Restoring confidence on CEO's to-do list
Staff and wire reports
NEW YORK -- The chairman and chief executive of Morgan Stanley, Philip J. Purcell, is taking his shot at restoring investor confidence in a videotaped discussion to be broadcast today to 100 brokerage offices, including one in Rochester.
Spurred in part by the unusual unanimity among Morgan Stanley's four investment strategists, Purcell will try, in his first "town hall" address, to convince investors that selling stocks now would be a mistake.
On the tape, a copy of which was made available to reporters, he urges investors not to lose faith in corporate governance or accounting.
"We have many clients coming in and saying, 'Take all of my equities, sell them. Put it in cash, put it in bonds or a combination of the two, but get me out of the equity market all together,'" Purcell said. "We're seeing more and more of that going on. This is probably the worst time to do that."
Purcell said he has more confidence in the stock market than he had in 1999 when it was booming and none of the current scandals had come to light.
For the first time, he said, the firm's famously dissonant cast of strategists -- Barton Biggs, Byron R. Wien, Steve Galbraith and Joseph McAlinden -- agree that stocks are underpriced. "Usually, we have two bears and two bulls," he said.