peHUB First Read

Some links to kick off your Wednesday:

* NYT reports what we’ve known for a while about the Clear Channel buyout: If it dies, it will be because the bankers walked away. The big change today is that Morgan Stanley et. all might actually be lacing them up this morning, which means that Bain and THL could be filing court papers before the close of business.

* CIT is preparing to sell assets, or perhaps its whole ball of wax. A little birdie has been saying for weeks that GE is the most likely buyer.

* Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page each lost $8.5 billion in paper wealth last year, but continued to take just $1 in actual salary.

* Goldman Sachs says that the credit crunch could cost Wall Street up to $460 billion. That’s called a check coming due.

* Are VCs incompentent, or just inconsiderate?

* Sovereigns from Abu Dhabi and Qatar team up for a $2 billion joint fund, which will invest beyond just the oil & gas sectors.

* HSBC banker Colin Murphy was throught to have drowned while on vacation in Peru, but it now appears that he may have been murdered.

* Finally, time for something completely different: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/w/?v=UOQ5kn8YS8k]