For three weeks the governors of the Toronto Stock Exchange had been investigating the gyrations in the stock of a little steel company named Chatco Steel Products Ltd. Last week the exchange ordered trading in the stock stopped "to protect the interests of American investors"—supposedly the small, unknowing investors who had bought the shares through high-pressure salesmen in the U.S. But this was only part of the story.

The surprising fact was that the ban on trading had not been necessary to protect the unknowing American investors. Few, if any, of them had lost money on the stock. In fact,...

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