Warren Buffett is looking to backstop, for a price, the municipal bond insurance business. (Alea, DealBreaker.com, Market Movers, MarketBeat)

People in the hedge fund business called January “one of the most difficult and challenging times” in recent memory. (DealBook)

How desperate are the banks to place deal-related leveraged loans? (Going Private)

Do stock prices have a memory at the daily level? (Crossing Wall Street)

Indeterminate write-offs on “extremely illiquid and untraded instruments” cause more noise than clarity. (Market Movers, NakedShorts, FT Alphaville)

Three views on the prospects for an economic recession. (Economist’s View)

Markets are putting the odds of a recession at 2 in 3. (Bespoke Investment Group)

Safe havens change from recession to recession. (Morningstar.com)

The hidden risks, i.e. financials, inherent in high dividend ETFs. (WSJ.com)

Sector-wise the Dow now looks more like the S&P 500. (IndexUniverse.com)

(O)nly 20% of hedge funds add value after fees.” (All About Alpha)

Hedge fund activism seems to equal “informed shareholder monitoring.” (Journal of Finance – .pdf)

Current losses on Wall Street are inconceivable in the age of banking partnerships. (naked capitalism)

“When we don’t step back from trading and recalibrate, we take the magic of compounding and turn it against ourselves.” (TraderFeed)

“The usual real estate refrain is location, location, location. But right now, inventory is the key to understanding the housing market.” (Calculated Risk)

Strains beginning to show in the new issue muni bond market. (FT Alphaville)

Cost cutting and SarBox have killed the big, glossy annual report. (American.com)

The reviews are in for MainStreet.com…and they are not good. (Mixed Media)

Looking through the numbers behind the rise (and lack of a fall) for Roger Clemens. (Freakonomics)

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