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NYSE President-To-Be Better Watch His Back

FINANCE • In the ongoing war between man and machine at the NYSE, incoming Exchange president says he doesn't want "five guys named Vinnie" completing his trades. [NYP] • Operation Spamalot: SEC suspends trading on 35 stocks promoted in recent spam campaigns. [NYT] • Ivan Boesky slated to appear in the can't-believe-it's-not-out-already sequel to Forrest Gump. [/Film via DealBreaker]

The Perfect Firetrap

• Yesterday's lethal Bronx fire was a perfect storm of human error: faulty wiring, two dead smoke alarms, no fire escape, the tenants' panicked attempt to deal with the flame themselves, and a tardy rescue truck. [NYT] • Look who's back in business: Former mayor Ed Koch will head a commission that will review, and help reform, the state comptroller's office. Also on the commission: Tom Suozzi, the would-be Spitzer, and the AFL-CIO chief. We're getting serious "shadow government" vibes. [amNY] • Mathieu Eugene, who beat nine opponents for a City Council seat, is demanding a revote. Despite his decisive victory, Eugene can't take office: He flouted the residency requirement by living in Canarsie before the election. Meanwhile, leaderless East Flatbush shockingly does not descend into anarchy. [NYDN] • In a Law & Order–worthy case of creative definition of jurisdiction, the Manhattan D.A. is indicting a Brazilian congressman, Paulo Maluf. Maluf has never been in New York, but his money sure was: $11.6 million of it, all allegedly stolen and funneled through a Fifth Avenue bank. [MetroNY] • Speaking of Law & Order: The community-board meeting on renaming a midtown intersection the Jerry Orbach Corner turned into meta-farce when Sam Waterston showed up to address the surly board. The vote ended in hung jury. [NYT]

Heatherette Honcho Throws Weirdly Normal Birthday Party

FASHION • Heatherette designer Traver Rains turned 30! And, apparently, his "Wild West" surprise party started on time and everyone invited actually got inside. [Fashionista] • Calvin Klein has high hopes that CK in2u will replicate the success of CK One. [NYT] • Giorgio Armani will design uniforms for Russell Crowe's Australian rugby team. [British Vogue]

The Check Went to the Male

What does it look like when a Timesman buys a sex slave? Well, we don't know, because we haven't seen Nick Kristof's Cambodian receipts. But we do know what it looks like when a Timesman lends someone out of prostitution. As part of the legal processes set in motion by Kurt Eichenwald's December 2005 investigative series on online child porn, the $2,000 check he wrote to Justin Berry was subpoenaed. Here it is. (Click on it for a larger version.)

Debbie Nathan Earlier: 'Times' Prostitute Rescuer Eichenwald, in Testimony, Says He Went 'Off Deep End'

‘Times’ Prostitute Rescuer Eichenwald, in Testimony, Says He Went ‘Off the Deep End’

Former New York Times reporter Kurt Eichenwald was in an Ann Arbor, Michigan, courtroom this morning, a witness in a child-porn prosecution captioned State of Michigan v. Kenneth Gourlay. But when Eichenwald took the stand, it could have been renamed "$2,000 Check v. Journalism 101" — and Eichenwald's testimony showed he knows he broke the rules. Earlier this week, the Times disclosed in an editors' note that Eichenwald had "loaned" $2,000 to 18-year-old Justin Berry, the subject of a controversial series Eichenwald published in December 2005, which led to a congressional hearing about the danger of Webcams to kids, and to charges against several gay men accused of molesting Berry and helping him manage his porn sites. Eichenwald and the Times had previously disclosed reporting irregularities — that Eichenwald spent several weeks in contact with Berry without disclosing that he was a reporter, that he helped put him in touch with authorities — but news of the loan first appeared in yesterday's paper. He and the paper received a barrage of criticism over the news (he's also received criticism from this reporter, in an incident explained here), and on the midwestern witness stand today, he tried to explain.

