peHUB First Read

Cofee* Peter Rip: The coming venture capital boom.

* If you want Q4 data, we’ve got it. Click here to download a 40-page M&A review (including PE-sponsored deals and league tables) from Thomson Reuters. And if you want even more, here’s a supplement that includes detailed emerging markets data.

* Morning Call: U.S. futures point lower, Vodafone and miners help lift FTSE early, other European shares rise, Nikkei hits two-month high and Hong Kong reaches one-month mark.

* Simon Dumenco claims HuffingtonPost is only worth about $2 million, despite its $200 million valuation from venture capitalists. Rafat Ali calls bullshit.

* The SEC investigated Bernie Madoff at least eight times over the past 16 years. That almost makes it worse, doesn’t it?

* Sarah Lacy: Can individual journalists really turn their “brands” into cash?

* Top 12 techie cartoons of 2008.

* Out in the Nevada desert, gambling runs dry.

* The Economic Hope Indicators for 2009.

* Happy New Year’s, from the Fed: