The 5 dumbest things on Wall Street

American Apparel's chief lawsuit officer. Talks about tapping the country's oil reserves. Radient's relationship issues.

By TheStreet Staff Mar 11, 2011 11:52AM

TheStreetImage: Oil drums (© Kevin Phillips/Digital Vision/age fotostock)Here is this week's roundup of the dumbest actions on Wall Street.

 

5. American Apparel's chief lawsuit officer

 

American Apparel's (APP) eccentric CEO Dov Charney is once again in the hot seat -- this time with a former employee, who says he forced her to perform sexual acts while she was working at the company as a teenager.

 

This isn't the first lawsuit filed against Charney, who has made a name for himself more for his alleged indiscretions than his flailing t-shirt business. Maybe there's an argument that Charney's eclectic persona helped lift American Apparel up the retail ranks. But for a public company, Charney's reputation has become more of a liability then an asset. So why is he still allowed to hold a position of power? Read more

 

4. The phantom oil crisis

 

When it comes to the politics behind the price of gasoline, especially this week's talk of tapping the , it's easy to typecast U.S. politicians as the permissive parents playing opposite a spoiled teenager, otherwise known as the U.S. consumer.

Talk of tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve because of the political shock waves in North Africa and the Middle East is premature, to say the least. The simple reality here is: There is no current shortage of oil. According to Energy Department data released on Wednesday, U.S. oil supplies increased. There is also no sign that higher prices are causing consumers to buy less fuel. The latest Energy Department data also showed a continued decline in gasoline and heating oil inventory even after the recent surge in oil prices. Read more

 

3. Airline fees: media's dead horse

 

Since the days of the Wright Brothers, the U.S. airline industry has lost money. Now, the industry appears to have finally stumbled onto a way to make money -- charging passengers fees for the services they use, and more closely aligning capacity with demand.

 

With each charge for a service the industry dares to make, the media noise gets louder, to the point where it seems the suggestion is that airline service should be provided free of charge. Read more

 

2. Radient's relationship issues

 

Last week, Radient Pharmaceuticals (RPC) made our list after TheStreet discovered its CEO had made claims about doing business with an Indian prime minister who happened to have been dead for years. Turns out, Radient seems quite fond of making claims that aren't necessarily accurate.

 

This week, the Mayo Clinic denied statements made by Radient about the prestigious research hospital's involvement in a clinical study of Radient's cancer-screening test Onko-Sure.

 

"Mayo is not engaged in clinical studies with Radient and does not have a partnership agreement with Radient," Mayo Clinic spokesperson Kathy Anderson said in a statement emailed to TheStreet on March 4. Read more

 

1. Bank of America rides the peace train

 

Bank of America (BAC) investors have a lot to worry about: massive writedowns , expensive lawsuits, government investigations and long-running questions over when the company will finally deliver some good news to shareholders.

At the banking giant's investor day this week, CEO Brian Moynihan offered a simple message -- Make love, not money. In a presentation in New York on Tuesday, Moynihan made several references to "organic growth," "sustainable" shareholder returns and a cryptic "peace dividend" Bank of America will receive for not buying weak companies. Who needs real dividends when you have "peave dividends?" Read more

 

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