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Never mind the return to normal, Wall Street’s private equity shops are staging a return to abnormal. Leveraged buyouts are happening at a speed and extravagance that had been unique to 2006 and 2007, the run-up to the financial crisis.

Private equity firms have already made $470 billion of acquisitions this year, including Blackstone Group Inc.’s deal announced recently to take data-center operator QTS Realty Trust Inc. private for $10 billion.

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