There is no one more closely associated with junk bonds than Michael Milken, who, in the 1970s, realized that investors could make more money buying bonds from companies with lower credit ratings than they could from companies with triple-A rated bonds. However, the same competitive nature that made Milken millions ended up hurting him. In 1990, Milken pled guilty to six counts of violating securities law, spent one year and ten months in prison, and paid a government fine of $200 million and put an additional $400 million in a fund to compensate investors. Both before and after his incarceration, Milken has been heavily involved in philanthropy and now leads the Milken Institute, among many other organizations.

Correction: This updated version of the podcast corrects the length of Milken’s prison term, which was incorrectly stated in a previous version of the show. It also provides additional context for the fine he was required to pay, and his philanthropic activity.

To listen on the Bloomberg terminal, click on the player thumbnail on the sidebar. To listen on your mobile device click https://www.bloomberg.com/audio

Running time 23:08

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE