Entry dated :: March 28, 1985
Beverly Hills
Bungalow 8

Thursday. I came to Beverly Hills to hear Sir Jimmy Goldsmith speak at Mike Milken's "High Yield Bond Conference." His presentation this morning was part of a 5 day annual event sponsored by Drexel that has attracted such illustrious raiders as T. Boone Pickens, Rupert Murdoch, Carl Icahn, Marvin Davis, Ron Perlman, Steve Wynn, Saul Steinberg, John Kluge, Irwin L. Jacobs, Carl Lindner, Oscar S. Wyatt Jr, Jay Pritzker, Asher Edelman, Samuel Belzberg, David Murdoch and Kirk Kerkorian. It began on Monday with Milken explaining to rapt raptors why Dun & Bradstreet, Moody's and other traditional bond rating services are out of touch with reality and ends tomorrow night with Diana Ross serenading them in the grand ballroom of the Century Hotel.

Jimmy had little problem winning over this audience. "Why are takeovers considered hostile?" he asks rhetorically in his eloquent English accent. "It is because of a basic misunderstanding between owners and those they hire to manage their enterprises. Because no one has challenged their tenure, many managers have mistakenly come to believe that they own the businesses. As a consequence, they consider it "hostile" for the real owners to assert their rights. The true owners are the share holders." When he tells them they must recognize they are part of an "anti-establishment," and tormenting a "revolution that will change corporate America", they give him a standing ovation.

I spent the afternoon at the swimming pool of the Beverly Hills Hotel, owned by the wife of Ivan Boesky. It was a warm balmy day which made some of the pool-side financiers, like Carl Icahn, still in their 3 piece suits, look out of place. I received an insight into its subliminal function through a chance encounter with an actress-director Arielle Dombasle, who was seated next to me at the pool. She had come to this conference to raise financing for her next project, "The Blue Pyramid," and met Don Engel, an aide to Milken. She told me Engel had generously distributed passes to the pool to dozens of starlets from Twentieth Century Fox (now owned by Murdoch) and various talent agencies, telling them, as a further inducement, that if they showed up today were " going to meet the richest men in the world."

This gathering of starlets became more evident that evening at the cocktail party hosted by Boesky in Bungalow 8, a pink two-bedroom cottage a few hundred yards from the pool. I counted at least 20 of them huddled together, like pigeons waiting to be released for trap shooting. Gradually, the predators, all in dark suits, threaded their way through the room. Their discussions of their use of poison pills, golden handcuffs and stripped equities left a few of the starlets confused, if not agog.

Around 7pm, a fleet of limousines whisked the guests, including Jimmy, off to the private dining room at Chasen's. I was not invited.

I met Jimmy at a piano bar after dinner. He said that Don Engel had tried to seat him and Jay Pritzker with two "X-ray blonds," but not about to be compromised, he demanded and got a safer placement next to his lawyer, Joe Flom. Engel then announced that there would be a "special party" back at Bungalow 8, at which point Jimmy ducked out. "Those guys have no idea of how to run a revolution."