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Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Global deal-making smashed all-time records in the first half of 2021, as numerous trends converged into the perfect surge.

By the numbers: Deal volume topped $2.82 trillion between January and the end of June, with over 28,000 deals announced, according to Refinitiv.

  • That represents year-over-year increases of 132% and 27%, respectively.
  • The prior record-holder for first half deal volume was 2007 ($2.35 trillion) and for deal number was 2018 (around 26,000).
Expand chart
Data: Refinitiv; Chart: Axios Visuals

What's happening? Cheap debt. Corporate cash at record levels. Private equity dry powder at record levels. FOMO. Accelerated U.S. deal-making because of Biden tax pledges. Simultaneous beliefs that pandemic plays are sticky and that reopening plays are undervalued.

  • Plus, and this cannot be emphasized enough, a bull public equities market that has lifted all valuation boats. Being worth $1 billion in 2021 isn't nearly as impressive as being valued at $1 billion just a couple of years ago, but it sure pretties up the aggregate numbers.

More data: Global private equity deals totaled $512 billion, up 152% from the first half of 2020.

  • U.S. deal-making dominated, with a 48.2% market share ($1.36 trillion). This is a flip from 2020, when Europe had a higher H1 market share.
  • Tech deals had a 23.5% market share, with industrials in a distant second place at 10.8%. In the first half of 2020, financials had led.
  • The first half's largest announced deal was the Warner Media/Discovery merger.
  • Goldman Sachs remained atop the M&A advisory league table, with JPMorgan jumping from fourth to second place.

The bottom line: There's no indication that the first half deal-making drivers will abate in the second half, which means that the future will either be about an exogenous event or to the moon!

Go deeper

A giant market selloff would be totally normal

Expand chart
Reproduced from FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

History says the stock market could be due for a big selloff.

Why it matters: Historically, bull markets rarely happen in the form of a smooth line, up and to the right. And so, long-term investors shouldn’t be surprised to see a period of poor returns.

USCP chief: Officers testifying before Jan. 6 committee "need to be heard"

Thomas Manger, the new chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

New Capitol Police chief Tom Manger said officers testifying before the Jan. 6 select committee this week "need to be heard."

Driving the news: The select committee's first hearing is set to take place on Tuesday and will feature testimony from law enforcement officers who were subject to some of the worst of violence during the insurrection.

Updated 40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Pelosi appoints GOP Rep. Kinzinger to Jan. 6 committee

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Sunday that she has appointed Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) to serve on the House select committee investigating the Jan 6. Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Pelosi's announcement comes after she rejected two of the five Republican appointments offered by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).