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Steve Chiotakis: The financial markets seem to be frozen. But does that mean deal makers have cold feet? It's amazing what a little desperation could do for an urge to merge this new year. Here's Jill Barshay.

Jill Barshay: Even with credit markets all but paralyzed, there should still be some money available for mergers and acquisitions this year. That's according to Robert Filek, who advises on mergers at PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

But the deals in 2009 will be a far cry from the high-priced unions of this past year. Filek says this year's M&As could look more like firesales.

Robert Filek: I think the activity we will see in 2009 will be mergers of necessity, which really means that I am going to do a transaction that helps me sustain in this challenging economic environment.

Rather than corporate giants looking to expand, the shoe will be on the other foot. Troubled companies will be looking to initiate deals to stay afloat.

The few lucky companies with cash on hand -- or stock that's worth something -- will be the big beneficiaries.

In New York, I'm Jill Barshay for Marketplace.

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