cue the violins! [Deal Journal/WSJ]

First You Save the Company, Then You Play Golf

FINANCE • Bear Stearns CEO Jim Cayne rewarded himself for firing the firm's second-in-command by playing his first round of golf in almost three weeks. [NYP] • Fidelity CEO Edward Johnson's uncertain succession plan claimed another victim as Ellyn McColgan, a longtime exec and onetime heir apparent, got fed up and stepped down. [NYT] • Were the threats against Goldman Sachs — "Hundreds will die. We are inside. You cannot stop us." — just a prank by three teenage kids? [Newsday]

At Bear Stearns, Watch Out for the New Guy

FINANCE • Bear Stearns seems to have great confidence in new president Alan Schwartz, even though Schwartz, an "old-line relationship banker," has no experience in the firm's embattled bond business. [NYT] • Bear Stearns' decision to liquidate their failed hedge funds in the Cayman Islands may help protect them from irate and litigious investors. [Bloomberg] • Banks working on the ABN Amro deal stand to make about $1.3 billion. Good news for Citi, Credit Suisse, and others. [Deal Journal/WSJ]

Jeffrey Goldberg Wants a Pony

MEDIAAtlantic owner David Bradley sent ponies to Jeffrey Goldberg's kids to help lure him away from The New Yorker. Seriously. [WP] • Just before the Dow Jones deal went through, the Bancrofts voted to double this quarter's dividend for themselves [NYP] • Murdoch and Ailes's next move? All-out war? (Wait, they're not at war with everyone else already?) [Newsweek]

It's Expensive Being Rupert Murdoch

MEDIA • Did Dow Jones cost Rupert Murdoch an extra $1 billion just because he’s Rupert Murdoch? [Slate] • Rik Hertzberg to blog for The New Yorker. From YearlyKos. And without fact-checking. [WWD] • Doug Henwood feels guilty about enjoying The Nation’s cruise. Because liberals always feel guilty. [The Nation]

The Costly Return of JT LeRoy

MEDIA • A court ordered Laura Albert, a.k.a. JT LeRoy, to pay a film production company $350,000 for legal fees connected to her fraud case. [NYT] • The ABC News intern who posed nude for Playboy: Lace Rose Allenius. She works on the weekend edition of Good Morning America. [Mediabistro] • Manhattan Media, the owner of several weekly newspapers, bought New York Press and plans to merge it with Our Town Downtown, which covers lower Manhattan. [NYT]

Bad Days at ABC, NBC

MEDIA • Eric Wishnie, an NBC News producer who was fired in 2006 for substance-abuse problems, fell to his death from his West Village rooftop. [NYDN] • Good Morning America's Robin Roberts announced that she has breast cancer. [ABC News] • Condé Nast is expanding in India and expected to launch editions of Glamour, GQ, Condé Nast Traveler, Vanity Fair, and Wired. Vogue will launch in September. [FT]

Is Murdoch Starting to Sweat?

MEDIA • With the deadline set for 5 p.m. tonight, the Bancrofts' vote on the Dow Jones deal remains too close to call. [WSJ] • Jimmy Fallon is apparently the lead contender to take Conan O'Brien's place once Conan jumps to Leno's time slot. Yikes. [Broadcasting & Cable] • Is Jane Pratt's new project a Gwen Stefani magazine? [Fashionista] • Late-night talk legend Tom Snyder is dead at 71. [AP via NYT]

Former Milberg Weiss Lawyer Was El Mirage's Landlord

LAW • Paul Young, a former partner at Milberg Weiss, owned the building that housed the El Mirage bathhouse and did nothing to curtail its activities. [Legal Pad/Fortune] • General counsels are on the up-and-up: Rosemary Berkery and Kenneth Frazier, the GCs at Merrill and Merck, both just got promotions to top leadership positions at their respective firms. [Law Blog/WSJ] • Some lawyers are salivating at their chance to put "hard-hitting" ads back on the air. [New York Law Journal]

End Is Nigh for Whole Foods Chief

FINANCE • Whole Foods CEO John Mackey has been asked to resign following the discovery of anonymous postings he authored on investment message boards. [NYP] • Leon Black, the secretive founder of Apollo Management, will be worth more than $3 billion when he sells part of the firm. [NYP] • Merrill Lynch CEO Stan O'Neal promoted one of his top aids, Rosemary Berkery, to the position of vice-chairman and general counsel, making her a likely successor. [MarketBeat/WSJ]

Facebook Hires YouTube's Moneyman

FINANCE • YouTube's former finance chief joins Facebook as CFO. Sales drums bang louder. [WSJ] • Mark Lenowitz, a stock picker for Chelsey Capital and Q Capital Investment, admitted to insider trading. [Reuters via DealBook/NYT] • James O'Shaughnessy, a Bear Stearns exec once called "the father of strategy indexing," will leave the bank to start his own firm. [MarketBeat/WSJ]

Steve Jobs Has Nothing on Armani

FASHION • Over the iPhone? Get the Armani phone this October. [Fashionista] • Need something to wear with that wrap dress? DVF is launching a shoe collection this fall. [British Vogue] • Thom Browne has put together a 25-piece womenswear collection available this fall at Barneys, Bergdorf, Jeffrey, and Colette. [WWD]

Does That Polo Pocket Look Like Levi's?

FASHION • Levi Strauss & Co. is suing Polo Ralph Lauren for supposedly copying the brand's trademark pocket stitching. [WWD via British Vogue] • Sass & Bide has canceled their New York Fashion Week show after one of the designers required further chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. [Fashion Week Daily] • Women ages 40 to 55 get their own Izod line. [NYP]

So Who Will Run Viacom?

MEDIA • Sumner Redstone is feuding with his daughter, leaving the future of Viacom in doubt. [WSJ] • Forbes is putting its historic Greenwich Village building on the block. [NYP] • Countdown With Keith Olbermann referred to a Louisiana senator's wife as a ho. Imus again? [FishbowlNY/Mediabistro]