Tuesday, August 25, 2009

All is Golden... do you really expect...

...regulators to be hard on them?


Firm Will Consider Disclosing to All Clients Information It Shared Only With Top Customers
Securities regulators are examining weekly meetings at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in which research analysts give tips to traders and then to big clients, as the Wall Street giant considers disclosing these so-called trading huddles to all its clients.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that analysts at Goldman sometimes shared with traders and key clients short-term trading tips that sometimes differed from the firm's long-term research.
Examiners at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the industry self-regulatory body known as Finra, and the Securities and Exchange Commission intend to ask Goldman for more information on these weekly get-togethers, people familiar with the matter said.
Internal documents show that at times, these short-term trading tips differed from Goldman's long-term research. Critics complain that Goldman's distribution of the trading ideas to Goldman traders and major clients hurts other Goldman customers who aren't given the opportunity to trade on the information, and may be relying on the firm's longer-term research to make investment decisions.
The huddles, and what is discussed during or after them, currently aren't disclosed in Goldman's long-term research. On Monday the firm internally discussed adding information about the service on its client Web site. Some firms, such as Morgan Stanley, also give stock ideas to clients, but disclose the service in their longer-term research and on its Web site.
The huddles highlight the new demands on research analysts as trading desks have become central drivers of profit in recent years. In a 2003 case, U.S. regulators accused firms of issuing overly optimistic research in order to win lucrative investment banking business. In a settlement of that case, Wall Street agreed to strict limitations on the dealings between bankers and stock analysts.
"I think it is unrealistic to expect firms to treat all clients equally," said Robert Glauber, former head of the National Association of Securities Dealers, the precursor agency to Finra, and a lecturer at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. "The speed, depth and detail of the advice given may be different, but there has to be limits. And the basic stock recommendation must be the same and any differences should be disclosed."

Goldman hasn't been accused of violating any securities laws in its distribution of the trading tips.

Satan says; " NO of course not... not yet!?"

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