Were trying to find a balance between wall street

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were trying to find a balance between Wall Street Historiographies 149 long-term and short-term; we were trying to be sensitive to our com- munities because we genuinely believed that that would optimize our profits by reacting to those particular needs." But, he defeatedly con- cluded, "the fact is, we must change," because "the Street is telling us that the trader or the short-term investor prevails, and therefore it's my duty to react to that." Because of the traumatic socioeconomic dislocations caused by the take- over movement of the 19803, there was an extended social and political resistance. Even the mainstream media was very critical of the myriad insider trading scandals, stock market manipulations, and the "human cost" of corporate takeovers, and many writers explicitly identified Wall Street practices and elite privilege as the causes of human suffering. Gov- ernment officials and lawyers helped to bring down the largest insider- trading ring in financial history: Michael Milken, Ivan Boesky, Martin Siegel, and Dennis Levine. Wall Street investment banks such as Drexel Burnham Lambert and Kidder Peabody, leaders in the junk bond scan- dals, were bankrupted or severely crippled. James Stewart, Pulitzer Prize- winning author of Den of Thieves, wrote that the criminal "conspiracy" that characterized Wall Street in the 19803 cannot be simplified as "the ill- gotten gains of individuals" (Stewart 1992, 21). The bigger picture of criminality must include the nation's financial markets, completely "cor- rupted from within" (Stewart 1992, 22). Individual shareholders also resisted. In 1990, Bryan Burrough and John Helyar told the tale of KKR'S LBO of, what was at the time, the largest company ever to be taken over. This deal was heralded as a victory for RJR Nabisco shareholders because in order to take over such a large corporation, KKR had to outbid two other raiders such that the share price of RJR more than doubled in a year. "Yet in the world's greatest con- centration of RJR shareholders—Winston-Salem, North Carolina—few were thanking Johnson [the CEO] even as the money gushed into town. Nearly $2 billion of checks arrived in the late-February mail. Now, more than ever, Winston-Salem was 'the city of reluctant millionaires.' Local brokers and bankers got calls from distraught clients. 'I won't sell my stock,' one sobbed. 'Daddy said don't ever sell the RJR stock.' They were patiently told they had to. They were told the world had changed. . . . 'You have to understand,' said Nabby Armfield [a local resident], 'Reynolds wasn't a stock. It was a religion'" (Burrough and Helyar 1990, 507). Indi- vidual shareholders engage in multiple practices not foretold or accounted for by Wall Street's treatment and understanding of stocks. Moreover, while these former "owners" of RJR were getting checks in the mail, they
150 chapter three were also losing their jobs. But as the backlash raged from 1988 to 1993, Wall Street had already begun a counter movement to redefine and insert M&A into the mainstream of corporate practices.

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