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Michael Milken On The Five Biggest Systemic Threats

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Thu, 11/05/2009 - 23:19 | 121762 JamesBrrando
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well said!

Thu, 11/05/2009 - 23:29 | 121770 SloSquez
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"Maybe if they are the most talented in the world, you would have already hired them."

Statements like this just raise my ire.  What part of "you can't apply calculus to markets" do people not understand.  Models in the financial world are only guidelines.  It's hard enough to apply models to things that are real.  Markets are not.  The world would be much better off if the financial types would quit talking about stuff they don't understand.

Thu, 11/05/2009 - 23:49 | 121789 Rama V
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"It's hard enough to apply models to things that are real.  Markets are not. "

Are you saying that markets are not real or that markets are not hard enough for models?

Fri, 11/06/2009 - 00:19 | 121813 SloSquez
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Markets don't behave relative to any known.  Unless you control the market, markets cannot be modeled into the future with any certainty.  It's the same reason the weatherman is only good for a few days.  Too complex and all the variables cannot be accounted for.  To answer your question, markets are real and models cannot predict, no matter the complexity of the model. 

Fri, 11/06/2009 - 09:38 | 122042 Gunther
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Nice analogy of market and weather. I do not know of any mathematical model that predicts a market or the weather for any longer period of time.

But for the weather are weather proverbs that are correct in two out of three cases. For the market, DOW Theory claims to be correct seven out of ten times in forecasting the trend.



Fri, 11/06/2009 - 00:09 | 121805 Anonymous
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O....k.... and Milken is the one who orchestrated a bubble by introducing junk debt as a 'grade A+' investment

His point is moot.

Fri, 11/06/2009 - 00:14 | 121809 Banker1944
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Milken's musings are compelling, so is the fact that he served time for financial misdeeds.

Fri, 11/06/2009 - 00:23 | 121817 Anonymous
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Al Capone called it right in the 20s - he said wall st was 'a racket" - Milken was a wall st. mobster and he knows of what he speaks--I find his views particularly credible since he has nothing to lose. Scary views, but credible -- fits right in here. Thanks for the post

Fri, 11/06/2009 - 09:47 | 122060 E pluribus unum
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Fri, 11/06/2009 - 00:26 | 121823 Anonymous
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Michael Milken is one of the biggest scum bags on Wall Street.

Fri, 11/06/2009 - 09:10 | 122022 Gordon_Gekko
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Compared to Goldman Sachs he is practically innocent.

Fri, 11/06/2009 - 09:53 | 122073 heatbarrier
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Prince of the Realm.

Fri, 11/06/2009 - 00:33 | 121827 JohnKing
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He forgot the biggest systemic threat:

Assholes like him.

Sun, 11/08/2009 - 15:37 | 124004 Problem Is
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Hey, that is a convicted felon "philanthropist," currently manipulating cancer drug stocks through his "charitable" foundation... you are talking about!

Milken has a new book coming out:

"How to Defraud the Public out of $1 Billion, Face a 98 Count Felony Indictment, Hide $400 million Stolen Funds in My Wife and Children's Names, Play Tennis at a Country Club Prison For 22 Months, Become a "Philanthropist," Manage My Wife's Stolen Money and Manipulate Stocks, Even Though I am a Convicted Felon Banned From Wall Street For Life, Without Really Trying."

I am getting it on Kindle...

Fri, 11/06/2009 - 00:59 | 121855 Anonymous
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Perhaps you should read Daniel Fischels account of Milken taken from the actual court transcripts. The book is called Payback. You will note after reading it that there are many scumbags, the biggest ironically is none other than Rudy Giulliani. I would not count Milken as one of them.

You will also note a long held Wall Street tradition of using the government to destroy your competition especially if he or they have a huge competitive advantage. You should read this book and compare how many were destroyed by creating laws that were applied retroactively. And you might also compare the current situation and the the astonishing difference in punishments.

Milken was one of the most insightful and brilliant market players of his day. His recognition of the role debt played in capital structures and in managements behavior revolutionized the market and allowed for some terrific opportunities to make and lose fantastic sums of money.

So it is ironic looking at Wall St. today, CNBC and congress amongst so many others and call this man a scumbag. At his worst he looks like a saint compared to this lot.

Fri, 11/06/2009 - 09:15 | 122019 Gordon_Gekko
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"there are many scumbags, the biggest ironically is none other than Rudy Giulliani"

Funny, I was gonna say the same thing. He was targeted because he was not part of the Wall Street "Club" (he operated mostly as a lone warrior and had moved to California early in his career) and because Giuliani wanted to fulfill his political ambitions. The Wall Street "club" firms ala GS et. al. could not see someone becoming more successful than them and cutting into their share of the pie. In fact, I suspect Giuliani was explicitly ORDERED to "contain" him, his reward being political ascendancy. Giuliani is the real ASSHOLE.

