The Predators' Ball

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pages: 507 words: 145,878

Predator's Ball by Connie Bruck

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diversified portfolio, financial independence, fixed income, mortgage debt, offshore financial centre, paper trading, profit maximization, The Predators' Ball, yield management, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond

Within the first two weeks of April 1985, hard on the heels of the Predators’ Ball, five more Drexel clients—in addition to Triangle Industries—would make bids for companies, all backed by Milken’s junk bonds. Mesa Petroleum, with a net worth of $500 million, would go for Unocal. Lorimar, with a net worth of $105 million, would offer $1 billion for Multimedia. Sir James Goldsmith would make a bid for Crown Zellerbach Corporation for $1.1 billion. Golden Nugget, with a net worth of $230 million, would go for Hilton Hotels for about $1.8 billion. And Farley Industries, with earnings of $6 million, would go for Northwest Industries, for about $1.4 billion. Other bids would take longer to germinate—but they would turn out to be the most fruitful of all. NELSON PELTZ went through the four days of the Predators’ Ball, as he would later say, as a “nervous wreck.”

On the evening of the first day they took up their post outside Don Engel’s famous Bungalow 8, where a cocktail party for the big-hitters was being held, and then followed these guests to Chasen’s, the swank Beverly Hills restaurant which hosts a gala dinner at the Predators’ Ball each year. By midnight, however, a few of the flight attendants had put aside their signs and joined the Drexel merrymakers at Engel’s table in the Polo Lounge. Fred McCarthy, Nelson Peltz’s main investment banker at Drexel, remembered, “I said, when we were at Chasen’s, ‘What a waste of good-looking women, why don’t we bring them in here?’ ” Icahn was not in the Polo Lounge. He had arrived at the conference earlier in the day, and then came a news broadcast that a terrorist bomb had exploded aboard a TWA flight from Rome to Athens. Icahn turned and headed back to New York. He may well have been remembering his visit to the Predators’ Ball one year before. Then, he had had no major company to run. Then, he had had his money in no situation that he could not control.

By five-thirty each morning, an armada of about one hundred limousines glided into position around Beverly Hills. Dozens of them ferried guests from the lush green-and-pink medley of the Beverly Hills Hotel—then owned by arbitrageur Ivan Boesky, his wife and his in-laws, and completely booked by Drexel for these four nights—through the city’s wide, stately, palm-tree-lined streets. Their destination was the Beverly Hilton, where the annual Drexel High Yield Bond Conference—by now known as the Predators’ Ball—was being held, just a few blocks from Drexel’s West Coast office. Breakfast was served at 6 A.M., a concession to popular tastes by Milken, who was at his desk each day by 4:30 A.M. Then came the perpetual round of presentations, sometimes three simultaneously in different rooms, given by heads of companies. These were nearly all Drexel clients, typically the small and medium-sized companies—run by entrepreneurs with healthy ownership stakes—with whom Milken had carved out his historic franchise when he started doing financings for them, back in the late seventies and early eighties.

 

pages: 706 words: 206,202

Den of Thieves by James B. Stewart

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discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, fudge factor, George Gilder, index arbitrage, Internet Archive, margin call, Ponzi scheme, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, South Sea Bubble, The Predators' Ball, walking around money, zero-coupon bond

Or, why don't we pay you for all the copies you would have sold if you had written it?" By the summer of 1988, Bruck's manuscript was completed. Under an earlier agreement with Bruck, Joseph was allowed to read it and comment on the facts, but not make copies. He knew immediately that there would be trouble. Titled The Predators' Ball: The Junk Bond Raiders and the Man Who Staked Them, the book was a thorough, sober study of Drexel, Milken, and several of their clients, a groundbreaking examination of Milken's junk-bond empire. The book reported that Drexel had hired prostitutes for the Predators' Ball, that in his early days at Drexel Milken had worn a miner's helmet on the commuter bus so he could read prospectuses in the dark, and that the junk-bond king himself had tried to buy Bruck out of writing the book. Worse, the book left the strong impression that Boesky's allegations were entirely consistent with the values and culture spawned by Milken.

