Magazine article Newsweek International

In Search of the Tycoons Who Lost the Largest Fortunes

Magazine article Newsweek International

In Search of the Tycoons Who Lost the Largest Fortunes

Article excerpt

Byline: Barrett Sheridan

The credit crisis has taken many barons of Wall Street (and their $10,000 suits) to the cleaners. Who, though, has suffered the biggest losses? One way to get at that question is to look at leaders of the hardest-hit companies, and how much the value of their in-house shares has fallen from recent peaks. We asked Insiderscore.com, which tracks executives' trades in the stock of their own companies, for the number of shares held by some Wall Street titans, and then crunched the numbers to see how far they've fallen.

In fourth place is James (Jimmy) Cayne, the former chief executive of Bear Stearns. Over the course of 2007, during which Cayne took extended vacations to play bridge and golf and purchased two Plaza hotel apartments for $28 million, investors' faith in the firm evaporated. Bear's stock, which traded as high as $170 in 2007, sank lower and lower until a bank run forced the Fed to intervene. In March 2008, JPMorgan Chase snapped up Bear for a bargain: $10 a share. Cayne sold his 5.8 million shares for $63 million, a loss of $850 million on their value the year before.

Third place goes to former CEO Richard Fuld of Lehman Brothers, who went down with the ship when the 158-year-old firm went bankrupt on September 14. His 10.8 million shares in LEH were worth about $882 million in June 2007. He recently sold a quarter of them for less than a quarter a piece; the remaining 8 million shares have a market value of less than $2 million. That makes for a total loss of more than $880 million. …

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