peHUB First Read

* It’s payback time, as creditors are increasing leveraged loan interest rates (when  possible). Carlyle is taking a particular hit with portfolio companies like LifeCare.

* Balderton Capital backs a UK startup that allows gamblers to place bets via text message. I believe the company’s name is Enabler Inc.

* Meta travel search company has acquired rival Sidestep, which means it will take me about five fewer minutes to find the best airfare on future trips. The deal is being backed by $196 million in financing from new and existing investors. That would qualify as the largest venture round, depending on how much of it is debt and how much is actually used for the acquisition (MoneyTree excludes both).

* Chrysler keeps laying off. Probably a total of 12,000 this year in North America. This sort of thing will bite Mitt Romney in the ass, if he’s somehow able to get the GOP nomination. Not because he’s involved, but because he promotes private equity on his resume.

* The Weather Channel is for sale. Asking price: $5 billion.

* Congress plans to extend its investigation into the Bain-3Com deal.