You know that gray line that sometimes separates "expert advice" from the crime of insider trading? It's about to get a lot darker. The feds are wrapping up what the Wall Street Journal describes as a huge three-year investigation expected to bring an unprecedented array of charges against everyone from consultants and analysts to investment bankers and hedge fund managers.
Authorities have been unraveling a savvy network that's grown adept (and very rich) in figuring out ways to get non-public information into the hands of traders who can act on it. The practice often occurs under the guise of so-called "expert network" services, and a whole host of companies has sprung up to arrange meetings between managers or ex-managers in a particular field and those information-hungry traders. And as with any good Wall Street investigation, there's a Goldman Sachs component: Bankers allegedly leaked information about health care mergers and other deals to investors, notes the Journal.