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Cofee* Quote of the Day, from an attorney at the Tulane M&A Conference (courtesy of Dealbook): An M&A deal is “like a birth. It’s the moment of conception. It’s exciting. It always holds so much promise. Of course, the kid can turn out to be a disaster later.”

* Michael Mandel: The Reverse Black Swan, Part 1

* Morning Call: U.S. futures slide on pending jobs report, European shares lower at mid-day, the Nikkei hits 3-month closing high and Hong Kong does the same.

* Sign of the Times: 2009 Milken Conference offering 15 free tix to “recently unemployed individuals.” Painful part is that the application requires contact information for the person who fired you.

* Speaking of free tickets, here’s a chance for a first-time entrepreneur to attend the invite-only Nantucket Conference (where I’ll be moderating a VC panel). Good luck.

* When a company files for an IPO, it had a hard time admitting defeat. Paul’s got a list of the 20 longest gaps between IPO filing and IPO withdrawal.

* Top 10 things that “GM” stands for.

* Capital crunch squeezes out politeness among VC firms.

* VC-backed bust: Codon Devices

* Buyout-backed bust: Big 10 Tire

* A telling example of anti-regulation chic gone by, as remembered in one of Enron’s final ads (h/t Josh Marshall):

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