Fri, 11/06/2009 - 01:08 | 121858 RozzertheDropsky
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Hey, go easy on Michael. Paid his debt to society. He's from the "classic era" of Wall St. hucksterism - Boesky, et al. We wouldn't have had Gordon Gekko without Michael. Anyway, he's a Cal man. His point about sovereign debt and the usual bromide that the "U.S. can't fail unless everything fails" is especially chilling. Everything has now been shown to be quite fallible. As TD has pointed out, the U.S. has to roll about $3 tril in short term debt during 2010. Things are going to get very, very interesting, and will test that old bromide.

Fri, 11/06/2009 - 02:08 | 121903 Tripps
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Milken is central to Deep Capture, illegal naked shorting scams, mafia, etc


F this guy and anyone who tries defending him

Fri, 11/06/2009 - 02:22 | 121909 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Yeah, Milken's a scumbag but if I were in a room with Milken and Guiliani while holding a double-barreled shotgun, I'd do the right thing.

Shoot Rudy twice.

Fri, 11/06/2009 - 09:51 | 122069 E pluribus unum
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If I was in that room with only one bullet, I'd kill myself because there's no way I could ever get that meeting out of my mind unless I was dead.

Fri, 11/06/2009 - 05:47 | 121972 Renfield
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Michael Milken. I was a teenager in the '80s and I remember him being called the 'junk bond king'. Fraudster. Apparently took down a large number of innocent(?) people for a LOT of money, got a slap-on-the-wrist, sweetheart sentence for turning State's and spilling the beans.

Became a philanthropist, founded a charitable organisation when he was out. That's all I've really heard about him. Is he 'rehabilitated'? Was his light sentence his fault, or the judiciary's?

Either way, I have to admit that if Alan Greenscum, or Robert Rubitard, or either of the Bush tyrants or Obambi or Bermonkey or Larry Fatsummers just TOLD THE TRUTH for a damn change, I'm not saying I'd think they were suddenly saints but I'd give them full credit for telling it like it was.

What if Bermonkey finally broke one day and said, "OK, guys, I was wrong, fuck my damn thesis. This is too important and a bunch of GoldmanSuchs parasites have been taking full advantage of me to run the country solely to fatten their wallets. Here is a list of names. We've been screwing the taxpayer, we've been traitors to our country, we've ended a promising capitalist empire early in its rule. I'm ending this lie here and now, and calling for an end to the Federal Reserve and a return of the currency to its people, beginning with a full audit of the vaults and the books." How would we feel about him then?

Or even: "I'm retiring as of today. I'm out of it now, so I'll tell you exactly what's going on and what the scams are." Even that.

I think Milken deserves credit here. The man once was (is?) a scumbag - but that is a logical fallacy called ad hominem.

What he's saying here, in this particular article, is going into my files. I think he's absolutely right in this piece and I'm grateful that he said it...

Fri, 11/06/2009 - 08:28 | 121998 JohnKing
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Became a philanthropist, founded a charitable organisation when he was out. That's all I've really heard about him. Is he 'rehabilitated'?

Read deepcapture and how he uses his "philanthropic" mirage to game the system. Sociopaths are beyond rehabilitation, most psych types are coming to the conclusion that they (sociopaths) simply use the rehabilitation process to hone their nefarious skills.

Michael Milken, 60,000 Deaths, and the Story of Dendreon

Fri, 11/06/2009 - 07:09 | 121983 ft65
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I don't think Milken is telling us something that even the most basic informed investor doesn't know. Milken is eminently qualified to comment on our current situation. It's just a shame it takes a financial melt-down before these  people come out ofv the woodwork.

Aside the Goldman and all the other financial terrorists, along with bought-and-paid-for politicians, the people we should be really angry with is MSM and their corrupt parent companies, who have been lying to us for years.

There needs to be a revolution, and otherwise useless lamp poles should be put to good use, stringing these bastards up.  

Fri, 11/06/2009 - 07:32 | 121991 Anonymous
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Here is what Milken purposefully did....

Created "sell-able" junk....

Sell-able because of high mark ups to brokers....

And some "sell-able" commonly known names....

Fri, 11/06/2009 - 09:13 | 122027 Gordon_Gekko
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Ummm...aren't you describing the entire Wall Street's business model?

Fri, 11/06/2009 - 08:38 | 122004 Anonymous
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The fact that he engaged in fraudulent activity means that he understands the system weaknesses at their core and can easily reveal them. It's not about who he is or was. It's about insight.

Fri, 11/06/2009 - 09:26 | 122036 Bruce Krasting
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Milken shook the trees in the 80's. Made friends and enemies in the process. He backed Boone Pickins in an effort to take over SoCal Petroleum.

That company was well connected in D.C. The rest is history. Things haven't changed much. Big companies still have the clout. Too much.

Fri, 11/06/2009 - 10:16 | 122115 Anonymous
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we should have sent mm to the fed, instead of the slammer

Fri, 11/06/2009 - 13:25 | 122390 Anonymous
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Sovereign Debt is a big risk...

Just wait a few years and the Banana Republic of America will offer 1 cent on the dollar to the rest of the world. Take it or leave it...

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