Greenmailing Mickey Mouse

Disney buys out a threatening investor for $325 million

"It's like watching your mother getting ravaged by New York thugs," said Greg Kieselmann, co-manager of institutional research at Morgan, Olmstead, Kennedy & Gardner, a Los Angeles brokerage firm. That rather vivid imagery was typical of the investment world's reaction last week after Financier Saul P. Steinberg zapped Walt Disney Productions with a market ploy that made him $32 million richer but may have left Disney much weaker. Steinberg, 44, had just pulled off the latest example of a spreading tactic called greenmail, Wall...

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