I hosted a Merge Briefing at the Four Seasons in Palo Alto today.  There were 35 attendees, most of them corporate development professionals from large companies, with a few entrepreneurs and VCs sprinkled in.  Taiwan, Japan, UK, India and France were all represented – another reminder that the world is, indeed, flat.  My agenda was simple:  Macro economic conditions require that buyers and sellers act now, because urgent consolidation will benefit both sides of the table. We are in an unprecedented global recession that will wipe out trillions in value and put many companies at risk.  Buyers have an opportunity to acquire strategic assets and build market share.  Sellers need to stress test their forecasts and recapitalize, focus, and look for opportunities to be acquired.  This isn’t a self-serving sales pitch.  I am passionate about it.  As an investor I am taking my own advice.  The Cequint B round this spring is a great example.  As an advisor I am advocating a transparent, aggressive approach in negotiations with an eye on getting deals done and not playing games.