This Is Serious

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We all know that there are potentially life-ruining consequences to Lehman Brothers failing. Employees will lose their jobs, shareholder will lose (a lot of) their money, Dick Fuld will fall down an emotional hole, and Erin Callan, who's probably taking pleasure in all of this right now, will get all guiltily woman-ish about it and start telling people she never wanted to see it come to this and maybe it was all her fault. But the collateral damage spreads further than any of us had anticipated. I'm talking, of course, about The Analysts.
It's a time honored tradition for analysts who have no idea what they're talking about to make bold calls on companies. For instance, just a year ago, three sell-side A's had price targets of "the infinity symbol" on Bear Stearns. They don't care if they're wrong, so long as they appear to have sack-dangling convictions. In one fell-swoop--and we mean FELL swoop--Lehman Brothers has obliterated that practice.
This morning, as you know, Merrill Lynch analyst Guy Moszkowski has changed his rating on LEH from "neutral" to "no opinion," taking a break from the typical buy/sell/hold troika of customary choices and invoking the rarely used fourth option. The flood gates have opened. We have it on good authority that Mike Mayo is changing his rating to TFC ("Totally fucking clueless"), Meredith Whitney to P-FUBAR BWK ("Probably Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition But Who Knows"). Up until now, Meredith always claimed to know.
We also hear that upon learning of Moszkowski's break with tradition, Ladenburg analyst Dick Bove sent out an email to his sell-side rivals entitled "Oh No She Di'int" and attached a desperate plea. "We cannot let these pig men change who we are, girls. I am calling an emergency meeting of the Cosmo Crew for a bitch-fest and strategizing sesh, TONIGHT." We pray it's not too late.
Related: Citigroup Treading On This Ice With Landenburg Analyst

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