NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- From the Arab Spring and the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in the first half of the year to the escalating European debt crisis and the U.S. sovereign debt downgrade in the second half, there was plenty of macro-economic events that drove the stock prices lower in 2011.
We asked our Facebook followers who they thought destroyed the most stock value in 2011. Most readers refused to stop at any one villain and plenty of them blamed Congress and politicians in general for this year's mess. Here's a sampling of some of their comments.
Brent Legendre: High frequency traders. Short sellers. Politicians and world leaders. Lazy Greeks. Freddie and Fannie. Frank and Dodd. Shall I continue?
Carl Maunz: The Greeks, Italians, Merkel, Sarkozy, and American politicians.Ann McDermot: John Boehner. Still, a few Wall Street movers and shakers did succeed in hurting shareholders almost single-handedly with their misguided strategies. Jon Corzine comes to mind for his outsized bet on European Sovereign debt that collapsed as investors lost confidence in the Euro zone and forced MF Global (MF) into bankruptcy. There is also the small matter of the missing customer money of $1.2 billion. Corzine has said he does not know where the money is and that he never "intentionally" intended to authorize the transfer or misuse of customer funds. Netflix (NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings took a series of wrong turns this year that sent shares plummeting from a high of $304 to the current $70 levels. Following the 60% price hike of its popular one DVD-by-mail and unlimited streaming service in September, Netflix lost 800,000 U.S. subscribers in the third quarter. The move angered customers because Netflix raised the prices for DVD customers when the real high costs actually come from its streaming service. Hastings has already been named as the worst tech CEO in 2011 by TheStreet's readers in a recent poll. Second in place though were the co- CEOs of Research in Motion (RIMM) Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis. Shares of the Blackberry-maker have plunged 77% in the past year after a string of dismal earnings reports, a half-baked launch for its PlayBook tablet, several product delays and a 3-day outage that caused some users to switch over to iPhone and Android devices.
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