peHUB First Read

Cofee* Blackstone Group managing director Ramesh Chakrapani has been sued by the SEC for insider trading. He worked in Blackstone’s advisory business, not its private equity group, but the allegations do involve a boomtime buyout deal: The 2006 acquisition of supermarket chain Albertsons by Supervalu and Cerberus.

* Felix Salmon throws cold water on the suggestion that tax troubles will derail Tim Geithner’s nomination.

* Morning Call: U.S. futures point to continued losses, FTSE slips on HSBC fears, rest of Europe also sags, Nikkei and Hong Kong edge higher.

* Kirsner learns who’s now living in Charles Ponzi’s old digs.

* A handy guide to Citi’s deal with Morgan Stanley.

* S&P writes the following, in regards to keeing U.S. credit at a “AAA” rating: “The rating (for the U.S.) was affirmed despite our judgment that fiscal risk has noticeably increased as we expect that the fiscal deterioration will be temporary.” (h/t Kedrosky)

* A British porn filter bans the Internet Wayback Machine. Now that’s just obscene…

* Obama doesn’t want to live up hisd Blackberry, so CNet has delved into his options.

* MIT says goodbye to large lecture classes.

* Mid-market M&A fell in 2008, but not by as much as did larger-market M&A.

* Ben Bernanke doing Q&A yesterday at the London School of Economics: