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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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Mariane Pearl Sues Al Qaeda

MEDIA • Mariane Pearl filed a lawsuit in federal court against Al Qaeda and a major Pakistan bank to uncover more information about her husband's murder. [NYS] • The NFL passed a rule ordering press photographers to wear red vests with Canon and Reebok logos on them. [NPPA News via Mediabistro] • If Portfolio's second issue flops, editor-in-chief Joanne Lipman may be out of a job. [NYP]

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Dow Jones, Mediabistro Play ‘Let's Make a Deal’

MEDIA • The Dow Jones board approved Murdoch's bid, but two of the four Bancrofts on the board refused to take part. The family is expected to meet Monday to begin deliberations. [NYT] • Jupitermedia bought Mediabistro.com for $23 million, causing critics to smell a tech bubble. [NYT] • The new issue of Portfolio will be out soon, and rumor has it that editor Joanne Lipman is ignoring Condé protocol by poaching other books' staff. [WWD]

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Who Will Catch the ‘Redbook’ Traitor?

MEDIA • Will the $10,000 that Jezebel paid for an unretouched Redbook cover be enough to feed the sure-to-be-fired leaker? [WWD] • Houghton Mifflin will acquire Harcourt from rival Reed Elsevier for $4 billion. [NYT] • Rolling Stone publisher Tim Castelli has left the magazine to be New York sales director for Google. [Ad Age]

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CEO Accused of Golf Manipulation

FINANCE • Hollywood Country Club is looking into allegations of score altering in a July 4 golf tournament by Bear Stearns CEO Jim Cayne. [CNBC] • The SEC began an investigation into Whole Foods CEO John Mackey's anonymous online postings. [DealBook/NYT] • Morgan Stanley's John Mack is hosting a fund-raiser for Hillary Clinton today. He supported George W. Bush in 2004. [Financial Times]

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Couric Will Stay at CBS

MEDIA • CBS News president Sean McManus denied that Katie Couric will leave CBS Evening News before the end of her five-year contract. [AP via Fox News] • CNBC and the Financial Times plan to join forces and share content in case Rupert Murdoch's Dow Jones bid goes through. [WSJ] • TV Guide is moving into The New Yorker's old offices on West 43rd Street. [NYP]

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Did You Hear the One About the iPhone Nano?

FINANCE • A JP Morgan analyst got canned for writing a report about a fictional Apple product, the iPhone Nano. [Apple 2.0 via DealBreaker] • Using the screen name Rahodeb, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey posted on Yahoo Finance bulletin boards to bash competitor Wild Oats. [Deal Journal/WSJ] • The SEC tries to reclaim authority over hedge funds by writing rules allowing the agency to sue for misleading investors. [Bloomberg]

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Paris Cheered by Blackstone Bid

FINANCE • Did Steve Schwarzman's bid for Hilton Hotels help bring Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan back together again? [Gossip Girls via DealBreaker] • She might not be so hot at spotting WMD, but former CIA big shot Jami Miscik is good enough to be the "global head of sovereign risk" at Lehman. [Fortune] • Threatening letters against Goldman Sachs continue to turn up at newspapers; Feds now investigating disgruntled former employees. [NYP]

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