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Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street: Aug. 21

Apple's Collusion Delusion

Apple (AAPL - Get Report) CEO Steve Jobs must have been sauced when he tried to broker a deal with Palm (PALM) to stop poaching each other's employees two years ago.

At the time of Jobs' secret communique, Apple had just rolled out the iPhone and Palm had snapped up a former Apple executive, Jon Rubinstein, to develop new smart phones.

Worried that Rubinstein would start bringing Apple employees over to Palm, Jobs told Palm CEO Ed Colligan: "We must do whatever we can to stop this," according to communications revealed by Bloomberg News this week.

Just what exactly Jobs proposed to Colligan wasn't disclosed, but Jobs did reportedly say that Apple had the funds to bury Palm if the companies ended up in a legal fight.

Wow. That trademark turtle neck must have been cutting off circulation to Jobs' brain! Even two years after the fact, the Feds could still investigate both companies for collusion.

Colligan, who stepped down in June, rejected Jobs offer, apparently recognizing the obvious risk of running afoul of the Feds, according to a Bloomberg report this week.

"Your proposal that we agree that neither company will hire the other's employees, regardless of the individual's desires, is not only wrong, it is likely illegal," Colligan reportedly said at the time.

Likely illegal. And definitely dumb.

Dumb-o-meter score: 80 -- Jobs beat the options backdating rap so now he thinks he can get away with collusion?
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