The Five Dumbest Things Midyear Review: The Answers

Here are the answers to our quiz.
Publish date:

Last Friday's Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street was a midyear wrap-up that included a quiz. Today we'll present the answers to the quiz, but first, the winner: Marvin Behm, one of 19 who answered every question correctly.

Marvin will receive a personally autographed copy of

Jim Cramer's Real Money: Sane Investing In An Insane World

. Out of 143 entries we received, 19 people answered all 10 questions correctly. Marvin's name was drawn from a hat this morning with the other winning entries.

Here's the quiz once again, with the correct answers appearing at the end. Thanks to all for playing.

Dave Morrow


1. Martha Stewart grabbed headlines this spring by setting plans to start up her own channel on


(SIRI) - Get Report

. Which other entertainment-industry celebrity signed on with the satellite radio broadcaster?

    Former National Public Radio broadcaster Bob Edwards.
    Former Baywatch star David Hasselhoff.
    Singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett.
    Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) chief Warren Buffett.

Click for the answer!

2. Earlier this year


(WMT) - Get Report

fired former Vice Chairman Tom Coughlin for alleged expense-account abuses and rescinded his $12 million retirement package. What, according to

The Wall Street Journal

, does Wal-Mart say Coughlin improperly charged off?

    A pair of lizard skin boots valued at $1,000.
    A steel dog pen valued at $2,590.
    A signed copy of Sam Walton's memoirs.
    A dog-eared edition of Union Organizing for Dummies.

Click for the answer!



ex-CEO Bernie Ebbers is due to be sentenced July 13 on his fraud conviction. His lawyers have called the government's life-in-prison request "draconian." Why do they believe Ebbers deserves leniency?

    Ebbers has suffered enough -- his Achilles' tendon was injured in a 1960s mugging.
    Ebbers needs to be free to oversee the sale of his Canadian timber holdings.
    Ebbers is unlikely to commit a repeat offense.
    The federal prison system spends too much on coffee already.

Click for the answer!

4. Last month a New York state jury convicted former



chief Dennis Kozlowski of taking millions of dollars from the company without permission. What did Kozlowski tell jurors in his defense?

    The bonus payments were approved orally by a former director, Phil Hampton, who died in 2001.
    He had never noticed that a $25 million loan-forgiveness credit was omitted from his 1999 tax forms, though he "cannot explain" why.
    "Oh, the buck stops with me, like everything at Tyco."
    All of the above.

Click for the answer!

5. Match the former CEO with the appropriate consulting, severance or retirement package.

    Harry Stonecipher, Boeing (BA) - Get Report
    Carly Fiorina, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) - Get Report
    Phil Purcell, Morgan Stanley (MWD)
    Frank Raines, Fannie Mae
    Scott Livengood, Krispy Kreme (KKD)

    $62 million.
    $21 million.
    $46,000 a month.
    $114,000 a month.
    $600,000 a year.

Click for the answer!

6. Keeping the magic kingdom safe isn't cheap,


(DIS) - Get Report

shareholders learned in January. How much did the media giant pay for security services last year for departing CEO Michael Eisner?


Click for the answer!

7. A federal judge last month sentenced


founder John Rigas to 15 years in prison for looting the cable operator and defrauding its shareholders. How many years had prosecutors recommended?


Click for the answer!

8. Match the disgraced executive with the charitable activity.

    Dennis Kozlowski, Tyco
    John Rigas, Adelphia
    Bernie Ebbers, WorldCom
    Richard Scrushy, HealthSouth

    Played keyboard in rock band Proxy to raise $2 million for hospitals, United Cerebral Palsy telethons and other causes.
    Claimed to have given away $100 million, including $45 million to his alma mater.
    Endowed theater in an arts center at St. Bonaventure University in upstate New York.
    Donated money for an academic center at Seton Hall University in New Jersey.

Click for the answer!

9. According to an April 4 article in

The New York Times

, how did


(AIG) - Get Report

directors discussing the company's future at a mid-March board meeting hear from CEO Hank Greenberg?

    He screamed at them over a lunch of fish and tomato juice as his personal butler served tea.
    He called them from his yacht off the Florida coast.
    He called them from his private plane.
    He called them from the yacht and then from the plane.

Click for the answer!

10. Shares of a tiny company called



sprung into the spotlight last week when they

jumped 312% in a single day. The very next day, the company's chairman and largest shareholder, Duncan Mount, dumped his stock and quit. What did he say to explain the decision?

    "I realize that it is possible that some investors may interpret my decision to sell shares as a lack of confidence in Catuity. That is not the case."
    "I've got a lot on my plate lately."
    "Catuity is committed to building a company with the objective of achieving profitability by year-end 2006."
    "I've got to get less busy."

Click for the answer!

5 Dumbest Midyear Review Quiz: All Answers

1. Answer

c. "Margaritaville is more than just great music -- it's a lifestyle," Sirius' Scott Greenstein said in apparent seriousness May 10. "Jimmy's impeccable sense of what his audiences love and enjoy will now come to life for Sirius subscribers, who will be able to enjoy it wherever and whenever they want." Edwards signed on with rival


, while the other two remained unsigned as of press time.

2. Answer

b. Wal-Mart says Coughlin did charge up some boots, but they were made of alligator skin. Meanwhile, Coughlin, a onetime protege of late Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, claims he racked up the expenses gathering intelligence for a company union-busting plan. Wal-Mart denies that.

3. Answer

c. In papers filed last month with U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Ebbers' attorneys also cited his good character, age and poor health. The comments suggest Ebbers, who once shut down WorldCom employees' free coffee privileges to cut costs, doesn't expect to find another CEO job anytime soon.

4. Answer

d. Jurors said they didn't believe the testimony of either Kozlowski or co-defendant and former financial chief Mark Swartz.

5. Answers

1. e. Stonecipher was ousted after his handling of an affair that violated a code of conduct he loudly put in place.

2. b. Fiorina was pushed out as the company struggled to compete with big rivals.

3. a. "Let's get back to work," he concluded in his resignation letter.

4. d. The board demanded his departure after regulators concluded Fannie's accounting was improper.

5. c. He stepped down after overseeing a massive overexpansion accompanied by questionable bookkeeping.

6. Answer

c. Disney

said in its proxy statement that the security measures are incurred as a result of business-related concerns, not for personal benefit, and thus should not be classified as compensation. Disney did classify as compensation the $17,900 cost of leasing a car for Eisner, as well as the $39,600 cost of supplying company aircraft to Eisner for non-business use. Disney requires Eisner to use company aircraft for both business-related and non-business use due to business-related security concerns.

7. Answer

d. Rigas, who is 80, said at the sentencing, "In my heart and in my conscience, I'll go to my grave really and truly believing that I did nothing but try to improve the conditions of my employees."

8. Answers

1. d. The SEC charged Kozlowski in 2002 with directing "millions of dollars of charitable donations in his own name using Tyco funds."

2. c. The donation took place in the mid-1990s, before the Adelphia fraud came to light.

3. b. The lucky college is Mississippi College.

4. a. "Once or twice a month, they shed their suits and ties for jeans, T-shirts and the occasional leather jacket to perform '40 years of rock-and-roll music' at charity benefits both in and outside of Alabama," Scrushy told

Modern Healthcare

in 1992.

9. Answer:

d. "None of you know what you're talking about!" Greenberg was quoted as saying by participants in the meeting, the


reported. "You're going to ruin this company!"

10. Answer:

a. Mount further offered that his quitting "was motivated solely by a desire to ensure that the sale of my shares would not serve as a distraction from the company's primary focus of executing its turnaround strategy."

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