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Timesselect

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Bear Stearns, Really Into Bridge

FINANCE • Bear Stearns CEO James Cayne, ranked 611 in the world at contract bridge, fired Warren Spector, ranked in the top 225, for his role in the subprime crisis. Spector, a co-president at Bear, who took home $37 million, spent a whole two weeks at a bridge tournament in Nashville, while Cayne made do with a mere two days. Meanwhile, the firm announced 310 job cuts. [Bloomberg, DealBook/NYT] • Merrill Lynch canned three top executives before even disclosing its own subprime losses, which could exceed $4 billion. Dow Kim, the former co-head of institutional securities, Osman Semerci, global head of fixed income, and deputy Dale Lattanzio were all shown the door. [WSJ] • Zoe Cruz, co-president of Morgan Stanley, is the highest paid woman in America. At least there's good news for somebody! [CNN, WSJ]

TimesSelect: Requiem for a Fee

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A day after the Times debuted its new, slimmed-down format, the Post today reports that the Gray Lady is set to shed something else: TimesSelect. As soon as some technical kinks are worked out, Murdoch's paper says, the two-year-old experiment will end and your Maureen Dowd will, once again, be gloriously free. So what to think of its brief life? Is TimesSelect slightly random in its border delineation, unfair to op-ed columnists, and above all annoyingly orange? Sure. But is it a failure? Not exactly.