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Write-Offs: 12.22.10

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$$$How Merrill Lynch Traders Helped Blow Up Their Own Firm [ProPulica]

$$$ A lawsuit filed against Phil Falcone charges that the investor took advantage of his position in engineering a stock swap between his hedge fund and a small publicly traded company that he also controls. Harbinger Group Inc (HRG.N), a holding company with little more than $100 million in cash on its balance sheet, is paying too much for the assets of Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc (SPB.N), which sells pet care products and small appliances like the George Foreman grill, the lawsuit charges. [Reuters]

$$$Bond Fund Investors Pull Most In 2 Years [Bloomberg]

$$$ Deep Fried Holidays-- who can resist? [WSJ]

$$$Blackstone tries to sniff out party leaker [Fortune]

$$$Alcoholics May Stop at One Drink With Help From Lundbeck Pill [Bloomberg]