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Michael Milken Play Coming to New York
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An interesting-sounding play that will be debuting in New York’s Lincoln Center in November is “Junk” by Ayad Akhtar, the son of a couple of Pakistani doctors.

It’s a fictionalization of how junk bond kind Michael Milken changed America in the 1980s. From the Los Angeles Times in 2016 about the debut of “Junk” in La Jolla:

In “Junk: The Golden Age of Debt,” his thrilling new play, which is receiving its world premiere here at La Jolla Playhouse, Akhtar takes on the equally explosive subjects of modern finance and the new religion of money. …

Part Shakespearean history play, part “The Big Short,” “Junk” tells the story of how debt overtook value as the path to enormous wealth. Set in 1985 when U.S. manufacturing was in stark decline and junk-bond financing was the new amphetamine designed to inject vitality into the country’s economic bloodstream, the play focuses on a point of momentous transition in our financial system.

At the center of her investigation is Robert Merkin (Josh Cooke), whom Time magazine put on its cover with the headline: “America’s Alchemist. Debt Becomes an Asset.” Merkin is the brains of a Beverly Hills investment bank that has been deploying a strategy of hostile takeovers.

His junk-bond strategy is viewed as vulgar by WASP industrialists who can’t believe the new landscape in which Jewish financiers such as Merkin and his associate Israel Peterman (Matthew Rauch) can plunder venerable, if suddenly vulnerable, manufacturing firms that make a tangible contribution to the American economy. (These bluebloods, arrogant, self-entitled and unthinkingly bigoted, don’t appreciate outsiders encroaching on their aristocratic turf.)

Thomas Everson (Linus Roache), a country club swell who has been trying to keep Everson Steel and United together during a period of rising labor costs and increased competition from China, now faces a more pernicious threat from Merkin’s team, which has mobilized to conquer the business his family built.

Steven Pasquale will play Merkin/Milken in New York.

A lot of what Milken did was junk the idea that business leaders had unwritten obligations, such as to behave with prudent stewardship concerning the organizations under their care.

For example, around 1988 or 1989, the CEO of the small publicly traded firm where I worked showed me the plan that an investment bank (Lehman? Salomon? Morgan? I forget which — it wasn’t Milken’s Drexel, but it was clearly a copycat plan) had called him up to share with him. It involved our firm issuing a ton of junk bonds and using the money for the inside executives and the Wall Street firm to take the company private and then, if the insiders succeeded in paying off the bonds, they would own it outright without investing anything in it. And if they didn’t pay off the high-interest bonds, well, that’s what bankruptcy law was for.

I replied that we were barely making payroll some weeks as it were, so if we rolled the dice like that, we’d almost certainly go under, costing you, me, and most of the other 2,500 employees our jobs. And I personally like having a job. The CEO said he agreed and threw the junk bond proposal in the trash.

Milken would have scoffed that that is the kind of timid thinking that is ruining America.

 
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  1. guest says:

    “the story of how debt overtook value as the path to enormous wealth”

    Michael Milken was present at the origin of banking circa 2000 B.C.?

    But seriously, why must they perpetually pump these things up? Junk bonds are a drop in the ocean compared to the Fed. I want to see plays about the Rockefellers and Morgans, Baruchs and Bernankes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    Not that a play about a junk bond king isn't a promising premise. I just don't care for the salesmanship.

    "Debt becomes an asset" is a perfect description of the entire point of banking. (Or at least credit-issuing banking. I suppose at some point banks could've been mere warehouses.) The idea that the financial industry only discovered it in 1985 is ludicrous.

    , @Dave Pinsen
    Debt has been an asset for the holder of it for as long as there've been institutions to enforce contracts, which probably goes back to the dawn of civilization.

    Junk bonds are basically lower quality (less expectation of repayment), where the tradeoff is a higher yield. But even a junk bond is less risky than common stock in the same company.

    I don't remember all the details of Milken's case, but I recall thinking there was some prosecutorial zeal involved, though perhaps not to the same extent as with Martha Stewart years later.
    , @bomag

    Michael Milken was present at the origin of banking circa 2000 B.C.?
     
    LOL

    Still, it's a bit fraudulent to leverage barrier to entry and other market defeating mechanisms to announce that executives and "consultants" are now worth a lot more money, so thusly a company must now borrow a buttload of money to keep them in the remuneration to which they have recently discovered they are entitled.
    , @Chuck
    The eternal merchant.
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  2. guest says:
    @guest
    "the story of how debt overtook value as the path to enormous wealth"

    Michael Milken was present at the origin of banking circa 2000 B.C.?

    But seriously, why must they perpetually pump these things up? Junk bonds are a drop in the ocean compared to the Fed. I want to see plays about the Rockefellers and Morgans, Baruchs and Bernankes.

    Not that a play about a junk bond king isn’t a promising premise. I just don’t care for the salesmanship.

    “Debt becomes an asset” is a perfect description of the entire point of banking. (Or at least credit-issuing banking. I suppose at some point banks could’ve been mere warehouses.) The idea that the financial industry only discovered it in 1985 is ludicrous.

    Read More
    • Replies: @carol
    Anthony Trollope believed, or at least suspected credit was king...in 1860...
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  3. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    So, the Jewish hegemony is finally being challenged by a ‘hindu’(albeit of another religion)

    White folks got ‘antisemite’ baggage , but ‘hindus’ don’t. They can say more.
    Interesting that the challenge is coming from curry than chop suey. But then, the East Asians were always more servile to the power whereas ‘hindus’ are more confrontational, albeit in a negotiating way.

    But then, maybe the ‘hindus’ wanna subvert Jewish financial hegemony because they want a bigger stake in it.

    It’s like Jews used leftism to subvert white wealth and power only to take over those very positions.

    Invoke egalitarianism against current elitism to control the new elitism.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    You're assuming that this play is more critical of Jewish financial elites than it is of the old WASP elite. That seems unlikely. Variations of this basic premise have been done before, and while they've tended to be critical of the upstart Jewish financiers for being uncouth, greedy, arriviste, etc., they've also portrayed them as economically necessary or inevitable and not as bad as the old WASP elite who were bigoted and old fashioned and economically stuck in the past.
    , @Langley
    Most Pakistanis are Muslim.
    , @Anonymous
    Akhtar is a spoiled Muslim kid who grew up in a rich suburb of Milwaukee. He wrote an autobiographical novel a while ago detailing how difficult it was for him growing up in the suburbs with two doctors as parents--it seems his drunk father couldn't get enough of White nurses and Akhtar spent most of his youth consoling his poor mother. Then he wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning play about how hard it was being a Pakistani married to a White woman in New York. How Junk Bonds and Milken got on his radar is curious.
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  4. Andrew M says:

    Sounds like the old WASP aristocracy had “noblesse oblige”; the new Jewish aristocracy is only slowly discovering it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kyle McKenna
    Who knows --in a few hundred years, it might even develop into something, as it did with the old aristocracy. Sadly though, Europe and America don't have a few hundred years. We likely don't even have a few decades.
    , @Yak-15
    It would appear this obligation is selective in only choosing minorities as far as I can tell.
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  5. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Strangely enough, quite a buzz-word meme is now disseminating – incited, no doubt, by the ‘comedy’ fraternity – for using the term ‘junk’ to describe the male genitalia.
    If present trends continue, it’s likely that the modern obscene usage will rise up to eclipse the old meaning.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Well, I suppose that's why 'Merkin'* was substituted for 'Milken'.

    *Look it up in a dictionary.
    , @Anon
    Part of the ever escalating negrofication (Germans call it Verniggerung) of our language and hence our "culture." They enjoy rolling in filth (e.g., "funk").
    , @Anonymous
    That's old. The usage of junk for genitalia dates to the dot com era at least (c. 2000), as I remember being confused by it when I first encountered it on the internet around that time.
    , @Anonymous
    An old Dan Leno joke:

    'The TSA has handled more junk than eBay'.
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  6. Interesting. Thanks for the heads up. Let’s see if it can incorporate all those dimensions without overdoing the stereotypes and dumbing down the subject.

    I’ve long thought someone should do something like this about the O.J. trial.

    Our time calls for a Shakespeare.

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  7. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonymous
    Strangely enough, quite a buzz-word meme is now disseminating - incited, no doubt, by the 'comedy' fraternity - for using the term 'junk' to describe the male genitalia.
    If present trends continue, it's likely that the modern obscene usage will rise up to eclipse the old meaning.

    Well, I suppose that’s why ‘Merkin’* was substituted for ‘Milken’.

    *Look it up in a dictionary.

    Read More
    • Replies: @PV van der Byl
    Was also the name of the US President portrayed by Peter Sellars in Dr. Strangelove.
    , @AB-

    Well, I suppose that’s why ‘Merkin’* was substituted for ‘Milken’.

    *Look it up in a dictionary.
     

    It's a pubic wig. The president in Dr. Strangelove was Merkin Muffly....

    I would have named it Den of Thieves instead of Junk; then Alan Dershowitz could go ape-shit, buy a $75,000 full page ad in the NYT, and denounce it as jew hating...LOL

    Just saw Chas. Pewitt had the same idea...

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  8. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anon
    So, the Jewish hegemony is finally being challenged by a 'hindu'(albeit of another religion)

    White folks got 'antisemite' baggage , but 'hindus' don't. They can say more.
    Interesting that the challenge is coming from curry than chop suey. But then, the East Asians were always more servile to the power whereas 'hindus' are more confrontational, albeit in a negotiating way.

    But then, maybe the 'hindus' wanna subvert Jewish financial hegemony because they want a bigger stake in it.

    It's like Jews used leftism to subvert white wealth and power only to take over those very positions.

    Invoke egalitarianism against current elitism to control the new elitism.

    You’re assuming that this play is more critical of Jewish financial elites than it is of the old WASP elite. That seems unlikely. Variations of this basic premise have been done before, and while they’ve tended to be critical of the upstart Jewish financiers for being uncouth, greedy, arriviste, etc., they’ve also portrayed them as economically necessary or inevitable and not as bad as the old WASP elite who were bigoted and old fashioned and economically stuck in the past.

    Read More
    • Replies: @San Fernando Curt
    The play wouldn't have a chance in New York if it didn't celebrate upstart Jewish thieves. After all, ultimate losers in the Milken/Merkin game are evil American peasants and kulaks. We can be sure "Junk" will be another bill of indictment against them. These prototype Trump voters deserve their unemployment and opiated ends.

    This is war. And by deception shall you make it.

    , @Daniel Chieh
    I don't generally see those of Asian subcontinental descent criticizing progressives at all, to be honest. I rarely see them here even on Unz opposing it and pretty much every instance I can think of reflects them cooperating with the hegemony.

    I'll be happy to be convinced otherwise.
    , @Anon
    You’re assuming that this play is more critical of Jewish financial elites than it is of the old WASP elite.

    Anyone who knows anything knows Milken's Jewish and the rise of new financial economy(along with super-rise of gambling) had a heavy Jewish hand.
    , @Lurker
    Another way to blur/bury the message is to have non-jews playing jews and to insert gentile characters into jewish roles. "Wolf of Wall Street", "Margin Call" etc
    , @Forbes
    The "old WASP elite" is a funny one. I wonder if anyone could name them? (Of the relevent period in the '80s.)

