Today Things Are Getting Badly Out of Hand

Investment Banker Felix Rohatyn attacks the new abuses of takeover madness

In the world of high finance, where an elite group of Wall Street dealmakers commands million-dollar fees for putting together megadollar agreements, Felix Rohatyn is the first among equals. As a senior partner at Lazard Freres, a New York investment-banking firm, he has presided over hundreds of mergers and acquisitions. In October, General Electric Chairman John Welch and RCA Chairman Thornton Bradshaw started talking about a merger over drinks at Rohatyn's Manhattan apartment.

Though he can claim credit for inventing many of the tools of modern corporate mergers, Rohatyn (pronounced Row-ah-tin) these days is like the sorcerer whose apprentices have run...

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