Just a snap shot of what’s going on at the Bloomberg Markets 50 Conference.
Two serious dealmakers, JP Morgan’s legendary Jimmy Lee and Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman just left the stage after speaking really candidly about the mergers and acquisitions landscape right now.
And actually, they’re kind of funny.
The duo used humour to talk about some serious stuff, however. One matter that caught our attention was that Schwarzman and Lee agreed that in terms of deal making, the 1980s are back.
Lee started it off saying: “There is some sort of echo of the 80s… behaviour that is non-acceptable, it starts creeping up and becomes more acceptable. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a private equity firm do something more unusual.”
Schwarzman agreed. “”It’s back…it’s like Freddie Kruger.”
“That movie didn’t end well,” said Lee.
If you’re not familiar with what happened in mergers and acquisitions in the 1980s, just know this — it was the Wild Wild West. Think: Corporate takeovers, green money payouts to get corporate raiders to go away… Carl Icahn running even wilder than he is now.
It was crazy.
For more reading on this, pick up Barbarian’s at the Gate by Bryan Burrough and John Heylar. It’s about the deal to take RJR Nabisco private, and all the players are in there.