Learning to Trust an Analyst Again

Tim Mullaney

Tim Mahon is back on the sell side of the IPO market. If that name isn't familiar, Mahon's unintended legacy may be. At Credit Suisse First Boston, Mahon wrote an e-mail that became a kind of minor classic of the late-1990s genre of analysts hemming and hawing and finding any way available not to say nasty things about investment banking clients that happened to be bad investments. In a note to a colleague, Mahon urged the other analyst to consider doing what became known as "the Agilent two-step:" You put a buy recommendation on the banking client's stock in public, but in private you tell institutional trading clients to stay away.

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