page 111 The quotations are from the New York Stock Exchange's confidential report on its investigation provided to the House Oversight Subcommittee. page 112 Engel denies Joseph's allegations, and has never been charged with any wrongdoing in connection with the incident. page 112 Engel's dismissal was reported in Bruck, The Predators' Ball, pp. 337-339. page 116 The 1985 Predators' Ball was the subject of Anthony Bianco, "The Growing Respectability of the Junk Heap," Business Week, Apr. 22, 1985. page 118 Bruck reported the presence of prostitutes at the 1985 Predators' Ball, quoting participants such as Fred Sullivan, chairman of Kidde Inc. (Bruck, The Predators' Ball, p. 15). Joseph and Engel deny the assertion. page 118 The quotation is from Peter Dworkin, "The Inside Story on the High Tech of Finance," San Francisco Chronicle, Apr. 4, 1985. The full quotation is " 'You have to be pretty impressed by the aggressiveness and acuity of these fellows,' said Tully Friedman, a partner in the San Francisco investment firm of Hellman & Friedman.

page 352 The quotes are from Princeton-Newport government exhibit T-1, page A-1627. page 354 Engel's return to Drexel, and subsequent departure, is discussed in Bruck, The Predators' Ball, pp. 338-342. page 355 The Drexel video at the 1987 Predators' Ball was described in Steve Coll, "Drexel's Faithful Sing Praises of Junk Bonds," Washington Post, Apr. 5, 1987. The quotation, "How much did we pay that guy?" is from that article. page 355 The "guilty conscience" quote is from Coll, "Drexel's Faithful." page 356 The quote "When the going gets tough . . ." and description of the junk-bond celebration are from Bruck, The Predators' Ball, p. 348. page 356 The article described is Laurie P. Cohen, "Drexel's New Television Ad Tugs at the Heart but Fudges the Facts," Wall Street Journal, Dec. 8, 1987.

 

pages: 274 words: 93,758

Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception by George A. Akerlof, Robert J. Shiller, Stanley B Resor Professor Of Economics Robert J Shiller

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Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, Bernie Madoff, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, equity premium, financial intermediation, full employment, George Akerlof, greed is good, income per capita, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Rogoff, late fees, loss aversion, Menlo Park, mental accounting, Milgram experiment, moral hazard, new economy, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, wage slave

Hart, “Takeover Bids, the Free-Rider Problem, and the Theory of the Corporation,” Bell Journal of Economics 11, no. 1 (1980): 42–64. 20. Connie Bruck, The Predators’ Ball: The Inside Story of Drexel Burnham and the Rise of the Junk Bond Raiders (New York: Penguin Books, 1989), pp. 193–240; Robert J. Cole, “Pantry Pride Revlon Bid Raised by $1.75 a Share,” New York Times, October 19, 1985, accessed March 17, 2015, http://www .nytimes.com/1985/10/19/business/pantry-pride-revlon-bid-raised-by-1.75-a -share.html. 21. Paul Asquith, David W. Mullins Jr., and Eric D. Wolff, “Original Issue High Yield Bonds: Aging Analyses of Defaults, Exchanges and Calls,” Journal of Finance 44, no. 4 (1989): 924. 22. Bruck, The Predators’ Ball, p. 76. 23. Asquith, Mullins, and Wolff, “Original Issue High Yield Bonds,” p. 929, table 2: weighted average of first four numbers in right-hand column. 246 Akerlof.indb 246 NOTES 6/19/15 10:24 AM 24.

Summers, “Breach of Trust in Hostile Takeovers,” in Corporate Takeovers: Causes and Consequences, ed. Alan J. Auerbach (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988), pp. 33–68. 30. Brian Hindo and Moira Herbst, “Personal Best Timeline, 1986: ‘Greed Is Good,’ ” BusinessWeek, http://www.bloomberg.com/ss/06/08/personalbest _timeline/source/7.htm. 31. Bruck, The Predators’ Ball, p. 320. 32. Bruck, The Predators’ Ball. 33. FDIC v. Milken, pp. 70–71. 34. Alison Leigh Cowan, “F.D.I.C. Backs Deal by Milken,” New York Times, March 10, 1992. 35. See Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014), p. 291, fig. 8.5, and p. 292, fig. 8.6. 36. Andrei Shleifer and Robert W. Vishny, “The Takeover Wave of the 1980s,” Science 249, no. 4970 (1990): 745–49. Chapter Eleven: The Resistance and Its Heroes 1. For 2013.

