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Easy Street: April 7

Easy Street is Marketplace's morning roundup of the most interesting news stories and commentary about Wall Street, Washington and the world beyond.

Top Story

Portuguese for bailout: Portugal, like Ireland and Greece before it, asks for a bailout from the EU. It could cost up to $129 billion to save the struggling country.

Banking

You say you want a revolution: Why banks need society more than society needs banks, according to Umair Haque.

No More Questions About Quattrone:Investment banker Frank Quattrone was the premier symbol of the last tech boom, employing hundreds of bankers that helped take hundreds of dot coms public. Now, Andrew Ross Sorkin writes, Quattrone has reinvented himself for the new tech boom.

Related: So has 70-year-old investment banker Thomas Weisel.

Related: Wilson Sonsini, the favorite law firm of the tech industry, is trying to keep its head high through scandals. They don't seem to be hurting business.

Investing

Off market: Goldman tried to create a private market, but companies got bored and walked away, reports Greg Zuckerman.

Falling stock: It used to be that going public was the sign of a company that was mature and ready for life among the giants. Now an IPO is the preferred option of companies that have no other way out of their financial troubles.

Hedge funds: Many hedgies have lost their swagger since the financial crisis, including Ken Griffin of Citadel.

Related, from 2009: Hedgies were the rock stars of the financial boom until they fell to earth. Hard.

140 Investments: There is a hedge fund that plans to invest based on trends found on Twitter.[ It cannot keep up with demand, of course]

Related: The folly of trading on Twitter sentiment.

Real estate: Florida realtors have to walk into a lot of abandoned properties that are given over to decay or squatters. They're doing it with guns. Marketplace's Tracey Samuelson reports.

Commodities: Is America's bread basket empty as prices for corn and wheat rise?

The Washington Matrix

Sticks and stones: 27% of all communication by members of Congress is in the form of taunts and insults - none of which will be affected by a government shutdown.

Departing Of Rifling Through Your Personal Communication: The Department of Justice thinks it would be an unnecessary pain to get a warrant before they go through your private email messages.

The Federal Reserve: What does it do, anyway? The San Francisco Fed explains it all, in easy graphics.

Today in Questioning The Direction of Humanity

Queenie: A mild-mannered woman in Miami posed as a lawyer and embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars, which in part she hid through her virtual life on a game called YoVille.

Around the Web

Reuters has a new blog on the troublesome municipal bond markets, called Muniland.

Thanks to the New York Times' DealBook, for giving us our first shoutout.

About the author

Heidi N. Moore is The Guardian's U.S. finance and economics editor. She was formerly the New York bureau chief and Wall Street correspondent for Marketplace.

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