peHUB First Read

* We’re less than two weeks away from peHUB Across America, with more than 850 tickets already sold. They cost just $10, so get your’s today!

* Leveraged Sellout on layoff season.

* GE is selling its appliance unit, but PE firms aren’t among the rumored buyers.

* Eric Savitz live-blogs Gates and Ballmer at the D conference. Oh, and he seems to have found an even better schwag bag than what I got at VC in the Rockies.

* The last days of Bear Stearns: Fear & Rumors.

* BCE gets a small victory, as the Canadian Supreme Court is fast-tracking its case.

* Blackstone’s Asia hedge fund is set to begin operations in October.

* Foundry Group partner Jason Mendelson has started his own blog, after spending the past few years moonlighting over at Brad Feld’s place. We like Jason, and will keep a close eye on what he has to say.

* Turnaround firm MatlinPatterson makes a big bet on homebuilder Standard Pacific.

* THL Credit Partners is targeting $800 million for its first fund, which works out to around $2.5 billion with leverage.

* WallStrip interview with Tumblr founder David Karp:[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/w/?v=DK4pLXWkgMw]