The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: $550 Million

17Jul10

In 1987, Michael Milken made $550 million from his notorious work with junk bonds at the Drexel Burnham Lambert investment banking firm.  Milken’s indictment and Drexel’s ensuing bankruptcy led to a 1993 court decision holding that a fraudulent firm (i.e., Drexel) could not use its insurance to protect itself from paying fines for its criminal behavior.

That court decision came back to life in 2009 when Kevin Bacon and other investors were swindled out of billions of dollars by Bernie Madoff, who was involved with Henry Paulson of Goldman Sachs, which has just agreed to pay the SEC a total of — you guessed it — $550 million to settle charges against it.

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