Monday, October 27, 2008

The Lamest Attempt at Regulation Ever?

When Wall Street research was revealed to have been, at least slightly, or greatly, influenced by investment banking revenues, there was a grand settlement between the investment banks and the Keystone Cops (guys who don't know how to regulate Wall Street) wherein the offending investment banks agreed to not much at all.

The intention of the crappy regulation was that investors would be protected from biased proprietary research by being spoon fed access to less biased non-proprietary research. It doesn't really matter whether that idea works in practice or not, even though it doesn't. Most individual investors don't read research - especially research that you have to click through a link to get to.

Customers like a good idea, no matter where it came from.

In any case, the following is how one of the big Wall Street firms satisfies this "independent research" requirements.

You be the judge.

"Customers of [XYZ Investment Bank] in the US can receive independent, third-party research on companies covered in this report, at no cost to them, if such research is available. Customers can access this independent research at or can call 1-800-555-orly to request a copy of this research."

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