"U.S. executives have been able to secure more favourable research ratings for their companies from investment banks by bestowing professional favours on Wall Street analysts, according to new academic research to be published on Friday. The study found that by offering analysts favours, ranging from recommending them for a job to agreeing to speak to their clients, executives sharply reduced the chances of a downgrade in the aftermath of poor results or a controversial deal." Stunning, right? [FT]