Just in case people believe that the 2002 Global Research Settlement took the conflicts of interest out of research I present this lovely chart from our friends at ZeroHedge.
This chart shows how analysts change their earnings projections over time. During economic turbulence, these guys have to adjust downward meaning that they did not see it coming. Please see 2001 and 2008 for really good examples. Of course they also do not see the recoveries coming either and must adjust higher on the fly as in 2003.
The real interesting information from this chart is that 13 of the 18 years slope downward showing an initial bull bias on which stock is sold to be later downgraded after all those muppets have bought whatever was being pushed.