13 of 16
BACK NEXT
13. The Bridge Player
James Cayne
Former CEO, Bear Stearns

The implosion of two Bear mortgage-related hedge funds in the summer of 2007 marked the beginning of the debt crisis.

Cayne, a championship bridge player, didn't play a very good hand in the months that followed, eventually stepping aside only to watch as a loss of confidence by investors and lenders took down his overleveraged firm and forced its shotgun marriage to JPMorgan Chase. Bear Stearns' demise cost Cayne $1 billion.

NEXT: The Dancer
Last updated August 06 2008: 6:26 PM ET
Credit crunch isn't over Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Meredith Whitney tells Fortune that housing woes will force banks to keep taking writedowns. (more)
CEO misery index It's not just the average Joe suffering as the U.S. economy heads south. These top U.S. executives are really feeling the heat too. (more)
The trials of Jimmy Cayne Last summer the ex-Bear Stearns CEO was worth $1.6 billion on paper. Then he nearly died and Bear collapsed. (more)