The Predators' Ball: The Inside Story of Drexel Burnham and the Rise of the JunkBond Raiders

Overview

During the 1980s, Michael Milken at Drexel Burnham Lambert was the Billionaire Junk Bond King. He invented such things as "the highly confident letter" (I'm highly confident that I can raise the money you need to buy company X) and "the blind pool" (Here's a billion dollars: let us help you buy a company), and he financed the biggest corporate raiders-men like Carl Icahn and Ronald Perelman. And then, on September 7, 1988, things changed... The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Milken and Drexel Burnham ...
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Overview

During the 1980s, Michael Milken at Drexel Burnham Lambert was the Billionaire Junk Bond King. He invented such things as "the highly confident letter" (I'm highly confident that I can raise the money you need to buy company X) and "the blind pool" (Here's a billion dollars: let us help you buy a company), and he financed the biggest corporate raiders-men like Carl Icahn and Ronald Perelman. And then, on September 7, 1988, things changed... The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Milken and Drexel Burnham Lambert with insider trading and stock fraud. Waiting in the wings was the U.S. District Attorney, who wanted to file criminal and racketeering charges. What motivated Milken in his drive for power and money? Did Drexel Burnham Lambert condone the breaking of laws? The Predator's Ball dramatically captures American business history in the making, uncovering the philosophy of greed that has dominated Wall Street in the 1980s.

During the '80s, Michael Milken at Drexel Burnham created the corporate raiders. He was the billionaire Junk Bond King. But, in the corner stood the U.S. District Attorney waiting to file criminal and racketeering charges.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140120905
  • Publisher: Viking Penguin
  • Publication date: 6/28/1989
  • Edition description: Updated
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 252,474
  • Product dimensions: 5.23 (w) x 7.78 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Ball
Part One: Spreading the Gospel
1. The Miner's Headlamp
2. Dr. Feelgood
3. Transformation
4. Merge with Mike
5. The Cloister at Wilshire and Rodeo
6. The Air Fund
Part Two: Pawns Capture Kings
7. Triangle—National Can: Kingmaker
8. Icahn-TWA: From Greenmailer to Manager-Owner
9. Pantry Pride—Revlon: The Crucial Campaign
Part Three: The Zenith—and the Fall
10. "Drexel is like a god..."
11. Proven Prophet—So Far
12. Milken's Money Machine
13. The Enforcer
14. Sovereign Privileges
15. Boesky Day
16. The Center Cannot Hold
17. The Humbling
Afterword
Acknowledgments
Index

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    intriguing title that sucks you into the culture of the book.

    gives an amazing history of the firm and industry and the sequence of events that led to their demise.

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

    Not the best of this genre

    Den of Thieves covers the same material so much better that there is little point to reading this book, other than to be satisfied that you've read all there is on the subject. Bruck does have more information about some of the major arbitrageurs referred to in Den of Thieves, but the other book is so much richer in every way that it hardly matters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2007

    A Piece That Has What Others Don't.

    Highly regarded as one of the finest pieces of business investigative journalism written, Connie Bruck's groundbreaking work on the subject of junk bonds and corporate financing was written during a time when the business press universally admired Drexel Burnham for their ability to turn junk into gold. You will find this book quite entertaining and comprehensible. A smooth read not filled with too much industry jargon, its nomenclature friendly enough even for the beginner. It highlights the bright sides as well as the dark sides of the critically acclaimed Junk-bond king Michael Milken and allows each of us to have his or her own view on Milken and Drexel Burnham's underlying philosophy. Although the book does lean heavily towards Milken having a me first attitude, it does manage to pin down a few important business lessons underscored by him that cannot be overlooked. You will no doubt waste any time reading this piece. You will definitely be on the winning side by reading this book. This book will definitely generate scores of topics to discuss and debate about the philosophies of American business that dominated Wall Street in the 1980s. A definite must read for those interested in banking, financial history, and especially for business students.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2003

    Greatest Wall Street Book Ever Written. Took guts and smarts to write.

    Sucked into Drexel Burnham only weeks before the scandals hit, I originally read this book with heightened interest. As an insider who never participated in the thousands of crimes going on at this firm -- yet on several management committees -- I was in a position to understand/evaluate the allegations in this book. Not one word of this book rings false. I'm buying the book tonight, all these years after the fact, to remind me of why I've been a critic of Wall Street for over two decades. In my top ten people I wish to meet in this lifetime, is Connie Bruck. When I first met Mike Milken, he said to me: 'Ken, your only value as a human-being is how much money you make for me, for this firm, and for yourself.' Those words--coming before the scandals--confused me tremendously. Later, after Drexel went bankrupt and Mike went to prison, I understood. He and the firm were, as Preditor's Ball depicted, as out of control as we have recently seen Enron/Tyco/etc. This is a tale for all time. Brilliant.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2002

    Exciting Read

    Connie Bruck had made magic with this book. Such details along humorous references. Can't wait to read her other book "Master of the Game".

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2001

    Excellent Profile on Milken, but dated

    Great inside story on the genius of Michael Milken and how he created the 'junk bond' market that is still thriving today. Downside is that this book was written in 1988, so it fails to cover the fall of both Milken and of Drexel Burnham in 1990. Probably the closest book to being a biography on Milken. I'm hoping someday someone writes a full biography on him covering his time at Drexel, the years in prison, his struggle with cancer, and his efforts to promote cancer research.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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