Buyouts Bolster Bankers: $8.4B

Leveraged buyout firms paid investment banks $8.4 billion during the first half of 2007, according to data compiled by Freeman & Company and PEHub.com's parent company Thomson Financial. Blackstone Group led the pack of folks paying huge sums to Wall Street with $685.4 million in the first six months of 2007. The current figure puts the buyout industry on pace to exceed last year's $12.8 billion total.