1. E for EgregiousOn Sept. 25, 2002, salesman Jimmy Luu of Houston's Microcache Computers bid $44,000 of his boss' money for a stainless steel tilted "E" sculpture at an Enron ( ENRNQ) bankruptcy auction. Upon being named the winning bidder, Luu explained to reporters, "He said, 'Just do anything to get it.'" Two months later, what was Luu doing?
- Collecting unemployment. Microcache's president, furious that Luu had gone more than $30,000 over the predicted selling price for the "E," fired Luu a day after the auction. Getting dunned. Luu -- who once won $16,000 on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire -- had fabricated the tale of his boss and his job. Enron's bankruptcy trustee hired a collection agency to go after Luu when his check for the "E" bounced. Writing a book. Luu's experience, and notoriety, won him a contract to write a guide to stock bubble collectibles. Spending more money. He bid on a second "E" at a second auction, but dropped out once the bidding went over $10,000.
2. You Know, a Lot Can Change in Five YearsWho, in 1997, told The Wall Street Journal, "I like to avoid costs wherever I can in the company," adding that his company "would never pay $90 million to an outrageously successful executive -- never mind a failed one"?
|Just a Loan |
Jack Welch, General Electric ( GE)
Dennis Kozlowski, Tyco International ( TYC)
John J. Rigas, Adelphia Communications ( ADELQ)
Jeffrey Skilling, Enron
3. How High the Dow?
|Eyeing the Dow |
- Up 26%
4. I Pitt the FoolWell, 2002 was certainly the year of Harvey Pitt's discontent. Appointed chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission last year, Wall Street's top cop quickly slid from hero to zero. It's hard to pinpoint a single reason why. Maybe it was his suggestion that his post be promoted to a cabinet-level position. Maybe it was his reluctance to share information with his fellow commissioners about Public Accounting Oversight Board nominee William Webster. Or maybe it was an inexplicable lapse in the loyalty for which Washington, D.C., is so renowned. To illustrate: Which of the following statements did Senate Banking Committee member Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) not make about Pitt?
- "The SEC desperately needs someone who both has a deep knowledge of how the markets function and at the same time possesses a rock-ribbed integrity.
5. Try to Remember What Went On in SeptemberWhat happened at 9 a.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2002?
- Victimized by a hoaxster, PR Newswire issued a fake press release announcing Barbra Streisand was joining the board of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia ( MSO). The usually public-relations-savvy and image-conscious Martha Stewart appeared on CBS' The Early Show, hacking away at a head of cabbage with a large knife while fending off questions about her sale of stock in ImClone Systems ( IMCL). Scott Sullivan, WorldCom's ( WCOEQ) former chief financial officer, pleaded innocent to charges of securities fraud. The 92nd St. Y Nursery School -- the object of desire for Salomon Smith Barney analyst Jack Grubman -- launched its application process for the 2003-04 school year.