Monday morning headlines

Stocks back on plus side: Oil prices are falling - not a lot, but enough to ease concerns about the economy. Dow is up 80 points.

Oil shipments restarting in Libya?: Hard to know exactly what's going on with production, but traders are calming down, with prices in NY hovering around $97 a barrel. (AP)

Oscar ratings dip: The awards show scored an average 25.6 rating/39 share, according to Nielsen, which is down from last year's 27.5/42. (Adweek)

Did anyone like last night's show?: Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker did the man-bites-dog bit by calling the disastrous broadcast "a happily surprising production that had its share of fine moments both planned and ad-libbed." There was quite a different take from Tina Brown on MSNBC.

Buffett is bullish: The nation's most closely followed investor says in his annual shareholders letter that "money will always flow toward opportunity, and there is an abundance of that in America." From DealBook:

Mr. Buffett said Berkshire last year spent more than $5 billion on property and equipment in the United States - more than 90 percent of the company's total expenditure - and that the overwhelming part of the company's future investment will be at home. "The prophets of doom have overlooked the all-important factor that is certain: Human potential is far from exhausted, and the American system for unleashing that potential - a system that has worked wonders for over two centuries despite frequent interruptions for recessions and even a Civil War - remains alive and effective," he wrote.

Madoff keeps talking: The imprisoned scamster is seeing a therapist and trying to figure out what happened to him. From NY magazine:

"What's most upsetting is the way the media blasted my wife and family," he said. Also, he insisted, he had been mischaracterized. He wanted to clarify his criminality, to separate it from what he saw as his legitimate career. "We made a very nice living," he said. "I didn't need the investment-advisory business. I took it on and got myself involved in it, but if you think I woke up one morning and said, 'Well, listen, I need to be able to buy a boat and a plane, and this is what I'm going to do,' that's wrong. I had more than enough money to support my lifestyle and my family's lifestyle. I allowed myself to be talked into something, and that's my fault. I thought I could extricate myself after a short period of time. But I just couldn't."

Charlie Sheen says he's underpaid: He wants $3 million an episode to return to "Two and a Half Men" (he's now making almost $2 million), and he's also threatening to sue CBS. "I'm tired of pretending like I'm not special," he tells the "Today" show. "I'm tired of pretending like I'm not bitching a total freakin' rock star from Mars," he added. "And uh, people can't figure me out, they can't process me. I don't expect them to. You can't process me with a normal brain." (The Wrap)

More by Mark Lacter:
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Amazon keeps pushing for faster L.A. delivery
Another rugged quarter for Tribune Co. papers
How does Stanford compete with the big boys?
Those awful infographics that promise to explain and only distort
Best to low-ball today's employment report
Further fallout from airport shootings
Crazy opening for Twitter*
Should Twitter be valued at $18 billion?
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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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