    Merrill Lynch was famously considered the (Irish) Catholic investment bank. Donald Regan became President Reagan's first Treasury Secretary. Upstart Drexel Burnham was run by Fred Joseph (Michael Miliken's outfit). John Gutfreund ran Salomon Brothers. Goldman Sachs refused to do hostile takeovers. Bear Stearns was run by Ace Greenberg. Lehman Brothers (Lewis Glucksman) was taken over by Shearson American Express (with Peter Cohen the resulting CEO), and followed by taking out EF Hutton.

    Dillon Read, Kidder Peabody (small boutique investment banks), and Paine Webber (retail brokerage) were inconsequential players. There's probably a firm or two I've forgotten in 30 years.

    Dean Witer was a retail broker when taken over by Morgan Stanley. Apparently Morgan Stanley takes the crown as "old WASP elite" of the banking world.

    Citibank, Chase, and JP Morgan were commercial banks then--not involved in underwriting (junk bond issuance) or M&A advisory (hostile takeovers).
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  9. Art says:

    Milken would have scoffed that that is the kind of timid thinking that is ruining America.

    Alan Greenspan worked hand in hand with the Milken types to transfer America’s wealth to the top 5 percent. Junk bonds, savings and loan, internet and home bubbles. Always increasing America’s debt to the moneyed bankers.

    “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes it’s laws” — Gee who said that?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    The dot-com bubble was funded mainly by equity, not debt, and Greenspan warned of "irrational exuberance" early on. Also, the dot-com bubble was more democratic, in a sense, than this century's internet boom in that companies went public a lot earlier, so average people had a shot at buying lottery tickets too. Today you've got companies valued at tens of billions without having gone public.

    Dot-com 1.0 was also more democratic in that the skills needed to get a foot in the door were simpler.
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  10. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @guest
    "the story of how debt overtook value as the path to enormous wealth"

    Michael Milken was present at the origin of banking circa 2000 B.C.?

    But seriously, why must they perpetually pump these things up? Junk bonds are a drop in the ocean compared to the Fed. I want to see plays about the Rockefellers and Morgans, Baruchs and Bernankes.

    Debt has been an asset for the holder of it for as long as there’ve been institutions to enforce contracts, which probably goes back to the dawn of civilization.

    Junk bonds are basically lower quality (less expectation of repayment), where the tradeoff is a higher yield. But even a junk bond is less risky than common stock in the same company.

    I don’t remember all the details of Milken’s case, but I recall thinking there was some prosecutorial zeal involved, though perhaps not to the same extent as with Martha Stewart years later.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mj
    Junk bonds may in fact be even riskier than common stock
    , @Off The Street
    Milken attempted to whitewash his reputation by hosting the Milken Conference starting in the mid-1990s. He would bring together Nobel Laureates and other worthies in a nice setting as part of his rebranding efforts. He also appeared on Martha Stewart's show once. I attended a few when I worked in Los Angeles, and appreciated hearing from Markowitz, Becker et al but still thought the host was sleazy and unrepentant.
    , @guest
    "for as long as there've been institutions to enforce contracts"

    Do Larry the Pipe and Icepick Sam count as institutions?
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  11. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Art
    Milken would have scoffed that that is the kind of timid thinking that is ruining America.

    Alan Greenspan worked hand in hand with the Milken types to transfer America's wealth to the top 5 percent. Junk bonds, savings and loan, internet and home bubbles. Always increasing America's debt to the moneyed bankers.

    "Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes it's laws" — Gee who said that?

    The dot-com bubble was funded mainly by equity, not debt, and Greenspan warned of “irrational exuberance” early on. Also, the dot-com bubble was more democratic, in a sense, than this century’s internet boom in that companies went public a lot earlier, so average people had a shot at buying lottery tickets too. Today you’ve got companies valued at tens of billions without having gone public.

    Dot-com 1.0 was also more democratic in that the skills needed to get a foot in the door were simpler.

    Read More
    • Replies: @res

    Greenspan warned of “irrational exuberance” early on.
     
    And then continued an environment where it thrived. Surely you remember the "Greenspan put"?

    http://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/greenspanput.asp
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  12. Uh oh. More “whitewashing” casting drama, this time north of Boston. Apparently casting Jewish, Greek, and Italian-descended actors as White Hispanic historic personages is whitewashing. From the Boston Globe:

    Casting controversy surrounds North Shore Music Theatre’s ‘Evita’

    It seems to be that Mandy Patinkin is the Typhoid Mary of whitewashing:

    Concerns about ethnic accuracy were muted at best in 1979 when Patti LuPone, who is not Latina, originated the role of Eva Peron on Broadway in “Evita,’’ opposite Mandy Patinkin, also not Latino, as the revolutionary firebrand Che Guevara.

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    "Concerns about ethnic accuracy were muted at best"

    That makes no sense.
    , @Seth Largo
    That's funny. Juan and Eva Peron were almost certainly 100% European. They couldn't even claim to be light-skinned mestizos.
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  13. eah says:

    Steven Pasquale will play Merkin/Milken in New York.

    Anyone but a(nother) Jew.

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  14. DFH says:

    Funny how Jewish crooks are always played by non-Jewish actors

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  15. Tyrion says:

    The playwright seems like a sweet and sensitive guy who, while historically keen to defend a fair image of Muslims and Pakistani-Americans like himself, is no SJW and is a great respecter of Western literature and theatre.

    It seems therefore that this play will likely have strong thread of The Merchant of Venice running through it, and the complexity of the characters will defy some sort of political parable being successfully drawn from it.

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  16. @Anonymous
    You're assuming that this play is more critical of Jewish financial elites than it is of the old WASP elite. That seems unlikely. Variations of this basic premise have been done before, and while they've tended to be critical of the upstart Jewish financiers for being uncouth, greedy, arriviste, etc., they've also portrayed them as economically necessary or inevitable and not as bad as the old WASP elite who were bigoted and old fashioned and economically stuck in the past.

    The play wouldn’t have a chance in New York if it didn’t celebrate upstart Jewish thieves. After all, ultimate losers in the Milken/Merkin game are evil American peasants and kulaks. We can be sure “Junk” will be another bill of indictment against them. These prototype Trump voters deserve their unemployment and opiated ends.

    This is war. And by deception shall you make it.

    Read More
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  17. sabril says:

    The transaction you describe is called a ‘leveraged buyout.’ It’s basically the opposite of taking a company public.

    My question to you is this: Who are the victims in such a transaction? The original shareholders get cold hard cash for their shares. The investors in the “junk bonds” enjoy a high rate of interest AND legal priority over the insiders in terms of access to company profits. Which is why they are willing to take the risk of bankruptcy.

    I know that the phrase “junk bonds” sounds evil to you, kind of like how “white privilege” sounds to your typical SJW, but in reality, “junk bonds” are more secure than common stock in the same company.

    The real problem, of course, is that a lot of the financiers who get rich off these transactions are Jewish. Kinda like how the wealthy white farmers in Zimbabwe were obviously getting rich by exploiting and stealing from poor blacks.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Marty
    One of the harshest critics of Milken, going so far as to write a book about him, was Ben Stein, the former SEC lawyer and son of the chair of Nixon's Council Of Economic Advisers.
    , @Opinionator
    An interesting post that merits a response by someone knowledgeable in these things.
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  18. Yngvar says:

    …and the new religion of money…

    This morning I saw the sun rise. Have you ever seen such a thing?

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  19. Carneades says:

    If the old white establishment ever supposedly cared more about their workers and society than the mean and nasty investment bankers do then they would never have cashed in on the value of their firms by using those same investment bankers to take their companies public in the first place. A firm is a lot more vulnerable to a hostile takeover and then dismemberment if its ownership is publicly traded via common stock. Grow up. Wall Street has always been a cut throat place.

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  20. Mj says:
    @Dave Pinsen
    Debt has been an asset for the holder of it for as long as there've been institutions to enforce contracts, which probably goes back to the dawn of civilization.

    Junk bonds are basically lower quality (less expectation of repayment), where the tradeoff is a higher yield. But even a junk bond is less risky than common stock in the same company.

    I don't remember all the details of Milken's case, but I recall thinking there was some prosecutorial zeal involved, though perhaps not to the same extent as with Martha Stewart years later.

    Junk bonds may in fact be even riskier than common stock

    Read More
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  21. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    In 1988 I worked in the MGM Building at 55th and 6th in NYC. At the time there were a bunch of Arthur’s Androids working there also, making copies. Young accounting majors running Xerox machines. Later I found out they were making copies for the feds either for the Milken or Ivan Boesky prosecutions, I can’t remember which since there’s been so many Wall St. crooks over the years.

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  22. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    It looks like there already is Michael Milken street theatre in Times Square…

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  23. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Hmm, from the capsule of the Linus Roache (token Brit) country clubber character this sounds like the nth-generation gloss on Jerry Sterner’s “Other People’s Money” (pretty good as I recall, though I never saw the weird-looking Danny DeVito/Gregory Peck movie adaptation).

    I’m not convinced “The Big Short” (film) deserves its rep. The treatment is very broad. It seems to be about flattering the viewer more than anything else.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Forbes
    The Danny DeVito/Gregory Peck movie was close to slap stick, as you might imagine. DeVito's characters are always over-the-top exaggerations.

    The Big Short tells an interesting, if rather small, story of a few contrarian-type investors looking for faults, or pricing errors, in the market price system. Most people in Wall St. make money by cranking out product--more loans, more stock & bond issues, more trading. Follow the trend and what's selling, what's popular. But what's in fashion goes out of fashion, and trends reverse--where a killing can be made by speculating--and getting right--the reversal.

    Being wrong is supposed to be costly--and it was. The question was, who paid the price? The movie assumed the moral and legal consequences were the one and the same. They're not.

    Yeah, the movie flattered the viewer.
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  24. Or, they’ll just pretend he was a WASP. See, e.g., The Wolf of Wall Street film.

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  25. Langley says:
    @Anon
    So, the Jewish hegemony is finally being challenged by a 'hindu'(albeit of another religion)

    White folks got 'antisemite' baggage , but 'hindus' don't. They can say more.
    Interesting that the challenge is coming from curry than chop suey. But then, the East Asians were always more servile to the power whereas 'hindus' are more confrontational, albeit in a negotiating way.

    But then, maybe the 'hindus' wanna subvert Jewish financial hegemony because they want a bigger stake in it.

    It's like Jews used leftism to subvert white wealth and power only to take over those very positions.

    Invoke egalitarianism against current elitism to control the new elitism.

    Most Pakistanis are Muslim.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    That's why I wrote 'hindus'.
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  26. bomag says:
    @guest
    "the story of how debt overtook value as the path to enormous wealth"

    Michael Milken was present at the origin of banking circa 2000 B.C.?

    But seriously, why must they perpetually pump these things up? Junk bonds are a drop in the ocean compared to the Fed. I want to see plays about the Rockefellers and Morgans, Baruchs and Bernankes.

    Michael Milken was present at the origin of banking circa 2000 B.C.?

    LOL

    Still, it’s a bit fraudulent to leverage barrier to entry and other market defeating mechanisms to announce that executives and “consultants” are now worth a lot more money, so thusly a company must now borrow a buttload of money to keep them in the remuneration to which they have recently discovered they are entitled.

    Read More
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  27. @Anonymous
    Well, I suppose that's why 'Merkin'* was substituted for 'Milken'.

    *Look it up in a dictionary.

    Was also the name of the US President portrayed by Peter Sellars in Dr. Strangelove.

