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Write-Offs: 04.16.13

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$$$Court OKs Lehman settlements to free up $15 billion for customers [Reuters]

$$$Fed Officials Stress Need for QE After Jobs Slowdown [Bloomberg]

$$$Italy Orders Seizure of $2.35 Billion in Siena Bank Inquiry [NYT]

$$$Judge slaps Picard, OKs Madoff deal [NYP]

$$$Vanity Fair: If you had to take an eight-hour hot-rod-convertible ride with one Downton Abbey character—either the Dowager Countess, Martha Levinson, or Mrs. Patmore—whom would you take? Newt Gingrich: Mrs. Patmore would be more fun and the Dowager Countess would be a far more interesting conversationalist. I would love a ride with Mrs. Patmore and high tea with the Dowager Countess. Vanity Fair: Did you or Callista cry over Matthew’s or Sybil’s death? Which came as more of a shock? (We cried over both.) Newt Gingrich: We were so shocked by Matthew’s death—at the very moment they had achieved happiness—that we were first stunned and then teary-eyed. We loved Sybil, and in some ways her loss was even deeper than Matthew’s. [VF]

$$$Goldman, AIG and the government renew their friendship [Reuters / Unstructured Finance]

$$$Housing Starts at Highest Level Since 2008 [WSJ]

$$$Judge holds self in contempt for smartphone ringing [ABC]