New analyst restrictions may drive investors away

It is hard to raise much sympathy for stock-market analysts. These strange hybrid creatures — who are number-crunchers, forecasters, deal-chasers and public relations people all at the same time — are the butt of many jokes.

That does not mean we will not miss them when they are gone.

Analysts are about to get regulated out of existence. And yet, as they fade beneath the waves, there is surprisingly little debate about what they were doing in the first place, or what will replace them.

Last week, a document was published that could condemn the profession to a swift demise.

The International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), whose members are most of the world’s main securities commissions — including the

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