During the 1980s, Michael Milken at Drexel Burnham Lambert was the Billionaire Junk Bond King. He invented such things as “the highly confident letter” (I’m highly confident that I can raise the money you need to buy company X) and “the blind pool” (Here’s a billion dollars: let us help you buy a company), and he financed the biggest corporate raiders—men like Carl Icahn and Ronald Perelman.
And then, on September 7, 1988, things changed. The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Milken and Drexel Burnham Lambert with insider trading and stock fraud. Waiting in the wings was the US District Attorney, who wanted to file criminal and racketeering charges. What motivated Milken in his drive for power and money? Did Drexel Burnham Lambert condone the breaking of laws? The Predators’ Ball dramatically captures American business history in the making, uncovering the philosophy of greed that has dominated Wall Street in the 1980s.