peHUB First Read

Some links to kick off your Thursday:

* In case you haven’t already heard, Microsoft is investing $240 million for a 1.6% equity stake in Facebook. Yeah, your math is correct if you got a $15 billion valuation. Plenty of more links on this over at TechMeme, where it will probably be the top story all day.

* Could buyout firms stop using investment banks?

* The U.S. Department of Energy has launched an “entrepreneur-in-residence” program, to help commercialize alternative energy research within the agency.

* The Biggest Loser, Wall Street style.

* 3,000 job cuts at Bank of America.

* A court-approved examiner slams Collins & Aikman Corp.’s bankruptcy advisors.