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Top Dealmakers: Seasoned Pros Vs. Hungry Upstarts

In this age of giant private-equity acquisitions, are the young outshining the old? Randall Lane, editor-in-chief of Dealmaker and Trader Monthly magazines, and Andrew Ross Sorkin of The New York Times appeared on "Morning Call" Tuesday to debate which generation makes the best dealmakers.

Lane says the older traders have the experience and the edge. “Look at Boone Pickens. He made over $1 billion last year -- this is a guy who has the experience and is one of the great oil bulls of all time.”

But don’t underestimate the young turks, says Sorkin, who believes the young are hungrier and better at brokering deals. “When you’re fat and happy, you are not motivated,” said Sorkin. He says that on a returns basis, the younger Wall Street generation has the edge. “The young, scrappy, hungry guy by default has to beat the older guy. Always.” He pointed to "Ken Griffin who traded at Citadel. Now he has a huge business on his hands, but he was hitting it out of the park year on year to get to that."

Supporting Sorkin's argument: According to Trader Monthly's annual list, John Arnold at Centaurus Energy -- at age 33 --was the top earner of 2006, with an estimated income of $1.5-$2 billion.