While fully acknowledging that life in the financial world kind of stinks right now, this week's Economist makes the case that once the markets begin to regain their footing, a lot of M&A deals will begin to happen.
"At current share prices, attractive targets abound," the magazine writes. "Industry troubles will likely make private-equity firms more enthusiastic sellers than buyers, creating a big opportunity for companies to do "strategic" M&A - buying their weaker rivals, cutting costs and so forth. This was much harder when private equity could borrow as much as it wanted and so pay often daft prices.
In addition, a lot of weak companies are out there today, taking their licks in the downturn. That means more companies will be ready to deal with strong suitor, "a more appealing prospect than lonely bankruptcy."
How long before all this happens? Who knows. But the Economist notes moods change quickly in the market world.