Scooter Libby, Convict and — Soon — Subject

The hottest new almost-trend in publishing: political insta-books, like the Scooter Libby tome commissioned today — a day after his conviction — and due in bookstores next month. For decades there have been successful fast-tracked paperbacks on all sorts of light topics from Star Wars releases to the Pitt-Aniston marriage. The announcement of The United States vs. I. Lewis Libby — to be written be a real reporter, National Journal's Murray Waas and published by Barnes & Noble's nonfiction imprint — comes only a week after news of a Barack Obama insta-book, the first about the presidential candidate (he's written two well-regarded memoirs), delivered only a month after he announced his candidacy. All we need now is one more example, and it's a genuine, certified trend. Doesn't any writer have anything he wants to say about Sam Brownback? BN Imprint Rushes Libby Book to Stores [Galleycat/Mediabistro]

Tyra's Audience Yearns for ‘Oprah’ Tickets

FASHION • Tyra makes audience wear swimsuits and flaunt their weight. No car giveaways here. [Fashionista] • Jeweler Raymond Weil's breach-of-contract suit against Charlize Theron (he says she wore Dior) moves to federal court. [British Vogue] • Ralph Lauren and Johann Rupert join up for a new luxury watch and jewelry line. [WWD]

‘Voice’ Voiceless, Again

MEDIA • David Blum out at the Village Voice. He was the fourth editor there since December 2005. [Gawker] • Flummoxing DVR users everywhere, ABC green-lights a sitcom based on the Geico cavemen commercials. [WSJ] • Pulitzer judging starts today at Columbia University; judges from Willamette Week, the Indianapolis Star, and others read actual printed copies of newspaper articles. [E&P]

Warren Buffett Wants a New Warren Buffett

FINANCE • Buffett 2.0: Oracle of Omaha seeks young understudy to take over Berkshire. [Fortune] • Thirteen charged with insider training, including Morgan Stanley, UBS, Bear Stearns, and Bank of America employees. [NYT] • Goldman, Merrill, and Morgan Stanley traders rate own firms barely above junk-bond status. [Bloomberg]

It'll Always Be Brian Williams's Show

MEDIA • NBC to fire Nightly News exec producer John Reiss. But is it for ratings, or does Reiss not get along with anchor Brian Williams? [NYT and LAT] • Tunku Varadarajan moves from an editorial-page writer to an assistant managing editor at the Wall Street Journal, only the third time in 50 years someone has jumped that divide. [NYO] • Bellevue Hospital starts its own imprint; wannabe Ken Keseys hope for literary success. [NYT]

Traders Feared Terrorist Attacks

FINANCE • The Dow's fall yesterday convinced some traders that terrorists had attacked the city once again. "Our first thought was that they blew up Grand Central, or the Empire State building, or the GW," one said. [DealBreaker] • Adding insult to sell-off, Merrill Lynch slugged five big banks with a lowered rating, downgrading Goldman, Lehman, Bear Stearns, Deutsche Bank, and Credit Suisse to neutral from buy. [Bloomberg] • Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein says that the market for buyouts will cool. "There will be declines. We can't continue like this forever." Speak for yourself, rich guy. [DealBook/NYT]

Steven Soderbergh's Life Not Interrupted By Jury Duty

LAW • Director Steven Soderbergh gets out of jury duty in an Upper East Side sex-crimes trial. [NYT] • Roger Meltzer leaves Cahill Gordon & Reindell and takes his $20 million book of business to DLA Piper, where he will be the head of corporate finance. [The American Lawyer] • With his Anna Nicole Smith antics, Judge Larry Seidlin makes the best case against cameras in the courtroom. [Crime & Federalism via Inside Opinions]

Speak, Models!

FASHION • Turns out models can speak — at least in Ridley Scott's new Prada movie. [Fashionista] • Bottega Veneta has designed the interior of a penthouse suite at the St. Regis. [British Vogue] • Model Paulina Porizkova has joined the cast of Dancing With the Stars. [Flypaper] • Naomi Campbell left Premier Models, where she's spent most of her career, for IMG. [All Company News]

Caffeine Is It!