    Read More
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  28. This play sounds a bit like a 1991 movie “Other People’s Money” with Danny DeVito targeting a New England wire factory run whose patriarch was played by Gregory Peck. I never saw it, though.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I saw "Other People's Money" in play form in Chicago around 1989.
    , @Stan Adams
    http://articles.latimes.com/1991-01-13/entertainment/ca-524_1_danny-devito/3

    The film version of "Other People's Money," which will be the director's 26th feature, is also notable for addressing, or rather sidestepping, another, more controversial, issue--the charges of anti-Semitism that greeted Sterner's play during its initial New York run. The playwright's protagonist, a Jewish corporate takeover artist, was named Larry Garfinkle, not Garfield. As played by the New York stage actor Kevin Conway in the Off-Broadway production, the portrayal of Garfinkle raised questions among some critics and audiences who found Conway's performance to be larger-than-life--uncomfortably so. Some reviewers called Conway's Garfinkle a Wall Street Jackie Mason--a performance more akin to stand-up comedy than straight theater, one that emphasized the character's ethnicity and loaded Sterner's play with potentially anti-Semitic "Merchant of Venice" overtones.

    Critic Mel Gussow wrote in his review of the play in the New York Times: "One might legitimately ask whether it is necessary for the author to have a character that reinforces an ethnic stereotype."

    While Conway disputed any charges of anti-Semitism in his performance with an interview with the New York Times, it nonetheless was a portrayal that surprised even the play's author, who had originally turned down the actor as not right for the role during an earlier regional theater run.

    "The character that I had in my head was not the character that Kevin had in his head," acknowledged Sterner, who added a cautionary postscript to the play's published text: "The character of Garfinkle can be played in many ways. The one way he should not be played is overly, coarsely, 'ethnic.' "

    "I wrote that note because I was afraid that what Kevin had originated other actors would try to copy," said Sterner in an interview with the New York Times. "I did not want the play to become controversial about what it is not about. It's not about Garfinkle's being Jewish, it's about his doing good or not."

    Although the film version of "Other People's Money" originally retained the name of Garfinkle for the protagonist--and indeed the cast and crew's scripts carried the printed word "Garfinkle" crossed out with "Garfield" penciled in--Jewison is quick to dismiss any suggestion of capitulation.

    "Who changed the name? I changed it," says the director, who had met with the Off-Broadway actor after the play first opened. "I said 'You have to be careful, man, not to overdo it.' It's not important that Larry Garfinkle is Jewish. Boone Pickens isn't Jewish. Jimmy Goldsmith is, as are nine out of the 12 top corporate raiders in America, but there are three others that aren't. What does it matter, anyway? This isn't about religion."

    Adds DeVito: "Garfinkle? Garfield? John Garfield is my favorite actor."

    When pressed for further explanation, DeVito shrugs, "I'm obviously not Jewish, but my wife (actress Rhea Perlman) is and so I guess my kids are Jewish. Look, we're not laying into any big ethnic thing here. You don't look at me and think Norwegian. I'm Italian. But to play this guy as a Jewish arbitrager, don't you think that would be like playing a gangster movie with only Italians? It's kind of an ethnic slur."
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  29. @Andrew M
    Sounds like the old WASP aristocracy had "noblesse oblige"; the new Jewish aristocracy is only slowly discovering it.

    Who knows –in a few hundred years, it might even develop into something, as it did with the old aristocracy. Sadly though, Europe and America don’t have a few hundred years. We likely don’t even have a few decades.

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  30. George says:

    “His junk-bond strategy is viewed as vulgar by WASP industrialists”

    High Yield bonds competed with commercial banks. They were used by company managements to take businesses private. They were also used to compete against old time monopolies, for example MCI vs ATT/Bell system. Commercial banks and online monopolies were the ones that were threatened by junk bonds. Another aspect of the competition was the commercial bankers were often local and regional, while Drexel was California/NYC/maybe Florida. It is not clear that non costal whites operating S&Ls and regional banks are best described as WASPs, they were more State U than Ivy League U.

    The Money center bank vs Savings and Loan banks is similar. Some back woods types (James B Rogers I think) note that during the SL crisis the SLs were allowed to fail and be bought out by the ‘money center’ banks, some SL bankers even sent to jail. But when the money center banks collapsed in 09 they were bailed out rather than closed down having their assets distributed to for example well-capitalized region and local banks. No money center bankers went to jail. One reason New York City, in particular, is doing so well is it’s banking industry was permitted to continue rather than be redistributed to successful banks.

    A curiousity of all this is if Milken actually did anything wrong, I did not read Den of Thieves, but it seemed to me Milken did not really do anything that deserved criminal punishment. In that line of reasoning, did Martin Skhereli actually do anything wrong?

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    • Replies: @Not Raul
    >> In that line of reasoning, did Martin Skhereli actually do anything wrong? <<

    Yes, but I believe him to be innocent of many of the most serious charges. He's being tarred and feathered to distract the public, so that bigger and better connected fish can get off the hook.

    , @Forbes
    Miliken certainly had the resources to defend himself--his bonus a year or two prior was $500 million. He took a plea deal and 10-year prison sentence to save his brother from prosecution.

    It's pretty safe to say that Miliken's criminal SEC violations--plea deals require defedants to attribute their crimes in court--would've easily garnered a 10 year sentence.
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  31. ic1000 says:

    Compare and contrast.

    Steve comments, “A lot of what Milken did was junk the idea that business leaders had unwritten obligations, such as to behave with prudent stewardship concerning the organizations under their care.”

    LAT Theater Critic Charles McNulty had written: “[Milken's/Merkin's] junk-bond strategy is viewed as vulgar by WASP industrialists who can’t believe the new landscape in which Jewish financiers… can plunder venerable, if suddenly vulnerable, manufacturing firms that make a tangible contribution to the American economy. (These bluebloods, arrogant, self-entitled and unthinkingly bigoted, don’t appreciate outsiders encroaching on their aristocratic turf.)”

    It’s not clear whether McNulty is speaking for himself, for the play’s protagonist-journalist Judy Chen, or for playwright Ayad Akhtar. Pick two, maybe pick all three.

    The workers who got pink-slipped had it coming. It’s doubtful that many were on the front lines of the fight for transgender rights.

    Premature Deplorables.

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  32. George says:

    http://www.lajollaplayhouse.org/junk

    La Jolla Playhouse’s JUNK: THE GOLDEN AGE OF DEBT

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  33. The Jew / WASP ruling class of the United States has been around for a lot longer than some Jews like to admit. For well over a century now, the Jews have been prominent on Wall Street and in banking. Steve Sailer’s riff on Judah Benjamin reveals that Jewish money men have been involved with the WASP banking cohort for a long damn time.

    What has changed has been the WASP capitulation to Jewish notions of American national identity. What has changed has been Nixon going off the gold standard and going to a total debt-based fiat currency system that is conducive to financial schemes that some of the more clever Jews love to create. What has changed has been the sense of belonging to the past and the present in the same way that you belong to the future. There has been a severing of the obligation to maintain and build political, cultural and economic systems that function over the span of generations.

    We no longer have managerial capitalism nor democratic capitalism nor free market capitalism. What we have now is globalized central bank shysterism and it is not going to last much longer. Once again, I say raise the federal funds rate to 10 percent and collapse the bubbles in stocks, bonds and real estate. That will dislodge the WASP/ Jew ruling class from power in the American Empire.

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  34. ganderson says:

    The philosopher-king Warren checks in:

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  35. Alan Dershowitz attacked the author of this book for happening to mention the names of some of the financial con artists who were running amok in the United States a few decades ago. The Wall Street Journal allows Alan Dershowitz to opine on this or that on its opinion pages. The WASP / Jew ruling class of the American Empire is evil.

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  36. carol says:
    @guest
    Not that a play about a junk bond king isn't a promising premise. I just don't care for the salesmanship.

    "Debt becomes an asset" is a perfect description of the entire point of banking. (Or at least credit-issuing banking. I suppose at some point banks could've been mere warehouses.) The idea that the financial industry only discovered it in 1985 is ludicrous.

    Anthony Trollope believed, or at least suspected credit was king…in 1860…

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  37. Jake says:

    Every ‘theory’ is potentially workable, IF the right people and only the right people live in the society in question. I’ll leave it to others to list the groups that if present in numbers larger than 1 or 2% will ruin a libertarian or laissez faire society.

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  38. Read More
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  39. Yak-15 says:
    @Andrew M
    Sounds like the old WASP aristocracy had "noblesse oblige"; the new Jewish aristocracy is only slowly discovering it.

    It would appear this obligation is selective in only choosing minorities as far as I can tell.

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  40. @Anonymous
    You're assuming that this play is more critical of Jewish financial elites than it is of the old WASP elite. That seems unlikely. Variations of this basic premise have been done before, and while they've tended to be critical of the upstart Jewish financiers for being uncouth, greedy, arriviste, etc., they've also portrayed them as economically necessary or inevitable and not as bad as the old WASP elite who were bigoted and old fashioned and economically stuck in the past.

    I don’t generally see those of Asian subcontinental descent criticizing progressives at all, to be honest. I rarely see them here even on Unz opposing it and pretty much every instance I can think of reflects them cooperating with the hegemony.

    I’ll be happy to be convinced otherwise.

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    • Agree: Opinionator, Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @Anon
    I don’t generally see those of Asian subcontinental descent criticizing progressives at all, to be honest.

    The 'kins are very clever. Unlike mono-mental East Asians who drink the PC Kool-Aid, the 'kins are gauging the situation, playing it both ways, Gandhi-like. Gandhi was a genius troll.

    So, yes, the 'kins can be very servile, like in sucking up to Anglos for 200 yrs. But they are also very 'haggly-negotiative' AT EVERY LEVEL. All that diversity and clutter of caste system made it necessary for each side to find ways around things.

    In East Asia, the hierarchies were clearer. You'd think the 'kins would have clear hierarchy due to caste systems, but the problem was there were so many subcastese and so many races/ethnic groups. Imagine if Japan had been made up of 50 ethniticies than just one. Their caste system would have been more 'kin-ish.

    So, you gotta watch it when the 'kins act PC. They are more likely to play it as a game. And this goes for hindu 'kins and muslim 'kins who are really just converted hindus.

    I mean that kid who wrote BLM 1oox. Only a 'kin would be bold and devious.

    The thing about 'kins is they have high social allergy threshold.

    In FORSYTE SAGA, if someone feels insulted or loses his/her face, he or she refuses to see or talk to that person for many yrs.

    The 'kin's can insult each other much more but still rub shoulders to do 'business' or see what's up.

    It's like in GURU. People in that movie mercilessly shi* on each other but still maintain social relations.

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  41. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anon
    So, the Jewish hegemony is finally being challenged by a 'hindu'(albeit of another religion)

    White folks got 'antisemite' baggage , but 'hindus' don't. They can say more.
    Interesting that the challenge is coming from curry than chop suey. But then, the East Asians were always more servile to the power whereas 'hindus' are more confrontational, albeit in a negotiating way.

    But then, maybe the 'hindus' wanna subvert Jewish financial hegemony because they want a bigger stake in it.

    It's like Jews used leftism to subvert white wealth and power only to take over those very positions.

    Invoke egalitarianism against current elitism to control the new elitism.