Accessed December 1, 2014. http://www .marketwired.com/press-release/brides-reveals-trends-of-engagedamerican-couples-with-american-wedding-study-1928460.htm. Brown, Steve. “Office Market Outlook: Dallas.” National Real Estate Investor News, June 1982, p. 46. —. “City Review: Dallas.” National Real Estate Investor News, October 1983, p. 127. —.“City Review: Dallas.” National Real Estate Investor News, October 1984, pp. 183, 192. —. “City Review: Dallas.” National Real Estate Investor News, June 1985, pp. 98–100. Bruck, Connie. The Predators’ Ball: The Inside Story of Drexel Burnham and the Rise of the Junk Bond Raiders. New York: Penguin Books, 1989. Bruner, Jerome. Acts of Meaning: Four Lectures on Mind and Culture. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990. Bureau of Economic Analysis. “Mortgage Interest Paid, Owner- and Tenant-Occupied Residential Housing.” Accessed October 29, 2014. https://www.google.com/#q=BEA+mortgage+interest+payments+2010. —.

 

pages: 237 words: 50,758

Obliquity: Why Our Goals Are Best Achieved Indirectly by John Kay

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Andrew Wiles, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, bonus culture, British Empire, business process, Cass Sunstein, computer age, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, discounted cash flows, discovery of penicillin, diversification, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Pasteur, market fundamentalism, Nash equilibrium, pattern recognition, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, shareholder value, Simon Singh, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, ultimatum game, urban planning, value at risk

Gekko was partly based on Ivan Boesky, a notorious corporate raider of the 1980s, who was reported as telling a class at Columbia: “I want you to know that I think greed is healthy. You can be greedy and still feel good about yourself.”11 Soon after, Boesky went to prison, convicted of insider trading. The businesses that epitomized the explosion of greed on Wall Street in the 1980s were Salomon Brothers (the firm mercilessly caricatured in Michael Lewis’s Liar’s Poker)12 and Drexel Burnham Lambert (more gently pilloried in Connie Bruck’s The Predators’ Ball).13 Salomon turned bond trading from a backwater into the activity of choice for the financially ambitious, while Drexel Burnham Lambert pioneered the issue of junk bonds. Salomon, whose abuses had exhausted the patience of the U.S. Treasury, had to be rescued by Warren Buffett (in a rare error) and was eventually taken over by Citigroup (which closed its trading operations). Drexel Burnham Lambert collapsed.

Dunlap with Bob Andelman, Mean Business: How I Save Bad Companies and Make Good Companies Great (New York: Fireside, 1996), p. xii. 10 Securities and Exchange Commission, “Enforcement Proceedings,” SEC News Digest 2002-171, September 4, 2002. 11 Quoted in James B. Stewart, Den of Thieves (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991), p. 223. 12 Michael Lewis, Liar’s Poker: Two Cities, True Greed (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1989). 13 Connie Bruck, The Predators’ Ball: The Inside Story of Drexel Burnham and the Rise of the Junk Bond Raider (London: Penguin, 1989). 14 House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Transcript of Hearing (Richard Fuld), October 6, 2008. 15 Ken Auletta, Greed and Glory on Wall Street: The Fall of the House of Lehman (Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1986), p. 235. 16 Lehman was at that time rescued by American Express, which floated the firm in 1994 ahead of its final collapse in 2008.

A Universal History of Infamy. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1975. Brand, Paul, and Philip Yancey. The Gift of Pain: Why We Hurt and What We Can Do About It. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1997. Brickman, P., D. Coates, and R. Janoff-Bulman. “Lottery Winners and Accident Victims: Is Happiness Relative?” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 36, no. 8 (1978), pp. 917–27. Bruck, Connie. The Predators’ Ball: The Inside Story of Drexel Burnham and the Rise of the Junk Bond Raider. London: Penguin, 1989. Byrne, John A. The Whiz Kids: The Founding Fathers of American Business—and the Legacy They Left Us. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1993. Cahoone, Lawrence E., ed. From Modernism to Postmodernism: An Anthology. Edinburgh: Wiley-Blackwell, 2003. Carnegie, Andrew. The Gospel of Wealth and Other Timely Essays. 1889.

