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Trader Thompson Made Eurobonds Woman’s Best Friend Before Crash

Valerie Thompson went from a childhood hawking fish, fruit and vegetables in London’s run-down East End to a Eurobond star at Salomon Brothers Inc. when it was the world’s biggest trading firm. Like the successful trader she was, she got out at the top.

Eurobonds, international securities with untaxed interest payments, were only a decade old in 1973 when Thompson, who left school at age 15, landed a clerical job typing orders into a telex machine. She prospered as the market surged and was running new-issue strategy and managing the risk generated on London’s biggest bond trading floor when she left, just before the 1987 stock crash and as market returns began to diminish.