    Akhtar is a spoiled Muslim kid who grew up in a rich suburb of Milwaukee. He wrote an autobiographical novel a while ago detailing how difficult it was for him growing up in the suburbs with two doctors as parents–it seems his drunk father couldn’t get enough of White nurses and Akhtar spent most of his youth consoling his poor mother. Then he wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning play about how hard it was being a Pakistani married to a White woman in New York. How Junk Bonds and Milken got on his radar is curious.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    Akhtar is a spoiled Muslim kid who grew up in a rich suburb of Milwaukee... he wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning play about how hard it was being a Pakistani married to a White woman in New York. How Junk Bonds and Milken got on his radar is curious.

    Junk life is drawn to junk finance. Life as game of fun, status, opportunities.

    People pretend to satirize and critique what they most desire and pursue.
    , @Off The Street
    Akhtar will need to hire musicians to give the play a snappy soundtrack now that Hamilton has set the mark for what are presented as historicist plays.
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  42. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonymous
    Strangely enough, quite a buzz-word meme is now disseminating - incited, no doubt, by the 'comedy' fraternity - for using the term 'junk' to describe the male genitalia.
    If present trends continue, it's likely that the modern obscene usage will rise up to eclipse the old meaning.

    Part of the ever escalating negrofication (Germans call it Verniggerung) of our language and hence our “culture.” They enjoy rolling in filth (e.g., “funk”).

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  43. res says:
    @Dave Pinsen
    The dot-com bubble was funded mainly by equity, not debt, and Greenspan warned of "irrational exuberance" early on. Also, the dot-com bubble was more democratic, in a sense, than this century's internet boom in that companies went public a lot earlier, so average people had a shot at buying lottery tickets too. Today you've got companies valued at tens of billions without having gone public.

    Dot-com 1.0 was also more democratic in that the skills needed to get a foot in the door were simpler.

    Greenspan warned of “irrational exuberance” early on.

    And then continued an environment where it thrived. Surely you remember the “Greenspan put”?

    http://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/greenspanput.asp

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    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Sure, I remember the term. I also remember the steep bear market from March 2000 to October 2002 occurred on his watch.
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  44. Read More
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  45. I replied that we were barely making payroll some weeks as it were, so if we rolled the dice like that, we’d almost certainly go under, costing you, me, and most of the other 2,500 employees our jobs. And I personally like having a job. The CEO said he agreed and threw the junk bond proposal in the trash.

    It’s a good thing your CEO listened to you. There were college students carrying your clipboards around in the shopping mall in Boulder who needed their paychecks. I’m pretty sure they were working for your market research company.

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  46. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Daniel Chieh
    I don't generally see those of Asian subcontinental descent criticizing progressives at all, to be honest. I rarely see them here even on Unz opposing it and pretty much every instance I can think of reflects them cooperating with the hegemony.

    I'll be happy to be convinced otherwise.

    I don’t generally see those of Asian subcontinental descent criticizing progressives at all, to be honest.

    The ‘kins are very clever. Unlike mono-mental East Asians who drink the PC Kool-Aid, the ‘kins are gauging the situation, playing it both ways, Gandhi-like. Gandhi was a genius troll.

    So, yes, the ‘kins can be very servile, like in sucking up to Anglos for 200 yrs. But they are also very ‘haggly-negotiative’ AT EVERY LEVEL. All that diversity and clutter of caste system made it necessary for each side to find ways around things.

    In East Asia, the hierarchies were clearer. You’d think the ‘kins would have clear hierarchy due to caste systems, but the problem was there were so many subcastese and so many races/ethnic groups. Imagine if Japan had been made up of 50 ethniticies than just one. Their caste system would have been more ‘kin-ish.

    So, you gotta watch it when the ‘kins act PC. They are more likely to play it as a game. And this goes for hindu ‘kins and muslim ‘kins who are really just converted hindus.

    I mean that kid who wrote BLM 1oox. Only a ‘kin would be bold and devious.

    The thing about ‘kins is they have high social allergy threshold.

    In FORSYTE SAGA, if someone feels insulted or loses his/her face, he or she refuses to see or talk to that person for many yrs.

    The ‘kin’s can insult each other much more but still rub shoulders to do ‘business’ or see what’s up.

    It’s like in GURU. People in that movie mercilessly shi* on each other but still maintain social relations.

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  47. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonymous
    You're assuming that this play is more critical of Jewish financial elites than it is of the old WASP elite. That seems unlikely. Variations of this basic premise have been done before, and while they've tended to be critical of the upstart Jewish financiers for being uncouth, greedy, arriviste, etc., they've also portrayed them as economically necessary or inevitable and not as bad as the old WASP elite who were bigoted and old fashioned and economically stuck in the past.

    You’re assuming that this play is more critical of Jewish financial elites than it is of the old WASP elite.

    Anyone who knows anything knows Milken’s Jewish and the rise of new financial economy(along with super-rise of gambling) had a heavy Jewish hand.

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  48. Lurker says:
    @Anonymous
    You're assuming that this play is more critical of Jewish financial elites than it is of the old WASP elite. That seems unlikely. Variations of this basic premise have been done before, and while they've tended to be critical of the upstart Jewish financiers for being uncouth, greedy, arriviste, etc., they've also portrayed them as economically necessary or inevitable and not as bad as the old WASP elite who were bigoted and old fashioned and economically stuck in the past.

    Another way to blur/bury the message is to have non-jews playing jews and to insert gentile characters into jewish roles. “Wolf of Wall Street”, “Margin Call” etc

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  49. Lewis33 says:

    So the real life Michael Milken has a actor doppleganger named Paul Ben-Victor (Vondas on The Wire) but is being cast with Haven Monahan lookalike Steven Pasqualle. Bwahahahaha.

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  50. peterike says:

    Thank goodness this is written by a Pakistani, because we all know that Pakistanis are scrupulously above board, especially when it comes to money matters.

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  51. @Dave Pinsen
    Debt has been an asset for the holder of it for as long as there've been institutions to enforce contracts, which probably goes back to the dawn of civilization.

    Junk bonds are basically lower quality (less expectation of repayment), where the tradeoff is a higher yield. But even a junk bond is less risky than common stock in the same company.

    I don't remember all the details of Milken's case, but I recall thinking there was some prosecutorial zeal involved, though perhaps not to the same extent as with Martha Stewart years later.

    Milken attempted to whitewash his reputation by hosting the Milken Conference starting in the mid-1990s. He would bring together Nobel Laureates and other worthies in a nice setting as part of his rebranding efforts. He also appeared on Martha Stewart’s show once. I attended a few when I worked in Los Angeles, and appreciated hearing from Markowitz, Becker et al but still thought the host was sleazy and unrepentant.

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    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Milken also did a lot of work donating to and coordinating cancer research.
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  52. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonymous
    Akhtar is a spoiled Muslim kid who grew up in a rich suburb of Milwaukee. He wrote an autobiographical novel a while ago detailing how difficult it was for him growing up in the suburbs with two doctors as parents--it seems his drunk father couldn't get enough of White nurses and Akhtar spent most of his youth consoling his poor mother. Then he wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning play about how hard it was being a Pakistani married to a White woman in New York. How Junk Bonds and Milken got on his radar is curious.

    Akhtar is a spoiled Muslim kid who grew up in a rich suburb of Milwaukee… he wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning play about how hard it was being a Pakistani married to a White woman in New York. How Junk Bonds and Milken got on his radar is curious.

    Junk life is drawn to junk finance. Life as game of fun, status, opportunities.

    People pretend to satirize and critique what they most desire and pursue.

    Read More
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  53. @Anonymous
    Akhtar is a spoiled Muslim kid who grew up in a rich suburb of Milwaukee. He wrote an autobiographical novel a while ago detailing how difficult it was for him growing up in the suburbs with two doctors as parents--it seems his drunk father couldn't get enough of White nurses and Akhtar spent most of his youth consoling his poor mother. Then he wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning play about how hard it was being a Pakistani married to a White woman in New York. How Junk Bonds and Milken got on his radar is curious.

    Akhtar will need to hire musicians to give the play a snappy soundtrack now that Hamilton has set the mark for what are presented as historicist plays.

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  54. AB- says:
    @Anonymous
    Well, I suppose that's why 'Merkin'* was substituted for 'Milken'.

    *Look it up in a dictionary.

    Well, I suppose that’s why ‘Merkin’* was substituted for ‘Milken’.

    *Look it up in a dictionary.

    It’s a pubic wig. The president in Dr. Strangelove was Merkin Muffly….

    I would have named it Den of Thieves instead of Junk; then Alan Dershowitz could go ape-shit, buy a $75,000 full page ad in the NYT, and denounce it as jew hating…LOL

    Just saw Chas. Pewitt had the same idea…

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    • Replies: @guest
    Hollywood and Use guess Broadway too like one-word titles, like Saw. Especially ones with multiple meanings, though I don't want to think the other popular definition of "junk" was intended. At least in this case the word conveys information about the content of the play.

    Three word titles are too much reading for today's movie/playgoer.

    , @Forbes
    Miliken infamously wore a toupe during his Drexel years.
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  55. fitzGetty says:

    … my father can still be heard occasionally humming that catchy radio jingle for “””Drexel Burnham high yield bonds”’ …

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  56. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonymous
    Strangely enough, quite a buzz-word meme is now disseminating - incited, no doubt, by the 'comedy' fraternity - for using the term 'junk' to describe the male genitalia.
    If present trends continue, it's likely that the modern obscene usage will rise up to eclipse the old meaning.

    That’s old. The usage of junk for genitalia dates to the dot com era at least (c. 2000), as I remember being confused by it when I first encountered it on the internet around that time.

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  57. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Off The Street
    Milken attempted to whitewash his reputation by hosting the Milken Conference starting in the mid-1990s. He would bring together Nobel Laureates and other worthies in a nice setting as part of his rebranding efforts. He also appeared on Martha Stewart's show once. I attended a few when I worked in Los Angeles, and appreciated hearing from Markowitz, Becker et al but still thought the host was sleazy and unrepentant.

    Milken also did a lot of work donating to and coordinating cancer research.

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    • Replies: @AB-

    Milken also did a lot of work donating to and coordinating cancer research.
     
    Do you think it had something to do with his prostate cancer???

    Kind of like Marc Rich, he had ALL the jews calling Clinton to get his pardon. Rich had passed out millions of stolen, fraudulent, scammed dollars out to jew charities, and they were returning the favor.
    , @MadDog
    Replacing people's pensions with debt in order to cash out enables one to give to charity. Doesn't make it ethical. Stolen money is stolen money. Destroying many lives so that you can use their money to seem benevolent isn't cool.
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  58. guest says:
    @Jenner Ickham Errican
    Uh oh. More “whitewashing” casting drama, this time north of Boston. Apparently casting Jewish, Greek, and Italian-descended actors as White Hispanic historic personages is whitewashing. From the Boston Globe:

    Casting controversy surrounds North Shore Music Theatre’s ‘Evita’

    It seems to be that Mandy Patinkin is the Typhoid Mary of whitewashing:

    Concerns about ethnic accuracy were muted at best in 1979 when Patti LuPone, who is not Latina, originated the role of Eva Peron on Broadway in “Evita,’’ opposite Mandy Patinkin, also not Latino, as the revolutionary firebrand Che Guevara.
     

    “Concerns about ethnic accuracy were muted at best”

    That makes no sense.

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  59. guest says:
    @Dave Pinsen
    Debt has been an asset for the holder of it for as long as there've been institutions to enforce contracts, which probably goes back to the dawn of civilization.

    Junk bonds are basically lower quality (less expectation of repayment), where the tradeoff is a higher yield. But even a junk bond is less risky than common stock in the same company.

    I don't remember all the details of Milken's case, but I recall thinking there was some prosecutorial zeal involved, though perhaps not to the same extent as with Martha Stewart years later.

    “for as long as there’ve been institutions to enforce contracts”

    Do Larry the Pipe and Icepick Sam count as institutions?

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    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Informal ones. But civilized governments generally aspire to have a monopoly on the use of force on citizens, and a core function of governments is to ensure the enforcement of contracts. And ancient Sumer apparently had contracts, including ones related to debt: http://history-world.org/sumercontracts.htm

    So, presumably, if you didn't get repaid on a loan, you wouldn't have to call Larry the Pipe. You could just go to the local government with a copy of the contract, and the government would force your counter party to pay up to the extent possible.
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  60. @John Mansfield
    This play sounds a bit like a 1991 movie "Other People's Money" with Danny DeVito targeting a New England wire factory run whose patriarch was played by Gregory Peck. I never saw it, though.

    I saw “Other People’s Money” in play form in Chicago around 1989.

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  61. AB- says:
    @Dave Pinsen
    Milken also did a lot of work donating to and coordinating cancer research.

    Milken also did a lot of work donating to and coordinating cancer research.

    Do you think it had something to do with his prostate cancer???

    Kind of like Marc Rich, he had ALL the jews calling Clinton to get his pardon. Rich had passed out millions of stolen, fraudulent, scammed dollars out to jew charities, and they were returning the favor.

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    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Of course it had something to do with his prostate cancer. But it's been good work, nevertheless, and hasn't been limited to prostate cancer. E.g., http://www.fastercures.org/

    On the other side of the ledger, perhaps, Milken was very influential in expanding the use of soy in foods. IIRC, he was told initially that he'd only have a few years to live, and that soy could extend his life. So he ate a ton of soy protein shakes, etc. Then, when he realized he might live longer, he hired a CIA-grad chef to come up with vegan facsimiles of traditional foods. He even had her publish a cook book on it, and donated the proceeds to charity. I noticed a local vegan Chinese restaurant added his tofu-based cheesecakes to its menu soon after.
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  62. guest says:
    @AB-

    Well, I suppose that’s why ‘Merkin’* was substituted for ‘Milken’.

    *Look it up in a dictionary.
     

    It's a pubic wig. The president in Dr. Strangelove was Merkin Muffly....

    I would have named it Den of Thieves instead of Junk; then Alan Dershowitz could go ape-shit, buy a $75,000 full page ad in the NYT, and denounce it as jew hating...LOL

    Just saw Chas. Pewitt had the same idea...

    Hollywood and Use guess Broadway too like one-word titles, like Saw. Especially ones with multiple meanings, though I don’t want to think the other popular definition of “junk” was intended. At least in this case the word conveys information about the content of the play.

    Three word titles are too much reading for today’s movie/playgoer.

    Read More
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  63. Chuck says:
    @guest
    "the story of how debt overtook value as the path to enormous wealth"

    Michael Milken was present at the origin of banking circa 2000 B.C.?

    But seriously, why must they perpetually pump these things up? Junk bonds are a drop in the ocean compared to the Fed. I want to see plays about the Rockefellers and Morgans, Baruchs and Bernankes.

    The eternal merchant.

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  64. Nico says:

    Ayad Akhtar, the son of a couple of Pakistani doctors… takes on the equally explosive subjects of modern finance and the new religion of money… Part Shakespearean history play, part “The Big Short,” “Junk” tells the story of how debt overtook value as the path to enormous wealth

    A subcontinental takes on the dark moments of American history.

    Reminds me of the Hindu Shekhar Kapur’s take on Queen Elizabeth. The first film in particular did absolutely nothing if not portray Britain’s royal and Christian (Catholic and Protestant alike) heritage the the blackest light possible.

    Yes, it was interesting, but frankly, I’ve had my fill of brown people from shithole countries telling me how bad people like me run mine. (And Milken may be a Jew but I’ve little doubt the WASPs, the pasty-facedness and the American flag will be hit hardest.)

    Pass.

    Read More
    • Replies: @epebble
    I liked the movie Elizabeth(1998); It won numerous awards including an Oscar. It sure is not a documentary but distills all the nastiness anyone hears from the tour guides at the Tower of London. I don't remember a single negative review of the film. After 19 years, it seems to score at least 4 stars.
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  65. @Jenner Ickham Errican
    Uh oh. More “whitewashing” casting drama, this time north of Boston. Apparently casting Jewish, Greek, and Italian-descended actors as White Hispanic historic personages is whitewashing. From the Boston Globe:

    Casting controversy surrounds North Shore Music Theatre’s ‘Evita’

    It seems to be that Mandy Patinkin is the Typhoid Mary of whitewashing:

    Concerns about ethnic accuracy were muted at best in 1979 when Patti LuPone, who is not Latina, originated the role of Eva Peron on Broadway in “Evita,’’ opposite Mandy Patinkin, also not Latino, as the revolutionary firebrand Che Guevara.
     

    That’s funny. Juan and Eva Peron were almost certainly 100% European. They couldn’t even claim to be light-skinned mestizos.

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  66. Nick Dunne nailed this old/new money feud in “People Like Us.” He made it pretty clear that both factions were pretty obnoxious.

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  67. I’ve had my fill of brown people from shithole countries telling me how bad people like me run mine.

    +10

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  68. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @guest
    "for as long as there've been institutions to enforce contracts"

    Do Larry the Pipe and Icepick Sam count as institutions?

    Informal ones. But civilized governments generally aspire to have a monopoly on the use of force on citizens, and a core function of governments is to ensure the enforcement of contracts. And ancient Sumer apparently had contracts, including ones related to debt: http://history-world.org/sumercontracts.htm

    So, presumably, if you didn’t get repaid on a loan, you wouldn’t have to call Larry the Pipe. You could just go to the local government with a copy of the contract, and the government would force your counter party to pay up to the extent possible.

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  69. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @AB-

    Milken also did a lot of work donating to and coordinating cancer research.
     
    Do you think it had something to do with his prostate cancer???

    Kind of like Marc Rich, he had ALL the jews calling Clinton to get his pardon. Rich had passed out millions of stolen, fraudulent, scammed dollars out to jew charities, and they were returning the favor.

    Of course it had something to do with his prostate cancer. But it’s been good work, nevertheless, and hasn’t been limited to prostate cancer. E.g., http://www.fastercures.org/

    On the other side of the ledger, perhaps, Milken was very influential in expanding the use of soy in foods. IIRC, he was told initially that he’d only have a few years to live, and that soy could extend his life. So he ate a ton of soy protein shakes, etc. Then, when he realized he might live longer, he hired a CIA-grad chef to come up with vegan facsimiles of traditional foods. He even had her publish a cook book on it, and donated the proceeds to charity. I noticed a local vegan Chinese restaurant added his tofu-based cheesecakes to its menu soon after.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MadDog
    So giving some of your unearned money to charity makes you good? Isn't that what charity in NYC is about? Optics. Virtue signaling.

    There are people with little who volunteer their time. Or who help out individuals, which is not deductible. They are not applauded.

    But a couple pays $5,000 and upwards to attend a gala where the average suit cost that, as did the spouses dress and they get accolades? Give me a break. Social preening.
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  70. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @res

    Greenspan warned of “irrational exuberance” early on.
     
    And then continued an environment where it thrived. Surely you remember the "Greenspan put"?

    http://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/greenspanput.asp

    Sure, I remember the term. I also remember the steep bear market from March 2000 to October 2002 occurred on his watch.

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  71. MadDog says:
    @Dave Pinsen
    Milken also did a lot of work donating to and coordinating cancer research.

    Replacing people’s pensions with debt in order to cash out enables one to give to charity. Doesn’t make it ethical. Stolen money is stolen money. Destroying many lives so that you can use their money to seem benevolent isn’t cool.

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  72. MadDog says:
    @Dave Pinsen
    Of course it had something to do with his prostate cancer. But it's been good work, nevertheless, and hasn't been limited to prostate cancer. E.g., http://www.fastercures.org/

    On the other side of the ledger, perhaps, Milken was very influential in expanding the use of soy in foods. IIRC, he was told initially that he'd only have a few years to live, and that soy could extend his life. So he ate a ton of soy protein shakes, etc. Then, when he realized he might live longer, he hired a CIA-grad chef to come up with vegan facsimiles of traditional foods. He even had her publish a cook book on it, and donated the proceeds to charity. I noticed a local vegan Chinese restaurant added his tofu-based cheesecakes to its menu soon after.

    So giving some of your unearned money to charity makes you good? Isn’t that what charity in NYC is about? Optics. Virtue signaling.

    There are people with little who volunteer their time. Or who help out individuals, which is not deductible. They are not applauded.

    But a couple pays $5,000 and upwards to attend a gala where the average suit cost that, as did the spouses dress and they get accolades? Give me a break. Social preening.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Milken did a lot more than donate money to cancer research.
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  73. Marty says:
    @sabril
    The transaction you describe is called a 'leveraged buyout.' It's basically the opposite of taking a company public.

    My question to you is this: Who are the victims in such a transaction? The original shareholders get cold hard cash for their shares. The investors in the "junk bonds" enjoy a high rate of interest AND legal priority over the insiders in terms of access to company profits. Which is why they are willing to take the risk of bankruptcy.

    I know that the phrase "junk bonds" sounds evil to you, kind of like how "white privilege" sounds to your typical SJW, but in reality, "junk bonds" are more secure than common stock in the same company.

    The real problem, of course, is that a lot of the financiers who get rich off these transactions are Jewish. Kinda like how the wealthy white farmers in Zimbabwe were obviously getting rich by exploiting and stealing from poor blacks.

    One of the harshest critics of Milken, going so far as to write a book about him, was Ben Stein, the former SEC lawyer and son of the chair of Nixon’s Council Of Economic Advisers.

    Read More
    • Replies: @sabril
    I don't know enough about Milken to say whether he himself was a bad actor.

    But I do know enough to say that junk bonds and leveraged buyouts are not necessarily bad things.

    Maybe Steve should go whole hog and criticize "moneylenders," i.e. people who have the temerity to lend money at interest.
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  74. Forbes says:
    @Anonymous
    You're assuming that this play is more critical of Jewish financial elites than it is of the old WASP elite. That seems unlikely. Variations of this basic premise have been done before, and while they've tended to be critical of the upstart Jewish financiers for being uncouth, greedy, arriviste, etc., they've also portrayed them as economically necessary or inevitable and not as bad as the old WASP elite who were bigoted and old fashioned and economically stuck in the past.

    The “old WASP elite” is a funny one. I wonder if anyone could name them? (Of the relevent period in the ’80s.)

    Merrill Lynch was famously considered the (Irish) Catholic investment bank. Donald Regan became President Reagan’s first Treasury Secretary. Upstart Drexel Burnham was run by Fred Joseph (Michael Miliken’s outfit). John Gutfreund ran Salomon Brothers. Goldman Sachs refused to do hostile takeovers. Bear Stearns was run by Ace Greenberg. Lehman Brothers (Lewis Glucksman) was taken over by Shearson American Express (with Peter Cohen the resulting CEO), and followed by taking out EF Hutton.

    Dillon Read, Kidder Peabody (small boutique investment banks), and Paine Webber (retail brokerage) were inconsequential players. There’s probably a firm or two I’ve forgotten in 30 years.

