10. Thain Dethroned( Originally published 1/30/09) Once the king of Wall Street, John Thain has been dethroned in more ways than one. The former Merrill Lynch CEO responded to embarrassing accusations surrounding his hasty departure from Bank of America ( BAC) Monday by blaming the bank's current troubles on BofA management, his predecessor at Merrill, and the press. Bank of America's recent acquisition of Merrill Lynch has -- thus far -- been nothing short of disastrous, with Thain having a big hand in the misery-making. Thain, who formerly held the titles of CFO at Goldman Sachs ( GS) and CEO of NYSE Euronext ( NYX), was dismissed from Bank of America last Thursday amid charges that Merrill Lynch hid fourth-quarter losses in December, accelerated employee bonuses at Merrill prior to the Jan. 1 closing of its deal with BofA and spent lavishly to redecorate his office, including the purchase of a $35,000 commode.
9. Knight Flight( 2/20/09) It turns out Wall Street has its own version of The Dark Knight. Securities and Exchange Commission agents raided the Houston office of Sir Robert Allen Stanford on Tuesday, charging that the knighted Texas billionaire fooled clients into pouring money into three of his companies, with bogus promises of outsized returns. The SEC alleges that Stanford orchestrated a "massive" scheme revolving around $8 billion worth of certificates of deposit that promised "improbably and unsubstantiated high interest rates."
8. AIG Goes Postal( 3/06/09) Here's a Five Dumbest riddle: What is government-backed, costs 42 cents and continues to take a licking? No, not a postage stamp. It's a share of AIG ( AIG).
7. Pork Paralysis( 5/1/09) Did they have to call it "swine flu?" Why not la influenza Mexicana or the Mexican jumping bug? These are undoubtedly the questions America's pork producers are asking themselves as fears surrounding the so-called swine flu pandemic are causing consumers to shun the other white meat and slam their stocks. Despite the fact that the disease is not spread via the consumption of pig products, shares of Smithfield Foods ( SFD) and Tyson Foods ( TSN) fell 12.4% and 8.9% respectively Monday.