peHUB First Read

Cofee* It’s official: John Thain is a crook. Ken Lewis is an enabler.

* BreakingViews argues that both Google and Microsoft should return to basics, and dump all those noncore areas they’ve expanded into. If the tech giants follow that advice, it would be bad news for VCs in need of portfolio company acquirors.

* Morning Call: U.S. futures mixed, as everyone awaits Microsoft and Google results; European rally soured by Nokia, Nikkei up on property stocks and Hong Kong rides HSBC higher.

* 1-2 Knockout: The economy is FUBAR. The first step is acceptance…

* Obama is going to get his Blackberry, after all.

* A satellite view of inauguration day. Those things that look like ant colonies are people, usually crowded around giant speakers.

* Y Combinator bails on Cambridge.

* Economists ask Obama to “quickly extract [the government] from the investments it made to rescue the financial system.” Is that even possible at this point?

* Circuit City pulls a neat trick: Above-market prices in the midst of a liquidation.

* Former Forbes reporter Erika Brown is now flacking for Matrix Partners, and has some advice for those pitching their firm/company to folks like me. Fast forward to around the 90-second mark: