Ivan Boesky Is Seventy!

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We’re not sure how we could have missed out mentioning yesterday’s very special anniversary—the seventieth birthday of Ivan Boesky. Born March 6, 1937 in Detroit, Boesky became a central figure in the most infamous insider trading scandal of the nineteen eighties. He was a arbitrageur who amassed a fortune trading on difference in perceived risk of certain events, largely mergers and acquisitions. He was a prominent figure in New York society, known as a philanthropist and widely hailed as a genius investor. It came as something of a shock to many when he pled guilty to illegal trading. Despite the fame attached to his case—it was all over what was then called “the nightly news” and the front pages of every major newspaper, most especially the Wall Street Journal— served only two years at a federal “country club”-style prison, in part because he testified against former Wall Street colleagues, such as Drexel Burnham Lambert’s Michael Milken.
We didn't know it back then, but in many ways we were witnessing the creation of the world we live in today. Front page business scandals, muckraking journalists, grandstanding prosecutors, Rudy Giuliani, writer James Stewart, creative use of criminal codes, and even the phrase "insider trading" all became familiar to us thanks, in part to Ivan Boesky.
So, Ivan, we hope you enjoyed your birthday. We hope that glass you raised was from the Chateau Mouton-Rothschild the ‘21’ club has waiting for you in its cellar. Otherwise we might stop by tonight and see if we can get them to serve it to us. You’re seventy now Ivan, the time for letting wine age is well past.

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