Are traders amoral gamblers or cerebral speculators?

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If there's a French trader in your vicinity, he or she is probably looking a little down in la bouche.

In a TV appearance last week, President Sarkozy accused equated traders at French banks with speculators and players of the lottery.

It prompted one self-proclaimedly "not that rich" trader to write to Le Monde pointing out that most traders come from top schools, and are honest, hard working high performers.

Trading, she said, is [our translation] -

A technical, complex and stressful career, from which the advantages for the markets, the economy and the banks have for a long time been superior to the risks...

So...do you agree that traders are highly intelligent individuals, unfairly maligned? Or do they all deserve $50k bonuses and a sinecure in a government run bank for remainder of their working lives? Please share your thoughts below.

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