Chakravarty, Subrata N.
June 2003
Investment Dealers' Digest;6/16/2003, Vol. 69 Issue 24, p28
Trade Publication
Instant messaging, which might be described as an electronic chat in the hallway, has profound implications for Wall Street, whose ubiquitous use of e-mails over the past few years provided the smoking gun for regulators in their investigation of analyst conflicts-of-interest. Indeed, instant messaging-which unlike e-mail is almost impossible to track electronically-could become the next generation of electronic tools to burrow through the Chinese wall that is supposed to separate investment banking from research. Individuals download instant messaging software for free from the Internet, and people must have the same software to communicate with each other. Nielsen/NetRatings, a Milpitas, California-based Internet research firm, estimates 16.4 million unique users of the three major programs used instant messaging at work in April 2003.


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