    Dean Witer was a retail broker when taken over by Morgan Stanley. Apparently Morgan Stanley takes the crown as “old WASP elite” of the banking world.

    Citibank, Chase, and JP Morgan were commercial banks then–not involved in underwriting (junk bond issuance) or M&A advisory (hostile takeovers).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Right, a lot of Milken-style behavior was rationalized as Fighting Discrimination, discrimination that barely existed anymore.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    Kidder Peabody famously employed a pioneering black security fraudster, Joseph Jett. I don't believe he served any jail time, though he was bared from the securities industry for life.
    , @Yngvar
    The play talks about WASP "industrialists", not bankers.
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  75. Not Raul says:
    @George
    "His junk-bond strategy is viewed as vulgar by WASP industrialists"

    High Yield bonds competed with commercial banks. They were used by company managements to take businesses private. They were also used to compete against old time monopolies, for example MCI vs ATT/Bell system. Commercial banks and online monopolies were the ones that were threatened by junk bonds. Another aspect of the competition was the commercial bankers were often local and regional, while Drexel was California/NYC/maybe Florida. It is not clear that non costal whites operating S&Ls and regional banks are best described as WASPs, they were more State U than Ivy League U.

    The Money center bank vs Savings and Loan banks is similar. Some back woods types (James B Rogers I think) note that during the SL crisis the SLs were allowed to fail and be bought out by the 'money center' banks, some SL bankers even sent to jail. But when the money center banks collapsed in 09 they were bailed out rather than closed down having their assets distributed to for example well-capitalized region and local banks. No money center bankers went to jail. One reason New York City, in particular, is doing so well is it's banking industry was permitted to continue rather than be redistributed to successful banks.

    A curiousity of all this is if Milken actually did anything wrong, I did not read Den of Thieves, but it seemed to me Milken did not really do anything that deserved criminal punishment. In that line of reasoning, did Martin Skhereli actually do anything wrong?

    >> In that line of reasoning, did Martin Skhereli actually do anything wrong? <<

    Yes, but I believe him to be innocent of many of the most serious charges. He's being tarred and feathered to distract the public, so that bigger and better connected fish can get off the hook.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Plus, he looks like Rumplestiltskin.
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  76. @Forbes
    The "old WASP elite" is a funny one. I wonder if anyone could name them? (Of the relevent period in the '80s.)

    Merrill Lynch was famously considered the (Irish) Catholic investment bank. Donald Regan became President Reagan's first Treasury Secretary. Upstart Drexel Burnham was run by Fred Joseph (Michael Miliken's outfit). John Gutfreund ran Salomon Brothers. Goldman Sachs refused to do hostile takeovers. Bear Stearns was run by Ace Greenberg. Lehman Brothers (Lewis Glucksman) was taken over by Shearson American Express (with Peter Cohen the resulting CEO), and followed by taking out EF Hutton.

    Dillon Read, Kidder Peabody (small boutique investment banks), and Paine Webber (retail brokerage) were inconsequential players. There's probably a firm or two I've forgotten in 30 years.

    Dean Witer was a retail broker when taken over by Morgan Stanley. Apparently Morgan Stanley takes the crown as "old WASP elite" of the banking world.

    Citibank, Chase, and JP Morgan were commercial banks then--not involved in underwriting (junk bond issuance) or M&A advisory (hostile takeovers).

    Right, a lot of Milken-style behavior was rationalized as Fighting Discrimination, discrimination that barely existed anymore.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Forbes
    Exactly. The Energizer Bunny of narratives--it keeps going and going, immune to the actual environment.
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  77. @Not Raul
    >> In that line of reasoning, did Martin Skhereli actually do anything wrong? <<

    Yes, but I believe him to be innocent of many of the most serious charges. He's being tarred and feathered to distract the public, so that bigger and better connected fish can get off the hook.

    Plus, he looks like Rumplestiltskin.

    Read More
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  78. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @MadDog
    So giving some of your unearned money to charity makes you good? Isn't that what charity in NYC is about? Optics. Virtue signaling.

    There are people with little who volunteer their time. Or who help out individuals, which is not deductible. They are not applauded.

    But a couple pays $5,000 and upwards to attend a gala where the average suit cost that, as did the spouses dress and they get accolades? Give me a break. Social preening.

    Milken did a lot more than donate money to cancer research.

    Read More
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  79. Forbes says:
    @Anonymous
    Hmm, from the capsule of the Linus Roache (token Brit) country clubber character this sounds like the nth-generation gloss on Jerry Sterner's "Other People's Money" (pretty good as I recall, though I never saw the weird-looking Danny DeVito/Gregory Peck movie adaptation).

    I'm not convinced "The Big Short" (film) deserves its rep. The treatment is very broad. It seems to be about flattering the viewer more than anything else.

    The Danny DeVito/Gregory Peck movie was close to slap stick, as you might imagine. DeVito’s characters are always over-the-top exaggerations.

    The Big Short tells an interesting, if rather small, story of a few contrarian-type investors looking for faults, or pricing errors, in the market price system. Most people in Wall St. make money by cranking out product–more loans, more stock & bond issues, more trading. Follow the trend and what’s selling, what’s popular. But what’s in fashion goes out of fashion, and trends reverse–where a killing can be made by speculating–and getting right–the reversal.

    Being wrong is supposed to be costly–and it was. The question was, who paid the price? The movie assumed the moral and legal consequences were the one and the same. They’re not.

    Yeah, the movie flattered the viewer.

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  80. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Forbes
    The "old WASP elite" is a funny one. I wonder if anyone could name them? (Of the relevent period in the '80s.)

    Merrill Lynch was famously considered the (Irish) Catholic investment bank. Donald Regan became President Reagan's first Treasury Secretary. Upstart Drexel Burnham was run by Fred Joseph (Michael Miliken's outfit). John Gutfreund ran Salomon Brothers. Goldman Sachs refused to do hostile takeovers. Bear Stearns was run by Ace Greenberg. Lehman Brothers (Lewis Glucksman) was taken over by Shearson American Express (with Peter Cohen the resulting CEO), and followed by taking out EF Hutton.

    Dillon Read, Kidder Peabody (small boutique investment banks), and Paine Webber (retail brokerage) were inconsequential players. There's probably a firm or two I've forgotten in 30 years.

    Dean Witer was a retail broker when taken over by Morgan Stanley. Apparently Morgan Stanley takes the crown as "old WASP elite" of the banking world.

    Citibank, Chase, and JP Morgan were commercial banks then--not involved in underwriting (junk bond issuance) or M&A advisory (hostile takeovers).

    Kidder Peabody famously employed a pioneering black security fraudster, Joseph Jett. I don’t believe he served any jail time, though he was bared from the securities industry for life.

    Read More
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  81. Forbes says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Right, a lot of Milken-style behavior was rationalized as Fighting Discrimination, discrimination that barely existed anymore.

    Exactly. The Energizer Bunny of narratives–it keeps going and going, immune to the actual environment.

    Read More
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  82. Forbes says:
    @George
    "His junk-bond strategy is viewed as vulgar by WASP industrialists"

    High Yield bonds competed with commercial banks. They were used by company managements to take businesses private. They were also used to compete against old time monopolies, for example MCI vs ATT/Bell system. Commercial banks and online monopolies were the ones that were threatened by junk bonds. Another aspect of the competition was the commercial bankers were often local and regional, while Drexel was California/NYC/maybe Florida. It is not clear that non costal whites operating S&Ls and regional banks are best described as WASPs, they were more State U than Ivy League U.

    The Money center bank vs Savings and Loan banks is similar. Some back woods types (James B Rogers I think) note that during the SL crisis the SLs were allowed to fail and be bought out by the 'money center' banks, some SL bankers even sent to jail. But when the money center banks collapsed in 09 they were bailed out rather than closed down having their assets distributed to for example well-capitalized region and local banks. No money center bankers went to jail. One reason New York City, in particular, is doing so well is it's banking industry was permitted to continue rather than be redistributed to successful banks.

    A curiousity of all this is if Milken actually did anything wrong, I did not read Den of Thieves, but it seemed to me Milken did not really do anything that deserved criminal punishment. In that line of reasoning, did Martin Skhereli actually do anything wrong?

    Miliken certainly had the resources to defend himself–his bonus a year or two prior was $500 million. He took a plea deal and 10-year prison sentence to save his brother from prosecution.

    It’s pretty safe to say that Miliken’s criminal SEC violations–plea deals require defedants to attribute their crimes in court–would’ve easily garnered a 10 year sentence.

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  83. Forbes says:
    @AB-

    Well, I suppose that’s why ‘Merkin’* was substituted for ‘Milken’.

    *Look it up in a dictionary.
     

    It's a pubic wig. The president in Dr. Strangelove was Merkin Muffly....

    I would have named it Den of Thieves instead of Junk; then Alan Dershowitz could go ape-shit, buy a $75,000 full page ad in the NYT, and denounce it as jew hating...LOL

    Just saw Chas. Pewitt had the same idea...

    Miliken infamously wore a toupe during his Drexel years.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ivy
    Referencing Miliken is perhaps a subconscious play on the old carpet manufacturer Milliken, if you are of a certain age. More of a hook given that a toupé is also called a rug. Their old 1960s commercials had a tag line Ever-wear by Milliken, or other versions with their other name Calloway.
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  84. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Langley
    Most Pakistanis are Muslim.

    That’s why I wrote ‘hindus’.

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  85. Ivy says:
    @Forbes
    Miliken infamously wore a toupe during his Drexel years.

    Referencing Miliken is perhaps a subconscious play on the old carpet manufacturer Milliken, if you are of a certain age. More of a hook given that a toupé is also called a rug. Their old 1960s commercials had a tag line Ever-wear by Milliken, or other versions with their other name Calloway.

    Read More
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  86. It involved our firm issuing a ton of junk bonds and using the money for the inside executives and the Wall Street firm to take the company private and then, if the insiders succeeded in paying off the bonds, they would own it outright without investing anything in it. And if they didn’t pay off the high-interest bonds, well, that’s what bankruptcy law was for.

    A lot of companies did this through the period of record low interest rates after 9/11. They are now beginning to go bust. Even better, a good number of companies bought back their own stock with borrowed money, pumping up the value of executive stock options, thereby making these execs rich as Croesus, keeping stockholders somewhat satisfied (at least until the inevitable plunge as the companies’ borrowing capacity runs out), while taking insane risks with the future of the company. A lot of those companies are also going bust.

    Balance sheets, whether of publicly-listed or privately-held companies, used to incorporate a margin of safety. For publicly-listed companies, that is increasingly not the case, as executives loot the balance sheet for their personal enrichment.

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  87. @sabril
    The transaction you describe is called a 'leveraged buyout.' It's basically the opposite of taking a company public.

    My question to you is this: Who are the victims in such a transaction? The original shareholders get cold hard cash for their shares. The investors in the "junk bonds" enjoy a high rate of interest AND legal priority over the insiders in terms of access to company profits. Which is why they are willing to take the risk of bankruptcy.

    I know that the phrase "junk bonds" sounds evil to you, kind of like how "white privilege" sounds to your typical SJW, but in reality, "junk bonds" are more secure than common stock in the same company.

    The real problem, of course, is that a lot of the financiers who get rich off these transactions are Jewish. Kinda like how the wealthy white farmers in Zimbabwe were obviously getting rich by exploiting and stealing from poor blacks.

