This week, the House is conducting hearings on whether analyst research on stocks is biased. I hear that next week they’re inviting some witnesses up to Capitol Hill to determine whether the Pope is Catholic. The consensus seems to be that yes, in fact, the system of analyst research is horribly biased and corrupt, but then again, you’d have to be a fool to listen to analysts anyway, right? Fortunately, investment banks are working hard to restore their credibility by adopting a code of conduct and list of best practices for analysts to follow. Unfortunately, adherence to the code of conduct is voluntary. I imagine that will turn out about as well as those voluntary pollution regulations for power plants did in Texas.