101 Dumbest Moments in Business

Ah, what a dumb year it was! Fortune chose the absolutely dumbest of the dumb that the gods of fate and humor delivered into our laps - and yours - this past year.

China
1. China
The bad news is that 2008 is the Year of the Rat.
During 2007, the Year of the Pig, Mattel is forced to recall almost 20 million items made in China because of lead paint on toy cars and tiny magnets that could be deadly if swallowed. Lead paint problems are also found in 844,000 Chinese-made Barbie accessories and toys with the Sesame Street brand.

Pet food makers recall more than 60 million cans of food laced with tainted melamine in wheat gluten from China. A huge underground distribution network for steroids, human growth hormones, and other bodybuilding drugs is traced to 37 companies in China. Chinese-made lunch boxes, given away by the California Department of Public Health to promote healthy eating habits among children, are found to contain lead.

Nike recalls 235,000 football helmets because the Chinese-made chin cup has a defective strap and has caused at least two concussions and a broken nose. Ethylene glycol is found in Chinese-made toothpaste. The government of China executes the former head of its State Food and Drug Administration.
Last updated January 16 2008: 5:51 PM ET

Mattel

Eli Lilly

Leona Helmsley

Merrill Lynch

Stanley O'Neal

Chuck Prince

High-tech toilets

KFC/Taco Bell

French newspaper Le Monde

Electronic voting machines

Oil spills

Procter & Gamble

Disneyland

Naked Sunday

Bindeez

Microsoft's PR firm

Cocaine energy drink

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

New Jersey Superior Court

O.J. Simpson

Cartoon Network

Naming rights

Don Imus

Chris Albrecht

Adam "Pacman" Jones

Isiah Thomas

Phil Spector

Keith Richards

Swiss newspaper

James Cayne

Bear Stearns analysts

Jay-Z

Oral B

Summit Products

M&Ms

Best Buy

Judge Roy Pearson

Google

Damien Hirst

Comcast

National Amusements

Pfizer

The Toronto Blue Jays

Bank of America

Serendipity 3

Johnson & Johnson

John Mackey

The European Union

German screw factory

The Defense Department

Apple

Swiss watchmaker Romain Jerome

Japanese arm-wrestlers

Research in Motion

Frank Gehry

Chrysler

Endemol Southern Star

Taco Bell

Radiohead

John Griffin

Sony

Nepal Airlines

Sony

Spain's National Institute of Statistics

Verizon Wireless

Rhode Island Hospital

McDonald's

Thomas the Tank Engine

Exelon Nuclear

Circuit City

TCF Bank

Paris Hilton

Easy-Bake Ovens

Google

Mummified corpses

Jessica Simpson

Jackson Hewitt

The Virginia Tourism Corp.

Hugo Chávez

Juan Carlos

365 Main

One Laptop Per Child

CIBC analyst Meredith Whitney

Southwest Airlines

Singapore Airlines

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin-Talal

SkyWest Airlines

Doug Parker

British Airways

Southwest Airlines, Part 2

Iberia Airlines

Jet Blue

British Airways Part 2

World Toilet Association

Kitson boutique

WikiScanner

Blogger

Intel

Century 21

D.R. Horton

Maria Bartiromo
The complete 101 See the full list, featuring the very best of the very worst moments this year. (more)
Sex, drugs & celebrities When it comes to crossing the line, bold-faced names rarely disappoint. (more)
Bosses behaving badly The mind-boggling mishaps that took place in the executive - and hotel - suite. (more)
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