    An interesting post that merits a response by someone knowledgeable in these things.

    Read More
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  88. epebble says:
    @Nico

    Ayad Akhtar, the son of a couple of Pakistani doctors... takes on the equally explosive subjects of modern finance and the new religion of money… Part Shakespearean history play, part “The Big Short,” “Junk” tells the story of how debt overtook value as the path to enormous wealth
     
    A subcontinental takes on the dark moments of American history.

    Reminds me of the Hindu Shekhar Kapur's take on Queen Elizabeth. The first film in particular did absolutely nothing if not portray Britain's royal and Christian (Catholic and Protestant alike) heritage the the blackest light possible.

    Yes, it was interesting, but frankly, I've had my fill of brown people from shithole countries telling me how bad people like me run mine. (And Milken may be a Jew but I've little doubt the WASPs, the pasty-facedness and the American flag will be hit hardest.)

    Pass.

    I liked the movie Elizabeth(1998); It won numerous awards including an Oscar. It sure is not a documentary but distills all the nastiness anyone hears from the tour guides at the Tower of London. I don’t remember a single negative review of the film. After 19 years, it seems to score at least 4 stars.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Nico
    There's a lot to like about Elizabeth. It's gripping, thematic, haunting, intriguing, sharply performed and beautifully filmed.

    And I will give it this: its mockery of the mores and institutions of the time is somewhat more subtle than and indeed not so clear as the standard Hollywood fare. While the tendency for most period films is to send modern hipsters back in time to duel with evil reactionaries (textbook example: Titanic), the protagonists of Elizabeth are all moderns superimposed onto the roles of the past, cynically exploiting their positions and contexts.

    And the film was definitely nowhere near as preachy and tiresome harping on the "good champions of modern liberty" versus "evil reactionary religious tyrants" of the sequel. However, the first film was not designed to make Britons proud of their history - indeed, quite the contrary - and the Black Legend exploitation in the second is an interesting juxtaposition to the very English capacity for nastiness suggested in the first film.
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  89. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonymous
    Strangely enough, quite a buzz-word meme is now disseminating - incited, no doubt, by the 'comedy' fraternity - for using the term 'junk' to describe the male genitalia.
    If present trends continue, it's likely that the modern obscene usage will rise up to eclipse the old meaning.

    An old Dan Leno joke:

    ‘The TSA has handled more junk than eBay’.

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  90. Nico says:
    @epebble
    I liked the movie Elizabeth(1998); It won numerous awards including an Oscar. It sure is not a documentary but distills all the nastiness anyone hears from the tour guides at the Tower of London. I don't remember a single negative review of the film. After 19 years, it seems to score at least 4 stars.

    There’s a lot to like about Elizabeth. It’s gripping, thematic, haunting, intriguing, sharply performed and beautifully filmed.

    And I will give it this: its mockery of the mores and institutions of the time is somewhat more subtle than and indeed not so clear as the standard Hollywood fare. While the tendency for most period films is to send modern hipsters back in time to duel with evil reactionaries (textbook example: Titanic), the protagonists of Elizabeth are all moderns superimposed onto the roles of the past, cynically exploiting their positions and contexts.

    And the film was definitely nowhere near as preachy and tiresome harping on the “good champions of modern liberty” versus “evil reactionary religious tyrants” of the sequel. However, the first film was not designed to make Britons proud of their history – indeed, quite the contrary – and the Black Legend exploitation in the second is an interesting juxtaposition to the very English capacity for nastiness suggested in the first film.

    Read More
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  91. Yngvar says:
    @Forbes
    The "old WASP elite" is a funny one. I wonder if anyone could name them? (Of the relevent period in the '80s.)

    Merrill Lynch was famously considered the (Irish) Catholic investment bank. Donald Regan became President Reagan's first Treasury Secretary. Upstart Drexel Burnham was run by Fred Joseph (Michael Miliken's outfit). John Gutfreund ran Salomon Brothers. Goldman Sachs refused to do hostile takeovers. Bear Stearns was run by Ace Greenberg. Lehman Brothers (Lewis Glucksman) was taken over by Shearson American Express (with Peter Cohen the resulting CEO), and followed by taking out EF Hutton.

    Dillon Read, Kidder Peabody (small boutique investment banks), and Paine Webber (retail brokerage) were inconsequential players. There's probably a firm or two I've forgotten in 30 years.

    Dean Witer was a retail broker when taken over by Morgan Stanley. Apparently Morgan Stanley takes the crown as "old WASP elite" of the banking world.

    Citibank, Chase, and JP Morgan were commercial banks then--not involved in underwriting (junk bond issuance) or M&A advisory (hostile takeovers).

    The play talks about WASP “industrialists”, not bankers.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Forbes
    Well, the LATimes reviewer mentions WASP industrialists, but that's silly. The junk bond financed hostile takeovers were battles for corporate control between opposing teams of lawyers and bankers in Manhattan--and ocaissionally in the Delaware Chancery Court. Opposition to hostile takeovers occurred in the boardroom of every company targeted--whether helmed by a Jew or Gentile. The reviewer makes a distinction that didn't exist--public companies don't (and didn't) have the religious pedigree that investment banking (and law firm) partnerships did--and some still do.
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  92. sabril says:
    @Marty
    One of the harshest critics of Milken, going so far as to write a book about him, was Ben Stein, the former SEC lawyer and son of the chair of Nixon's Council Of Economic Advisers.

    I don’t know enough about Milken to say whether he himself was a bad actor.

    But I do know enough to say that junk bonds and leveraged buyouts are not necessarily bad things.

    Maybe Steve should go whole hog and criticize “moneylenders,” i.e. people who have the temerity to lend money at interest.

    Read More
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  93. @John Mansfield
    This play sounds a bit like a 1991 movie "Other People's Money" with Danny DeVito targeting a New England wire factory run whose patriarch was played by Gregory Peck. I never saw it, though.

    http://articles.latimes.com/1991-01-13/entertainment/ca-524_1_danny-devito/3

    The film version of “Other People’s Money,” which will be the director’s 26th feature, is also notable for addressing, or rather sidestepping, another, more controversial, issue–the charges of anti-Semitism that greeted Sterner’s play during its initial New York run. The playwright’s protagonist, a Jewish corporate takeover artist, was named Larry Garfinkle, not Garfield. As played by the New York stage actor Kevin Conway in the Off-Broadway production, the portrayal of Garfinkle raised questions among some critics and audiences who found Conway’s performance to be larger-than-life–uncomfortably so. Some reviewers called Conway’s Garfinkle a Wall Street Jackie Mason–a performance more akin to stand-up comedy than straight theater, one that emphasized the character’s ethnicity and loaded Sterner’s play with potentially anti-Semitic “Merchant of Venice” overtones.

    Critic Mel Gussow wrote in his review of the play in the New York Times: “One might legitimately ask whether it is necessary for the author to have a character that reinforces an ethnic stereotype.”

    While Conway disputed any charges of anti-Semitism in his performance with an interview with the New York Times, it nonetheless was a portrayal that surprised even the play’s author, who had originally turned down the actor as not right for the role during an earlier regional theater run.

    “The character that I had in my head was not the character that Kevin had in his head,” acknowledged Sterner, who added a cautionary postscript to the play’s published text: “The character of Garfinkle can be played in many ways. The one way he should not be played is overly, coarsely, ‘ethnic.’ ”

    “I wrote that note because I was afraid that what Kevin had originated other actors would try to copy,” said Sterner in an interview with the New York Times. “I did not want the play to become controversial about what it is not about. It’s not about Garfinkle’s being Jewish, it’s about his doing good or not.”

    Although the film version of “Other People’s Money” originally retained the name of Garfinkle for the protagonist–and indeed the cast and crew’s scripts carried the printed word “Garfinkle” crossed out with “Garfield” penciled in–Jewison is quick to dismiss any suggestion of capitulation.

    “Who changed the name? I changed it,” says the director, who had met with the Off-Broadway actor after the play first opened. “I said ‘You have to be careful, man, not to overdo it.’ It’s not important that Larry Garfinkle is Jewish. Boone Pickens isn’t Jewish. Jimmy Goldsmith is, as are nine out of the 12 top corporate raiders in America, but there are three others that aren’t. What does it matter, anyway? This isn’t about religion.”

    Adds DeVito: “Garfinkle? Garfield? John Garfield is my favorite actor.”

    When pressed for further explanation, DeVito shrugs, “I’m obviously not Jewish, but my wife (actress Rhea Perlman) is and so I guess my kids are Jewish. Look, we’re not laying into any big ethnic thing here. You don’t look at me and think Norwegian. I’m Italian. But to play this guy as a Jewish arbitrager, don’t you think that would be like playing a gangster movie with only Italians? It’s kind of an ethnic slur.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Italians like gangster movies with only Italians in them. What's the Italian-American all-time favorite gangster movie? Goodfellas? Liotta, De Niro, Pesci, Sorvino, Bracco, directed by Scorsese, from a book by Pileggi. Okay, De Niro is not really super-Italian, but the Italians are happy to claim him.

    What's this upcoming Scorsese movie? "The Irishman" with all the old guys computer revivified into their primes? De Niro, Pacino, Pesci coming out of retirement, Ray Romano, Bobby Cannavale. They'll let Harvey Keitel in.

    , @guest
    "and loaded Sterner's play with potentially anti-Semitic 'Merchant of Venice' overtones"

    Who wants that? Merchant of Venice has only been produced for 400 Current Years or so.

    "Your play is downright Shakespearean!...No, no, I meant that as an insult."

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  94. @Stan Adams
    http://articles.latimes.com/1991-01-13/entertainment/ca-524_1_danny-devito/3

    The film version of "Other People's Money," which will be the director's 26th feature, is also notable for addressing, or rather sidestepping, another, more controversial, issue--the charges of anti-Semitism that greeted Sterner's play during its initial New York run. The playwright's protagonist, a Jewish corporate takeover artist, was named Larry Garfinkle, not Garfield. As played by the New York stage actor Kevin Conway in the Off-Broadway production, the portrayal of Garfinkle raised questions among some critics and audiences who found Conway's performance to be larger-than-life--uncomfortably so. Some reviewers called Conway's Garfinkle a Wall Street Jackie Mason--a performance more akin to stand-up comedy than straight theater, one that emphasized the character's ethnicity and loaded Sterner's play with potentially anti-Semitic "Merchant of Venice" overtones.

    Critic Mel Gussow wrote in his review of the play in the New York Times: "One might legitimately ask whether it is necessary for the author to have a character that reinforces an ethnic stereotype."

    While Conway disputed any charges of anti-Semitism in his performance with an interview with the New York Times, it nonetheless was a portrayal that surprised even the play's author, who had originally turned down the actor as not right for the role during an earlier regional theater run.

    "The character that I had in my head was not the character that Kevin had in his head," acknowledged Sterner, who added a cautionary postscript to the play's published text: "The character of Garfinkle can be played in many ways. The one way he should not be played is overly, coarsely, 'ethnic.' "

    "I wrote that note because I was afraid that what Kevin had originated other actors would try to copy," said Sterner in an interview with the New York Times. "I did not want the play to become controversial about what it is not about. It's not about Garfinkle's being Jewish, it's about his doing good or not."

    Although the film version of "Other People's Money" originally retained the name of Garfinkle for the protagonist--and indeed the cast and crew's scripts carried the printed word "Garfinkle" crossed out with "Garfield" penciled in--Jewison is quick to dismiss any suggestion of capitulation.

