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Confessions of a Wall Street Analyst

By Dan Reingold

Collins, 368 pages, $25.95

By now, most people are sadly familiar with the story of Wall Street research analysts who talked up terrible companies during the 1990s stock market bubble. But Confessions of a Wall Street Analyst offers an insider's view from a somewhat different perspective. By his own account, Dan Reingold, formerly a telecom analyst for Merrill Lynch and two other big banks, wanted to do right by investors but got caught up in the hype.

Reingold never faced allegations that he had issued fraudulent research. But he, too, was duped by the accounting fraud at WorldCom Inc. Reingold describes advice he gave Sprint executives about making their company more like WorldCom at the very moment the bad news about WorldCom was breaking.

Although Reingold's policy prescriptions are somewhat rudimentary, Confessions offers a wry and rueful look at Wall Street packed with amusing sketches of his encounters with some of the tech boom's most infamous characters.


Executive comings and goings in the past week:


+ Donald Carty, former chief executive of American Airlines, as nonexecutive chairman of Virgin America, a start-up backed by Richard Branson.

+ Gerald Storch, former vice chairman of Target, as chief executive of Toys R Us.

+ Zoe Cruz and Robert Scully, as co-presidents of Morgan Stanley, after failing to strike a deal with BlackRock's chief executive, Laurence Fink.


+ Andrew Lack, as chief executive of Sony BMG Music Entertainment, who will switch jobs with the unit's chairman, Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, during management discord.

+ Wayne Inouye, as chief executive of Gateway, less than two years after being brought in to restructure the struggling computermaker.

+ Tachi Yamada, as research and development chief for GlaxoSmithKline, to take a top position with the Gates Foundation.

+ Ask Jeeves, the search engine, which will heretofore be called


The term: Net neutrality

+ In telecommunications policy, a regulation preventing Internet service providers from favoring their own content or applications over those of competitors.

+ A rule that would prevent phone and cable companies from charging, or limiting access, to Google, Yahoo, Internet phone companies, or companies offering music and video to customers over their networks.

+ According to phone and cable companies, a framework that will discourage investment in new network capacity and provide content providers with a "free lunch."

+ According to content providers, a framework that ensures the continued openness of the Internet by preventing network providers from deciding which Internet services and content their customers can receive.

+ Currently, the most hotly lobbied telecom issue.

+ An expected source for tens of millions of dollars in industry campaign contributions during this election cycle.