 

pages: 741 words: 179,454

Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk by Satyajit Das

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andy Kessler, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, discrete time, diversification, diversified portfolio, Doomsday Clock, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, global reserve currency, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, index fund, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, load shedding, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, savings glut, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the market place, the medium is the message, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Nature of the Firm, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond

Quoted in Baker and Smith, The New Financial Capitalists: 82. 22. Connie Bruck (1988) The Predators’ Ball: How Michael Milken and his Junk Bond Machine Staked the Corporate Raiders, Simon & Schuster, New York: 37. 23. Benjamin J. Stein (1992) A License to Steal: The Untold Story of Michael Milken and the Conspiracy to Bilk the Nation, Simon & Schuster, New York: 24, 25. 24. Sobel, Dangerous Dreamers, John Wiley, New York: 99. 25. Stein, A License to Steal: Chapter 9. 26. Sobel, Dangerous Dreamers: 187–91. 27. Bruck, The Predators’ Ball: 29. 28. Quoted in Sobel Dangerous Dreamers: 79. 29. Bryan Burroughs and John Helyar (1990) Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco, Harper & Row, New York. 30. Bruck, The Predators’ Ball: 66. 31. Quoted in Sobel, Dangerous Dreamers: 146. 32. Ibid: 90. 33. Bruck, The Predators’ Ball: 197. 34. Ibid: 15. 35.

Sobel, Dangerous Dreamers: 105. 40. Quoted in ibid: 120. 41. Quoted in ibid: 168. 42. Alan Greenspan, Statement before the Senate Finance Committee (26 January 1989). 43. Michael Jensen “Corporate control and the politics of finance” (Summer 1991) Journal of Applied Corporate Finance 4/2. 44. Bruck, The Predators’ Ball: 254. 45. James B. Stewart (1992) Den of Thieves, Simon & Schuster, New York: 261. 46. Sobel, Dangerous Dreamers: 2. 47. Stein, A License to Steal: 24, 25. 48. Bruck, The Predators’ Ball: 266. Chapter 10—Private Vices 1. Robert Sobel (1993) Dangerous Dreamers: The Financial Innovators from Charles Merrill to Michael Milken, John Wiley, New York: 191. 2. http://resident-alien.blogspot.com/2007/07/public-v-private-equity.html 3. Edward Chancellor with Lauren Silva “The Wizards of Oz: not making sense of Macquarie’s business model” (1 June 1007) Breaking Views; Gideon Haigh “Who’s afraid of Macquarie Banks?

Edward Chancellor with Lauren Silva “The Wizards of Oz: not making sense of Macquarie’s business model” (1 June 1007) Breaking Views; Gideon Haigh “Who’s afraid of Macquarie Banks? The story of the millionaire’s factory” (July 2007) The Monthly; Bethany McLean “Would you buy a bridge from this man?” (18 September 2007) Fortune. 4. Chancellor with Silva, “The Wizards of Oz.” 5. “The uneasy crown: the buy-out business is booming, but capitalism’s new kings are attracting growing criticism” (8 February 2007) The Economist. 6. Connie Bruck (1988) The Predators’ Ball: How Michael Milken and his Junk Bond Machine Staked the Corporate Raiders, Simon & Schuster, New York: 261–2. 7. Steven Kaplan and Antoinette Schoar “Private equity performance: returns, persistence and capital flows” (August 2005) Journal of Finance. 8. Ludovic Phalippou, Oliver Gottschalg and Maurizio Zollo (2007) “Performance of private equity funds: another puzzle,” Society for Financial Studies Working Paper. 9.

 

pages: 314 words: 101,452

Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis

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barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, financial independence, financial innovation, Home mortgage interest deduction, interest rate swap, London Interbank Offered Rate, margin call, mortgage tax deduction, nuclear winter, Ponzi scheme, The Predators' Ball, yield curve

Mortgages and junk made it easier to borrow money for people and companies previously thought unworthy of the funds. Or, to put it the other way around, the new bonds made it possible for the first time for investors to lend money directly to homeowners and shaky companies. And the more investors lent, the more others owed. The consequent leverage is the most distinctive feature of our financial era. In her book The Predators' Ball, Connie Bruck traced the rise of Drexel's junk bond department (Milken reportedly tried to pay the author not to publish). The story she tells begins in 1970, when Michael Milken studied bonds at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Finance. He was blessed with an unconventional mind, which overcame his conventional middle-class upbringing (his father had been an accountant).

