peHUB Second Opinion

* Tom Wolfe wrote a fictional book about Wall Street, it doesn’t make him an economist, even though it makes a nice lede for Andrew Ross Sorkin’s essay on Wall Street’s current state of affairs. I take issue, really, with only one line in the essay:

And yet, there has been a perverse, and misguided, optimism that somehow the situation will improve in the second half of 2008.

Last time I checked in with anyone on the PE end of things, no one’s betting on a sunny second half. That said, the essay is worth a read.

* I can’t get enough of the AB/InBev battle. Perhaps because I used to cover beverages. Maybe because its practically the only big M&A deal going on. Perhaps that lull is the reason for the massive amount of coverage. Either way, I particularly like Dealzone’s take on Anheuser’s defense plan. The idea that management, faced with extreme public pressure, could wave a magic wand to ward off a takeover is something I’ve seen before: in Sun Capital’s takeover of apparel maker Kellwood Company. Guess what—Sun Capital won. Can someone help me out with some examples of times management has been successful? And for how long has it lasted?

* Fortune interviews Obama and McCain on the economy.

* Sure, no one likes junk bonds right now, but Lehman, Barclays and BofA are telling investors to sell investment grade debt too?

* Light reading: Mergers & Inquisitions tells us how to spice up your farewell email.

* Speaking of unemployment, Infectious Greed tracks layoffs.