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Table: The Out-of-Towners' Drawbacks


Some 40 states are probing a dozen Wall Street firms. Will the investigations result in an effective crackdown or a logistical mess? Among their major hurdles:

LACK OF EXPERTISE

Few state officials know much about Wall Street. They head commissions designed to prosecute small-time stock fraud.

WEAK COORDINATION

Organizing the probe, which involves millions of documents, will be a huge logistical task.

DIVERGENT GOALS

Each state has its own agenda and its own view of what's wrong with Wall Street. That could make it tough to agree on the scope of the probe and on appropriate penalties.


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