Cover image for Deals of the century : Wall Street, mergers, and the making of modern America
Deals of the century : Wall Street, mergers, and the making of modern America
Geisst, Charles R.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley, [2004]

Physical Description:
xxi, 330 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


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Material Type
Home Location
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HG4028.M4 G45 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Throughout history, mergers and acquisitions have been the major game played on Wall Street. These deals have had far-reaching effects, on the worlds of finance and industry - more than most commentators or financiers are publicly willing to admit.

Deals of the Century captures this dynamic moment in history by taking an in-depth look at the most notable merger and acquisition deals of the twentieth of Carnegie Steel in 1901 to the creation of the former AOL Time Warner, renowned business historian and bestselling author Charles Geisst traces the deals that have had the most dramatic impact on the worlds of both finance and industry over the past century. Decade by decade, you'll be introduced to the personalities behind each event, as industries are built, dismantled, and reorganized by "professionals" driven mainly by the profits extracted from the deals themselves.

Engaging and informative, Deals of the Century paints an exciting portrait of the incredible M&A journey and illustrates how many of these deals changed the face of business, creating a modern capitalist society that continues to grow.

Author Notes

CHARLES R. GEISST is the author of fourteen books, including Wheels of Fortune: The History of Speculation from Scandal to Respectability, and the bestsellers Wall Street: A History and 100 Years of Wall Street. Previously, he worked as a capital markets analyst and investment banker at several investment banks in London and also has taught both political science and finance. He has contributed to many journals and newspapers, including the International Herald Tribune, Neue Zurcher Zeitung, and The Wall Street Journal, and has been a guest on many radio and television financial programs.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Geisst (Wall Street: A History) draws on a storehouse of financial lore in this eye-opening survey of 100 years of corporate deals that have grown increasingly spectacular with each decade. From the century's first megadeal-the formation of U.S. Steel in 1900-through the fabled 1986 leveraged buyout of Beatrice and its even more cantilevered counterparts of the 1990s, he profiles the larger-than-life personalities who have been the driving forces behind the regularly recurring cycle of mergers. Geisst also revels in describing the constantly changing face of corporate financing over the century. The needs of expanding industries like automobiles and retail merchandising couldn't be met by the wealthy financiers in J.P. Morgan's circle in the early years of the 1900s and made the careers of a new breed of investment bankers possible. Geisst shows how the laissez faire economic policy and deregulation that swept in with the Reagan Administration in 1981 set the stage for a deluge of megadeals in previously regulated airlines, energy utilities, telecommunications and banking industries. For all the staggering number, dollar value and complexity of the deals, not to mention the excitement surrounding them, Geisst comes to a sobering conclusion: "Most of the large mergers of the century were nothing more than a way of allowing shareholders and executives to cash out their existing holdings at a profit while often containing costs at the same time by downsizing operations, firing staff and cutting services." Geisst sees the century ending much as it began, with a small group of powerful financial captains determining the structure of our major industries. (Nov.) Forecast: The many readers trying to make sense of Wall Street will be grateful for Geisst's comprehensive and thoughtful retelling of the turmoil and transformation of the past 100 years. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Introductionp. ix
Chapter 1 Building the Infrastructurep. 1
Chapter 2 Driving to the Storep. 47
Chapter 3 Power Plays and Conspiracy Theoriesp. 91
Chapter 4 Roll Over, Euclidp. 131
Chapter 5 Visigoths versus the Legionsp. 179
Chapter 6 Spawned by Deregulationp. 233
Chapter 7 Old Bedfellowsp. 277