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

Top Stories

The Fed ballet: The Federal Reserve will have its first-ever press conference Wednesday, and it will be carefully choreographed. Let's just hope that its balletic inspiration is not "Black Swan."

Warren Buffett goes to mortality camp: The Oracle is starting show signs of humanity.

Related: Some things you may not know about Warren Buffett' security detail.

Stock Markets

Project Captain America: This is the code name for Nasdaq's plan to take over the New York Stock Exchange. But it really should be called Project Cost Savings, because that's what people are worried about.


Gold bugs: Due to be exterminated by the Federal Reserve?

Related: Gold and silver keep rising to new records because of...China.

Carl Icahn: Says the New York Times can't call him old.

Bernie Madoff: An excerpt from Diana Henriques' new book on the crown prince of cons.

Bond Markets

Cat bonds: The market for catastrophe bonds - known as cat bonds - is tiny. Call them kitten bonds, we guess.

Hedge Funds

Raj Rajaratnam: A portrait of the jury that will decide the biggest insider-trading case in history.

Related: Why is this man smiling?

The Washington Matrix

Tim Geithner, surfer dude: The nation's Treasury Secretary has excellent taste in surfing locales. Half Moon Bay is beautiful. The highlight of this segment is the surfing instructor who was glad that the Secret Service was hanging around, so his car wouldn't get broken into.

Related: Geithner also likes to cook barefoot.

Recreational Reading
U.S. income inequality is growing.

Related: Rising commodity prices will make us all hungry and poor.

Related: Food prices may rise up to 4% this year. That's more than U.S. GDP, that's for sure.

The FDA: It is waging long battles against approving a lot of drugs, and investors in healthcare companies are mad as hell.

Follow Heidi N. Moore at @moorehn