Summary of Deals of the Century

Wall Street, Mergers, and the Making of Modern America

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Deals of the Century book summary
The mega-mergers of the twentieth century prove that at least one axiom is true: the rich did get extremely richer.


6 Overall

4 Applicability

6 Innovation

9 Style


For all the headlines they grab, mega-mergers typically aren’t a good deal for anyone but corporate executives and investment bankers. And guess what? This was just as true when J.P. Morgan created U.S. Steel in 1901 as it was when Steve Case engineered the AOL-Time Warner merger in 1999. Financial expert Charles R. Geisst dissects a century’s worth of deals in fascinating detail. His conclusion: investor and regulator beware. Geisst’s accessible style is a plus, and he manages to be skeptical but not jaundiced in this thorough, clear-eyed analysis. suggests this book to any executive contemplating an M&A deal, and to any investor trying to cut through the hype surrounding mergers.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What drove the major mergers of the 1900s
  • How companies such as U.S. Steel, ITT and Citigroup were formed
  • Why these deals returned only dubious value to investors


A Century of Big Deals
The century of deals began in late 1900, when Andrew Carnegie’s lieutenant, Charles Schwab (not the same man as the founder of the Schwab discount brokerage house) helped engineer the combination of Carnegie Steel and J. Pierpont Morgan’s Federal Steel Corporation...
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About the Author

Financial expert Charles R. Geisst has written 14 books, including bestsellers Wall Street: A History and 100 Years of Wall Street. Geisst worked as an analyst and investment banker at several investment banks in London. He has written for the International Herald Tribune, The Wall Street Journal and other publications.

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