Inept Insider TradingNEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- For such a wealthy, smart guy, Raj Rajaratnam looks like one poor, dumb criminal. Rajaratnam, the billionaire founder of the Galleon hedge fund, is alleged to have conspired with six other people to make illegal trades based on insider information that brought in $20 million in profits, according to a pair of criminal complaints filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan last Friday. Some of those sketchy transactions involved shares of Google ( GOOG) and IBM ( IBM). Another score for Raj and his merry band of tipsters was Internet infrastructure provider Akamai Technologies ( AKAM), which they successfully shorted after receiving non-public earnings information from an unidentified person at the company.
Kirk's Kooky LogicKirk Kerkorian adamantly believes that his 37% stake in MGM Mirage ( MGM) should be worth more. In fact, the billionaire investor is so confident his shares are undervalued that he just may sell them. All together now: Huh?
Sears Isn't Very Book SmartSears ( SHLD) is entering the bookselling fray. Perhaps it should consult an economics text book first. Sears, the retailer best known for its Kenmore appliances and Craftsman tools announced its plan this week to offer discount hardcover books, putting the company into direct competition with the likes of Wal-Mart ( WMT), Target ( TGT) and Amazon ( AMZN). And they seem determined to win this race to the bottom.
Exxon's Pollution SolutionEnough with the slick legal maneuvers, Exxon Mobil ( XOM). You polluted and now it's time to pony up the damages. A federal jury in New York City ruled Monday the oil giant had contaminated the city's ground water and ordered the oil giant to pay a penalty of $105 million. The city proved its case that Exxon knew that gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) would taint ground water if it leaked from the underground storage tanks at its retail stations, but the company used it nonetheless. According to the city, Exxon even disregarded warnings from its own scientists not to use MTBE in populated areas that relied on ground water for drinking water.