December 18, 2004
Michael Milken was the face of 1980s greed and hubris after his guilty plea on six felony counts related to his work at the famed junk bond machine Drexel Burnham Lambert. Of course, that is now ancient history--it was almost 15 years ago--and the S&L crises and the Enron/Worldcom corporate debacles since then have taken center stage. A New York Times article (Dec. 18) discusses Milken's latest investment foray, into the world of for-profit educational enterprises that includes a substantial investment in the buy-out of KinderCare, an old Drexel junk bond client. Milken is barred from the securities industry, but the large ($1 billion+) fortune he amassed from his investment banking days can make him a major player in almost any industry, and his contacts in the financial world remain deep. His rehabilitation is viewed as a model for other white collar criminals who seek to rebuild their life after a conviction and term of imprisonment.
For-profit education companies are growing, and the University of Phoenix is the largest post-secondary educator in the country. Perhaps the Milken College of Law one day? The white collar crime class could have its first guest speaker already lined up.
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