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Milken, Michael Robert

Michael Robert Milken (1946– ) was an executive and a star trader at the now defunct investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert. He received the nickname “junk bond king” for the role he played in making Drexel the leader in the junk bond market.

Junk bonds are speculative, high-yield investments that carry a higher than usual rate of interest because they are associated with a greater risk of default. Junk bond financing fueled the corporate takeover market of the 1980s by making it possible for smaller firms to mount a hostile takeover of much larger firms.

Junk bonds and the role that Milken played in popularizing them have passionate defenders and detractors. Critics blame junk bonds for the collapse of the savings and loan industry and the business ...

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