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

Author: Connie Bruck
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Comments

by loganfrederick   2019-09-09
I am glad someone brought this point up. It reminds me of the story of Drexel Burnham Lambert and Michael Milken.

Connie Bruck's book on him and his company* provides good context for how and why Milken and his junk bond raiders and the Gordon Gekkos were able to upend corporate America in the 80s. It's because the prior couple decades had fat cat CEOs and middle management that coasted on empires founded by the prior generation. Gekko's speech about Teldar Paper's middle management was not an inaccurate metaphor. There is a trend now that executive tenures are getting shorter, no doubt in part because many are now held to higher standards than many in the 60s and 70s.

There are founders who start companies with bad intentions of using the company as a financial vehicle to funnel money to themselves with as little work as possible, as opposed to founders who start companies to create external value for humanity. The first set of founders and CEOs should be constrained.

All that said, I am still pro-Long Term Stock Exchange because there are issues with the quarterly cadence and high-frequency trading. Don't know if LTSE will be the solution but I support experimentation.

* https://www.amazon.com/Predators-Ball-Burnham-JunkBond-Raide...

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/23/business/dealbook/ceo-ten...