Channel checking firm Broadband Research CEO John Kunnican was on CNBC earlier and summarized in a few simple sentences the whole topology of precisely how Wall Street works: "It's impossible to be an analyst on Wall Street unless you have an expert network. I know that my contacts at these private companies are having lunch on a regular basis with analysts from Jefferies and Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs and what not and I get forwarded the research reports from these banks, and frankly it's a little bit intimidating. I say- geez, i thought i had pretty good contacts but I can't compete." And there you have it - a quid pro quo world, in which inside information (in some case blatant such as when dealing with Phase 1,2,3 trials, or borderline, such as aggregating channel check launch data contemporaneously from all Apple stores) is bartered among the "informational arbitrage" elite on Wall Street, and in which the retail investor has zero chance of competing on a fair basis. And this does not even touch on any of the much more discussed "high barrier to entry" topics such as High Frequency Trading. If after all the disclosures on Zero Hedge over the past two years (which eventually tend to be picked up by the MSM no matter how crazy at first they sound) investors still believe they have a chance to make an honest dollar, when everything is stacked against them, even and especially the regulators, they sure have our blessings and condolences. As for John, good luck finding a new career. Hopefully the clients to whom you showed such exemplary allegiance will put you on their payroll for at least a few months. Furthermore, now that the expert network business model is finally in the open, expect ultra low margin Indian companies to outsource the rolodex offshore, where it is even less regulated, providing their consultants even greater commission, and putting all existing "expert networks" out of a job. That is, of course, unless the SEC, the FBI, or the DA do so first.