Corporate development groups have been whipsawed on a similar scale as investors, going from all-in to all-out and then back again.  One buyer, a private equity-backed firm, took a deal to the board 3 in early October for what was supposed to be a rubber stamp approval, and got shot down.  They called a few days ago to say that the deal is back on.  Meanwhile discussions with corp dev groups at large companies have revealed a similar dynamic.  They went in their bunkers in late September.  Hiring restrictions made it harder to add people through acquisition.  But over the last couple of weeks companies have taken a look at the history books (or have received a call from me, reminding of how stupid they were to shut down M&A during the last downturn), and stepped back up to the plate.  Why?  Look no further than Acquantive.  Microsoft could have bought DoubleClick for less than a billion dollars after the tech wreck.  Instead they sat in their bunker.  Years later they paid $6 billion (an 85% premium) for DoubleClick competitor Acquantive.