Monday, February 03, 2003

Midday Musings-This is a funny headline-"Al Pacino still a BO draw." Who's armpits was he competing against? Does his foe have enough stink left to win in overtime? He might have good tackles and centers, but no one wants a right guard in this contest. On a more somber note, I can hear Elliot Spitzer salivating over this one-you’ve got a Credit Suisse First Boston broker, Frank Quattrone, who might be the poster boy for investment banking malfeasance
As an investment banker, Quattrone, 47, had the unusual position of head of CSFB's team of technology stock analysts. He is accused of failing to prevent conflicts of interest that occurred when analysts issued favorable research reports on companies that were investment-banking clients of CSFB. The NASD also is alleging that Quattrone was involved in distributing IPO shares to Silicon Valley executives whose companies did investment-banking business with CSFB. The practice, known as "spinning," recently was outlawed by federal regulators. Critics have said it gave corporate executives an unfair advantage in the IPO market while shutting out small investors. Quattrone is said to have personally directed some IPO shares to so-called "Friends of Frank" accounts.
Can you say "conflict of interest," boys and girls? I'm printing up a copy of that piece to hand out to my Investment students tomorrow. The general strike in Venezuela ended with a wimper, with the anti-Chavez forces moving along constitutional lines rather than mob force; they're gathering two million signatures to force early elections.

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