peHUB First Read

* Nicholas Carson goes deep into Facebook’s founding.

* Private equity firms cheer the return of the “staple.” Critics justifiably shudder.

* Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer: We’re “betting our company” on the cloud. The cloud, meanwhile, declined comment.

* Steve Schwarzman argues against placement agent bans (sure it’s self-serving, but it’s also the correct position). My only quibble is that I wish Schwarzman would have called out corrupt PE pros alongside “corrupt political hacks.” After all, wouldn’t PE pros be the “players” in his baseball/steroids analogy?

* Morning Call: U.S. futures rise ahead of monthly jobs report, London rises early, European shares keep climbing, the Nikkei gains 0.3% and Hong Kong shares slip.

* Matt Taibbi vs. Rick Santelli

* Jerry Colonna: What I learned by eating Oreos

* Want to buy Wall Street via an eBay auction? It will only cost you $125k.

* Power Players: 50% of successful social game invites come from 10% of users

* Tweet of the Day: @NathanielMc Love it: “google before you tweet is the new think before you speak”

* Vinod Khosla discusses his investment outlook

* T. Boone Pickens on Americans not embracing natural gas: “The dumbest people in the world”

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