Commentary: Take A Hard Look At Wall Street's Soft Dollars

Much of the recent Presidential campaign was paid for by so-called soft money--contributions that evaded campaign-financing laws. Wall Street has its own form of slippery, dubious currency, dubbed "soft dollars." When an investment manager at a mutual fund pays a brokerage house commissions to buy or sell securities, the firm in return will often send back soft dollars, in the form of such services as research, to the investment manager.

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