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on 25 March 1999
This is a first class book, outrageous incidents and low tech finance, and should particularly be read by those willing to concede that Milken was in fact extremely insightful. It walks you through the basics of how the business really works and the sort of power struggles that took place at the time. It highlights the destruction (both good and bad) of the cosy boardroom, and shows that Milken only had himself to blame. Power breeds excess, and corrupts, but that level of power is rarely achieved in the first instance without substance, and Milken had this. Whilst I hope that no-one feels sympathy for those he destroyed in his wake, it is good to read an account of just why he gained that power base. He re-financed huge swathes of America and unleashed far wider repurcussions in corporate life globally, generally at the expenses of those with previous vested interests in maintaining the status quo. This is no mean feat, and this book shows how white-toe investment banking firms treated (and often still do treat) their potential clients, allowing Milken the breadth of disenfranchised corporations to tap with his advice. It is a shame that the remainder of his reign was one of manipulating unfortunte S&L's, private investors and joe public, and creaming money in every direction!! This book is one of the less biassed and therefore useful accounts of that era. Shows all the excesses that money can bring.
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on 22 February 2008
Today the phrase "securities fraud" evokes Enron, WorldCom and Tyco. Two decades ago, it evoked Drexel Burnham Lambert, the investment bank that ruled the junk-bond realm and helped fund some of the most audacious corporate takeovers of the 1980s. Enthroned at the center of Drexel Burnham was the king of junk, Michael Milken. Was he a financial genius who found ever more clever ways to make markets more efficient? Or was he a swindler running the world's biggest Ponzi scheme? New Yorker writer Connie Bruck sets out to answer those questions in this cautionary tale of Drexel's rise and fall. getAbstract recommends this fascinating, highly detailed financial history. However, the flaw in Bruck's narrative is the absence of a third act: She inexplicably ends the book before Milken's trial and sentencing. While its ending is weak, this provocative story makes one thing clear: Uneasy lies the head that wears a leveraged crown.
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on 13 April 2016
Exactly what I was after: a thorough look into the mad 'capitalism on steroids' period during the late 70s and 80s.

Bruck had clearly done her work before writing, gaining an insider's view into what really went on in those notoriously secretive circles. This is fantastic as it gives you real insight into the vastly diverse personalities that these guys had, and their thoughts during each play.

Bruck does an incredible job of digging into the complex arrangements that formed each deal and laying it out in a way even an idiot like me can get to grips with.

I know it's old, but chances are that if you're reading this review, it's a book that will interest you.

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on 29 June 2015
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Predator's Ball. It is well written, full of insights and very captivating.
It helps if you have a fundamental understanding of the banking world and the products they trade.
For me it only gets 4 stars because the book ends before the grand finale, it doesn't cover Milken's downfall with the indictment by the Grand Jury.
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on 28 November 2007
Absolute must read for people interested in business and financial markets
The research is very serious and the approach is very professional
Unfortunately, the research ends before Mr Milken was convicted. It would be nice to have a look of what happened with Drexel after Milken went down
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on 27 April 2016
Brilliant . Very detailed . You need to be interested in financial skulduggery but as such this is excellent .
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on 14 July 1998
I was really amazed by the quality of this book. Without being a junk-bond professional one can easily understand Drexel Burnham Lambert's and Michael Milken's story from the beginning to the end. It also contains many interesting anecdotes and various comments from members of the firm. It is really the bible of the junk bond market as it allows anybody to perfectly figure out what happened in the 80's. It highlights the bright sides as well as the dark sides of the junk-bond King and allows each of us to have his own view on Michael Milken and DBL.
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on 4 November 2006
The book gives good overview of Milken, leveraged finance and important players of the decade.

However, a bit too long for my taste, with too many unnecessary details, repeating in some parts as well. Ms Connie Bruck wanted to show all the angles, but went into excess.

The book is a recommended read for those who want to deepen they knowledge about Milken and takeovers of the 80's.
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on 4 May 1999
I liked this book but I found it difficult to follow the order of events at some points, especially when the author jumped back and forth between dates. Overall, highly recommendable.
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on 19 February 2015
great product
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