peHUB First Read

CofeeThe top U.S. IPOs of 2008. Don’t worry, it won’t take long to read.

* Making the case that zero need not be the lower bound for nominal interest rates.

* Morning Call: U.S. futures mixed, European shares higher on banks and commodities, FTSE up early, Hong Kong rises 4.6 percent.

* Crackpot Russian professor (and popular television pundit, natch) predicts disintigration of USA in 2010. Alaska would return to Russian rule under this scenario, which raises the obvious question: Would Sarah Palin get a Kremlin post?

* For the record: The BoA/Merrill and Wells/Wachovia mergers have closed.

* A chronological look at the key events and stories from the 2008 venture capital market. (sub req)

* Peter Schiff vs. Peak Oil in 2008.

* Evite failed on New Year’s Eve.

* From the “But isn’t that you job?” department: The Financial Stability Oversight Board — whose members include Bernanke, Cox and Paulson — acknowledges “difficulties associated with monitoring the use of specific funds.”

* Speaking of which: Who will be the next Neel Kashkari? 

* How small businesses try to weather the recession: