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Write-Offs: 05.31.11

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$$$House Prices Fall to New Post-Bubble Low as More Rent (NYT)

$$$Consumer confidence drops in May (Reuters)

$$$ House Set to Reject Debt Ceiling Hike Democrats Dismiss as “Political Charade” (ABC)

$$$ Bernie Madoff Is Ruining Divorces Now, Too (Daily Intel)

$$$Obama names Bryson as commerce chief (WaPo)

$$$ Primary Global Shuts Offices, but Says It’s Still Open (Dealbook)

$$$Spain Cuts Budget Deficit in Half (WSJ)

$$$Goldman shares climb on JPMorgan upgrade (Reuters)

$$$Ex-Galleon trader presents no defense at NY trial (Reuters)

$$$ A Securities and Exchange Commission worker gave investors false and misleading information about an alleged Ponzi scheme that could have hindered investigation of a fraud in which he also was a victim, the agency’s watchdog said. The employee, based at SEC headquarters in Washington, shared nonpublic information with several investors during the SEC’s investigation and litigation of the case, SEC Inspector General H. David Kotz said in his semiannual report to Congress released today. The report didn’t identify either the SEC employee or the firm accused of conducting the fraud. Kotz opened his probe in February after a senior official said the employee had contacted fellow investors and told them that the company was legitimate and that investors “would be receiving considerable sums of money,” according to the report. (Bloomberg)

$$$Falcone Venture Said Weighing Deal With AT&T (Bloomberg)

$$$RBS moves to tap into Chinese IPO market (FT)

$$$ Muni-Bond Group Bans Dual Adviser-Underwriter Roles (WSJ)

$$$Asian Markets Draw Private-Equity Sales (WSJ)

$$$Buyout Firms Morphing Into Asset Managers as Takeovers Dwindle (Bloomberg)

$$$Lehman Presses Big Banks on Derivatives Settlement (WSJ)

$$$Is bond trading dying? (Reuters)

$$$ Apple's Jobs to Unveil iCloud Service (WSJ)

$$$ Japan pensioners volunteer to tackle nuclear crisis (BBC)

$$$Sarah Palin, Donald Trump To Meet In New York City Tuesday Night (ABC)