Financier Leaves Wall Street for Afghanistan

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Seth Bailin is a hedge fund manager, handling a $1 billion investment pool. Bailin is also a U.S. Army reservist from New York State, and this week, he was given deployment orders for Afghanistan.

SCOTT SIMON, host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

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Seth Bailin got his deployment orders for Afghanistan this week. Mr. Bailin is a U.S. Army reservist from New York State. He's also a hedge fund manager who handles a billion-dollar investment pool. In the Guard, Mr. Bailin will make about $55,000 a year after taxes. Hope he has a little saved up. The National Guard estimates that at any given time, 25 to 40 percent of troops serving in Afghanistan or Iraq are reservists. New York Post reported this week that several Wall Street financiers who've been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan have brought along skills that are distinctly useful now.

Colonel Paul Conte, an AG Edwards stockbroker, told the newspaper, one of my commanding officers said we're trying to rebuild the Baghdad Stock Exchange. What do you need to build a free market? I said, you've got to be kidding me.

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