When the Mutual Fund Directors Forum recommended last week that curbing the use of soft dollars for research would benefit the industry, skepticism was bound to appear. On cue, The Wall Street Journal reports that a group representing brokerage firms lashed out against the proposal, saying that the legislation would hurt the industry.

"Without citing any quantitative or empirical evidence, the Mutual Fund Directors Forum has attacked a practice which has been used by mutual-fund advisers for decades to improve the performance of managed funds," said Pickard & Djinis managing partner Lee Pickard, who represents the brokerage group, the Alliance in Support of Independent Research.

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