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A Giant Cow-Tipping by Savages: The Boom, Bust, and Boom Culture of M&A Hardcover – October 15, 2013
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From Publishers Weekly
“Close details prevailing practices, drawing on a wealth of information, flavored with gossip about wild parties, cocaine use and sexual extravaganzas during the working days of ‘nocturnal underground Wall Street.’” —Kirkus
"A Giant Cow-Tipping By Savages is uncommonly lively and literate in its sweeping depiction of one of the great upheavals in modern business history." —Benjamin Wallace, author of The Billionaire's Vinegar
"A Giant Cow-Tipping by Savages is Mad Men mixed with House of Cards, a bird's eye view into a world rarely seen, exposing the lives of men who changed corporate America, a drama filled with late-night deal making, fortune-hunting and pathos.” —Darci Picoult, Sundance fellow, screenwriter of award-winning Mother of George
"The excellence of this book begins with its title. It is a worldly and exhilarating account of America's corporate wars from the boisterous 1980s to the present." —James Buchan, author of The Authentic Adam Smith
"John Close vividly captures the tumult we experienced and the exhilaration we felt manning the battle stations in the takeover frenzy of the '80s—the most fascinating M&A decade in our history." —James Freund, Retired Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP
“Reading this compelling, colorful, and extraordinarily well-written romp through the M&A wars will bring back a flood of memories to the Players of the M&A Games. John Close persuasively documents how M&A fees corrupted Wall Street from serving its clients to treating them as revenue sources to be squeezed and, when emptied, discarded. Read this book; you will be thoroughly entertained and it will give you pause to think.” —Stuart L. Shapiro, Partner, Shapiro Forman Allen & Sava LLP
Top Customer Reviews
The author is a lawyer and a journalist. He founded the M&A Journal and was an editor at The American Lawyer. His book seems to wrap more context, color and gossip around his old stories on M&A deals. The book reads like a collection of stories and lacks a coherent narrative.
You may guess from the title that Mr. Close may have warm feelings for M&A nostalgia, but has no love for the players. He dwells on their flaws. For many of the key players, those flaws were deep.
Many of the deals were deeply flawed. Bidders were fueled by fee-seeking advisers, cheap debt, and hubris. Many of the deals highlighted in the book lead to poor or disastrous results for the companies involved. The reality is that many of the mergers did not necessarily prove beneficial. The resulting company was laden with too much debt or managers who didn't understand the business.
The book starts by painting the corporate raiders as savages who brought down the managerial elite. CEOs and boards were sitting in comfortable seats and never feared that someone would come along and try to takeover their companies. Companies were then viewed for the break up values and the savages could rip it into pieces to create more value.
The book's title comes from a statement by Ted Turner during the AOL acquisition of Time-Warner. He didn't understand how a publisher, trying to sell magazines for a few dollars an edition, could combine with a company trying to give that content away for free. Turner was proved right as the AOL Time Warner merger is one of the worst business combinations of all time and cost Turner a fortune.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Enjoyable and gossipy but without much structure. Probably only for a readership involved in the trade dealt with in the book.Published on June 27, 2014 by Fredde
I could not finish the book as the writer was far too difficult to read. The endless use of obscure words and phrases is a real turn-off. Read morePublished on June 14, 2014 by M. Thau
The book dealt with the growth of M&A from the early 70's on. While it was interesting, it went too far into the details of the deal and did not in my opinion drill into the... Read morePublished on April 16, 2014 by J. P. Stack
The coverage and examples of M&A are extensive, and equally vast are the character introductions. The writing style can be a little "back and forth" and jumpy. Read morePublished on March 30, 2014 by Kristopher Munn
A Panegyric Upon Sleazebags.
You get a funny feeling reading it. In the beginning it's all hyperbolic hoohaa praising schmucks, but as it goes on Close seems to realize... Read more
Beginning in 1981, the business of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) started to change the American and later the world economy. Read morePublished on November 29, 2013 by Matthew Ries
What do some people do when they have so much money, or access to so much money, that they can't buy enough things - houses, jewelry, art, etc.- to make a dent in their capital? Read morePublished on November 13, 2013 by Amazon Customer