Drexel was prepared to gamble on companies, said Milken to institutional investors. Join us. Invest in the future of America, the small-growth companies that make us great. It was a populist message. The early junk bond investors, like mortgage investors, could make money and feel good about themselves. "You should have heard Mike's speech each year at the junk bond seminar in Beverly Hills" (known as the Predators' Ball, for the carnivores, like Ronald Perelman, in attendance), says a Drexel executive in New York. "It would have brought tears to your eyes." It's impossible to say exactly how much money Milken converted to his cause. Many investors simply gave over their portfolios to him. Tom Spiegel of Columbia Savings & Loan, for example, responded to Milken's message by inflating his balance sheet from $370 million in assets to $10.4 billion, much of it junk.

 

pages: 324 words: 92,805

The Impulse Society: America in the Age of Instant Gratification by Paul Roberts

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, accounting loophole / creative accounting, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset allocation, business process, Cass Sunstein, centre right, choice architecture, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, crony capitalism, David Brooks, delayed gratification, double helix, factory automation, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, game design, greed is good, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop, impulse control, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, low skilled workers, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, performance metric, postindustrial economy, profit maximization, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, reshoring, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy

There was Icahn, who, after raiding TWA, directed the struggling airline to borrow half a billion dollars (most of which he paid to himself), then sold off the airline’s most profitable routes (a practice known as asset stripping) to service the debt. There was even a raiders’ gala—a posh annual conference hosted by the deal-making firm Drexel Burnham Lambert for all the big names in restructuring, known as the “Predators’ Ball.” For many critics, and a great many more traumatized former employees, the corporate raider perfectly captured the “greed is good” zeitgeist that overran American corporate culture in the 1980s. But to an emerging school of conservative economists, the raider was nothing less than an economic savior. Raiders had appeared because share prices were falling, and share prices had fallen in part because the companies were being mismanaged.

 

pages: 389 words: 109,207

Fortune's Formula: The Untold Story of the Scientific Betting System That Beat the Casinos and Wall Street by William Poundstone

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Albert Einstein, anti-communist, asset allocation, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black-Scholes formula, Brownian motion, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, correlation coefficient, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, high net worth, index fund, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John von Neumann, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, publish or perish, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, short selling, speech recognition, statistical arbitrage, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, traveling salesman, value at risk, zero-coupon bond

“Diversification Returns and Asset Contributions.” Financial Analysts Journal, May–June 1992, 26–32. Breiman, Leo (1960). “Investment Policies for Expanding Businesses Optimal in a Long-Run Sense.” Naval Research Logistics Quarterly 7:647–51. ———(1961). “Optimal Gambling Systems for Favorable Games.” Fourth Berkeley Symposium on Probability and Statistics 1:65–78. Bruck, Connie (1989). The Predators’ Ball. New York: Penguin. ———(1994). Master of the Game. New York: Simon and Schuster. Buffett, Warren E. (1984). “The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville.” Hermes, the Columbia Business School Magazine, Fall 1984, 4–15. Casanova, Giacomo (1822–28). The Complete Memoirs. Originally published in German from 1822 to 1828. An English translation is available at www.gutenberg.org/etext/2981.

 

pages: 586 words: 159,901

Wall Street: How It Works And for Whom by Doug Henwood

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, central bank independence, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental subject, facts on the ground, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Akerlof, George Gilder, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index fund, interest rate swap, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, kremlinology, labor-force participation, late capitalism, law of one price, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, London Interbank Offered Rate, Louis Bachelier, market bubble, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, microcredit, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, oil shock, payday loans, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, random walk, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, short selling, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, women in the workforce, yield curve, zero-coupon bond

"An Intertemporal Asset Pricing Model With Stochastic Consumption and Investment Opportunities," foumal of Financial Economics 7, pp. 265-296. Breeden, Douglas T., Michael R. Gibbons, and Robert H. Litzenberger (1989). "Empirical Tests of the Consumption-Oriented CAPM," fournal of Finance 44, pp. 231-262. Brooks, John (1973). The Go-Go Years (New York: Weybright and Talley). Brown, Norman O. (1985). Life Against Death (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press). Bruck, Connie (1988). The Predators' Ball (New York: The American Lawyer/Simon and Schuster). Bulow, Jeremy, and Paul Klemperer (1991). "Rational Frenzies and Crashes," Centre for Economic Policy Research Discussion Paper No. 593 (London, CEPR, October). Burrough, Bryan, and John Helyar (1990). Barbarians at the Gate (New York: Harper & Row). Business International (1992). Managing the Global Finance Function, Special Report No.

