10 business events that caused a stir

1 Microsoft gets a little Facebook
Microsoft bought a 1.6% stake in the social networking site for $240 million, which took the site's value to $15 billion. This made the 20% stake owned by founder and Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg, 23, worth $3 billion.

2 Sub-prime meltdown
Rates for sub-prime mortgages jumped, causing economy-wide problems, including stalled IPOs and buyouts. Treasury officials and mortgage lenders will work together to staunch the bleed.

3 Sallie Mae buyout crumbles
SLM Corp., parent of Sallie Mae, took its potential buyers to court to save the $25 billion deal. The buyers said new federal laws lowered Sallie Mae's value and wanted to renegotiate, but Sallie Mae has rejected alternative offers.

4 Dubai buys NASDAQ stake
Borse Dubai, the government-controlled exchange for the emirate, bought a 19.9% stake in the NASDAQ and the NASDAQ's 28% stake in the London Stock Exchange. The new entity then went on to bid $4.9 billion for the Swedish stock exchange OMX.

5 Dell, WPP announce DaVinci
In 2007, Dell sought to streamline its entire marcomms function by asking the five major holding companies to create a singular agency housing all disciplines. The reward was $4.5 billion in billings over the next three years. WPP won and is expected to have a 1,000-staffer firm up and running by March.

6 Thain to head Merrill Lynch
For the second time in his career, John Thain will look to revive a troubled company. The former Goldman Sachs exec and NYSE Euronext head stunned many by becoming chairman and CEO.

7 Sun reinterprets fair disclosure
Sun Microsystems shook things up by issuing earnings results on its Web site before pushing the information out on the wires. The difference was only 10 minutes, but it has SEC chair Christopher Cox thinking about the Internet's role in earnings disclosure.

8 Stock market roller coaster
The stock market has been jumping and diving all year, but it has held on. The Dow Jones, in fact, surpassed the 13,000-point mark despite the turmoil.

9 Rupert Murdoch buys WSJ
Murdoch's News Corp bought Dow Jones & Co., including the venerable WSJ, for $5 billion. Journalists wondered aloud how his influence will affect the paper.

10 Yahoo CEO steps down
Terry Semel, a former entertainment executive who assumed the CEO post in 2001, handed the reigns back to Yahoo cofounder, Jerry Yang. Yahoo has struggled to compete with the likes of Google, MySpace, and others, so there's no guarantee that Yang will fare any better.

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