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Wheels within wheels in Washington


Richard Baker: a
critic of Fannie
and Freddie

It's still legal for investors in US markets to make a buck by trading on inside information but the Securities&Exchange Commission certainly made the technique quite a bit harder when it adopted Regulation Fair Disclosure in 2000.

No longer can public companies curry favour with elite analysts on Wall Street by tipping them off to market-moving news before anybody else sees it. The old way of talking to the markets is out.

But one throwback is alive and well on the banks of the Potomac, where a combination of political adroitness and financial savvy can reap rewards thanks to informed speculation emanating from goings-on in Congress and elsewhere, according to Charles Gabriel, Jr of Prudential Securities. As a 19-year practitioner of the black art of Washington-based political risk forecasting and analysis, Gabriel knows what he's talking about.

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