peHUB First Read

Cofee* Yesterday was the final day for comments on the SEC’s proposed rule to ban public pension funds from investing in funds that use placement agents (the proposal also would restrict investments in firms whose staffs — albeit not their staffs’ relatives — make certain types of political contributions). You can read them all here. General consensus (with lots of exception) is that the placement agent ban is far too broad, while the contribution ban is acceptible. My feelings exactly.

* Is royalty-based financing the next evolution of venture capital?

* To avoid cratering, take a lesson from the dead deals of 2008.

* Morning Call: U.S. futures point higher, London opens flat, European shares gain early, the Nikkei climbs 1.1% and Hong Kong jumps 2.1%.

* Ryan Lizza’s must-read on Larry Summers.

* One-third of bankers expect their bonuses to rise in 2009.

* It’s been one year since Sequoia Capital scared the crap out of its portfolio company CEOs — and many others in the startup community — with its RIP presentation. Mike Arrington says that either the firm’s outlook was too dour, or the cost-cutting moves proved effective. Either way, no armageddon. One addendum: The guy at Sequoia who prompted the presentation — Eric Upin — left the firm earlier this year, after failing to get an asset management unit off the ground.

* The SEC is probing PE-backed hospital chain HCA.

* Josh Kosman reports that Clear Channel could be heading toward an early debt default.

* In case you missed it, Steve Kroft sits down with Ponzi schemer Marc Dreier. His audacity is perhaps only matched by the stunning lack of due diligence by the hedge funds from which he stole millions:

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