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Takeovers: An Economic and Ethical Perspective

  • Norman Barry
Chapter

Abstract

The 1980s was the age of the takeover boom in Anglo-American economies; although it was by no means the most extreme example in the USA’s economic history.1 It was an era in which considerable disruption was caused to economic organizations; in plant relocation, management restructuring, considerable layoffs and localised unemployment. In ethical terms it was thought to be an example of rampant self-interest and unrestrained individualism.

Keywords

Business Ethic Stock Market Share Price Market Process Efficient Market Hypothesis 
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Notes

  1. 3.
    So far from the 1980s being the age of greed in the USA it was an era of remarkable charitable giving, see R. Bartley, The Seven Fat Years and How to Do It Again (New York: Free Press, 1994) p. 5.Google Scholar
  2. 7.
    The Keiretsu in Japan, a complex system of interlocking directorships, prevents takeovers in that country. For the Japanese banking and financial systems, see M. Flaherty and I. Hiroyuki, ‘The Banking-Industrial Complex’, in D. Okimoto and T. Roblen (eds) Inside the Japanese System (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1988).Google Scholar
  3. 9.
    For criticisms of the takeover mechanisms see essays by L. Newton and P. Steidlmeier, in W. Hoffman, R. Frederick and E. Petry (eds) The Ethics of Organizational Transformation: Mergers, Takeovers and Corporate Restructuring (New York: Quorum Books, 1989).Google Scholar
  4. 14.
    The record of government investment in economy in the UK is dismal, see J. Burton, Picking Losers? (London: Institute of Economic Affairs, 1983).Google Scholar
  5. 19.
    The work of the Austrian economists has advanced our understanding of the market process, see especially, L. von Mises, Human Action (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1963)Google Scholar
  6. F.A. Hayek, Individualism and Economic Order (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1948).Google Scholar
  7. 23.
    I. Fallon and J. Srodes, Takeovers (London: Pan, 1987).Google Scholar
  8. 28.
    See R. Ruback, ‘An Overview of Takeover Defenses’, in A. Auerbach (ed.) Mergers and Acquisitions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988) pp. 42–4.Google Scholar
  9. 41.
    See M. Ricketts, ‘Kirzner’s Theory of Entrepreneurship’, in B. Caldwell and S. Bohm (eds) Austrian Economics: Tensions and New Directions (London: Kluwer, 1994) pp. 80–1.Google Scholar
  10. 42.
    R. Sobel, Dangerous Dreamers (New York: Wiley, 1993).Google Scholar
  11. 43.
    See for example, J. Stewart, Den of Thieves (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991).Google Scholar
  12. 45.
    See F. Bailey, The Junk Bond Revolution (London: Fourth Estate, 1994)Google Scholar
  13. 46.
    Their activities are described in D. Fischel, Payback (New York: Harper, 1995).Google Scholar
  14. 47.
    See S. Mulhall and A. Swift, Liberals and Communitarians (Oxford: Black-well, 1992).Google Scholar
  15. A. Etzioni, The Spirit of Community (New York: Crown, 1993).Google Scholar
  16. 48.
    The egalitarian liberal, John Rawls, has incorporated some features of communitarianism in the latest statement of his theory of justice, Political Liberalism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993).Google Scholar
  17. 50.
    For the public interest, see N. Barry, An Introduction to Modem Political Theory (London: Macmillan, 1995, 3rd edn).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Norman Barry 1998

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  • Norman Barry

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