Everyone involved in the middle market deal business is well aware of downward statistical trends from 2012 to 2013. Deal makers can easily recall a year (2013) that failed at several points to gain the expected momentum. The charts tell the “rear view mirror” story, but to understand the pulse of the current M&A market, you need to read between the lines. Throw out the 2012 record breaking year and the monstrous Q4 ’12 as business owners sprinted to the finish line to beat the looming changes in the capital gains tax rate. That’s history; it’s old news.