The Profits Of Doom

Drexel, Campeau sat on a wall. They and others had a great fall. But for experts in bankruptcy and picking up the pieces, business is booming

As ailing U.S. companies collapse beneath the debt they assumed in the Roaring Eighties, a new breed of vultures has begun to swoop down on the corporate carcasses. The predators include sharp-eyed lawyers, investment bankers and bargain hunters who have parlayed the business of profiting from failure into Wall Street's hottest growth industry. Ironically, many of the same financiers who loaded companies down with debt are now cashing in on the overleveraged firms' troubles. Not since merger madness first hit corporate America in the mid-'80s has so lucrative a financial field opened up so swiftly. Says Robert Miller, a Manhattan attorney...

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