Monday Links: Brass Replica, CDFI Funding, Reuters Caves?

The Wall Street Journal’s Greg Zuckerman, with a new book out on a guy who made billions betting against subprime, has an A1 story in the Journal today on a guy who made billions betting against “a repeat of the Great Depression.”

The twist? Now David Tepper is going big into commercial mortgage-backed securities. It’s a good profile, and there’s a lot of good old-style WSJ detail here:

Mr. Tepper keeps a brass replica of a pair of testicles in a prominent spot on his desk, a present from former employees. He rubs the gift for luck during the trading day to get a laugh out of colleagues.

Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism says Obama is “increasingly all hat, no cattle,” points out that the president said two months ago that he wanted to increase funds for Community Development Financial Institutions’ and credit unions’ small-business programs. But still nothing:

At 5% of risk weighted assets, the total investment in CDFI banks would be less than $600 million and less than $213 million for the credit unions (but likely significantly lower). Treasury would be making a total of $813 million in investments — that total is less than each of 31 individual financial service companies got under the TARP Capital Purchase Program.

So this is a comparatively cheap way for the Obama administration to do something to help battered communities (or cynically, blunt criticism that it is favoring well connected banksters at the expense of real people). Yet Treasury is dragging its feet. What gives?

Sounds like a story to me.

Chris Roush reports that Reuters killed a piece on SAC Capital’s Stevie Cohen by investigative reporter Matthew Goldstein after Cohen complained to top brass.

Goldstein’s story was based on documents, and was approved by Reuters lawyers. After Goldstein contacted Cohen for the pro forma no comment before the story ran, Cohen repeatedly called Devin Wenig, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Markets Division and the No. 2 executive at Thomson Reuters, to complain about the story.

Wenig passed on the complaints to Reuters Editor in Chief David Schlesinger, who asked editors to look into them. Reuters editors debated the story for three days before finally killing it.

Reuters told Roush it did so on “journalistic grounds.” Let’s hope so.

— It sometimes seems like Bloomberg has re-assembled half of the pre-Murdoch Wall Street Journal over at 58th and Lex. Today it made another good swipe: Gary Putka, who headed the recently shuttered Boston bureau, which was known for its investigative prowess.

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.