Could it be CEO of AT&T Michael Armstrong or the CEO of Qwest Joseph Nacchio?
The first domino to fall was Bernard Ebbers. The “icon” of the telecommunications industry. The swashbuckling CEO who presided over 60 acquisitions in 15 years for the now infamous WorldCom. This same guy also talked his board of directors into giving him a $344 million dollar “loan.”
All said and done, shareholders have lost an estimated $2 trillion in market capitalization as a result of the telecom meltdown. This disaster was brought to you buy the above-mentioned CEO’s along with many others. The whole thing was glued together by the investment banks that wielded their magic in selling garbage deals and valuations to the public. However, it takes two to tango.
We have been lobbying the SEC and the various regulatory bodies to go after instances of corporate fraud. After years of work we have been semi-successful of late. However, we feel that any punishment that will be doled will be minimal. Unfortunately, the horses are already out of the barn, investors have already lost. Our current focus is geared toward education. Investors more often then not, refused to heed our warnings over the past five years. I think they were a little too busy deciding where they were going to spend their newly found “fortunes”.
Well, faster than you could say “PONZI” those gains turned into losses. Investors lost trillions and now lawsuits are now popping up as fast as dotcom and telecom deals did four years ago. How can we prevent this from happening again?
Americans have to stop being victims and start taking on responsibility. America is not for wimps. If you are feeling soft rent “Gladiator” or an old John Wayne flick and get over yourself. If that doesn’t work move to France.
The bottom line is that people were all too willing to buy into the whole stock market bubble. Michael Lewis author of Liars Poker had some interesting comments…
“The transformation of the dot-com bubble from an act of investor greed into an investment banking crime implies that investors no longer have to take responsibility for their actions. With the help of their lawyers, who stand to take a third off the top of any settlement, investors can now see themselves as victims of evil people with sinister motives. That’s far more gratifying than feeling like a fool.”
The conduct of Wall Street, CEO’s like Bernard Ebbers have been deplorable without out a shadow of a doubt. They deserved to be punished and criminality should be applied. Responsibility should be put upon their dance partners as well. Individual investors acted with reckless abandon, trading in and out of stocks without any thought of risk management. Wake up America, you have a choice. Get your financial plan done now. Don’t buy into fads or trends. Set reasonable goals for yourself and your family.
It’s ok, so you made some mistakes! Do not make them again, for the definition of an idiot is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.