Business: Dealers in Illogic

Dollar up or down, money traders profit

Strolling from his art-filled office through a bulletproof door to a balcony overlooking an immense trading room, Cairo-born André Levy pauses to deny a bit of gossip circulating among his fellow money dealers in Lausanne, Switzerland. He insists that it is just not true that his firm — somewhat whimsically named Tradition S. A. — exchanges half a billion dollars for stronger currencies each day. The actual figure, he states with aplomb, is "more than a billion dollars."

That correction is indicative of the frenzy with which corporations, banks and other holders of dollars are...

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