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Federal Judge Bars Instant Publishing of Analysts' Stock Tips 133

An anonymous reader writes "Big Banking firms Barclay's Capital, Morgan Stanley, and Merrill Lynch successfully obtained an injunction against, Inc., preventing them from immediately publishing the firms' stock upgrades and downgrades. This case could have far-reaching consequences concerning internet communication and publication of news." Here's some interesting analysis from Paul Levy, via Dave Farber's Interesting People list.
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Federal Judge Bars Instant Publishing of Analysts' Stock Tips

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  • No, insider trading (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gr8_phk ( 621180 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:55PM (#31545776)
    It's not a trade secret when you share ratings with your clients several hours before you release information to the public. From TFA:

    This time frame preserves incentives for the firms to create and disseminate research reports to their investor clients, while still recognizing the inevitable, fast-moving, and widespread informal communication of recommendation on Wall Street.

    Obviously these reports will affect prices, so you tell clients, wait a bit so they can react, and then tell the public. That's market manipulation plain and simple. A more fair ruling would say they have to release the reports publicly at the same time they tell their clients. But then this is a Manhattan federal judge who knows who he works for ;-)

  • Comment removed (Score:3, Interesting)

    by account_deleted ( 4530225 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @08:20PM (#31546012)
    Comment removed based on user account deletion
  • Re:Hm. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @08:23PM (#31546028)
    Hmm, that's right as long as you substitute players with "swindling con artists" and gamblers with "individual investors." They don't both have legitimate arguments because the players are doing things which should be illegal. Shenanigans like buying stock with full knowledge of what it will be in the future and trading stocks through methods that aren't on the market so that they can get different prices than are available to the rest of us.

    That's basically how hedge funds work, since they cannot get a better yield without additional risk without cheating, they cheat. And to the detriment of everybody that plays by the rules. There are exceptions, but by and large the more clever the methods advertised, the further away you should run from and investment firm. Everything is crafted so as to screw over the outsiders.
  • Re:Trade Secrets? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @08:40PM (#31546150)

    Remember when that Hulk film from 2003 blamed the internet and texting for ruining opening it's weekend?

    Will movie studios now ask for opening weekend injunctions on news sites too from reporting on plot/story and whether it sucks or not, before most theater-goers had a chance to watch it?

    I mean, while we limit freedom of press for business concerns, we might as well see what other industries would like.

  • Re:No (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @08:41PM (#31546158)

    It is also worth bearing in mind that the Recommendations are not objective facts, but rather, subjective judgments

    The fact that person X has indicated opinion Y, is an objective fact.

    If I tell you that I think Obama's approval rating will go up by 3.68% next week. Then your first ammendment right guarantees you can tell your friends "Mysidia thinks Obama's approval is going up 3.68% next week"

    etc, etc.

    That's not to say I can't claim copyright to my words, or that you could reproduce my statement exactly for that purpose, without infringing on copyrights.

    But there is this matter: when a person is a public figure, or an organization is a large corporate entity, whose every word is of public concern --- then the fact they expressed an opinion, is an objective fact, that should fully enjoy the ironclad protection of free speech rights provided by the 1st amendment of the US constitution.

  • Comment removed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by account_deleted ( 4530225 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @08:43PM (#31546172)
    Comment removed based on user account deletion

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson