Worst Financial Disasters Of 2008
In my previous post on the Microsoft – Yahoo deal, I mentioned how there was a Times Magazine news story on the Top 10 Worst Business Deals of 2008. Microsoft and Yahoo’s dance from last year was at the top of the list.
Many of the other things on the list, which you can check out, kind of aren’t all that fair. Kind of, that is. I, for one, don’t think it’s fair to put someone on the list for something they didn’t know was getting ready to happen. Therefore, I’m absolving all the people and organizations that bought stocks into different companies, took over companies that looked strong, or bought real estate that turned out to lose them money.
That eliminates 8 of the top 10 on the list. The last one was Citigroup’s attempted purchase of Wachovia, and that one there is no excuse for because Citigroup knew it was in trouble when they were trying to buy, and should have known that one in trouble doesn’t buy someone else in trouble; what kind of moronic move was that? And they were trying to buy them while accepting the first bailout from the U.S. government; that almost seems criminal to me. But they didn’t get it, so I guess we’ll have to keep it at the level of plain stupidity.
The hardest thing for me in trying to figure out what my top worst business deals of the year might have been last year is that I wasn’t writing this blog at the time. Therefore, I don’t quite have specifics. However, I do have some candidates that I want to mention.
One is the speculations that led to the drastic rise of the price of oil last year. What many people don’t know is that oil rates we pay for our utilities occur during late spring, when gas and oil are usually at their highest point. So, we all got taken, suckered if you will, by these speculators that bet on oil being limited, getting the price as high as $147 a barrel before it dropped like a lead pipe. A lot of people lost a lot of money because they didn’t count on the American public deciding we could find another way around the high cost of the stuff; mess with us, will you?
Another is the Bernard Madoff scam, which counts for 2008 because that’s when it came to light. For years, there were some people who knew it was a scam, but the SEC didn’t listen. And here we are at this point, still missing $50 billion dollars; it’s not coming back.
And what about the Lehman Brothers collapse? These poor guys (yeah, right) went bankrupt and shut down just a couple of weeks before the government started bailing out other companies like theirs. Talk about bad timing.
And finally, for now, what about the collapse of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae? Are we all really supposed to believe that they had no idea this housing crisis was coming at some point? Aren’t they the people who supposedly guarantee all this stuff, and then needed the government takeover to solve it all? Just who was supposed to be regulating the housing industry in the first place, checking on these loans from Hades and the delicate balance that’s ended up crushing so many people’s dreams, and leaving us with a housing disaster that might take years to overcome?
Oh, one more thing, which didn’t happen in the United States; the total collapse of the financial system of Iceland. They had 3 major banks and all of them went under. Their currency was deemed worthless, and they couldn’t pay anyone back. Their problems almost took out England and Germany as well. The country’s now barely afloat with a loan from the IMF; at least they were small enough to allow some help to come their way.
I think that’s enough for now. Do you have anything you’d like to share?