Gawker.com is running a poll to determine the most loathesome financial villain. Early returns show Alan Greenspan catching up fast to Bernie Madoff. Review the candidates below and then vote on Gawker. The winner will be announced on Friday.
The New Depression rolls on and those overpaid AIG failures are this week’s target for populist wrath. But do you hate them more than last week’s villains? Embrace your hate and vote in our poll.
Vote for the scoundrel who most exemplifies the venal, self-interested, scheming, dastardly behaviour that emptied out your 401k, and we will dedicate one of the three water closets at Gawker HQ to the winner and affix to the door a memorial plaque bearing his name. We’ll name the Most Loathsome at noon on Friday.
The Pope of Ponzi schemes bilked gullible investors out of $64 billion in a byzantine scam involving forged profit statements, fake trades, and a complicit auditor. The biggest fraud in the history of Wall Street.
AIG‘s James Haas, Douglas Poling, Jonathan Liebergall, and John Does 1 through 71
These AIG executives destroyed AIG with credit-default swaps and incompetence. We paid $170 billion for their sins; they each got $1 million-plus bonuses.
Sir Alan Stanford
The Texan billionaire and Antiguan knight has yet to be charged with a crime, but is accused of running a billion-dollar fraud through his Stanford Financial Group, which is under investigation by the FBI and SEC. Also, like Timothy Geithner, he doesn’t pay his taxes, and owes the government $227 million, according to the IRS.
The Merrill Lynch chief ran his brokerage into the ground while redecorating his office to the tune of $1.2 million with $35,000 commodes, and is under criminal investigation for allegedly rushing out $4 billion in bonuses to Merrill Lynch executives before Bank of America bought the firm and found out that it was worthless.
The Bear Stearns chief was busy getting high, playing bridge, and golfing while his firm went under and had to be sold to JPMorgan Chase in a Fed-brokered fire sale. The Bear Stearns collapse launched the Panic of ’08.
What an arsehole! He grinned and grimaced and shouted and rang bells and pressed buttons and now no one has any money, and all he had to do was go on the Daily Show and act catatonic for about 20 minutes.
Dick and Kathleen Fuld
The arrogant Lehman Bros. CEO passed up multiple chances to sell the company he destroyed, engaging Treasury Secretary Hank Pauson in a catastrophic game of chicken that ended in Lehman’s bankruptcy. He reportedly got his clock cleaned by an employee when he used the company gym on the weekend after the bankruptcy, but he denies it. He recently sold his $13 million Florida estate to his wife Kathleen in an attempt to shield it from creditors. Kathleen, at least, has a healthy enough sense of shame to ask for a plain paper bag when shopping at Hermes, which she did last Christmas.
The erratic and unstable former Treasury Secretary calmly let Lehman go belly up, promptly announced to Congress that hell would rise up and swallow America if he didn’t get $700 billion to spend on troubled assets, and then decided not to do the whole troubled asset thing and just give it to some banks. All yours, President Obama!
He staked the future of the nation on the rantings of an insane lady who wrote dirty novels, and assured us that low interest rates and endless streams of credit would—and he scientifically proved this!—never, ever end up biting us in the arse. Then he apologized.
The Indiana financial consultant was accused of fraud, so he stashed a red motorcycle in a storage unit in Birmingham, Alabama, flew his private turboprop plane from Indiana to the skies over Alabama, parachuted out, injuring himself and leaving the plane to crash 200 yards from a residential neighbourhood, sought out local residents for help by claiming to have been in a canoeing accident, and hid in a pup tent in a Florida campground until authorities found him after a three-day manhunt.
The architect of Clinton’s economic policy made sure that complex derivatives remained unregulated and that the Glass-Steagall act was repealed, which allowed banks like Citigroup to do whatever they pleased, so that when Rubin left the government and joined Citigroup as an “adviser” Citi shareholders could lose all of their money.
Herb and Marion Sandler
The couple founded Golden West, a mortgage lender that gave enormous mortgages to unemployed grifters. The grifters didn’t make their payments, but that’s OK because the Sandlers sold Golden West to Wachovia for $24 billion in 2006, before anybody figured out what they were up to. Saturday Night Live threatened to kill them on the air, but then censored themselves when the Sandlers got to them.
So there you have them. Vote for the worst of the worst on Gawker.com now >