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What ensued over the eighteen months following the rescue of Long Term Capital Management made the market rise of the previous three years look tame. Investor optimism was fueled by developments in technology that were linked to the turn of the millennium, commonly referred to as Y2K. Investors latched onto the idea that businesses needed to replace software systems that were not programmed to handle dates beginning with the year 2000. Amid this, the volume of M&A activity continued at a record pace, as many companies and financial institutions used their rising share prices as currency to pay for acquisitions. Morgan became increasingly vulnerable because its share price lagged its rivals. Behind the scenes, Goldman Sachs approached Sandy Warner about a possible merger between the two institutions after Goldman went public in May of 1999. However, Hank Paulson ultimately pulled the plug on the deal.
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For a more complete discussion, see Sargen, Global Shocks, op. cit., Chapter 9.
Alfred Rappaport and Mark L. Sirower, “Stock of Cash?: The Trade-Offs for Buyers and Sellers in Mergers and Acquisitions,” Harvard Business Review.
Rappaport and Sirower also point out that in an exchange of shares, it can become less clear who is the buyer and who is the seller, depending on how the shares perform when the merger is consummated.
Charles D. Ellis, The Partnership: The Making of Goldman Sachs, Penguin Books, 2009 edition.
Ibid., Chapter 11.
Ibid., p. 638.
Source is not named to preserve confidentiality.
Crown Publishing Group, October 1999.
- Market Frenzy
Nicholas P. Sargen
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