 

pages: 374 words: 114,600

The Quants by Scott Patterson

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Albert Einstein, asset allocation, automated trading system, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brownian motion, buttonwood tree, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, centralized clearinghouse, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversification, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fixed income, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haight Ashbury, index fund, invention of the telegraph, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Nash: game theory, law of one price, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, merger arbitrage, NetJets, new economy, offshore financial centre, Paul Lévy, Ponzi scheme, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, risk-adjusted returns, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Sergey Aleynikov, short selling, South Sea Bubble, speech recognition, statistical arbitrage, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Predators' Ball, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, volatility smile, yield curve, éminence grise

In December 1987, audiences in movie theaters listened to Gordon Gekko, the slimy takeover artist played by Michael Douglas, proclaim the mantra for the decade in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: “Greed is good.” A series of popular books reflecting the anti–Wall Street sentiment hit the presses: Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe, Barbarians at the Gate by Wall Street Journal reporters Bryan Burrough and John Helyar, The Predators’ Ball by Connie Bruck, Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis. The quants were licking their wounds. Their wondrous invention, portfolio insurance, was roundly blamed for the meltdown. Fama’s efficient-market theory was instantly called into question. How could the market be “right” one day, then suffer a 23 percent collapse on virtually no new information the next day, then be fine the day after? The now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t math wizards had a unique retort: Black Monday never happened.

 

pages: 421 words: 128,094

King of Capital: The Remarkable Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of Steve Schwarzman and Blackstone by David Carey; John E. Morris; John Morris

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asset allocation, banking crisis, Bonfire of the Vanities, carried interest, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, diversification, diversified portfolio, fixed income, Gordon Gekko, margin call, Menlo Park, mortgage debt, new economy, Northern Rock, risk tolerance, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Sand Hill Road, sealed-bid auction, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, The Predators' Ball, éminence grise

NYT: New York Times WSJ: Wall Street Journal Anders, Merchants: George Anders, The Merchants of Debt: KKR and the Mortgaging of American Business (Washington, DC: Beard Books, 2002; originally published by Basic Books, 1992). Auletta, Greed: Ken Auletta, Greed and Glory on Wall Street: The Fall of the House of Lehman (New York: Warner Books, 1986). Baker and Smith, Capitalists: George P. Baker and George David Smith, The New Financial Capitalists: Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and the Creation of Corporate Value (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1998). Bruck, Predators: Connie Bruck, The Predators’ Ball: The Junk Bond Raiders and the Man Who Staked Them (New York: The American Lawyer / Simon & Schuster, 1988). Burrough and Helyar, Barbarians: Bryan Burrough and John Helyar, Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco (New York: Harper & Row, 1990). Finkel and Geising, Masters: Robert A. Finkel and David Geising, The Masters of Private Equity and Venture Capital (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010).

 

Culture and Prosperity: The Truth About Markets - Why Some Nations Are Rich but Most Remain Poor by John Kay

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Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, California gold rush, complexity theory, computer age, constrained optimization, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, equity premium, Ernest Rutherford, European colonialism, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, failed state, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, George Gilder, greed is good, haute couture, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, late capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nash equilibrium, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pets.com, popular electronics, price discrimination, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, rent-seeking, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, second-price auction, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, transaction costs, tulip mania, urban decay, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, yield curve, yield management

Principles of Corporate Finance. 6 eds, New York and London: McGraw-HilL Breiter, H. C. et al. 2001. "Functional Imaging ofNeural Responses to Expectancy and Experience of Monetary Gains and Losses." Neuron 30 (May): 619-39. Brittan, S. 1971. Steering the Economy. Harmondsworth, Penguin. ---. 1996. Capitalism with a Human Face. London: Fontana Press. Broadie, A., ed. 1997. The Scottish Enlightenment: An Anthology. Edinburgh: Canon gate. Bruck, C. 1989. The Predators, Ball: The Inside Story ofDrexel Burnham and the Rise ofthe Junk Bond Raiders. New York: Penguin. Brunekreeft, G. 1997. Coordination and Competition in the Electricity Pool ofEngland and Wales. Baden-Baden: Nomos-Verlag. Buchan, J. 1997. Frozen Desire: An Enquiry into the Meaning ofMoney. London: Picador. Buchanan,]., and G. Tulloch. 1962. The Calculus of Consent. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

