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Chasing the phantom of a 'global end game': The role of management consultancy in the narratives of pre-failure ABN AMRO
chapterposted on 08.02.2019, 09:47 by Michiel Van Meeteren, David Bassens
On 10 October 2007, even before the smouldering global financial crisis erupted in earnest, the curtain fell for the Dutch bank ABN AMRO. After a protracted hedge fund-initiated takeover battle, the bank was split up and sold to Banco Santander, Fortis, and the Royal Bank of Scotland at a record high of seventy-two billion Euros. Less than a year later, on 3 October 2008, the financial crisis fully hit continental Europe and the Dutch government bailed out the part of ABN AMRO that was sold to Fortis. In the aftermath of the takeover a wide consensus emerged that this was the inevitable fate of an underperforming company in a financialized global economy (Financieele Dagblad 2007): ABN AMRO had played 'the global endgame' and had lost (Smit 2008). This chapter sets out to explain how and why procyclical corporate mechanisms associated with 'global endgame' discourse, such as the radical reorganization of the bank to the purpose of shareholder value creation, that sealed the banks' fate took root at the bank. More specifically, the chapter enquires into the scope of the agency of ABN AMRO’s management as it was leading a 'second tier' bank from a 'second tier' global city in decline —i.e. Amsterdam— during the late-1990s and early-2000s (Engelen 2007; Faulconbridge et al. 2007; Fernandez 2011; Larson et al. 2011)......
- Social Sciences
- Geography and Environment