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May 31, 2003

Missed opportunity

Spitzer's settlement didn't settle much

Global settlement. It conjures up grand images of finality on a worldwide scale. But the US regulators' $1.4 bn settlement with Wall Street investment banks is about as global as the World Series and as settled as the weather at a UK seaside resort – not 'very' on either count. Given that it is widely accepted in the financial community that a large chunk of analyst research is misleading or lacking in independence in some shape or form, the long-awaited settlement is vague and does

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