    "Who changed the name? I changed it," says the director, who had met with the Off-Broadway actor after the play first opened. "I said 'You have to be careful, man, not to overdo it.' It's not important that Larry Garfinkle is Jewish. Boone Pickens isn't Jewish. Jimmy Goldsmith is, as are nine out of the 12 top corporate raiders in America, but there are three others that aren't. What does it matter, anyway? This isn't about religion."

    Adds DeVito: "Garfinkle? Garfield? John Garfield is my favorite actor."

    When pressed for further explanation, DeVito shrugs, "I'm obviously not Jewish, but my wife (actress Rhea Perlman) is and so I guess my kids are Jewish. Look, we're not laying into any big ethnic thing here. You don't look at me and think Norwegian. I'm Italian. But to play this guy as a Jewish arbitrager, don't you think that would be like playing a gangster movie with only Italians? It's kind of an ethnic slur."

    Italians like gangster movies with only Italians in them. What’s the Italian-American all-time favorite gangster movie? Goodfellas? Liotta, De Niro, Pesci, Sorvino, Bracco, directed by Scorsese, from a book by Pileggi. Okay, De Niro is not really super-Italian, but the Italians are happy to claim him.

    What’s this upcoming Scorsese movie? “The Irishman” with all the old guys computer revivified into their primes? De Niro, Pacino, Pesci coming out of retirement, Ray Romano, Bobby Cannavale. They’ll let Harvey Keitel in.

    Read More
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  95. LondonBob says:

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/is-israel-becoming-a-mafia-state/

    In other news these unhealthy pursuits are washing back in to Israel. An odd attack on Russia added in, Russian Jews were and are the driving force of high level criminality there, that Putin has caused some to leave for Israel is what has super charged crime in Israel. Last I checked the economy is growing again in Russia now.

    Read More
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  96. LondonBob says:

    Of course in Wall Street Michael Douglas makes some comment about WASPs but apart from the English protagonist he battles for control of the steel company this is an issue skirted around. I suppose Pretty Woman also includes an element of this theme too with the family of the shipbuilding company Gere is seeking to takeover and split up.

    The real shame is now interest rates are rising the golden opportunity to end the favourable treatment debt gets in the tax system with the deductibility of interest is ending.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Richard Gere usually gets cast in Jewish roles, but last time I checked around 12 years ago, his ancestry was heavily Mayflower WASP. He's from Philadelphia and Syracuse, NY, so he's very Eastern, kind of like Trump.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    Wall Street emphasized the class angle. Gordon Gecko mentions he went to City College, which, in his day, was where the smart, poor kids (including many Jews) went. Bud Fox is a similar striver, as is the girlfriend Gecko introduces him too.

    Both Pretty Woman and Wall Street present something of the good and bad of buyouts. Gecko is the good guy versus the featherbedding management of Teldar Paper, but he's clearly the bad guy with Blue Star Airlines.

    And Richard Gere solves his daddy issues at the end of Pretty Woman when he agrees to help rebuild the older gentleman's company rather than sell it for parts.
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  97. @LondonBob
    Of course in Wall Street Michael Douglas makes some comment about WASPs but apart from the English protagonist he battles for control of the steel company this is an issue skirted around. I suppose Pretty Woman also includes an element of this theme too with the family of the shipbuilding company Gere is seeking to takeover and split up.

    The real shame is now interest rates are rising the golden opportunity to end the favourable treatment debt gets in the tax system with the deductibility of interest is ending.

    Richard Gere usually gets cast in Jewish roles, but last time I checked around 12 years ago, his ancestry was heavily Mayflower WASP. He’s from Philadelphia and Syracuse, NY, so he’s very Eastern, kind of like Trump.

    Read More
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  98. guest says:
    @Stan Adams
    http://articles.latimes.com/1991-01-13/entertainment/ca-524_1_danny-devito/3

    The film version of "Other People's Money," which will be the director's 26th feature, is also notable for addressing, or rather sidestepping, another, more controversial, issue--the charges of anti-Semitism that greeted Sterner's play during its initial New York run. The playwright's protagonist, a Jewish corporate takeover artist, was named Larry Garfinkle, not Garfield. As played by the New York stage actor Kevin Conway in the Off-Broadway production, the portrayal of Garfinkle raised questions among some critics and audiences who found Conway's performance to be larger-than-life--uncomfortably so. Some reviewers called Conway's Garfinkle a Wall Street Jackie Mason--a performance more akin to stand-up comedy than straight theater, one that emphasized the character's ethnicity and loaded Sterner's play with potentially anti-Semitic "Merchant of Venice" overtones.

    Critic Mel Gussow wrote in his review of the play in the New York Times: "One might legitimately ask whether it is necessary for the author to have a character that reinforces an ethnic stereotype."

    While Conway disputed any charges of anti-Semitism in his performance with an interview with the New York Times, it nonetheless was a portrayal that surprised even the play's author, who had originally turned down the actor as not right for the role during an earlier regional theater run.

    "The character that I had in my head was not the character that Kevin had in his head," acknowledged Sterner, who added a cautionary postscript to the play's published text: "The character of Garfinkle can be played in many ways. The one way he should not be played is overly, coarsely, 'ethnic.' "

    "I wrote that note because I was afraid that what Kevin had originated other actors would try to copy," said Sterner in an interview with the New York Times. "I did not want the play to become controversial about what it is not about. It's not about Garfinkle's being Jewish, it's about his doing good or not."

    Although the film version of "Other People's Money" originally retained the name of Garfinkle for the protagonist--and indeed the cast and crew's scripts carried the printed word "Garfinkle" crossed out with "Garfield" penciled in--Jewison is quick to dismiss any suggestion of capitulation.

    "Who changed the name? I changed it," says the director, who had met with the Off-Broadway actor after the play first opened. "I said 'You have to be careful, man, not to overdo it.' It's not important that Larry Garfinkle is Jewish. Boone Pickens isn't Jewish. Jimmy Goldsmith is, as are nine out of the 12 top corporate raiders in America, but there are three others that aren't. What does it matter, anyway? This isn't about religion."

    Adds DeVito: "Garfinkle? Garfield? John Garfield is my favorite actor."

    When pressed for further explanation, DeVito shrugs, "I'm obviously not Jewish, but my wife (actress Rhea Perlman) is and so I guess my kids are Jewish. Look, we're not laying into any big ethnic thing here. You don't look at me and think Norwegian. I'm Italian. But to play this guy as a Jewish arbitrager, don't you think that would be like playing a gangster movie with only Italians? It's kind of an ethnic slur."

    “and loaded Sterner’s play with potentially anti-Semitic ‘Merchant of Venice’ overtones”

    Who wants that? Merchant of Venice has only been produced for 400 Current Years or so.

    “Your play is downright Shakespearean!…No, no, I meant that as an insult.”

    Read More
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  99. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @LondonBob
    Of course in Wall Street Michael Douglas makes some comment about WASPs but apart from the English protagonist he battles for control of the steel company this is an issue skirted around. I suppose Pretty Woman also includes an element of this theme too with the family of the shipbuilding company Gere is seeking to takeover and split up.

    The real shame is now interest rates are rising the golden opportunity to end the favourable treatment debt gets in the tax system with the deductibility of interest is ending.

    Wall Street emphasized the class angle. Gordon Gecko mentions he went to City College, which, in his day, was where the smart, poor kids (including many Jews) went. Bud Fox is a similar striver, as is the girlfriend Gecko introduces him too.

    Both Pretty Woman and Wall Street present something of the good and bad of buyouts. Gecko is the good guy versus the featherbedding management of Teldar Paper, but he’s clearly the bad guy with Blue Star Airlines.

    And Richard Gere solves his daddy issues at the end of Pretty Woman when he agrees to help rebuild the older gentleman’s company rather than sell it for parts.

    Read More
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  100. Forbes says:
    @Yngvar
    The play talks about WASP "industrialists", not bankers.

    Well, the LATimes reviewer mentions WASP industrialists, but that’s silly. The junk bond financed hostile takeovers were battles for corporate control between opposing teams of lawyers and bankers in Manhattan–and ocaissionally in the Delaware Chancery Court. Opposition to hostile takeovers occurred in the boardroom of every company targeted–whether helmed by a Jew or Gentile. The reviewer makes a distinction that didn’t exist–public companies don’t (and didn’t) have the religious pedigree that investment banking (and law firm) partnerships did–and some still do.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    But Milken and his boys tended to make everything into a Jewish v. WASP crusade in their own minds. Like the Milken Perleman takeover of Revlon: the targeted CEO was extremely French, but to the Drexel guys he was Thurston Howell III.
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  101. @Forbes
    Well, the LATimes reviewer mentions WASP industrialists, but that's silly. The junk bond financed hostile takeovers were battles for corporate control between opposing teams of lawyers and bankers in Manhattan--and ocaissionally in the Delaware Chancery Court. Opposition to hostile takeovers occurred in the boardroom of every company targeted--whether helmed by a Jew or Gentile. The reviewer makes a distinction that didn't exist--public companies don't (and didn't) have the religious pedigree that investment banking (and law firm) partnerships did--and some still do.

    But Milken and his boys tended to make everything into a Jewish v. WASP crusade in their own minds. Like the Milken Perleman takeover of Revlon: the targeted CEO was extremely French, but to the Drexel guys he was Thurston Howell III.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Opinionator
    What is so hard about referring to them as "Anglo Saxons" rather than the pejorative?

    Or, if you are going to use a pejorative term, use one for Jews as well.
    , @Forbes
    Point taken. Irony of ironies: Ron Perlman's holding company is named McAndrews and Forbes Holdings--like Ralph Lifshitz (Lauren), these guys really want to be WASPs.

    In the middle '90s when Perlman was contemplating taking Revlon public, I was quoted on Bloomberg News saying something uncharatable about Perlman's tendency to not be very "shareholder friendly." The next day, I got a threatening phone call from some guy announcing he was a "senior vice president of McAndrews and Forbes--Do you know who I am?" You'd have thought he was a loan shark making a collection phone call. Funny--but not ha-ha funny.
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  102. @Steve Sailer
    But Milken and his boys tended to make everything into a Jewish v. WASP crusade in their own minds. Like the Milken Perleman takeover of Revlon: the targeted CEO was extremely French, but to the Drexel guys he was Thurston Howell III.

    What is so hard about referring to them as “Anglo Saxons” rather than the pejorative?

    Or, if you are going to use a pejorative term, use one for Jews as well.

    Read More
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  103. Forbes says:
    @Steve Sailer
    But Milken and his boys tended to make everything into a Jewish v. WASP crusade in their own minds. Like the Milken Perleman takeover of Revlon: the targeted CEO was extremely French, but to the Drexel guys he was Thurston Howell III.

    Point taken. Irony of ironies: Ron Perlman’s holding company is named McAndrews and Forbes Holdings–like Ralph Lifshitz (Lauren), these guys really want to be WASPs.

    In the middle ’90s when Perlman was contemplating taking Revlon public, I was quoted on Bloomberg News saying something uncharatable about Perlman’s tendency to not be very “shareholder friendly.” The next day, I got a threatening phone call from some guy announcing he was a “senior vice president of McAndrews and Forbes–Do you know who I am?” You’d have thought he was a loan shark making a collection phone call. Funny–but not ha-ha funny.

    Read More
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