What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell Us
Shelf Life

The drama behind mergers and acquisitions

Kai Ryssdal Oct 14, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY
Shelf Life

The drama behind mergers and acquisitions

Kai Ryssdal Oct 14, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Hostile takeovers, backroom deals and selling companies have long been a part of the finance world. But in the past few decades, M&As have grown into an enormous business. Deals between corporations can now shake entire industries. 

John Weir Close, author of A Giant Cow-tipping by Savages: The Boom, Bust, and Boom Culture of M&A, says the early days of M&As in the 1970s and 1980s were filled with gritty details of backroom drama and wild personalities.

“M&A are a much more sober business,” Close says. “And the people doing it are much more sober now.” 

Although the M&A industry is much tamer now, the relics of risk-taking still remain. “Early M&A spread almost an infection into modern Wall Street,” Close says. “I think that the financial crisis is a direct descendent of the 1980s. There’s a direct link between investment bankers urging clients to buy more and bid more, to investment bankers selling subprime mortgages, that brought us to where we are today.”

 

 

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.