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The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week: Aug. 17

1. Suntech's CEO Shuffle

Suntech (STP) may be nearing the end of its Titanic-like journey into oblivion, but that's not stopping the former solar giant from rearranging the deck chairs in its corner office.

Suntech , which has seen its shares sink from more than $80 each four years ago to barely $1 today, said Wednesday it was elevating former CFO David King to the CEO position, and making former CEO Dr. Zhengrong Shi its executive chairman and chief strategy officer of the company.

"The new management structure will free up Dr. Shi to focus on strategy and key relationships with the government, customers, banks and vendors," wrote Rory Macpherson, the company's director of investor relations.

Sorry Zhengrong, but all the strategy in the world won't turn this ship around. You need help from above to keep from going under.

For those that may have already forgotten, Suntech said last month that it was scammed out of $680 million in collateral for a loan it had guaranteed. Suntech intended to use the money to finance solar systems in Italy, but if its business doesn't turn around soon -- and most analysts think it won't -- then it could be forced out of business.

To be somewhat fair, the glut of solar panels in the world accompanied by falling oil prices certainly didn't make it easy on Suntech. And cash-strapped European governments cutting subsidies for solar use plus constant political bickering between the U.S. and China over product dumping didn't help its cause either.

But we still can't understand how vaulting the CFO who missed a massive loan scandal into Suntech's top spot will infuse investor confidence into the company. Lucky for us, we won't be left wondering much longer.

-- Written by Gregg Greenberg in New York.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.
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