Stupidity is contagious. It gets us all from time to time. Even respectable companies can catch it. As I do every week, let's take a look at five dumb financial events this week that may make your head spin.

1. Tiers of a clown
Oh, no! Not you too, Verizon (NYSE: VZ).

During an investor conference yesterday, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg revealed that Verizon Wireless will likely roll out tiered data plans within four to six months.

The early 2011 pricing shift would follow AT&T (NYSE: T), which axed unlimited data offerings to new smartphone accounts back in June. It proved to be one more reason for customers to loathe AT&T.

Why would Verizon follow that road? Even if it feels that there's marketing allure to the entry-level tier, it's a trap for new smartphone owners once they realize how much surfing online they will actually do away from wi-fi hotspots. Instead of giving Verizon one more way to knock AT&T in its marketing campaigns, Verizon Wireless is becoming the enemy.

2. Canada dry
Netflix
(Nasdaq: NFLX) launched its online-streaming service in Canada this week. This would normally be a joyous moment, save for a dubious price point ($7.99 a month is too close to the stateside $8.99 price point that includes DVDs).

However, the reason that Netflix makes it on to this week's list is that it hired extras to overrun a Toronto media event with feigned enthusiasm. A leaked script informed the extras to get really excited if approached by members of the media for an interview. In other words, the press was had.

Netflix has a good shot in Canada, as the closest match to Netflix in the country on the DVD side -- Zip.ca -- doesn't have much of a digital strategy at the moment. However, it's certainly starting off on the wrong foot by trying to pull one over on the Canadian media.

3. Beans bubble over
Starbucks
(Nasdaq: SBUX) is hiking select prices in select markets, but couldn't it select a better time to do this?

Starbucks revealed on Wednesday that percolating bean prices are forcing the java-meister to raise prices on labor-intensive drinks and larger coffee beverages. What do 13-year highs in the cost of green Arabica coffee beans have to do with hustling baristas cranking out labor-intensive beverages? You got me.

Yes, Starbucks is perfectly entitled to pass on higher costs to its customers. However, given the aggressive push by McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) since last year's McCafe launch, this is probably a good time to bite the bullet instead of widen the pricing gap between Starbucks and the growing number of fast food chains and convenience store outlets trumpeting their premium brews.

Earnings have been growing a lot faster than revenue this fiscal year, so it's not as if Starbucks can argue that its margins are contracting as a result of pesky bean prices. Wasn't pricing itself out of the market what got into Starbucks into the mess it was in a couple of years ago?

4. Microsoft meets micro yield
Everyone is buzzing over Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) ability to sell three-year bonds this week with a measly 0.87% coupon. It's a testament to Microsoft's near-term stability. It's also another sharp reminder that we're in a ridiculous low interest rate environment.

I'd be borrowing money too at 0.87% if I could, but the reason that Mr. Softy makes the cut this week is because it doesn't need the money.

Tiny interest expense tab or not, Microsoft closed out its latest quarter with $36.8 billion in cash, equivalents, and short-term investments. It doesn't need the money. It doesn't have to throw investment bankers a bone. The reason that its rate is making even government paper envious is that it has more than enough cash in its vault to back it up.

What are you doing, Microsoft? Your stock is essentially where it was five years ago, while tens of billions in the bank collect dust.

5. The sun also sets
If solar energy is heating up again, why is Evergreen Solar (Nasdaq: ESLR) at a multi-year low -- trading at levels last seen eight years ago?

More to the point, why did the low-cost silicon wafer manufacturer announce last night that CEO Richard Feldt is leaving to head up a privately held company? The only thing worse than a company in a hot sector hitting fresh lows is a bolting CEO that would probably think twice about leaving if he felt that his company was truly bottoming out.

Which of these five moves do you think is the dumbest? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Netflix and Starbucks are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft, which is a Motley Fool Inside Value choice. The Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a fan of dumb and smart business moves. Investors can learn plenty from both. Hdoes not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for Netflix. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.