 

The America That Reagan Built by J. David Woodard

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affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, colonial rule, Columbine, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, friendly fire, glass ceiling, global village, Gordon Gekko, gun show loophole, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, laissez-faire capitalism, late capitalism, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, new economy, postindustrial economy, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, stem cell, Ted Kaczynski, The Predators' Ball, trickle-down economics, women in the workforce, Y2K, young professional

Theodore Dreiser, An American Tragedy (New York: Modern Library, 1956). 8. Janet Lowe, Secret Empire: How 25 Multinationals Rule the World (Homewood, IL: Business One Irwin, 1992), p. 5. 9. Bryan Burrough and John Helyar, Barbarians at the Gate (New York: Harper and Row, 1990). 10. U.S. News and World Report, December 12, 1986. 11. John Ehrman, The Eighties (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005), p. 23. 12. Connie Bruck, The Predators Ball (New York: Penguin Books, 1986). 13. Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1990. 14. National Review, August 31, 1992. 15. John Ehrman, The Eighties (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005), p. 109. 16. Charles Jencks, What Is Postmodernism? (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1987). 17. Daniel Bell, The Coming of Postindustrial Society (New York: Basic Books, 1976). 18. David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity (Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell, 1989), pp. 289–291. 19.

 

pages: 425 words: 122,223

Capital Ideas: The Improbable Origins of Modern Wall Street by Peter L. Bernstein

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Albert Einstein, asset allocation, backtesting, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black-Scholes formula, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brownian motion, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, debt deflation, diversified portfolio, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, full employment, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index fund, interest rate swap, invisible hand, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, law of one price, linear programming, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, martingale, means of production, new economy, New Journalism, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, stochastic process, the market place, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, transfer pricing, zero-coupon bond

The Brady report explained this tragedy by denouncing “mechanical, price-insensitive selling . . . concentrated in the hands of surprisingly few institutions” and proposed a series of constraints to bring the market’s penchant for wildness under control. The popular literature about the world of investment in the 1980s carries titles that reflect those events: Bonfire of the Vanities, Barbarians at the Gates, The Predators’ Ball, and Liars’ Poker. The main characters are arrogant, greedy, cynical, and shady. At one point or another in their careers, they grow rich beyond the dreams of most of us—largely because they have profited from the new technologies, novel financial instruments, and mysterious investment strategies that emerged from the revolution in finance and investing. These angry words and charges of evil-doing emanating from respectable, capitalist sources, could have been written by socialist reformers.

 

pages: 461 words: 128,421

The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street by Justin Fox

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Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, card file, Cass Sunstein, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discovery of the americas, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Glaeser, endowment effect, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, George Akerlof, Henri Poincaré, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, impulse control, index arbitrage, index card, index fund, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, libertarian paternalism, linear programming, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, market design, New Journalism, Nikolai Kondratiev, Paul Lévy, pension reform, performance metric, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pushing on a string, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, transaction costs, tulip mania, value at risk, Vanguard fund, volatility smile, Yogi Berra

Fischel, “Efficient Capital Market Theory, the Market for Corporate Control, and the Regulation of Cash Tender Offers,” Texas Law Review 57, no. 1 (Dec. 1978): 17. 30. Henry G. Manne, “Mergers and the Market for Corporate Control,” Journal of Political Economy (April 1965): 113. 31. Manne, “Mergers and the Market,” 112. 32. Louis Lowenstein, “Pruning Deadwood in Hostile Takeovers: A Proposal for Legislation,” Columbia Law Review (March 1983): 251–52. 33. Both the Milken background and the rise of the takeover artists are recounted in Connie Bruck, The Predators’ Ball: The Junk Bond Raiders and the Man Who Staked Them (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988). Drexel was not the first firm to “manufacture” junk bonds; Lehman Brothers was, in 1977. But Drexel soon came to dominate the business. 34. Years later, after a federal judge had thrown Milken in jail for securities fraud, Chicago professor and soon-to-be law school dean Daniel Fischel wrote a book with the very unprofessorial title Payback: The Conspiracy to Destroy Michael Milken and His Financial Revolution (New York: HarperBusiness, 1995). 35.

