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Cheap money - courtesy of such U.S. Federal Reserve "gifts" as wholesale "asset" purchases (which most of us refer to as "quantitative easing," or QE) and zero interest rates - has been the chief catalyst behind the powerful rebound that followed the horrific bear market of 2008-09.
But other "ancillary" catalysts added a large amount of muscle to the bull-market run in stocks.
And one of the biggest extra catalysts has been something we refer to as the "buyout boom."
In the first eight months of this year alone global companies have spent $3.1 trillion on buyout deals. That's already more than what was spent in five of the past six full years - and there was a hefty bit of dealmaking in those other years, too.
Indeed, the total value of this year's merger-and-acquisition dealmaking is on track to reach $4.7 trillion - more than the $4.6 trillion spent during the record-setting M&A run of 2007, Dealogic says.
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