Vanishing act

Imagine that! You mean they lied?

A new study backed by pro-business groups takes a harsh stance on rules intended to bring transparency to the $600 trillion derivatives market. The report, published on Monday, claims that proposed regulation could cost 130,000 jobs and could cut corporate spending by $6.7 billion.

The findings are clearly meant to scare politicians and drum up public support — just as financial regulators are set to testify on the issue before a Congressional committee on Tuesday. And at first blush, the study would seem to be good ammunition for the Chamber of Commerce and its other supporters.

The study was conducted by Keybridge Research, a seemingly independent economics and public policy consulting firm. The firm’s bona fides include an all-star roster of academics, including Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economic science; David Laibson, a professor of economics at Harvard, and Stephen P. Zeldes, a professor of economics and finance at Columbia’s Graduate School of Business.

But a closer look at the report raises some serious questions. For one, the findings seem oddly out of step with the views of some of the group’s luminaries, including Mr. Stiglitz, who is advertised on Keybridge’s site as an adviser.

Well, it appears that Mr. Stiglitz and many of the firm’s advisers are not advisers at all. How could that be?

“This is the first I have heard about it,” said Mr. Stiglitz, who just returned home on Sunday after a five-week trip abroad. He said he was surprised to be listed on the group’s Web site. After reading the study, he said, “It’s not a very good report.”