 

pages: 1,336 words: 415,037

The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, card file, centralized clearinghouse, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, desegregation, Donald Trump, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, global village, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, Honoré de Balzac, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index fund, indoor plumbing, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, NetJets, new economy, New Journalism, North Sea oil, paper trading, passive investing, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, random walk, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, shareholder value, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, telemarketer, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration, Y2K, zero-coupon bond

The bankers’ fees became so staggering that, instead of waiting for deals to present themselves, the bankers went a-huntin’ on their own, flipping through the ranks of the S&P 1000 the way Buffett had once used his Moody’s Manuals to find cigar-butt stocks. This orgy of mergers that often took place with the consent of only one party riveted the public; the clashes of titanic egos filled the daily papers. Michael Milken’s annual junk-bond conference, the Predators’ Ball,6 lent its name to the entire era. Buffett scorned the way these deals transferred riches from shareholders to managers and corporate raiders, helped by a long, long line of toll-taking bankers, brokers, and lawyers.7 “We don’t do hostile takeovers,” he said. The deals of the 1980s repelled him above all because they were loaded with debt. To those reared during the Depression, debt was something to be used only with a careful eye for the worst-case scenario.

Weiner, What Goes Up: The Uncensored History of Modern Wall Street as Told by the Bankers, Brokers, CEOs, and Scoundrels Who Made It Happen. New York: Little, Brown, 2005. 5. They started out as investment-grade bonds, but when their issuers cratered, the bonds became so cheap that they paid a higher rate; e.g., a bond that yielded 7% would yield 10% if the price of the bond dropped to 70% of par. 6. See Connie Bruck, The Predators’ Ball: The Inside Story of Drexel Burnham and the Rise of the Junk Bond Raiders. New York: The American Lawyer: Simon & Schuster, 1988. 7. Typically the deals worked either by giving shareholders who sold a higher price but leaving a much weakened company for those who didn’t, or by offering a premium that was only a fraction of the value the buyer would create through actions the former management should have taken themselves.

 

pages: 613 words: 200,826

Unreal Estate: Money, Ambition, and the Lust for Land in Los Angeles by Michael Gross

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Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, Bernie Madoff, California gold rush, clean water, Donald Trump, estate planning, family office, financial independence, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, mortgage debt, offshore financial centre, oil rush, passive investing, pension reform, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Predators' Ball, transcontinental railway

History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. Vol. III. Chicago: Western Historical Association–Lewis Publishing Company, 1922. Brown, Peter Harry, and Pat H. Broeske. Howard Hughes: The Untold Story. New York: Penguin Group, 1996. Brown, Peter Harry, and Patte B. Barham. Marilyn: The Last Take. New York: Dutton,1992. Bruck, Connie. When Hollywood Had a King. New York: Random House, 2003. ——. The Predators’ Ball: Junk-Bond Traders and the Man Who Staked Them. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988. Cantor, Bert. The Bernie Cornfeld Story. New York: Lyle Stuart Inc., 1970. Carr, Harry. Los Angeles. New York: D. Appleton–Century Company, 1935. Cassini, Oleg. In My Own Fashion: An Autobiography. New York: Pocket Books, 1987. Cher, and Jeff Coplon. The First Time. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998. Churchwell, Sarah.

 

pages: 726 words: 210,048

Hard Landing by Thomas Petzinger, Thomas Petzinger Jr.

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airline deregulation, centralized clearinghouse, collective bargaining, cross-subsidies, desegregation, Donald Trump, feminist movement, index card, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Ponzi scheme, postindustrial economy, price stability, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, the medium is the message, The Predators' Ball, Thomas L Friedman, union organizing, yield management

London: Kingfisher Books, 1985. Breyer, Stephen. Regulation and Its Reform. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1982. Brown, Anthony E. The Politics of Airline Deregulation. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1987. Brown, Mick. Richard Branson: The Inside Story. London: Headline, 1989. Brown, Stanley H. Ling: The Rise, Fall, and Return of a Texas Titan. New York: Atheneum, 1972. Bruck, Connie. The Predators Ball. New York: The American Lawyer/Simon & Schuster, 1988. Campbell-Smith, Duncan. The British Airways Story. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1986. Carter, Jimmy. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States. Washington, DC.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1977. 11, Richard E. Air Transport and Its Regulators, An Industry Study. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1982. Collier, Peter, and David Horowitz.