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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Dumbest Moments in Business 2008

Check it out: Dumbest Moments in Business 2008

I would actually put the apparent number three event as the number one dumbest event…

3. Paulson's 3-Page Plea
Days after Lehman Brothers collapses and two other giants teeter on the abyss, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson submits his plan for saving the U.S. financial system. All of three pages, the proposal seeks carte-blanche access to $700B in government funding to buy up troubled mortgage assets with scant details on how or where the money will be spent. Just as galling, he includes a provision in the bill that will exempt his spending from court challenges. Congress axes the legal cloak. But the damage is done, and the proposal fails in the House -- triggering another massive market sell-off. -- By Colin Barr, Fortune senior writer

4. Bloating up the Bailout
Maybe three pages wasn't such a bad idea after all ... When Congress is done with it, Paulson's proposal for saving the U.S. financial system balloons to 451 pages and is loaded with pork barrel spending -- including, unbelievably, a cut in taxes on toy arrows and an extended tax break on "wool products." Backers of the arrow tax exemption -- section 503, for the record -- say it reverses a wrongheaded 2004 law that sharply increased tax rates on cheap kids' arrows. -- By Colin Barr, Fortune senior writer