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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 216

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Dennis B. Levine: He is an investment banker from Queens, New York, whose main agenda is to beat the system and get rich from it. He is naive and sees insider trading on Wall Street as his ticket to instant wealth. He steals takeover documents from Lazard Frere, hoping to make a killing from Lazard's stock.

Martin A. Siegel: He is an investment banker from Harvard and an expert at defending firms from hostile takeovers. He also invented the "golden parachute," which is a compensation scheme given to executives when their companies are bought by others. Martin and Dennis eventually meet up with Ivan Boesky, and they take part in Levine's insider trading scheme.

Ivan Boesky: He is an arbitrager by profession and a very ambitious man. When Levine approaches him with the insider trading idea, he takes the chance because he believes the scheme will make him very wealthy. He's also smart and seeks out partners that can help him execute the plan well. He approaches Martin A. Siegel for assistance.

Michael R. Milken: He is an expert at trading bonds. He's made millions by selling junk bonds to desperate investors in a pyramid scheme. Ivan knew about the pyramid scheme and colluded with him to cheat investors about the potential returns of the bonds.