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The Predators' Ball: The Inside Story of Drexel Burnham and the Rise of the JunkBond Raiders Paperback – June 1, 1989
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Top Customer Reviews
My version of the text is labeled on the front cover as, "The Book Wall Street Couldn't Stop," in reference to attempts to prevent its publishing. I believe that those persons that wanted to do so are now content with their failure, as the book does a good job of explaining the brilliance of Milken, the market that he created and nurtured, and the catch-22 that led to his criminilization. As someone who works in banking, it is awe-inspiring to read the descriptions of Milken's deal-making capabilities and strategies, and at the same point disappointing to see how he slipped from operating in shades of grey to areas of wanting morals. The author does a very good job of illustrating the power Milken had within Drexel, how his office on the West Coast went from being a backwater to accounting for the bulk of the firms revenue, and how Milken's subsequent removal left Drexel crippled past the point of healing. The inter-office dynamics that Ms. Bruck writes on are present everywhere, but it is difficult to imagine anywhere that they are seen in such extremes.
I highly recommend this book.
Connie Bruck ranks along with Joe Nocera as one of the world's best business writers. This book is tremendously readable and gives a balanced but insightful look at Michael Milken.
I came away from the book with the idea that Milken was a genius who earned his great fortune with 18 hour work days. and I still believe he had a tremendous and positive contribution to the world.
the Some of my friends came away from the book with the idea that Milken was a horrible human being who was ruining the country. The beauty of the book is that it you can read it and draw your own conclusions rather than a writer's preconceived ideas.
Buy it and read it again. It is worth always owning.
The story of the junk bond market is the story of Michael Milken's single-minded rise to power. Milken WAS the market, as they say. Accordingly, most of "The Predator's Ball" is dedicated to Milken's ambition to fund a new generation of businesses with high-yield low-rated bonds ("junk bonds"), his creation of a department at Drexel that embodied his unique views of productivity and capitalism, and the ways and means to Drexel's utter domination of the junk bond market in the 1980s. Milken's larger than life presence is nearly absent, however, from the book's three longest chapters, which detail successful hostile raids financed by Drexel: Nelson Peltz and Peter May's buyout of National Can, Carl Icahn takes TWA, and Ron Perelman's acquisition of Revlon.Read more ›
The Predators' Ball does a great job of getting inside the various deals Milken pulled off and how they happened, along with a good history of Michael Milken. Amazing stuff, considering the multi-billion dollar nature of those deals... financed with nothing but junk. The sad thing is, is that if Milken had been caught in this current era of NO public tolerance for Wall Street misdeeds in 2002, he would be serving a hell of a lot more time then the mere 24 months he actually ended up doing on his ten year sentence. 98 counts, he cut a deal to plead guilty to six of them. He walked out of jail after a brief time of reflection, with his Billion$ still stached away in his foriegn bank accounts at his disposal. Crime did pay and pay well for Michael Milken. Stein's License to Steal book estimated that Milken generated some $24 Billion in commissions & fees, from obscene margins & unearthly volume. King of the Universe indeed... and walked away with a mere $1 Billion slap on the wrist fine and a few nights in jail. These three books are better than fiction or novels. History, in Wall Street storybook fashion. The more things change, the more things stay the same.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great look into the bond market. I doubt Mr. Milken would have been prosecuted had he not been a threat to the Wall Street establishment. Read morePublished 5 months ago by John A. Hage
i finally read this book without fanfare. It does include many in depth characterizations of '80's financiers, so I would recommend the reading of certain chapters if you like wall... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Marlon Varsace
This barely held my attention for about 60 pages. I forced myself to wade through that much of the book before I shelved it. You may find it more interesting than I did. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Miller.
This book is nearly 30 years old - and is starting to feel like it. Describing the greed filled environment of the late 1970's to the mid 1980's that has been replicated over and... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Edward J. Barton