The credit crisis almost deep-sixes the company that makes the commemorative M&A toys for Wall Street execs.
This spring came what Kern called “the tiny-globe craze.” Sokoler rolled his eyes. “Oh, don’t start with that,” he said. “You know those things you see in Sharper Image, where there’s a base and a little globe just floats over it?” (They work by means of magnets.) Somebody at Merrill decided to order a hundred of them to celebrate an M. & A. deal, and all of a sudden everybody had to have one. “It was a real pain in the ass,” Sokoler said. “People were calling my cell phone in the middle of the night, saying, ‘It’s not floating!’ And you’d have to, like, walk them through it. You’d say, ‘Yes, it is floating—you just have to hold it in the right place.’”