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The Soft-Dollar Critic

Traders Magazine, August 2001

Kathryn M. Welling

Benn Steil is an academic. But not the head-in-the- clouds-type who occasionally writes indecipherable tomes purporting to prove a strong correlation between sun spots and trading activity. Yes, he has degrees from Oxford and Wharton, expertise in international finance and trade, decision theory and risk management. And yes, he is the Andre Meyer Senior Fellow in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations. But he also has actually spent days and days on trading desks and exchange floors, hours upon hours picking the brains of traders, portfolio managers - even regulators, when he can find them (with brains). In other words, his grasp of securities trading extends from the theoretical to the practical, from electronic trading platforms into the pits.

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