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Ken Auletta

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Bloomberg's Baby Problems: They Just Keep Popping Out

FINANCE • Another woman joined the federal discrimination lawsuit against Bloomberg LP. After her first child in 2005, her pay fell and her colleagues turned into sharks. One supervisor even asked, "What is this, your third baby?" [NYT] • More of the same on the Street: Bank of America wrote down $3 billion, Bear Stearns $1.2 billion, and British bank HSBC took the cake with $3.4 billion, largely due to U.S. mortgage weaknesses. Meanwhile, Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein laughed in everyone's face, predicting no more write-downs (not that they lost much in the first place) at the Teflon bank. [NYP, NYT, NYT, DealBreaker] • Is the credit crunch just like Enron all over again? So says Bethany McLean, the reporter who first broke Ken Lay's fraud wide open. [Fortune]

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Artists and Writers Play Lovely, Eloquent, Mediocre Softball

Mort Zuckerman
Any event that allows politico Mark Green and sportswriter Mike Lupica to engage in hip-hop-style fist bumps is worth the price of admission, especially when it's free. That's why hundreds (including an incognito Heather Mills) gathered for the 59th annual Artists and Writers Charity Softball game in East Hampton on Saturday. It was a perfect day to watch knock-kneed wordsmiths and paunch-addled sculptors shuffle around the diamond for charity. Despite an all-star lineup that included catcher Walter Isaacson, first-baseman Ken Auletta, and (mysteriously calf-bandaged) pitcher Mort Zuckerman, the writers fell 13-5. This bucked a recent string of scribe triumphs and sent a frustrated Lupica into a hilarious spiral of hypercompetitive melodrama, including red-faced screams and a slide into first base. Yeah, first base. But the game was clean, and just in case you were wondering, so is Auletta. "I've never taken steroids," the 65-year-old media critic clarified for fans. —Selim Algar

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