FLOM [of Skadden] was a leader in the group that maintained the belief that the merger movement had helped equip the American economy of the future. But the movement's apparent consequences were not easily refuted. Instead of establishing that Skadden had filled a swashbuckling role in a campaign whose splendor was manifest in its outcome - the renewal of corporate America - the finale of the merger movement was widespread financial distress, business failure, and corporate bankruptcy.
For a decade, as its boosters claimed, the movement was widely seen as a grand end justifying intricate, protean, controversial means, which Flom and Skadden championed with impudent delight. The idea of a renegade law firm serving the nation's fortunes turned the Skadden story into a great adventure, which was hurtling, bounteous, and panoramic.
The demise of the movement tinged the story with darker shades of reality.