ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Crook Alert 2006 Retrospective

Updated on August 7, 2007

Gretchen Morgenson

A Year to Suspend Disbelief in Corporate America

NY Times financial columnist Gretchen Morgenson summarized the financial and corporation scandals of 2006 in her year-end column today. Here are some of the individuals she recognized for achievements in corporate malfeasance:

The "Where are the Shareholders's Pensions?" Award to Hank McKinnell, the former CEO of Pfizer who got an $82 million pension even as shareholders lost $137 billion on his watch.

The "Dog ate my Email" award to Morgan Stanley, accused by regulators at NASD of using the 9-11 attacks as an excuse not to cough up email records that aggrieved clients needed for their arbitration cases. In fact, millions of these supposedly destroyed emails were available shortly after the disaster but were not produced for investors. The case was the latest in a string of stonewalling by the firm.

The "Three Times a Charm" award to federal prosecutors who won a conviction of Walter A. Forbes, the former CEO and head book-cooker of the Cendant Corporation, on the third try. When he resigned from the company he said he would repay his $47 million pension if he were convicted of a crime. Anyone think that promise will be kept?

The "Owners don't mind a little chilseling" award to Dr. William W. McGuire, founder and former CEO of the UnitedHealth Group who came under fire for receiving stock options that were artificially back-dated to bolster their value. Before he resigned, Dr. McGuire played down his well-timed option grants with this comment: "This isn't a giveaway of money that occurs out of the premiums of health care recipients. These are shareholder dollars." Well, in that case, go right ahead.

The "How to Blow through $6 billion award" to Amaranth Advisers, a hedge fund that said it was up 25 percent one day and then was practically kaput the next week. Wrong-way bets on natural gas prices made $6 billion evaporate almost overnight. It takes real skill to lose that much money that fast.

The "Follow the Money" award to James B. Lockhart III, the director of Federal Housing and Enterprise Oversight, who sued Franklin D. Raines, former CEO of Fannie Mae, to recover about $85 million in bonuses he received but did not earn.

The "Bungling gumshoes" award to Patricia Dunn, former H-P CEO, and her band of goofy snoops who failed in their efforts to identify and punish a board member considered too talkative. Ms. Dunn oversaw the hiring of private investigators who improperly secured directors' phone records as well as those of financial and tech reporters.

Ms Morgenson's column and bio are linked below. She and Floyd Norris also of the NYTimes and Jonathan Clements of the Wall Street Journal are my favorite financial writers. They are all knowledgeable and provide good information for individual investors.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)