Higher interest rates may be the one missing ingredient for
a return to double digit performance that characterized the
Over the last two years, risk arbitrageurs,
suffering from a dearth of merger opportunities, had started to
look a lot like the bored and listless characters in Samuel
Beckett's "Waiting for Godot." But the waiting game may be
over. Rising equity indices and greater stability within
financial markets is reinvigorating the supply side of the
merger landscape. In fact, October's M&A calendar weighed
in at an impressive $120 billion, the best monthly showing
since July 2001, which was roughly $125 billion.
These signs of life are very welcome to the hapless risk
arbitrageurs, who were left with fewer and fewer prospects to
play after the tech bust. Even the first quarter of 2003 saw a
paltry $60 billion in announced merger activity - the worst
level seen over...