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Bloodsport: When Ruthless Dealmakers, Shrewd Ideologues, and Brawling Lawyers Toppled the Corporate Establishment by Robert Teitelman

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Chapter Sixteen

TIME AFTER TIME AFTER TIME

UNDER SCRUTINY, PRESSURE, and temptations like leveraged buyouts, the clear division of agent and principal that characterized Jensen and Meckling’s agency theory broke down. Few accepted that they were purely agents; in their hearts, they were also principals. Many did not see themselves as conflicted, either. As principals, real or imaginary, their self-interest merged, as it did for Evans at Macmillan or Perelman and Bergerac over Revlon, with that of corporations they felt heaven-sent to own, control, or run. As Bill Allen of Delaware’s Chancery Court once noted in an opinion, “Unocal recognizes that human nature may incline even one acting in subjective good faith to rationalize as right that which ...

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