Economists George A. Akerlof and Paul M. Romer wrote a paper on how Milken basically played a massive chunk of the corporate economy in the 1980s like a Ponzi scheme. It's called "Looting: The Economic Underworld of Bankruptcy for Profit."
15. The truth was, as Paul Romer and George Akerloff noted in Looting: The Economic Underworld of Bankruptcy for Profit, Milken just cheated. He ran an economy-wide Ponzi scheme for fifteen years until it crashed in the late 1980s.