"The options were limited. When you become roadkill, when you happen to have lost some weight and you're not really healthy, but you
know one thing - you know that you have worked your ass off and you're not smart enough to know the answer - that's tough."
At the end of November 2007, Bear Stearns reported the first quarterly loss - of $854 million - in its history after taking a write-down of $1.9 billion on its rapidly deteriorating
holdings of mortgage-backed securities and other debt obligations. The write-down shaved 7% off Bear's $12 billion book value. By December the CEO was tired of being a "piñata,"
so he told his handpicked board he was thinking of retiring.NEXT: Bridge