Wall Street: Where It Really Hurts

WALL Street for years has escaped what it dreads most: a serious attack on its integrity. Last week, when just such a blow fell, it landed where it really hurt. The staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission accused Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., the world's largest and best-known brokerage house, of practicing fraud and deceit by misusing inside information. Even though Merrill Lynch immediately protested its innocence, the charges by their very nature can only tarnish Wall Street's zealously nurtured image. That image is of a market where 24...

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