NEW YORK: Merrill Lynch jarred the securities industry last week by
barring its stock analysts from buying shares of the companies they
"This is a result of investor concerns," said Susan McCabe, Merrill
Lynch spokesperson. "We wanted to remove any doubt or perception that
The new rule will affect 20% of Merrill Lynch's 600 analysts. Employees
were alerted to the policy change via e-mail on the same day that
Merrill Lynch issued a press release detailing its new policy.
Lou Thompson, president and CEO of the National Investor Relations
Institute, called the firm's action "a move in the right direction."
Thompson said he believes that Merrill Lynch, like the rest of the
securities industry, is taking steps to avoid government regulation.