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Aug. 27, 2003: Grasso's $139 million payday
Aug. 27, 2003: Grasso's $139 million payday
The New York Stock Exchange stunned Wall Street by saying its longtime chief, Dick Grasso, was due $139 million in deferred pay. Bad press prompted Grasso's hasty departure, but that wasn't enough for the NYSE.

Its chairman, former Citi chief John Reed, tried to shame Grasso into giving most of the money back. When that didn't work, New York's crusading attorney general, Eliot Spitzer, sued on the grounds the payout was excessive.

But Grasso fought every step of the way and was vindicated when an appeals court threw out a $100 million judgment against him. Common sense then made a belated appearance, when Spitzer's successor, Andrew Cuomo, dropped the case.

NEXT: Jan. 7, 2004: How bad is Windows Vista?

Last updated December 16 2009: 10:24 AM ET
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