Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The All-Purpose Excuse

Hell, the White House used the 9/11 attacks to further it's nefarious agenda. Why expect anything better from one of the major brokerage houses?

Securities regulators charged Morgan Stanley DW Inc. with failing to hand over millions of e-mail messages to investigators and plaintiffs by falsely saying that the documents had been lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, according to a complaint filed yesterday.

The NASD alleged that the retail brokerage destroyed nearly 8 million electronic messages between September 2001 and March 2005, a period when documents preserved on backup tapes and on the computers of individual employees were deleted during the normal course of business.

Morgan Stanley had told regulators and plaintiffs seeking to recover money lost in disputes with company brokers over investment strategy that its computer servers had fallen victim to terror attacks in New York. Documents dated before Sept. 11 were no longer available for review, the company said. In fact, the firm had backed up its systems as of Aug. 30, according to investigators. ...

In its complaint, the NASD said Morgan Stanley was able to rebuild its e-mail system and restore 11 of its 12 computer servers within days of the attack. Even more messages remained in the inboxes of individual employees, regulators said. But by last year millions of the pre-Sept. 11 e-mails had been deleted, leaving only 500,000 for regulators to examine.

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