The 12 Most Spectacular Financial Services Failures of All Time
Drexel Burnham Lambert
By 1986, Drexel was Wall Street's most profitable firm, with earnings of more than $500 million on revenues of $5.3 billion. Just four years later, the firm’s parent company found itself strapped for cash amid growing turmoil in the junk bond market. The once-dominant investment house that had fueled many of the biggest corporate takeovers of the 1980s defaulted on a $100 million loan and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Feb. 13, 1990, fatally wounded by a scandal involving its most infamous employee, junk bond king Michael Milken.