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First Read reveals several Wall Street firms allegedly invested in Mugabe’s government amid massacre, how to 3-D print a master key that opens advanced locks and Amazon is going after Google’s core business.

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Newspaper Deals Hit and Miss with PE Firms

While the sale of the parent of the Chicago Tribune is drawing interest from Lee Mitchell of private equity firm Thoma Bravo LLC, a much smaller weekly paper in Boston plans to shut down for lack of a buyer.

Surge In Deals For Banks? Probably Not

Don’t expect a couple of recent big investments of private money into the banking industry to signal a resurgence of dealmaking in the sector, market watchers say. A pair of buyout funds, WL Ross & Co. LLC and The Yucaipa Companies, have made commitments to invest $50 million apiece in Amalgamated Bank, a $4.4 billion […]

Obama Pitches Changes to Carried Interest; PEGCC Rebuts “Buffett Rule”

President Obama’s plans to change the carried interest tax is getting more attention today.

Obama on Monday pitched a plan, which uses tax increases and entitlement cuts, to slash the federal deficit by $3 trillion, according to the New York Times. In the PE world, it’s the President’s introduction of the so-called “Buffett Rule” — which aims to change carried interest — that is getting tons of play.

Obama called to overhaul the tax code, Bloomberg News reported Monday. His plan aims to eliminate the “special lower rates for the wealthy,” which were “meant to be temporary,” the story says.

Poll Results: Sokol’s Fate? 70.2% Think Nothing Will Happen to Him (But He’ll Likely Start His Own Firm)

The results of our David Sokol poll surprised me.

Yesterday, I asked what might happen to the former heir apparent at Berkshire Hathaway. Sokol, in case you’ve forgotten, bought Lubrizol shares and then pushed Warren Buffett to buy the company. Sokol, who was chairman of several Berkshire units, resigned after his Lubrizol trades became known.

Berkshire shareholders are expected to convene in Omaha tomorrow for the annual meeting. Buffett is sure to be grilled about his poor handling of the scandal. Right now, we don’t care about that. We want to know what will happen to Sokol.

Question of the Week: What Fate Awaits David Sokol?

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Things aren’t looking too good for David Sokol, Warren Buffett’s former heir apparent at Berkshire Hathaway .

Yesterday, Berkshire slammed Sokol when it said he violated the company’s standards of conduct and its insider trading policies when he bought Lubrizol shares and then pushed Warren Buffett to buy the company. Sokol, who was chairman of several Berkshire units, resigned after his Lubrizol trades were made known.

This has been an embarrassing situation for Buffett and Berkshire. The Oracle of Omaha has always been big on ethics. He is sure to face some tough questions this Saturday when Berkshire hosts its annual shareholder meeting.

Social Scene: Hollywood Casts Hottie and Hunk as VCs, Google Ventures Goes Gaga, Clark Produces v 2.0 and More Billionaire News

In this week’s Social Scene, Hollywood falls back in love with venture capital, the Google Ventures team goes Gaga, Don Valentine gets his closeup, Peter Wagner sees a sign of the Apocalypse, Jim Clark and his supermodel wife are expecting their first child, and lots more.

Have a personal tidbit you’d like to share about yourself or a friend/colleague? Email me at lawrence.aragon@thomsonreuters.com. I’m looking for birthdays, baby announcements, marriages, new car/boat/house/fill-in-the-blank purchases, funny quotes, vacation pics, snaps from industry events — you get the picture.

MAKING THE SCENE

In yet another ominous sign that we may be repeating the past, Hollywood is suddenly finding venture capitalists interesting again. To wit, comedian Adam Sandler is co-producing a CBS sitcom that will be set in a VC office, and the HBO drama

Chinese Carmaker BYD, Backed by Warren Buffett, Comes Under Fire

An ordinary American investor would probably not put money into a foreign electric car start-up suspected of openly copying competitors, let alone one whose franchised dealers occasionally put other companies’ logos on its own vehicles. But Warren Buffett is no ordinary investor, and China’s BYD is no ordinary company. At the depths of the financial […]

peHub’s 2011 Predictions

Prognosticators and pundits are hurling every prediction and possibility on topics ranging from the economy to professional sports to the Academy Awards for 2011, so we here at peHub thought we’d weigh in with a few of our own. Just don’t bet the farm on these ones to come to fruition.

“Chooch 2—North To Alaska” becomes a surprise Memorial Day hit, more than earning enough money to pay off all of investor Steven Rattner’s fines.

Google will give two more companies instant, overnight desirability and massive fundraising clout by being rejected as a bidder. Again.

Warren Buffett gets caught skinny-dipping on the Jersey Shore, disproving his saying that it’s only when the tide goes out that you know who’s not wearing a bathing suit.

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Can VCs Be Value Investors?

“Security Analysis” is cited by Warren Buffett as one of his top four favorite and most influential books. Written by Columbia University Professors Benjamin Graham and David Dodd, it was first published in 1934. The book is a thick tome that articulates the thesis of value investing—the analytical techniques for valuing securities and seeking to […]

Prized Watercolor of Warren Buffett Missing

No one is publicly accusing anyone of helping himself or herself to a prized 23-year-old watercolor caricature of investor Warren Buffett from the Omaha Press Club, but it’s certainly looking like that’s what has happened, alas. The painting, which portrays a wild-haired Buffett standing in a sea of money and holding a Berkshire Hathaway annual report that reads […]

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