It's confession time: I've been a fan of Sallie Krawcheck since her Sanford Bernstein days. Under her leadership, it was one of the few Wall Street firms that realized an "independent" research department was not independent if it took its marching orders from the investment banking side. Krawcheck knew that the only thing a research firm has to sell is its reputation for honesty, integrity and intelligence. She guarded Sanford's reputation like a mother lion. When then-New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer sued to create a true Chinese wall between the research and banking sides of the biggest financial firms, Bernstein emerged unscathed in no small part due to Krawcheck's principled stand.
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