Most presidential pardons rub me up the wrong way (e.g. Bill Clinton’s of Marc Rich) because there always seems to be something sleazy and underhanded about the people involved.
But God-Emperor Trump hasn’t put a foot wrong, and especially so with Michael Milken (who I always thought got a rough deal from the Justice Department).
Indeed, there’s an old saying that “banks only lend to you when you don’t need the money.” Milken understood this truth all too well, having discovered in the 1970s that other than for the bluest of blue-chip businesses, growth financing was exceedingly difficult to come by for the 99% of businesses that weren’t blue chip, or investment grade. Financial institutions operated on the assumption that the present predicted the future. Not so Milken. His research revealed the opposite.
Milken discovered that a corporation’s balance sheet generally measured yesterday, not tomorrow. And so he set about “democratizing” access to capital. Having attended UC Berkeley in the 1960s, Milken had embraced the desire of some within the student body to improve society. He would work tirelessly to change the world for the better too, but as he once put it, “Unlike other crusaders from Berkeley, I have chosen Wall Street as my battleground for improving society because it is here that government institutions and industries are financed.” There are no companies, no jobs, and there is no progress without investment, and Milken would vastly improve the world around him through skillful development of the companies not recognized by traditional banks and investment banks, but that would be greatly enhanced through bespoke finance.