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Consumers Opening Wallets May Prompt More Corporate Takeovers

U.S. consumers put the brakes on dealmaking in 2010. They may be the accelerator next year.

Chief executives maintained record levels of cash this year as the recession-weary consumer fueled doubts about an economic recovery. While mergers and acquisitions topped $2 trillion in 2010 -- the first increase in three years -- the amount failed to approach 2007’s $4 trillion peak in global takeovers.