Buy! (I Need the Bonus)

A widening probe of stock analysts shows how they have long played average investors for chumps

Inside Salomon Smith Barney, analysts date the cultural shift in the research department to 1997, when parent company Travelers Group bought Salomon Brothers and married that firm with its focus on institutions and investment banking to retail-driven Smith Barney, which Travelers (now Citigroup) also owned. Suddenly, "earning money the old-fashioned way" made a far better ad campaign than corporate game plan. "The Salomon guys were a little faster with the rules and more focused on investment banking," says a longtime member of Smith Barney's research team. That's when big money started flying toward analysts at the firm who could help reel...

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