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Poll: Wall St. Research Panned

Wall Street analysts come in for quite a pounding in Light Reading's August Research Poll. Results so far indicate that many people have a low opinion of analysts, considering them overpaid and over-influenced by the sales side of the investments banks for which they typically work.

When asked about analysts' stock picking ability, a full 59 percent of respondents checked "We'd be better off with monkeys throwing darts."

Not surprisingly, 53 percent of respondents also say that Wall Street research is "largely mediocre," while a further 27 percent go further and say it's "terrible" and has "led the entire industry astray."

Blame seems to fall on conflicted interests: A full 88 percent of the first 76 respondents say there should be a legal separation between analysts and other divisions in the investment banks they often work for.

What's more, 87 percent think there should be no link between analyst pay and banking or brokerage fees. And 67 percent think the fact that Wall Street analysts often work for investment banks "makes all of their opinions worthless."

The multimillion-dollar payments made to top analysts during the bubble years are viewed as "outrageous" by 55 percent of respondents. Only 3 percent consider this "totally in reason."

The results aren't surprising. The industry downturn has focused attention on Wall Street analysts and their role in the hypefest that preceded the fall (see Cool Hand Vik and Jack Grubman Goes).

To take the poll and view the latest results, click here.

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com

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