5. Bruce's Promised Land

Fund manager Bruce Berkowitz may want to stop throwing so much time and money at St. Joe ( JOE) and start devoting himself to St. Jude instead.

No, not the medical device company! We're talking about St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes, because that's what his investment in the Florida land bank is starting to look like.

St. Joe announced last Friday that it's reached an agreement allowing its largest shareholder, Berkowitz's Fairholme Capital, to buy up to 50% of its shares, sending the stock up more than 6% as a result. Fairholme currently owns about 29% of the company's stock and Berkowitz is St. Joe's chairman, a title he nabbed in March after ousting the company's board over its spending habits.

Judging by Berkowitz's recent tendency to throw good money after his own bad bets, he clearly has a spending problem of his own. Shares of St. Joe have lost 17% year-to-date, and more than 25% since hedge fund assassin David Einhorn -- yes, he who called Lehman's demise but recently struck out trying to buy the equally hapless New York Mets -- named the company as his favorite short in a skewering presentation last October. Nevertheless, Berkowitz has continued to gobble up more and more shares of this turkey even as it dives lower and lower.

To be honest, we're starting to wonder if he wants to quit his job as a stock picker and start a new career as a full-time real estate developer.

And it's not just St. Joe where Berkowitz is throwing Hail Mary passes. He's using the same go-for-broke strategy with other broken-down stocks such as Bank of America ( BAC), AIG ( AIG) and Sears Holdings ( SHLD). As a result, Berkowitz, who was hailed as Morningstar's equity fund manager of the decade in 2010, has seen billions in outflows from his $11 billion Fairholme Fund ( FAIRX), now down over 24% for the year, putting it in the 99th percentile for large value funds tracked by Morningstar.

Over the past decade, however, the fund has returned an annual average of more than 8%, which puts it in the top 1% for the time period. And it's that long-term track record which makes us want to write off Berkowitz's knife-catching spree as a bout of temporary insanity and not a full on death wish.

That said, if he continues down this path and keeps raising his interest in St. Joe, where the value of its 574,000 Northern Florida acres is hotly disputed, it will get harder and harder to view Berkowitz as a brilliant value manager having a bad year, rather than a false prophet leading his followers into a money-losing heaven.

4. Jinko's Jive

Poor Jinko ( JKS). It looks like the Chinese solar company is learning the hard way that its products are supposed to save the planet, not destroy it.

Shares of Jinko got slammed on Monday, losing 29%, after more than 500 angry protesters stormed a company compound in the Shanghai suburb of Haining where it makes photovoltaic cells. Unfortunately, the company also happens to produce a lot of toxic waste at the plant and was secretly dumping it in a nearby river.

Jinko, if you remember, went public in May 2010 at $11 a share and broke $41 last autumn when the market was captivated by all things Chinese and solar. It now trades below $7 a share and Chinese solar companies have turned radioactive. (Figuratively speaking, of course. Or, at least as far as we know.)

"Zhejiang Jinko has always paid a great deal of attention to environmental issues and complies with and follows the state's relevant demands," company spokesman Jing Zhaohui told a news conference.

Come on Jing! What do you mean by relevant demands? They clearly can't be that "relevant" or even "demands" at all when dead fish keep popping up everywhere. Or did you think all those little fishies washing ashore were just sunbathing?

Jing then added that the company was sorry for the incident and would accept the "legal consequences which have come from management slips."

Wait one more second Jing old buddy. If you indeed followed the Chinese government's relevant demands, then how can there be any legal consequences for turning the town's drinking water noxious? Did you break the law or not?

Ah, forget it. We already know the answer so there's no use in beating the guy up over it. Unlike Jinko, of course, which literally roughed up a group of local reporters covering the protest, smashing their cameras, and in some cases, their faces.

Jing apologized for that too. But we don't find his words that relevant anymore so we'll stop listening.

3. Reed's Mea Culpa Mess

Has Netflix ( NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings been blogging under the influence of the movies his company provides? And if so, which ones? Because that's the only explanation we can come up with for his wacked-out apology to customers Sunday night.

Here's the nuttiness that Netflix subscribers woke up to on Monday morning, a missive straight from Reed that started: "I messed up. I owe everyone an explanation."

First of all, can you think of a worse way to start a letter? The guy sounds more like a teenager who just crashed the family car than a CEO detailing a new business plan. Right from the beginning this whole letter is disturbing. Did anybody from the Netflix PR staff take the time to review this message? Or, did Reed post this poppycock in the middle of a Jerry Maguire moment?

And it only gets worse from there.

"It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming, and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology."

Now he sounds like he's been watching too much Kramer vs. Kramer. Dude, get a grip. You are splitting up your company, not a nuclear family.

Here's the deal about Reed's condescending, borderline creepy, confession.

Netflix is going to rebrand its DVD-by-mail service as "Qwikster," as it separates those operations from the streaming content business. The company plans to keep the name "Netflix" for streaming. According to Reed, Netflix has no plans to roll back the price hikes which caused so much consternation this summer because the streaming and DVD-by-mail are becoming two quite different businesses, "with very different cost structures, different benefits that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently."

Put it all together and you can see why his customers are revolting and his stock is getting smashed, down 36% in the last month alone. Quite simply, Reed's subscribers are being walloped with a triple whammy: higher fees, fewer movies and now less convenience. To quote Network, they are "mad as hell" and "not going to take this anymore!"

