peHUB First Read

Some quick links to kick off your Tuesday:

* The Carlyle Group has gotten itself mixed up in an alleged kick-back scandal involving former New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, according to the NY Post.

* VentureBeat is doing some snapshot analysis (and rankings) of the companies presenting at TechCrunch40. See here and here.

* Allan Sloan takes on the carried interest tax issue in today’s Washington Post. He breaks down a key argument/fallacy on each side, before declaring his support for change.

* All take-private buyouts have been going through a phase where their lenders threaten to pull the plug. The latest is Blackstone and GE’s pending purchase of PHH Corp.