Business Fumbles and Blunders From 2009. What Were They Thinking?

Last Updated Jan 21, 2010 5:38 PM EST

Need another laugh? Check out our Business Blunders of the Year.

No year is without its collection of baffling business blunders. But for a year in which everyone supposedly was extra mindful of job security, 2009 was loaded with amazingly boneheaded moves. Did Burger King really run sexually suggestive ad in super-conservative Singapore? Did execs at Amazon.com actually pull a classic book from its store and assume no one would notice? You have to ask, 'What were they thinking?' So ask is what we did, in quiz form.

Here are 13 blunders from 2009. See how many you get right.

1. The Price of Bad Management at BofA


Bank of America stock plunged more than 75 percent in the first quarter of 2009 after CEO Ken Lewis engineered the disastrous acquisitions of Countrywide Financial and Merrill Lynch, while neglecting to tell regulators that Merrill paid $5.8 billion in bonuses before the deal went through. How did the Bank of America board of directors deal with Lewis?
  • A. Cut his executive compensation by 50 percent
  • B. Demanded that he publicly apologize to stockholders
  • C. Appointed him "CEO for Life"
  • D. Granted him pension benefits totaling $53 million

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