Den of Thieves
James B. Stewart
A #1 bestseller from coast to coast, Den of Thieves tells the full story of the insider-trading scandal that nearly destroyed Wall Street, the men who pulled it off, and the chase that finally brought them to justice.
Pulitzer Prize–winner James B. Stewart shows for the first time how four of the eighties’ biggest names on Wall Street—Michael Milken, Ivan Boesky, Martin Siegel, and Dennis Levine —created the greatest insider-trading ring in financial history and almost walked away with billions, until a team of downtrodden detectives triumphed over some of America’s most expensive lawyers to bring this powerful quartet to justice.
Based on secret grand jury transcripts, interviews, and actual trading records, and containing explosive new revelations about Michael Milken and Ivan Boesky written especially for this paperback edition, Den of Thieves weaves all the facts into an unforgettable narrative—a portrait of human nature, big business, and crime of unparalleled proportions.
Lynch made clear that no settlement would be reached unless Drexel admitted wrongdoing. Yet Black, speaking in his usual nasal whine, asserted, “I don’t know that there have been any problems” at Drexel. The SEC lawyers were dumbfounded. Black repeated several times that he didn’t see any evidence of wrongdoing and added, arrogantly in the SEC’s view, that “we” would need much more proof from the SEC before reaching any agreement. Black’s posture enraged not only the enforcement staff but the
settlement were announced. In a sweeping consent decree, the SEC all but took control of Drexel. Most startling was the announcement that John Shad, the recently retired SEC chairman, would become chairman of Drexel. Joseph would remain chief executive. SEC-approved Drexel officials would be required to scrutinize all of Drexel’s continuing activities. Drexel won its battle to keep its high-yield operations in Beverly Hills, but the settlement still included a condemnation of Milken and Lowell,
bonuses in stock. Drexel saved only $64 million in cash, as it paid out over $200 million of its desperately needed capital. As 1990 began and the scope of Drexel’s problems became more apparent, Drexel’s short-term lenders refused further financing. The firm couldn’t sell short-term commercial paper. As previous short-term loans came due, it had to make the payments out of its dwindling capital and couldn’t refinance the debt. By February 1990, Drexel had paid out $575 million to cover
the press by slipping out a side door of the federal courthouse, but camera crews had staked out every entrance. They stampeded when he appeared, trampling over parked cars to reach him. (17) After pleading guilty and cooperating with prosecutors, Dennis Levine was sentenced to three years in prison at a White Plains, New York, courthouse in March 1987. He agreed to pay $11.6 million in fines and penalties. “Through the information he has provided, an entire nest of vipers on Wall Street has
look into the shares of Gulf + Western, a force both in Hollywood, with its Paramount Pictures unit, and in publishing, with Simon & Schuster. Both businesses appealed strongly to Boesky’s escalating ambitions, and Icahn told Boesky he thought Gulf + Western shares were “significantly undervalued.” Boesky began amassing a position, stopping at just under the 5% level that would require public disclosure. He remained in close contact with Icahn, who also owned a large stake in Gulf + Western.