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peHUB First Read

Cofee* Most mega-buyout firms are still loathe to reduce their bloated fund sizes, but TPG Capital continues to do right by its investors. After making a small cut to its general fund last month, TPG has now chopped 25% off of a $6 billion vehicle focused on distressed financial opportunities. Its explanation, in part, is that U.S. government involvement in troubled industries leaves less opportunity for private equity.

* VC-backed Cash4Gold is allegedly bribing critics to lay off (or at least lower their Google exposure). Wonder if it’s offering greenbacks or gold bouillon.

* Morning Call: U.S. futures are up, FTSE up in mid-day trading, the Nikkei rises on a softer yen and China stocks fuel a Hong Kong rally.

* BlackRock launches an alternatives fund-of-funds for pensions. Has someone over there been on sabbatical for the past 12 months? Ditto for this piece on Fannie Mae.

* Shasha Dai writes that Obama’s pay caps could cause retention problems for private equity arms of investment banks. But two caveats: (1) There aren’t that many of those groups left anymore; (2) It’s unclear if Obama’s plan would cap carried interest, which is now a fairly common form of comp at I-bank PE arms.

* MarketWatch needs a new copy editor.

* Megan McArdle: The recession will challenge Cosco’s business model.

* Neel Kashkari on the market crisis and asset relief: