ARTICLE | Finance

Scorched earth

April 17, 2006 7:00 AM UTC

Matt Murray says he was fired from his sellside job at Rodman & Renshaw because he wanted to downgrade his rating of a biotech banking client. The email stream he has provided to regulators, lawmakers and the media may not prove to contain a smoking gun explicitly making that link. But the story provides yet another cautionary tale about the use of email to discuss sensitive topics, especially when the discussion is an argument.

The story begins in December 2005, when Halozyme Therapeutics Inc. (HTI, San Diego, Calif.) raised $16.1 million in a private placement managed by Cowen; Rodman; and Roth Capital Partners. In the last full week of February, shares of the recombinant enzyme developer traded up 31% on no news to close at $2.80 on Friday, Feb. 24. On that day, Murray, who rated the stock "market outperform" with a $2.88 price target, said he had a conversation with HTI's CFO to confirm that there was no news driving the stock that week. ...