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jim breyer

Breyer is Managing Partner of Accel Partners, a venture capital firm based in Palo Alto, California, and a former management consultant with McKinsey & Company in New York. He is critical of the excesses of the Internet bubble years in Silicon Valley. This interview was conducted in May 2001.

Lise Buyer

She was an analyst and portfolio manager at T. Rowe Price from 1992 through 1997, then went on to become Director of Internet Research at DMG Technology Group and later Director of Internet/New Media Research at Credit Suisse First Boston Technology Group, where she worked under Frank Quattrone, head of CSFB's technology banking. She argues that the Internet bubble was a period in which "stocks stopped making sense," and that although there was a troubling shift in research standards during the boom, blame for the bubble's excesses must ultimately be shared by Wall Street, the media, and investors alike. This interview was conducted in May 2001.

Scott Ehrens

A former analyst with Bear Stearns who covered Internet stocks, he tells FRONTLINE that he doesn't agree that naïve public investors were duped by Wall Street analysts during the Internet bubble. He argues that the public was clamoring for Internet IPOs and that individual investors got hurt by spending too much time trading stocks rather than focusing on a company's long-term outlook. He also says that he "didn't give much thought" to why he never issued a "sell" recommendation. This interview was conducted in August 2001.

Bill Hambrecht

A veteran investment banker, he's the founder, chairman, and chief executive of W.R. Hambrecht & Co. The firm's innovative OpenIPO uses the Internet to allocate IPO shares to the public through a "Dutch auction" process. Hambrecht argues that the "Dutch auction" model is the best way to make the IPO allocation process "transparent" and "nonpreferential," and that it is more equitable to investors and, ultimately, more lucrative for the companies going public. In 1968, Hambrecht co-founded Hambrecht & Quist, an investment banking firm specializing in emerging high-growth technology companies. Interviewed in July 2001, he was the only investment banker who would talk to FRONTLINE during the making of "Dot Con."

Jay Hoag & Rick Kimball

Hoag and Kimball founded Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, in 1995. During the tech bubble, TCV posted over 100 percent gains in its portfolios for several years running, one of the best investing records in Silicon Valley. In mid 2000, TCV was able to attract $1.6 billion to form the largest technology venture capital fund in U.S. history. According to Fortune magazine, between 1995 and 1999 TCV lost money on only 2 out of the 76 companies in which it invested. This interview was conducted in May 2001.

Arthur Levitt

Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from 1993 to 2001, Levitt built a reputation as an outspoken critic of the conflicts of interest pervading securities analysis and of how Wall Street used the financial media and the advertising industry as conduits of stock-market hype. In this interview, conducted in May 2001, Levitt discusses how he approached the issues of analysts, the media, and advertising, and argues that Wall Street's integrity is crucial to maintaining public confidence in the financial markets.

Joseph Nocera

Executive editor at Fortune magazine and the author of A Piece of the Action: How the Middle Class Joined the Money Class (1994), Nocera discusses what he calls the "moral degradation" on Wall Street in the late 1990s, and says that "nobody" -- including Fortune and The Wall Street Journal -- "thought the party was going to end." This interview was conducted in September 2001.

David Siminoff

He is an analyst and portfolio manager for The Capital Group, which overseas The American Funds, one of the largest mutual fund families in the world. Siminoff tells FRONTLINE that the perception that institutional funds profited enormously from their IPO allocations during the Internet bubble is not entirely accurate. He argues that for large, multibillion-dollar funds, the profits from flipping IPO stocks comprised a small fraction of the funds' overall value. This interview was conducted in May 2001.

Randall Smith Susan Pulliam

Pulliam and Smith are staff reporters at The Wall Street Journal. They were the first to report on the SEC and Justice Department investigations into IPO practices, beginning with articles that appeared on Dec. 6 and Dec. 7, 2000, and they have continued to cover the story ever since. In December 2001, they reported that Credit Suisse First Boston had agreed to pay a $100 million settlement, the fifth largest in Wall Street history, to resolve the SEC's investigation into its alleged IPO abuses. Here, in interviews with FRONTLINE in August 2001 and January 2002, they discuss the current status of the investigations, the background, key players such as Frank Quattrone, and how the investigations have affected Wall Street.

Mel Weiss

A senior partner at Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP, he is a leading practitioner in the fields of securities, insurance, environmental, antitrust, and consumer litigation, often representing plaintiffs in class actions. His firm has filed 110 lawsuits against scores of companies and seven investment banks alleging IPO fraud and price manipulation. Weiss tells FRONTLINE that he believes the investment banks conspired to manipulate the market by creating an illusion of post-IPO liquidity and momentum through kickbacks and other illegal actions. This interview was conducted in May 2001.


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