Regulators fined 10 investment firms $43.5 million for positive write-ups on Toys “R” Us in exchange for lucrative investment banking business

OMG… Hat tip to NY Post…

The talks on Wall Street to take Toys “R” Us public in 2010 were definitely not suitable for children.

Eager to pitch the giant toy retailer’s private-equity owners as they weighed an initial public offering of the chain, one analyst at Needham & Co. went into graphic detail about his hankering.

“I would crawl on broken glass dragging my exposed junk to get this deal,” the analyst wrote in a May 2010 email to a colleague.

The dirty message was among dozens released Thursday following a four-year probe by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority that was initially sparked by The Post, said Finra spokeswoman Nancy Condon.

In June 2010, The Post exclusively reported that Wall Street analysts felt that KKR, the lead owner of Toys “R” Us, “attempted to grill and cajole” them into giving upbeat valuations of the retailer as investment bankers at their firms lobbied for a piece of the deal.

“Can’t slip anything by a crackerjack analyst, can you?” one analyst said sarcastically of The Post’s report in an email unearthed by Finra, suggesting that the pressure was obvious and blatant.

Indeed, Finra’s exhaustive investigation showed that the conflicts of interest were routine rather than unusual, as 10 of Wall Street’s biggest banks were slapped with $43.5 million in fines on Thursday.

Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Credit Suisse, Barclays and Citi were fined $5 million apiece, while Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley each paid $4 million. Needham & Co. was fined $2.5 million.

Read on.

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