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Work has been slow so I have been flicking through various research reports across the major houses (JPM, GS, Jefferies, Citi et al) and noticed a, to me, startling trend...plagiarism.

Somehow, and I'm not accusing anyone, paragraphs from earlier reports seem to be creeping into reports at rival banks a month later, on a word for word basis.

Am I being naive or is this common practice?

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Comments (22)

  • UFOinsider's picture

    ER has effectively been neutered on the sell side and most analysts are resigned to extrapolating much of their analysis from the same earnings reports. Public research, even good research, has become a commodity.

    Just for old times sake: FUCK ELLIOT SPITZER, ROT IN HELL YOU FUCKING BASTARD

    Get busy living

  • audemarspiguet's picture

    I've also seen BB MDs steal pages/ideas from other BB pitchbooks.

  • In reply to audemarspiguet
    oreos's picture

    audemarspiguet:
    I've also seen BB MDs steal pages/ideas from other BB pitchbooks.

    How are they getting a hold of books? Research reports are pretty public knowledge but books, due to the private info etc, tend not to be...?

    I have no doubt that ideas are stolen, it's a cheap tactic and isn't going to win you the mandate but verbatim quotes..that's a bit much surely?

    "After you work on Wall Street it's a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side." - David Tepper

  • Human's picture

    Because you have far more to lose by taking a stand against your peers.
    What "Consensus" means on Wall Street

    "I am the hero of the story. I don't need to be saved."

  • In reply to oreos
    Human's picture

    Oreos:
    audemarspiguet:
    I've also seen BB MDs steal pages/ideas from other BB pitchbooks.

    How are they getting a hold of books? Research reports are pretty public knowledge but books, due to the private info etc, tend not to be...?

    I have no doubt that ideas are stolen, it's a cheap tactic and isn't going to win you the mandate but verbatim quotes..that's a bit much surely?

    Oreos, check this: J Crew Deal, slide 18,19,21,22
    I actually use the formatting of these slides to make my work samples
    http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1051251/000...

    "I am the hero of the story. I don't need to be saved."

  • In reply to Human
    oreos's picture

    Human:
    Oreos:
    audemarspiguet:
    I've also seen BB MDs steal pages/ideas from other BB pitchbooks.

    How are they getting a hold of books? Research reports are pretty public knowledge but books, due to the private info etc, tend not to be...?

    I have no doubt that ideas are stolen, it's a cheap tactic and isn't going to win you the mandate but verbatim quotes..that's a bit much surely?

    Oreos, check this: J Crew Deal, slide 18,19,21,22
    I actually use the formatting of these slides to make my work samples
    http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1051251/000...

    Yea formatting is great and all but I'm more interested in the copying of prose rather than formats and ideas. In one case i found there was a paragraph of 5+ lines that was word for word ripped from one report (Bank A in Jan) to another (Bank B in March). And books usually only get leaked way after their relevant period.

    EDIT: to clarify on the para that was copied, it wasn't number heavy data dump, it was describing regulatory impacts and project tender timelines / capacity.

    "After you work on Wall Street it's a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side." - David Tepper

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  • Human's picture

    ^That is bad. I think it is because Analyst to Associate ratio (1 to 3 instead of 1 to 1) has gotten worse both in BB and Boutique. A friend of mine at BB has 4 people to report to and he is the only Analyst. And recently one of his senior is a recent MBA graduate, without any banking experience. That kind of make things even worse.

    And as the Analysts are not getting paid as much as before (smaller bonus), the work quality has been doing down the drain. As an overworked Analyst you are not going to be motivated to put in 100% in making new materials; instead, recycle the materials that you can find and get it done as fast as you can to catch up on sleep.

    "I am the hero of the story. I don't need to be saved."

  • Nobama88's picture

    People copy shit from others research reports all the time. I've seen this done in the real estate industry many times since I started 5 years ago. I've seen my boss literally copy and paste whole sections from other companies for his research for clients. Name of the game I guess?

  • drexelalum11's picture

    We got a big talk from compliance on this point a few weeks ago. This does happen, and it can result in multi-million dollar lawsuits. This is mostly about research reports though.

    Copying pitchbooks isn't that uncommon - they'll generally come from a banker who took his books from a prior job. It's almost impossible to get caught, and if you do doubtful anyone will care to confess they actually spent their time comparing pitchbooks (or that they had your confidential book in the first place).

  • Gate_Crasher's picture

    This whole business is based on plagiarism.
    Did you just find out about this ?

  • Working9-5's picture

    There is no need to reinvent the wheel for every ER report.

    CNBC sucks

    "This financial crisis is worse than a divorce. I've lost all my money, but the wife is still here." - Client after getting blown up

  • In reply to Working9-5
    oreos's picture

    Working9-5:
    There is no need to reinvent the wheel for every ER report.

    I'm not sure if your comprehension is poor or that you're condoning the ripping off of your rival's research...?

    "After you work on Wall Street it's a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side." - David Tepper

  • arant's picture

    In my previous shop one ER guy used models that he had ripped off from his previous shop, according to him it was easier to work as he had grown familiar with it.

    IP is just not safe anywhere I guess and ripping off is pretty common especially when ER has become so commoditized

    Simplicity is the highest form of sophistication ~ Leonardo da Vinci

  • Flake's picture

    This is why we don't even read our competitors research, which we sometimes get from our clients or the trading desk, unless it's something cray.

    It's real easy to sound the same in ER reports. There are only so many ways you can say shit like "X reported 1Q earnings of X per share, below our estimate and down year over year". You're not writing a novel and your creativity is limited.

    Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into SWANSONS.

  • In reply to Flake
    UFOinsider's picture

    Flake:
    This is why we don't even read our competitors research

    Wow, you guys are thorough over there, dayum

    Get busy living

  • In reply to oreos
    Working9-5's picture

    Oreos:
    Working9-5:
    There is no need to reinvent the wheel for every ER report.

    I'm not sure if your comprehension is poor or that you're condoning the ripping off of your rival's research...?

    Of course this doesn't apply to numbers, projections, calculations, etc. There is no need to come up with your own description of events (eg: Vladimir Putins plans for the Shtokman field, if you've seen someone elses.)

    I stand by my point. No need to reinvent the wheel for every ER report.

    CNBC sucks

    "This financial crisis is worse than a divorce. I've lost all my money, but the wife is still here." - Client after getting blown up

  • In reply to Working9-5
    oreos's picture

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  • Ravenous's picture
  • In reply to Ravenous
    UFOinsider's picture

    Get busy living

  • Steve Mallory's picture