So what does the former rock star Reed say?

"Both the Qwikster and Netflix teams will work hard to regain your trust. We know it will not be overnight. Actions speak louder than words. But words help people to understand actions."

Oy. What drivel! Maybe he was watching political movies like Citizen Kane, A Face in the Crowd or The Candidate when he wrote that note.

Wait! Scratch that. We've got the movie that inspired Reed. It must have been The Jerk.

2. Poker Ponzi Scheme

There's an old poker saying, " If you don't know who the sucker at the table is - it's probably you." Well, a whole lot of online poker players, and a few Wall Street banks, woke up this week to find they may have been suckered into a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme by a bunch of well-known card sharks.

The Department of Justice has accused the owners of Full Tilt Poker, Poker Stars, Absolute Poker, Ultimate Bet and a host of other companies of defrauding online poker players and scheming to trick banks into processing illegal transactions. Among the high profile poker players called out for cheating customers are Christopher Ferguson, also known as "Jesus," and Howard Lederer. Bank of America ( BAC), JPMorgan Chase ( JPM), Wells Fargo ( WFC) and Citigroup ( C) were among the banks unwittingly holding the deposits of the gambling companies accused of fraud.

Jeez. Forget "too big to fail." These mega-banks are "too big to have a clue." But we should probably expect that from the banks by now.

As for the duped players, well, they should have been more careful considering the fact that online gambling is not exactly lawful in the U.S. That said, this swindle allegedly went on for over four years and reached more than $400 million in scope, so, like the Madoff case, it's hard not to find some fault with the Feds for being so late to break up the game.

Eventually, however, they did show up. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement, "Not only did the firm orchestrate a massive fraud against the U.S. banking system, as previously alleged, Full Tilt also cheated and abused its own players to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars."

Full Tilt assured its players that their accounts were "segregated and held separately from our operating accounts." That was not the case at all, says the DoJ, which maintains that the company was actually raiding these accounts to kick back money to its owners, board members and spokespeople. Full Tilt CEO Raymond Bitar, for example, allegedly pocketed $41 million from the supposed scam, while Lederer and Ferguson raked in $42 million and $25 million respectively.

How many times can we say it? Whether it's Las Vegas, Wall Street or on the World Wide Web, the house always wins. And inevitably some sad soul will leave the casino poorer but hopefully smarter for the experience.

1. UBS CEO's Strange Sense of Responsibility

Things are not always as dumb as they seem, which, in case you were wondering, was the reason why UBS ( UBS) did not top our list last week after news hit about a rogue trader allegedly racking up $2 billion in losses at the Swiss bank. You see, before we can officially label something as "dumb," we need all the facts and when the UBS story broke there were still too many holes in it for our comfort.

For example, we didn't know whether the alleged rogue trader Kweku Adoboli acted alone or if he had help. We also didn't know whether it was an "honest" mistake. (Hey, we've all heard about fat finger trades. Maybe this guy had a huge freaking finger.) And in the end, we felt it best to wait until more specifics about this massive screw-up were revealed.

Now that a week has passed and more pieces have been added to the puzzle, we feel even more confident that our decision to hold off was the right one.

Yes, it is true that things are not always as dumb as they seem, because in this case they were $300 million dollars dumber! In the week since the scandal first broke, the Swiss banking giant has raised its estimated loss to $2.3 billion. Apparently, a $2 billion loss was not embarrassing enough for UBS so they topped it off.

And what is even more humiliating for the bank is that Oswald Gruebel, the chief executive of UBS, has dismissed calls for his resignation as politically motivated. Gruebel told a Swiss newspaper, "I'm responsible for everything that happens at the bank. But if you ask me whether I feel guilty, then I would say no."

Oswald, you have got to be kidding us! Politics are not the reason why you should consider stepping aside. You should consider resigning because you have no clue what's going on in your bank.

On your watch, some back office nebbish-turned-ETF trader lost 2 billion, sorry, 2.3 billion bucks! We're not blaming you for the bad trades, but come on! You've got to feel a little guilty about something, especially after you told analysts back in June that "we have no undue risk in our positions... I'm pretty convinced that we have one of the best risk managements in the industry."

And what we've also learned since last week is that the London-based Adoboli has been falsifying trades for more than three years. That means this funny business has been going on since Gruebel came out of retirement in 2009 to stamp out risky business practices at the bank after it was forced to take a $60 billion bailout from the Swiss government in the wake of the financial crisis.

In other words, the majority of this massive trading oversight has come on Gruebel's watch, so he's linked to this scandal -- and our Dumbest list -- whether he likes it or not.

-- Written by Gregg Greenberg in New York.
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.

If you liked this article you might like

Why Facebook Struggles to Keep Pace With FANG Peers

Why Facebook Struggles to Keep Pace With FANG Peers

Roku's Strategy Still Looks Solid In Spite of Its Disappointing Outlook

Roku's Strategy Still Looks Solid In Spite of Its Disappointing Outlook

Bonus White Papers: The FAANGs

Bonus White Papers: The FAANGs

Netflix Stock Could Still Climb Another 14%

Netflix Stock Could Still Climb Another 14%

Charts Say Netflix Could Move Sideways for a While

Charts Say Netflix Could Move Sideways for a While