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Hedge-Fund Managers Have Ostentatious Hobbies

FINANCE • Young hedge-fund managers play in cover bands but instead of sticking to local bar gigs, they fly to London and rock out there. [BBC via DealBreaker] • The only humans left on the NYSE trading floor are tourists. [NYP] • Bank of America is sued for racial discrimination after five black current and former employees claimed that white employees get all the lucrative clients. [NYT]

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How Now Dow Jones?

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• The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 13,089 yesterday, leaping past the 13K mark on a 136-point rally — and, no doubt, giving yet another batch of small investors the tragic impression that they, too, can be Jim Cramer. [NYP] • With all the money floating around City Hall (the surplus is now even larger than estimated — $4.4 billion), Council Speaker Christine Quinn wants a tax credit for renters to match Bloomberg's proposed property-tax rebate. The mayor's not sold. [amNY] • Al Gore ("the world's hottest leading man," per Bloomberg's press-conference remarks) is in town to open the Tribeca Film Festival. If he were running for office, last night's gala would sure feel a lot like a Dem fund-raiser. But he's not, so it didn't. [WNBC] • Corzine walks! New Jersey's governor took a few steps for the first time since the car crash that broke half the bones in his body. He also felt up to taking a phone call from … President Bush. [NYT] • And Condi Rice apparently wields major power over New Yorkers' consumer habits. After she endorsed a beef stew at Brooklyn's Sea Tide Gourmet Fish Store (huh?), it's supposedly been flying off the shelves. The story feels planted, but by whom? The store or Condi? [NYDN]

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‘Times’ Gay Mafia Underground Even to its Members

MEDIA • Ben Brantley, identified by Out as part of the Times's "gay mafia," claims he didn't even know some other colleagues listed were gay. The first rule of the gay mafia … [WWD] • Ed Bradley wins a posthumous Peabody Award for his 60 Minutes pieces on the Duke rape case. [Peabody Awards] • Larry King wants to keep going for another ten years and then pass his show along to Ryan Seacrest. At which point it might actually get softer. [NYT]

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A Last-Minute Bid for Tribune

MEDIA • L.A. Billionaires Ron Burkle and Eli Broad jumped back into the Tribune contest, offering $1 per share more than Sam Zell. [NYT] • After Joy Press left for Salon, new Voice editor Tony Ortega rehired former editor Brian Parks to edit the arts and culture section. [Eat the Press/HP] • Former Times public editor Dan Okrent appears in the upcoming film The Hoax, playing a publishing exec engaged in fraud. [WWD]

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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]

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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]

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But How Does He Feel About Trans Fats?

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• In the no-brainer firing of the year, the Health Department has divested itself of the inspector who gave a passing grade to the famously ratty KFC–Taco Bell. The shuttered place, meanwhile, became a locus for some fun public art. [NYT] • Underreported amid the possible culprits of yesterday's Wall Street carnage — China, Cheney — were horrendously timed technical glitches at the NYSE: At some point, trades were done via paper tickets. [NYP] • Add a federal investigation to the list of JetBlue's headaches: The U.S. Transportation Secretary is calling for an official look-see into the recent snowstorm stranding of passengers on the JFK tarmac. American Airlines will get its own probe for a similar incident in Austin. [amNY] • The Thurmond-Sharpton Roots-on-acid miniseries continues to play out: The senator's biracial daughter, Essie Mae Washington Williams, is reprimanding the reverend for "overreacting," saying "[my father] did many wonderful things for black people." [NYDN] • And meet Gerard Mortier, new director of the New York City Opera, whose farewell production on his previous job was a staging of Die Fledermaus with cocaine, incest, suicide, and Nazis. Welcome!!! [CBS News]

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Sullivan & Cromwell Bleeds Associates

LAW • Sullivan & Cromwell lost about 30 percent of its associates in 2004 and 2005. It might take more than a raise to fix that. [WSJ] • Don't despair, associates! Where Simpson Thacher goes, Milbank Tweed, Sullivan & Cromwell, Paul Weiss, Cleary Gottlieb, and Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft are sure to follow. [Above the Law] • Long Island lawyer Gary Berenholtz, who once exposed a corrupt Brooklyn judge, stole money from clients and his partner's widow to fund fine dining and finer vacations. [NYP] FINANCE • The New York Stock Exchange will trade almost exclusively electronically by the end of today; investment firms will continue to lay off floor traders. [WSJ] • The New York City employees' pension fund is the lead plaintiff in a suit against Apple Computer Inc. for overcompensating executives with illegal stock options. [Reuters]

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