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WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Robert Benmosche spent the better part of his week in "no-fair" mode. Torn right from the middle school/Wall Street playbook, "no-fair" mode involves a whole lot of whining about how no one understands you.

In Benmosche's case, it was Wall Street analysts who don't get


(AIG) - Get American International Group, Inc. Report

. On the surface -- actually, even down deep -- Benmosche's bleating sounds ridiculous. And it is. But it is also very instructive for amateur investors.

In reporting on Benmosche's week,

The Wall Street Journal

uses his behavior as a starting point to offer amateur investors a good primer on Benmosche's motivations, as well as Wall Street lingo.




missed the opportunity.

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Here's the deal: Later this year, another large batch of the government's AIG stock will be offered. Aware that Wall Street will be tussling over the resulting investment banking business, Benmosche is trolling for good coverage.

Quid pro quo

: That's how Wall Street rolls. Of course, Benmosche won't come out and say it -- but it's all between the lines, as

The Wall Street Journal

points out. It's also why you can't take Wall Street research too seriously. Wall Street always claims the existence of a so-called "Chinese Wall," or invisible barrier, between investment banking and research?

But please.

Benmosche seems to have little reason to complain. Out of 15 analysts covering AIG, four have buy ratings and 11 have holds. There's not a sell in the lot. But as

The Wall Street Journal

takes the occasion to point out -- and the others skip over -- Wall Street analysts live in fear of offending companies (See: the investment banking dance above.) As such, "hold" often translates into "sell."

At the time of publication, Fuchs had no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this column.

Marek Fuchs was a stockbroker for Shearson Lehman Brothers and a money manager before becoming a journalist who wrote The New York Times' "County Lines" column for six years. He also did back-up beat coverage of The New York Knicks for the paper's Sports section for two seasons and covered other professional and collegiate sports. He has contributed frequently to many of the Times' other sections, including National, Metro, Escapes, Style, Real Estate, Arts & Leisure, Travel, Money & Business, Circuits and the Op-Ed Page. For his "Business Press Maven� column on how business and finance are covered by the media, Fuchs was named best business journalist critic in the nation by the Talking Biz website at The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Fuchs is a frequent speaker on the business media, in venues ranging from National Public Radio to the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Fuchs appreciates your feedback;

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