Thursday, March 09, 2006

Independent Analysts and Lawsuits

Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne issued a taunting press release today, challenging a research firm to come out in the schoolyard and.... no. Wait a sec. Oh, he challenged the firm, which he is suing, to countersue him. You can read the stupid, childish thing here.

Jesse Eisinger wrote a smart column in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, mentioning the problems facing independent analysts and citing the threat posed by lawsuits such as Byrne's, which he is pursuing against Gradient Analytics and others. Joe Nocera made the same point in the New York Times a couple of weeks ago.

A week or so ago I observed that journalists were reacting weakly to the threat posed to their colleagues by SEC subpoenas. SABEW has since taken a strong stance on the subject. Might be nice to see analyst and research trade groups take a similarly principled stance when their colleagues are dragged through costly, inane litigation.


Wall Street Versus America will be published by Penguin USA on April 6.
Click here for its listing and here for more information on the book, from my web site.

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