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Banking on Fraud: Drexel, Junk Bondsd, and Buyouts

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Banking on Fraud investigates the fraud-facilitated leveraged buyouts engineered by Michael Milken and the firm of Drexel Burnham Lambert, and suggests how such buyouts have multiple and extensive consequences for the organization of business and the economy. The book answers several important questions. How was the fraud organized and executed? How did Milken gain control of the High-Yield Bond Department? How did internal structural contradictions at Drexel lead to a loss of control of that department and ...
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Overview

Banking on Fraud investigates the fraud-facilitated leveraged buyouts engineered by Michael Milken and the firm of Drexel Burnham Lambert, and suggests how such buyouts have multiple and extensive consequences for the organization of business and the economy. The book answers several important questions. How was the fraud organized and executed? How did Milken gain control of the High-Yield Bond Department? How did internal structural contradictions at Drexel lead to a loss of control of that department and facilitate fraud? How did the High-Yield Bond Department dominate bond issuers and buyers and gain control of the economic, political, and legal environments in which the bond transactions took place? In addressing these questions, Zey demonstrates how the ordinary networks developed through the buying and selling of bonds were linked to the extraordinary networks of the Boesky Organizations and Employee Private Partnerships to defraud bond issuers and buyers. Her analysis not only defines the networks as the avenues of power, but also traces the direction of the power relationships between corporations and investment bankers and between investment bankers and the congressmen relevant to banking interests. The book provides evidence that debunks the myth of rational economic organization in the 19805 and establishes broad implications for theories of organizational deviance.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“No short review can do justice to a book that includes such as extensive account of events and the author’s theorizing about the exercise of power in corporations.” —C. Lowell Harriss, Political Science Quarterly “Mary Zey has given us an exhaustively researched and well-written book on the activites of Michael Milken, his firm Drexel Burnham, and the network of associates that helped Milken create the junk bond market that fueled the mergers and acquisitions craze of the 1980s. Zey’s main argument is that fraud is socially embedded and that Milken was only able to commit the acts he did (both fraudulent and nonfraudulent) with the help of an entire network of friends, most notably financier Ivan Boesky. Zey carefully and systematically shows hoe Milken activated these networks whenever a major deal was in danger of falling through. . . . But the book is not just about Milken and his ambitions, it is also about the entire era of the 1980s, the creation and collapse of the junk bond market, the connection between junk bonds and the savings and loan crisis, and the political access of Milken. Drexel, and other powerful financiers. . . . Zey skillfully connects the specific aspects of Milken’s actions to a wide array of sociological and economic theories.

—Kevin J. Delaney, American Journal of Sociology “Zey weaves a fascinating story of power and intrigue with a sociological analysis. . . . Zey does a wonderful job of presenting her evidence to develop a persuasive case for a structural explanation of a most remarkable story. . . . Zey writes in a clear, engaging style about one of the most important turning points in the U.S. economy, striking a balance between the story and the theory.” —Davita Selfen Glasberg, Contemporary Sociology

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Mary Zey is Professor of Sociology and past Head of the department of Sociology at Texas A&M University where she teaches and conducts research on Complex Organizations. She has studies such organizations as universities, voluntary organizations, and corporations. Her research is focused on the transformation of corporate control, mergers and acquisitions, and organizational crime.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Pt. I Doing Fraud and Its Consequences
1 An Error and Its Chain Reaction 3
2 Fraud Networks of Drexel 13
3 Consequences of Fraud-Facilitated Leveraged Buyouts 49
Pt. II Toward Understanding Fraud
4 Structural Contradictions and the Failure of Corporate Control 77
5 The Nature of Securities Transactions and Market Control 117
Pt. III Toward Understanding Fraud as Structurally Embedded
6 Economic Context 139
7 Political-Legal Context 181
Pt. IV Toward Theory
8 Toward Theories of Economic Organizations and Organizational Crime 229
Central Actors 267
Glossary 273
References 279
Index 298
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