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 US 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 Predators’ Ball dramatically captures American business history in the making, uncovering the philosophy of greed that has dominated Wall Street in the 1980s.
About the Author
Connie Bruck has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1989 where she writes about business and politics. Her pieces have won multiple awards for reporting and journalism. Her stories have also appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Atlantic Monthly. She is the author of three books: Master of the Game, The Predators’ Ball, and When Hollywood Had a King.