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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 Nineteen

THE DEATH AND LIFE OF M&A

TODAY, THE M&A cycle is revving like a Harley doing wheelies across an asphalt parking lot: noise, smoke, leathery spectacle. We’ve seen the show before. Many declared in 2008 that the modern era of M&A, which had lasted far longer than previous takeover waves, had definitively ended with the financial crisis and what appeared to be the self-immolation of Wall Street. The banks were not lending, the markets were stunned, and the corporate triad of managers, boards, and shareholders—hit by credit crises, illiquidity, recession, and panic’s hangover of uncertainty—rejected M&A as a strategy. Risk rose to the top of the agenda, despite the opportunity to buy at bargain-basement prices. M&A volumes fell ...

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