Monday, August 24, 2009

Goldman Hit Pieces Must Be Selling Newspapers

WSJ is fronting with another Goldman is a beast story.

This piece is on how privileged clients get stock tips sooner than others. Writes WSJ:
Every week, Goldman analysts offer stock tips at a gathering the firm calls a "trading huddle." But few of the thousands of clients who receive Goldman's written research reports ever hear about the recommendations...Some Goldman traders who make bets with the firm's own money attend the meetings.
It's pretty much of a non-story in my book. As anybody who has worked on the street for more than three days knows, information is not always delivered via Chairman Mao's equality for all Little Red Book formula. This kind of stuff has been going, well, forever. Some firms are more aggressive at this semi-shady stuff, with Goldman apparently leading the pack, while there are other firms who play it straight.

Of note, in the piece, it is mentioned more than once that when a Morgan Stanley analyst has a change in opinion, it is emailed to all clients simultaneously. Is Morgan Stanley leaking to WSJ or is it just dumb luck that WSJ is focusing on a Goldman move where MS is playing it Boy Scout style? Excerpts from the WSJ piece do make for a nice MS marketing piece in the context of Goldman's priviled dissemination:

At least one competitor discloses such trading tips much more broadly. Morgan
Stanley's research department sends blast emails with short-term views onvarious stocks to thousands of clients, and posts the information on its Web site. It doesn't call customers to convey the tips, because Morgan Stanley officials decided that could expose the firm to questions about selective disclosure, according to people familiar with the matter.

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