To me, the best summation of the whole fiasco with derivatives was the statement of my friend Ted Doll of Hubco. He said, "Everyone forgot the connection between the intense sales effort to get investors to buy derivatives and the fact that these salesmen took home $1.3 million a year."

This, not any real need for these complex instruments, it turned out, was the real reason why they became so popular and eventually caused such damage.

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