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Sidley Austin

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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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Rupert Murdoch and the ‘Journal’ Eye Washington

MEDIA • Murdoch's WSJ plans to take on the Times' Washington bureau. What's next, Hollywood? [NYO] • Jeff Zucker and NBC bought Oxygen, the cable network for bored housewives, at the bargain-basement price of $925 million. [NYT] • CNN's Rick Sanchez has one big skeleton in his closet. After drinking a little too much at a Dolphins game, the eight o'clock anchor did a hit-and-run on a pedestrian who later died from his injuries. "It could have happened to anybody … There were probably a lot of other people leaving the stadium that had had a couple of beers as well." No wonder he was nicknamed Miami's "Least Credible News Personality." [NYO]

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Uniqlo's Success Brings More Japanese Retail

FASHION • Following the ultrasuccessful debut of Uniqlo, Japanese store Muji to open two stores in NYC. [WWD] • Libertine settled its copyright-infringement suit against knockoff king Allen Schwartz. [Downtown Darling] • Tyra Banks gains weight, laments fashion's unreasonable expectations. [People] FINANCE • Merrill's top brass gave themselves a big ($172 million) pat on the back for a job well done in 2006. [WSJ ] • Venture capitalists invested $2 billion in 249 companies in the New York area last year, up 18 percent from 2005. It was the highest level of funding since 2001, when the Internet broke. [Crain's] • If increasing the size of the biggest leverage buyout bid in history doesn't make Stephen Schwarzman sweat, the Blackstone Group should be just fine. [DealBook]

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