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Write-Offs: 03.19.12

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$$$As Cash Move Shows, Apple CEO Goes His Own Way [WSJ]

$$$ Mets owners reach a settlement with Madoff trustee whereby they pay $162mm, or receive $16mm, depending how you count [NYT]

$$$Deutsche Börse to sue Brussels over NYSE block [FT]

$$$S&P Volatility Falls Most Since FDR as Valuations Sink [Bloomberg]

$$$ Daniel Boulud made a meter-long ham sandwich festooned with miniature French flags for Jerry Lewis's 86th birthday [NYP]

$$$ Want to move to Texas? Highland Capital Management is looking to fill several positions in Dallas, including a distressed investments senior analyst and a director of credit [DBCC]

$$$Swaps squad to oversee $300tn US market [FT]

$$$ "Although our understanding of what instigated the 2008 global financial crisis remains at best incomplete, there are a few widely agreed upon contributing factors. One of them is a 2004 rule change by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that allowed investment banks to load up on leverage. This disastrous decision has been cited by a host of prominent economists, including Princeton professor and former Federal Reserve Vice- Chairman Alan Blinder and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz. It has even been immortalized in Hollywood, figuring into the dark financial narrative that propelled the Academy Award-winning film Inside Job. ... There’s just one problem with this story line ..." Can you guess what it is? [Bethany McLean / Reuters]

$$$ "Does March Madness Lead to Irrational Exuberance in the NBA Draft? High-Value Employee Selection Decisions and Decision-Making Bias." Actually, the exuberance is rational. [NBER]

$$$ Today in standardized-test-taking stunts: The SAT is no CFA Level 1 [Deadspin]

$$$ "STAMFORD - A city man who woke up late following a night of drinking, called police Sunday night at 7 p.m. to report that his car had been stolen, police said. The resident of 121 Towne Road said he came home early in the morning Sunday and parked his car in his parking garage. When he went out to check on the vehicle shortly before 7 p.m. he realized the car gone and appeared to be stolen, Sgt. Simon Blanc said. After police searched the area for the car, the vehicle was found locked and parked at Fairway Market, about 200 yards from his home, Blanc said." [Stamford Advocate]