On a steamy Manhattan day in August 1977, a 36-year-old business wunderkind arrived at the liquidation auction of Robert Hall clothing stores defiantly mod in his lemon-yellow suit and open-necked, black shirt. At his side was a bodyguard whose wrist was chained to a briefcase. As onlookers gawked, Steven West told anyone who would listen that the case contained $2 million in cash and that he intended to buy not one outlet but the whole chain. After ten minutes, West's bid had reached $3.5 million -- "too much money for a bunch of stores that were stinkers" one bystander remarked -- and the erratic newcomer had captured national attention. Only later would the big spender admit that the briefcase contained mostly loose pieces of paper that were covered by several thousand --not million --... More >>>