Deal Makers, Brokers, and Bankers
Written By: ,
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Date: January 2006
Duration: 2 hours 55 minutes
Takeovers, mergers, and other kinds of business 'deals' became popular in the late 1800s, when corporations including Nabisco, US Steel, and International Harvester were born. Merger fever was especially intense during the 1920s, as railroads, banks, utilities, and automakers were restructured. Decades of sluggishness followed the 1929 market crash. Bank mergers picked up during the 1950s, followed the conglomerates of the 'go-go years' during the 1960s. The 1980s was the decade of the leveraged buy-out (LBO) as American corporations once again adjusted to new business realities. In this presentation we focus on the stories of US Steel, Getty Oil and RJR Nabisco, where human nature plays itself out in high-stakes contests involving executives, investment bankers, lawyers, and other financial advisors. The development of America's banking and brokerage industries is a story of great and colorful figures such as Alexander Hamilton, Robert Morris, Nicholas Biddle, Jay Cooke, J.P. Morgan, Walter Wriston, Stanford Weill, and Charles Schwab. Pioneers such as A.P. Giannini and Charles E. Merrill spearheaded the 'democratization" of their industries, making banking and brokerage services available to ordinary people. The scandals following the stock market crash of 1929 led to the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which erected a legal barrier between the banking and securities businesses- but innovation and technology in the late 20th century have eroded this barrier, so that new opportunities and products abound.