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July 31, 1998

All-Tech Rips Editorial

By Mark S. Shefts

To the Editor:

Thanks for your July Letter From the Editor ("Houtkin, Act II," July 1998), which was devoted exclusively to my colleague, Harvey Houtkin, the father of SOES and a major force in reducing trading costs for everyone.

The editorial was quick to identify the issue regarding electronic communications network (ECN) fees, but slow to demonstrate Mr. Houtkin's contribution toward improving the quality of the markets with a level playing field for all market participants.

Both Mr. Houtkin and All-Tech Investment Group are proud to have advanced the proliferation and competitive nature of ECNs, and to have eliminated the stranglehold previously enjoyed by one particular ECN.

Your support of Knight Securities for its dishonest refusal to pay for All-Tech's ECN service is incomprehensible. You wouldn't honor subscribers who paid for every magazine except yours any more than you should applaud Knight for paying all ECN fees except for All-Tech's ATTAIN.

If anything, you should have reported Knight's stubborn defiance as reminiscent of the collusive market behavior discovered and previously sanctioned by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mr. Houtkin and All-Tech Investment Group are eager to further any issues affording traders' universal access, efficiencies and cost reductions.

Mark S. Shefts

President, All-Tech Investment Group

Montvale, N.J.

From the Editor: It is inappropriate to pass judgment on the actions of a broker dealer that does not pay access fees to an ECN. At the moment, there is apparently no compelling legal authority on the matter.

You may have missed the point of my letter. I tried to show how ironic it is that the pioneer of modern electronic day trading, Harvey Houtkin, is now charging access for price-quote information that arguably belongs in the public domain. Once upon a time, he preached about an unfettered access to the electronic equity highways.

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