In 2002, AOL Time Warner posted the largest-ever U.S. corporate loss as it wrote off most of the value of the merger. The next year, the company bid adieu to the managers who created it and stripped AOL from the corporate letterhead.
This month, Time Warner and AOL finally parted ways, nine years later and more than $100 billion poorer. So much for the deal Ted Turner once gushed was better than sex.
"At zero debt, the continuing unified budget surpluses currently projected imply a major accumulation of private assets by the federal government," Greenspan told the Senate Budget Committee.
As it turns out, the United States has been able to kick its nasty surplus habit, spilling at least $158 billion of red ink every year since Greenspan's testimony. Yet thanks to the financial sector debt crisis that precipitated bailouts such as TARP, the feds ended up accumulating huge amounts of private assets anyway. We've got 7.7 billion shares of Citigroup -- any takers?
NEXT: July 19, 2002: WorldCom's bankruptcy