• City Councilman Simcha Felder has either great timing or way more power than we thought. Two days after he embarked on a public crusade to get caffeine content included on food labels, Coca-Cola did what he wanted. [AP via Newsday] • Ooh, a big twist in an otherwise uneventful election! Dr. Mathieu Eugene, the new councilman elected to replace Congresswoman Yvette Clark, has to prove that he actually lives in the district before he can legally take the seat. [NYP] • A five-judge state appeals court has unanimously upheld the constitutionality of New York's long-in-the-tooth Cabaret Law. (A lawsuit claimed that the dancing ban in bars and clubs infringes on free expression.) At least there are no plans to beef up the silly rule's enforcement. [MetroNY] • NYU's College Republicans got exactly what they wanted — scandal and press — when they staged a "Catch the Illegal Immigrant" game on campus. (The objective was to spot a student with an "immigrant" tag for a $50 reward.) The event drew 300 angry protesters instead. [NYDN] • And André Balazs isn't the only one bringing Beaver back to New York. For the first time in 200 years, the actual North American beaver is setting up camp in the Bronx River, a testament to a recent, $15 million cleanup. [NYT]

Goldman Bonuses Depress All

FINANCE • Goldman lieutenants score $52.5 million bonuses, take home more than most Wall Street CEOs. [NYT] • Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman calls making a $36 billion real-estate deal “an out-of-body experience.” [Knowledge@Wharton via DealBreaker] • Are public companies going private just so the CEO can make more money? [DealBook/NYT]

Lauren Bush Saves the World One Handbag at a Time

FASHION • Presidential niece Lauren Bush is developing a socially conscious clothing line, no doubt inspired by her family's long-time commitment to environmental causes. [Fashion Week Daily] • A PETA soldier storms the Prada runway in Milan, gets tackled by security. [Elle.com] • The 18-year-old sister of model Luisel Ramos, whose death six months ago triggered the skinny-model ban in Milan, has also passed away from complications related to an eating disorder. [Downtown Darling]

The Guy With the Biggest Birthday Party Wins

FINANCE • Birthday parties aside, Stephen A. Schwarzman tops Fortune's private-equity power list. [Fortune via CNNMoney] • Jeff Dorman, a senior managing director of prime brokerage services at Bear Sterns, resigned late last week. Poor guy didn't even last a year. [DealBook/NYT] • Is Jim Healy, head of fixed income at Credit Suisse, about to resign because of friction with new heads Brady Dugan and Michael Ryan? [DealBreaker]

Viva Sullivan County

• Governor Spitzer has approved a "Las Vegas-style" gambling den in the Catskills. The Mohawk tribe will run it, despite the casino being 400 miles away from its reservation, and the state will get a 25 percent cut. That is, if environmentalists and the U.S. Secretary of the Interior get on board. [NYT] • Call us twisted, but we love watching JetBlue continue to flagellate itself over last week's stranding of its JFK passengers; the CEO of the formerly cuddly airline is scripting a my-bad TV ad and proposing a "customer bill of rights" that will financially penalize JetBlue for such things. [NYDN] • The Brooklyn District Attorney's office seems eager to reinvent itself as a telenovela. An ADA was suspended for allegedly passing witness info to her boyfriend, a defense attorney; that's one day after a female investigator was accused of a dalliance with a jailed mobster. How soon before evil twins show up? [NYP] • Next up for Bloombergian rezoning: the Garment Center. Crain's predicts "a flurry of buying and selling." Luxury condos? Actually, no, just newer and better offices. Whew. [Crain's] • And you can always rely on the City Council for an offbeat ordinance proposal. Today, the honor goes to Councilman Simcha Felder, who wants warning labels on coffee. [amNY]

Hamptons Jury Upholds Volunteer's Right to Kvetch

It's official: You can kvetch all you want about any organization for which you're a volunteer — your local hospital, Greenpeace, the Democrats — and it's thanks to Pat Lynch. The former NBC reporter sued the Southampton Animal Shelter in 2005, saying it had violated her right to free speech when it fired her from her volunteer duties the year before. A jury sided with her this week, awarding her $251,000. Lynch had been walking the center's dogs and, troubled by conditions there — including how the animals were euthanized — she wrote letters to The Southampton Press expressing her concern, and filed a lawsuit against the shelter. Administrators let her go soon after. "It's a huge decision," her lawyer, Steve Morelli, told New York. "Volunteers don't have to be afraid to speak their mind as long as it's a matter of public concern and they're not disruptive." Good. But if Lynch didn't agree with the shelter's policies, why didn't she just walk away? "I love animals and I wanted to bring about positive change," she says. "When you volunteer, you don't leave your First Amendment rights at the front door." —S. Jhoanna Robledo