So, for those of you who don’t know how bonds work, they basically come in different grades, AAA being the Bonds with the lowest risks, also those with the lowest interest, you get more they more risk you take, pretty standard mode of operation in the amazing world of finance.
So for instance bonds from for instance the Kingdom of Denmark are AAA bonds, corporate bonds from IBM or General Electric would usually be AAA, none of these instances are likely to go down in flames.
On the other end of the scale, you’ve got junk bonds, extremely high risk loans from companies that are basically a few steps away from being pornography studios and old school pawn shops, the interest rates are high, so obviously so are the profit, if the loaner can pay of course, which they couldn’t always do.
Now, Junk Bonds still exist to this day, but they true Golden Age was the age of Michael Milken of Drexel Burnham Lamber, the company itself was a shadow of former glories, a mid-range player in a world of giants, consigned to a slow but steady existence on the borders of the world of wealth.
Michael Milken knew people, people with money, and managed to literally network his way to starting an insane bonanza of Junk Bonds, backing the Leveraged Buyouts of the 80’s.
A Leveraged Buyout is a version of the Management Buyout, just with a lot more loans, a lot less secured, and sadly, the party of Leveraged Buyouts ended and Drexel ended up with a nice big pile of toxic junk bonds, you can probably guess the rest of that story.
Turns out that Milken had been “milking” the company for millions of dollars, taking kickbacks, the whole package of illegal shit you shouldn’t do. Drexel died, Milken got send to jail.
The story ends, with Michael Milken doing lectures on the dangers of Junk Bonds while enjoying all the money he somehow managed to keep.