Cutting The Deal of His Life: Michael Milken

The long-defiant bond wizard slouches toward a plea

As the presiding financial genius of the Roaring Eighties, Michael Milken pioneered the $200 billion junk-bond market that powered the decade's epic takeover wars. But last week a hounded and weary Milken, who had vowed to fight a 98-count indictment that the Government brought against him last year, agreed to settle the largest securities-fraud case in U.S. history. Faced with the threat of expanded new charges, the former head of Drexel Burnham Lambert's junk-bond department struck a tentative deal to plead guilty to six criminal counts and pay a $600 million penalty. Milken, who earned $550 million from Drexel in 1987,...

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