Bloodsport: When Ruthless Dealmakers, Shrewd Ideologues, and Brawling Lawyers Toppled the Corporate Establishment

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PublicAffairs, Apr 5, 2016 - Business & Economics - 432 pages
The epic battle of the fascinating, flawed figures behind America's deal culture and their fight over who controls and who benefits from the immense wealth of American corporations.

Bloodsport is the story of how the mania for corporate deals and mergers all began. The riveting tale of how power lawyers Joe Flom and Marty Lipton, major Wall Street players Felix Rohatyn and Bruce Wasserstein, prominent jurists, and shrewd ideologues in academic garb provided the intellectual firepower, creativity, and energy that drove the corporate elite into a less cozy, Hobbesian world.

With total dollar volume in the trillions, the zeal for the deal continues unabated to this day. Underpinning this explosion in mergers and acquisitions—including hostile takeovers—are four questions that radically disrupted corporate ownership in the 1970s, whose force remains undiminished:

Are shareholders the sole “owners” of corporations and the legitimate source of power?
Should control be exercised by autonomous CEOs or is their assumption of power illegitimate and inefficient?
Is the primary purpose of the corporation to generate jobs and create prosperity for the masses and the nation?
Or is it simply to maximize the wealth of shareholders?
This battle of ideas became the “bloodsport” of American business. It set in motion the deal-making culture that led to the financialization of the economy and it is the backstory to ongoing debates over competitiveness, job losses, inequality, stratospheric executive pay, and who “owns” America's corporations.
 

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Bloodsport: When Ruthless Dealmakers, Shrewd Ideologues, and Brawling Lawyers Toppled the Corporate Establishment

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

Warren Zevon’s call to “send lawyers, guns, and money” could be Teitelman’s anthem for the mergers and acquisitions heyday of the mid-1970s and ’80s. Corporate raiders, armed with junk bonds ... Read full review

BLOODSPORT: When Ruthless Dealmakers, Shrewd Ideologues, and Brawling Lawyers Toppled the Corporate Establishment

User Review  - Kirkus

A journalist who has covered multibillion-dollar corporate mergers and acquisitions, many of them hostile, recounts how the dealmaking exploded onto the Wall Street scene during the 1970s and '80s ... Read full review

Contents

A REVOLUTIONARY EXPERIMENT
1
ADOLF BERLE AND THE DEBATE OVER TAKEOVERS
15
JOE FLOM BE VERY AFRAID
29
THE AMBIVALENCE OFFELIX ROHATYN
44
MARTY LIPTON AND THE DARK ARTS OF DEFENSE
63
CHICAGOS UNFAITHFUL SERVANTS
82
THE DEBATE OVER DEFENSE
107
THAT ELUSIVE BALANCE
132
THE FLAW IN THEPERFECT MACHINE
210
THE OMNIPRESENT SPECTER OF THE PYGMY STATE
227
THE PURSUIT OF SELFINTEREST
250
CALL OF DUTIES
268
TIME AFTER TIME AFTER TIME
291
ILL FARES THE LAND
311
THE END OF HISTORY IN THE BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS
335
THE DEATH AND LIFE OF MA
351

JUICY BRUCEY
146
TOOLS OF COERCION
157
EVIDENCE OF ORTHODOXY
172
MICHAEL MILKENSURPRISED BY SIN
187
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
357
NOTES
363
INDEX
395
Copyright

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About the author (2016)

Robert Teitelman has worked in financial journalism for 25 years. He was the founding editor in chief of The Deal, a media company founded to report on the deal culture of the mergers and acquisitions business where he was responsible for many of the strategies of that pioneering news operation. Prior to The Deal, Teitelman had been a reporter and writer at Forbes and Financial World magazines. He was senior editor then US managing editor and editor of Institutional Investor magazine, long the favorite long-form publication of Wall Street and the money management industry. He now blogs and reviews books on finance for the Huffington Post and Slate. He is a graduate of the College of William & Mary, and has Masters degrees in international affairs and journalism from Columbia University.

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