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Ling: The Rise, Fall and Return of a Texas Titan
Publisher: Beard Books
Publication Date: 1999-01-01
Number of pages: 320
Without any education beyond high school in Oklahoma and electrician's training in the Navy during World War II, Ling discovered a way to create free money for a while. He called his series of acquisitions and spin-offs Project Redeployment, which made it sound like something grander than it proved to be. But while it worked, it was dazzling, even compared with Michael Milken's rediscovery of undervalued, high-yield (junk) bonds. Unlike Milken, a convicted felon, Ling was a man of integrity whose worst trouble with the law involved a minor regulatory matter. He believed in himself and his venture so thoroughly -- and wrongheadedly -- that he kept all his own and his children's money in his company's stock and was wiped out.
The trouble with financial games is that they are easier to play than focusing on sound management and products, and they are surely more fun to watch.