After months of back-and-forth negotiations, it appears securities regulators next week will finally unveil terms of a $1.4 billion settlement of their probe into Wall Street's unsavory business practices.
People familiar with the negotiations say the final settlement documents could be made public at a press conference on either Tuesday or Wednesday. The
Securities and Exchange Commission
, which must formerly sign off on the settlement, is expected to take up the matter early next week.
The agreement will contain few surprises. Regulators outlined the broad parameters of the agreement last December, including the dollar figures of the fines and penalties to be paid by the 10 securities firms that will be covered by the agreement.
Two firms that were part of the tentative agreement,
Thomas Weisel Partners
, are not expected to be included in the final agreement. The investigations against them will be settled at a later date.
The most anticipated part of the settlement will be internal brokerage emails that are likely to include damaging information about the research practices at Wall Street firms. The settlement stems from last year's wide-ranging investigation into conflicts of interest between Wall Street investment bankers and stock analysts.
The final agreement, which will be filed with a federal court in Washington, are expected to reserve the harshest language for three firms:
and Credit Suisse First Boston, a division of
Credit Suisse Group
. Regulators are expected to charge each of those firms with committing at least one count of securities fraud.
Other firms, such as
, will face a series of lesser charges that include allegations of violations of either state or NASD rules and regulations.