You Bought, They Sold

During the roaring 90s, big media missed the big story about corporate America's excesses. "Reporters spent a lot of time covering PR news releases instead of looking behind the curtain," says investigative journalist Lowell Bergman. But corporate CEOs themselves seem to have had a pretty good idea what was lurking there. Fortune magazine looked at major companies whose stock has fallen by 75% or more since the heady days of the stock market bubble, and found a widespread pattern: "How much cash did the top executives at America's Losingest Companies reap by selling their shares to the investing public? ... The numbers are astounding. Executives and directors of the 1,035 corporations that met our criteria took out, by our estimate, roughly $66 billion. Of that amount, a total haul of $23 billion went to 466 insiders at the 25 corporations where the executives cashed out the most."