Neil Leonard spends much of his workday roaming a trading floor abuzz with salesmen bellowing back and forth, phones ringing, and the chatter of TV monitors tuned to financial news. Bottles of aspirin and photographs of children or a spouse are jammed between many computer or television screens.

Though mortgage trading has become a thing of the past for some firms, the action at Lehman Brothers-where Mr. Leonard is managing director of mortgage- and asset-backed operations-is as hot as it ever was.

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