Funny Business with Jane Wells

Call of Shame

Call of Shame

It's an up week on Wall Street! (So far.) But that doesn't mean we haven't had a week's worth of boneheaded decisions.

Here's our list of the most egregious money-moves. Vote for your favorite below. And please notice we now have a comments section at the bottom of the blog. Weigh in on the nominees and even suggest your own.


This is not good. The Los Angeles Times reportsthat a oceanfront Malibu home worth $12 million was surrendered to Wells Fargo Bank after the owners lost their fortune to Bernard Madoff. track=rss According to neighbors, a Wells Fargo Senior VP who oversees foreclosures has been hanging out in the house and throwing lavish parties, and a realtor tells the Times the bank is refusing to show the place to prospective buyers. Wells Fargo says it's investigating.


The nation's two richest universities, Harvard and Yale, saw their Beluga-sized endowments drop a combined $18 billionduring the last fiscal year, or about 30 percent. They underperformed most other colleges, proving that a high-priced education doesn't necessarily make you smart.


Eight years after the September 11th attacks, we are still pouring all our belongings into plastic bins on folding tables at the airport, then taking off all our clothes. The experience hasn't gotten appreciably more efficient or convenient despite...eight...years...of thinking about it.


John Mack made a series of bad calls which slashed profits at Morgan Stanley and led to what the Wall Street Journal described as "a near-death experience". Now he's out at CEO-but still Chairman!-to be replaced by James Gorman.


The SEC regrets the missed red flags in the Bernard Madoff scandal. Adding insult to injury, the AP reports Madoff openly mocked regulatorsin 2005 while coaching a potential witness on how to dupe them. During a telephone call which was taped, Madoff is heard telling someone from feeder fund Fairfield Greenwich Advisors that he should not to act too knowledgeable when the SEC comes calling. "These guys they work for five years at the commission then they become a compliance manager at a hedge fund now."Fairfield claims it notified the SECof the call and answered all of the regulators' questions afterwards "accurately". If that is true, then the SEC looks even worse.


You'd think an investment firm would know a good investment. But an unnamed firm in the Miami area was renovating its offices and asked Goodwill to come over and take away some odds and ends. One of those oddities was a bronze sculpture of a ballerina. Turns out it's worth an estimated $500,000. Nice. Goodwill Industries, being a class act, called the investment company back when it found out that the sculpture was so valuable. The firm asked for the statue back. Even nicer.


Former Lehman Brothers chief Dick Fuld talked to Reuters this weekas the anniversary of the firm's collapse approached. "They're looking for someone to dump on right now, and that's me," Fuld lamented. Well, yeah.

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