Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Michael Milken's Criminal Record Scrubbed by Trump

President Donald Trump pardoned Junk Bond King Michael Milken, who pleaded guilty to six charges, reduced from an original 98 count indictment. 

the firm’s rock star, Milken, pioneered the use of these (junk bond) securities to finance the huge ambitions of corporate raiders, like Carl Icahn and T. Boone Pickens, and of private equity firms, such as Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Texas Pacific Group.
Many came out in support of Milken's pardon.  Private equity underwriters on the list include The Carlyle Group's David Rubenstein and Yuciapa's Ron Burkle.

Business Insider reported on Milken's sentencing:
“You were willing to commit only crimes that were unlikely to be detected,” U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood told him in November 1990 at his sentencing hearing. “When a man of your power in the financial world . . . repeatedly conspires to violate, and violates, securities and tax business in order to achieve more power and wealth for himself . . . a significant prison term is required.”
Milken spent 22 months of his 10 year sentence in a minimum security prison and was allowed to keep most of his vast fortune in his plea deal.  Bloomberg wrote:

"A former Morgan Stanley managing director and wealth management executive who wrote Trump in 2017 urging him to pardon Milken, calling the junk-bond king’s prosecution a result of “a period of class envy run amok.”
So that's why employees have made no wage progress since the early 1990's.  Revenge from the Michael Milken class.  If class envy was bad in the 90's it is orders of magnitude higher today.

Business Insider gave a glimpse of Milken, the man:
Someone who met Milken later in his life and spent hours with him describes his “burning eyes” and says he was “manipulative to the core” and only seemed truly happy when he believed he had won her over to his way of thinking about things. “Mike Milken was kind of like Jim Jones [of Jonestown massacre infamy] with a billion dollars, a PR man, and a fancy office,” she says.
Milken long ago rehabilited his name in the financial world.  His Milken Institute Global meeting is California Davos.  PEU Founders are regular speakers on how greed and leverage will solve the world's ills.

WSJ opened the door that Milken could return to the securities industry, the recipient of trillions in government and central bank support.  Burning Platform characterized this group accurately with.

The irrational exuberance exhibited by the big swinging dicks on Wall Street during the bubble, the subprime mortgage induced bubble, and the current everything bubble has been encouraged and inspired by the reckless actions of the Federal Reserve and their fellow feckless central bank heroine dealers around the world. Their arrogance is only exceeded by their greed and myopia. Their grasp of history reaches to last Wednesday. No one is heeding the wisdom of great men. 
Nine years ago a major financial reporter wrote PEUReport:

I have seen so many people -- particularly those in their 50s - 70s -- taken apart by what has happened in their industry as greed has hollowed out the economy. These are people took pride in their jobs and held themselves to this invisible standard that we all just took for granted, but is being wiped out.

The Carlyle Group scares me more than anything I've ever seen on Wall Street. It seems to exist to corrupt politicians and it's hard to know who they even represent.

I watched a video interview of (David) Rubenstein and his arrogance is really beyond tolerance. He was going on about the debt ceiling problem and how there would need to be cuts in services and higher taxes. When the reporter asked him about tax on carried interest he turned really disdainful and said that this "only" amounted to $22 billion over some number of years and this was not serious money. Boy, nothing like everybody doing their small part to save the country from oblivion!
Milken's record is clean, thanks to a fellow financial miscreant.  Milken's return to the securities world would indicate anything goes for the monied, ruling class.

Greed, power and image are everything.  Milk'em leverage lives in our PEU world.