Dubious Billionaire Behavior
byOct 22nd 2010 6:00AM
Meet ten wealthy people whose causes have caused controversy.
Among the richest of the rich, the smallest misdeeds can have amplified consequences. Here, Minyanville looks at the charges against 10 powerful billionaires. Some of their past (in some cases, current) actions might be labeled undemocratic at best, nearly criminal at worst.
You may be surprised to see respected New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg on the list. Few would expect to find Stewart and Lydia Resnick -- the owners of Fiji water and Pom, the pomegranate drink -- in this company, either. Even John Paulson, who technically did not break any laws when he bet big against the subprime market (while selling investments his own firm was shorting), has his staunch defenders.
Click through the headlines below to find out why these 10 billionaires have come under fire.
He thought the subprime mortgage market was going to fail, so he stepped up to the plate and ... made himself rich.
How He Made Billions Off the Misery of Millions
The owner of Las Vegas Sands is relatively unknown in the U.S. In Israel, his name is said to inspire self-censorship.
How He Earned His Vast Fortune
Famously pardoned by Bill Clinton, the "king of oil" traded with brutal regimes.
Why He Was Painted as 'the Biggest Devil'
The former eBay chief and current candidate in California's gubernatorial race has been accused of abuse and hypocrisy -- and that was before the illegal maid crisis erupted.
What Happens When 'Evil Meg' Gets Angry?
We know, we know -- he's been a wonderful mayor. Tolerant. Generous. Decisive.
So Why Is He on This List?
T. Boone Pickens
His new focus on wind power has won over environmentalists, but the eccentric billionaire remains unforgiven for some former sins.
Why He Hired Men to Steal a 3x5 Concrete Slab
Of this steel magnate's offenses, he who smelt it, dealt it.
Are the Slave Labor Claims True?
Silvio Berlusconi says he reached the pinnacle of success though hard work and determination. But a bit of bribery and corruption never hurts, either.
How He Paid for College
Lynda and Stewart Resnick
Are the owners of Fiji water and Pom juice practicing clever marketing? Or is there something more nefarious going on?
Are They in Bed With Fiji's Military Dictatorship?