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

Connie Bruck
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 18.00
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Book Description

May 31 1989
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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The Predators' Ball: The Inside Story of Drexel Burnham and the Rise of the JunkBond Raiders + Barbarians At The Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco + Den of Thieves
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
The book is great but it leaves you shaking your head in disbelief. One must conclude that there is no effective control by the SEC over companies on the NYSE and NADAQ.
I found this to be just a riveting book to read. It reminded me of the movie Wall Street although from what I gather Michael Milken at Drexel Burnham was not as good looking as Michael Douglas and he wore a hair piece and drove an older Oldsmobile, not a Ferrari.
Milken while reading the Wall Street Journal and similar material on the bus going to business school in Philadelphia came up with this idea of selling the junk bonds. Once he graduated and was employed he pushed that idea, similar to the way Fred Smith pushed Fed.Ex. - another college idea. It comes clear in the book, just shouting out at you, that he had lots of help. Banks helped him, brokers helped him, other companies helped him, he opened a new office for Drexel in LA and in general just took over that company - all because people knew and appreciated that he was going to make buckets of money. His whole scheme was in fact similar to a pyramid scheme with everyone getting fat fees that were supposed to be re-paid down stream by the successful company. The Predator's Ball did exist as real annual social get together where the bankers, brokers, and the borrowing companies got together for a night of partying. The victims - the shareholders - were not invited.
Like every Ponzi scheme at some point reality had to set in and it failed. That is what this book is about. Sure we can learn but apparently we are immune or unable to learn from history because the market over inflated itself and the Nasdaq went to 5000+ a decade later, and we had World Com and Enron. It is also remarkable that after taking so much money he got off with a light jail sentence and a big fine ($500. million) that Millken could pay.
Entertaining read.
4 stars.
Jack in Toronto
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book about Michael Milken May 12 2004
Format:Paperback
Intertesting book about the mega-acquisition wave triggered by the creation of the junk-bond market. It will give you some info about the social-working atmosphere at Drexel and those who along with Milken surfed the biggest financial wave in the 80's. It is an easy-reading novel. Don't expect a thorough analysis about the Junk-Bond Market and its creation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all interested in the markets Feb. 6 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
From his humble roots to his 15 minutes of fame to his downfall, this book spans the entire career of the Junk Bond King. Memories of the 87 market crash & the SnL scandals of the 80s came back to me while reading this book. A definite must read for those interested in banking, financial history, american history & especially for business students. I found this book very helpful as background info for many of my undergraduate economics courses.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Sketchy reviewers Sept. 10 2003
Format:Paperback
How can I trust these reviews if two of the featured reviewers here use almost the exact same sentences in their supposedly "independent" reviews?
Fredlybrand from Chapel Hill, NC and Dan Ross from Allen, Tx are apparently the same person.
What gives?
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3.0 out of 5 stars Cardboard caricature June 10 2003
Format:Paperback
I recommend another book, like the one called "Payback", for a more sober view.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging June 4 2003
Format:Paperback
If you like fixed income/wall-streetesque mover-shaker tales, this one is for you.
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Format:Paperback
This book was the first real insight into the world of junk bonds, Drexel Burham Lambert and what an important role they played in the business world. Written at a time when Drexel was at its peak, it was a groundbreaking, highly acclaimed 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.
Don McNay...
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5.0 out of 5 stars extremely interesting Jan. 6 2003
Format:Paperback
an interesting story very well written. i could not put the book down.
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