Blackrock-BGI is a done deal.  (DealBook, 24/7 Wall St., Economist)

Is the combined Blackrock too big for its own good?  (IndexUniverse, ibid)

Is the top now in for the ETF business?  (Howard Lindzon)

Using call options on the oil tanker stocks as “super high-beta plays on oil.”  (Barron‘s)

Some weird stuff is going on with the United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG).  (FT Alphaville also Sentiment’s Edge, StockTwits Blog)

Should we believe what the transportation stocks are telling us?  (Marketwatch, WSJ)

The ag stocks are outperforming the actual commodities.  (greenfaucet)

The lure of the carry trade is strong.  (WSJ)

The seemingly high correlation of the VIX and Nouriel Roubini sightings.  (VIX and More)

You need to look at more than just the VIX to get a picture of volatility.  (Daily Options Report)

New Zealand-base hedge funds had a good 2008.  (WSJ)

Paulson & Co. reverses course and is buying distressed debt and mortgage-backed securities.  (Bloomberg)

How to find yield in a low yield environment(WSJ)

“I have to wonder if the excitement surrounding high yield is any different than the widely celebrated string of IPOs that, after strong debuts, were criticized as too hopeful.”  (peHUB)

That was quite a jump in mortgage rates last month.  (Bespoke)

Is it time to be worried about the rise in interest rates?  (Megan McArdle)

Governments have never borrowed so much in peacetime. Their huge debts will shape the world economy for a decade.”  (Economist)

“The long bond has plummeted 10 percent in price in the last month alone. The patience of many foreign investors is already strained. Some may soon reach their limit.”  (Breakingviews)

“The Federal Reserve now finds itself in a box.”  (WashingtonPost)

The Citigroup (C) pricing anomaly continues.  (Infectious Greed)

“What will Citi look like in 2015?”  (Rick Bookstaber)

Any additional stress tests should focus on the very largest banks.  (Rortybomb)

The new “compensation czar” Kenneth Feinberg has an impossible job.  (Deal Journal)

Has the growth rate in mortgage delinquencies slowed?  (24/7 Wall St., Clusterstock)

The Black Swan is dead.  Long live the Yellow Lobster!  (Clusterstock)

Measuring the drop in US household wealth from the peak.  (Calculated Risk, Hit & Run, CNNMoney, Free exchange)

Households with mortgages have about 20% equity.  (Calculated Risk)

Are people more rational than the behavioral economists claim?  (Clusterstock)

“Unwillingness to countenance the possibility that market prices might be wildly wrong defined the behavior of regulators, corporate executives and most Wall Streeters during both the tech-stock and real estate bubbles.”  (Time)

“So, anonymity has its uses, as does identity, and pseudonymity has some of the advantages and disadvantages of each.”  (Market Design via zerobeta)

Is nothing sacred?  Your company-issued cellphone is now a taxable benefit.  (WSJ)

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