This Week in Financial BlundersEven the smartest spenders are not immune to an occasional poor financial decision. If you take a second to think about it, I bet you can recall a few bad monetary decisions you’ve made in just the past few weeks. I can think of two bar and restaurant tabs that didn’t need to happen right now; point being is that we’re all human and capable of making mistakes. However, sometimes prominent people, companies, or everyday eccentrics make truly impressive financial blunders. Here’s the greatest (or worst depending on your outlook) money mess-ups of the past week or so.

Long and Tough New Year for Deutsche Bank

After alluding in December that they would face big losses in the last quarter of 2012, Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest lender, has finally reported the damage from q4: $2.2 billion euros, or $3 billion. Despite avoiding a government bailout when it was the cool thing to do, Deutsche Bank has been under investigation and legal pursuit for the past year, even having the company headquarters raided over suspected tax-evasion. Without naming a figure, Deutsche Bank said the charges from their legal troubles contributed to the losses. Despite their recent troubles Jurgen Fitschen and Anshu Jain, co-chief executives of Deutsche bank for seven months, remain optimistic by noting that q4 revenue rose to 14% with 7.9 billion euros.

Trouble in Tennessee

The University of Tennessee’s football program, including their whole sports division and potentially the university, are facing some serious monetary problems. Despite being a prominent college football team, attendance for their games has hit a 40-year low at least partially because the team has had a losing record the last four of their five seasons. As Rant Sports reports, the athletic department has to deal with about $21 million in debt every year and their budget does not add up to cover this debt. It’s a scary place to be in for a big football school; to stop the whole program from collapsing it’s necessary that attendance rise, but that requires a better team. If they lose their budget, it’s likely they can’t afford more scouting and means to improve the team. Sounds like the beginning of a very inspirational sports movie just waiting to happen.

Not Living Strong for Much Longer

As most of the world knows, Lance Armstrong hasn’t been having the best couple of months, or year if his fallout continues in the dramatic fashion that is has. Since his doping scandal started, Armstrong has lost endorsement deals with Nike, Oakley, and Anheuser-Busch just to name a few. Forbes reported back in October that Armstrong will lose around $150 million in earnings after being dropped by these endorsers, but it seems the Nielsen has rubbed salt in the wound to confirm this.

While the Nielsen is known primarily for their TV ratings to help advertisers determine what shows to buy commercial time for, they also give “N-scores” to celebrities, athletes and public personalities to help advertisers determine how marketable they are for endorsements and commercials. It ranges over different levels from Starter (barely endorsable, with an N rating of 30 or less) to Hall of Fame (very endorsable, with an N rating of 200 or more.) In November of last year Armstrong was sitting at a Superstar level score of 137, but as of the last N rating report from January, 24th he sits at a 29, a mere Starter. This seems to be the final nail in the coffin for Armstrong, surviving a public ousting that seems to be lasting longer than a Tour de France.

Probation and Waffles

Pushing the limits of irony one felony at a time, Marquis Baldwin of Pensacola, Florida, figured out an interesting way to pay off his girlfriend’s probation fines: robbery. Since late November, Baldwin had robbed a gas station and three Waffle Houses while demonstrating that chivalry isn’t dead, it just appears in different forms. Despite his attempts to be a proper gentleman and help his lady out of a financial jam, Baldwin was charged with four counts of armed robbery and six counts of aggravated assault. He was last reported being in Escambia County Jail on $80,000 bond, which hopefully his girlfriend can help him out with in a non-destructive, legal way.

That’s the weird and unfortunate financial blunders of our last week in January, but if there’s anything I’ve missed please let me know in the comments below. Is there any other embarrassing, funny, or catastrophic financial news you’ve heard in the last week?


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