Spectacular subprime fiascos

Some Wall Street titans fiddled while Rome burned -- while others denied there was any sort of catastrophe was afoot.

Merrill Lynch
Merrill Lynch
Mission accomplished!
In the first quarter of 2007, thanks to its $1.3 billion purchase of First Franklin Financial, Merrill Lynch becomes the world's top underwriter of subprime-mortgage-backed securities. Nonetheless, with the market in meltdown just a few months later, Merrill CFO Jeffrey Edwards tells analysts that the firm's subprime exposure is "limited, contained, and appropriately marked." In October, Merrill announces a quarterly loss of $2.24 billion after $7.9 billion in subprime-related write-downs.
Last updated December 19 2007: 10:18 AM ET

Merrill Lynch

Stanley O'Neal

CIBC analyst Meredith Whitney

Century 21

James Cayne

Bear Stearns analysts

Chuck Prince

D.R. Horton
The complete 101 See the full list, featuring the very best of the very worst moments this year. (more)
10 high-flying snafus Air travel took a wrong turn long ago. But in 2007 it hit new lows. (more)
Misadventures in advertising Companies want their ad spending to boost their image. These campaigns had the opposite effect. (more)