Biggest Personal Losers In Wall Street Crisis

The credit crisis has taken many barons of Wall Street (and their $10,000 suits) to the cleaners. Who, though, has suffered the biggest losses? One way to get at that question is to look at leaders of the hardest-hit companies, and how much the value of their in-house shares has fallen from recent peaks. We asked, which tracks executives' trades in the stock of their own companies, for the number of shares held by some Wall Street titans, and then crunched the numbers to see how far they've fallen.

In fourth place is James (Jimmy) Cayne, the former chief executive of Bear Stearns. Over the course of 2007, during which Cayne took extended vacations to play bridge and golf and purchased two Plaza hotel apartments for $28 million, investors' faith in the firm evaporated. Bear's stock, which traded as high as $170 in 2007, sank lower and lower until a bank run forced the Fed to intervene. In March 2008, JPMorgan Chase snapped up Bear for a bargain: $10 a share. Cayne sold his 5.8 million shares for $63 million, a loss of $850 million on their value the year before.

Third place goes to former CEO Richard Fuld of Lehman Brothers, who went down with the ship when the 158-year-old firm went bankrupt on September 14. His 10.8 million shares in LEH were worth about $882 million in June 2007. He recently sold a quarter of them for less than a quarter a piece; the remaining 8 million shares have a market value of less than $2 million. That makes for a total loss of more than $880 million.

Second-place finisher Joe Lewis is the only outsider on the list. The septuagenarian English currency trader never ran a big financial company—he merely made big bets on them. Starting in July 2007, Lewis bought a roughly 10 percent stake in Bear Stearns, at an average purchase price of $104 a share. He made his last stock purchase on March 13, 2008, less than a week before the collapse. Assuming he sold his shares for the takeover price of $10, his total loss comes to $1.1 billion.

The biggest losses by far, however, hit Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, the former CEO of insurance giant AIG. Greenberg spent 38 years building the company into the world's largest insurer, until he was forced by AIG's board to step down in 2005. Through various trusts and holding companies, he controls about 11 percent of the company, according to, although it's impossible to know how much of that he owns directly. Between mid-2007 and now, the 95 percent fall in AIG's stock price wiped out at least $3 billion in Greenberg's personal wealth, and possibly as much as $7 billion.

None of these tycoons had all their wealth tied up in one company, and there may be many other financial titans who lost much more on various Wall Street holdings. Nor is anyone worrying about plutocrats going hungry just now. But by any measure, nine- to 10-figure losses have got to hurt. Perhaps too much to talk about: none of the men cited here returned NEWSWEEK's calls seeking comment on the accuracy of their estimated losses.