While Burrough and Helyar fail to note the connection between the prevailing national economic, political, sociocultural and other environments and the fiasco at RJR Nabisco, other analysts do not fail to do so. Adams and Brock note that the high risktaking of Wall Street financiers was already under way by the time Reagan came into office, but "the Reagan administration, by declining to enforce the antitrust laws, allowed the game to proliferate and expand. The Justice Department challenged a minuscule number (twenty-six) of the nearly 11,000 corporate deals for which pre-merger notification was required . . . In 1986 [after two earlier "revisions" of merger guidelines in 1982 and 1984] the administration asked Congress to gut the nation's anti-merger law by new legislation" (Adams & Brock, 1989, p. 27). The editors of Insight quote Donald Baker, anti-trust chief under President Ford: "The 'stark truth . . . is that the Antitrust Division today is less than two-thirds its size when President Reagan took office. It is smaller than when I came to it first in October 1966 . . . '" (Insight, 1987, p. 12).
However, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, four days after Johnson's offer, put forth a counter-offer of $21 billion. Not only did the firm want to purchase RJR Nabisco, it even more importantly wanted to safeguard its "franchise" as the most powerful and biggest buyout firm in the nation, a position which would have been eclipsed had Johnson's deal gone through.
The battle between Johnson and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts went on for six weeks, and included not only economic but psychological warfare as each side tried to challenge and/or bluff the other side into submission.
----. (1987, June 15). Insight, p. 12.
Eighties were a new gilded age, where winning was celebrated at all costs . . . The investment bankers were part croupiers, part alchemists. They conjured up wild schemes, pounded out new and more outlandish computer runs to justify them, then twirled