Squandered Futures

The polished CEO at Refco allegedly cooks the books, then enjoys a bang-up IPO--but not for long

In the often rowdy world of commodities trading, Phillip Bennett, the chief of giant commodities broker Refco, seemed like a cut above. An elegant, Cambridge-educated detail man, he often dressed in three-piece suits, lived on a horse farm in New Jersey and was something of a gourmet. Bennett brought an aura of respectability to a firm that was known for highflying, sometimes sloppy ways, offering a striking contrast with Refco founder Thomas Dittmer, a cattle and oil trader and all-around swashbuckling guy who liked to hand out gold watches when he made a great trade. "They were rough, very street-smart gunslingers...

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