Just sit right back, and you'll hear a tale....

Seven executives were stranded on a deserted island. It was just one of those things -- a private charter was shuttling them off to an ethics conference, and a fierce storm threw them off course.

Way off course.

Despite years of delegation, they were quick to use the island's natural resources to make remote living bearable. Martha Stewart crafted palm tree branches into nifty napkin holders and crown molding. Kenneth Lay used the portable, battery-operated paper shredder he had handy to shave coconut shells into sewing thread. When the fire ran low, Henry Blodget always seemed to have a spare research report to juice it back up.

The exiled leaders also had blown opportunities to get off the island. When a crate marked like it was full of supplies washed up on the island, they pried it open, only to find it empty.

"Kozlowski!," they said in unison, as the former Tyco(NYSE: TYC) chief shrugged.

Then there was the time Jack Welch landed on the island in a golden parachute. He was baffled to find the seven executives stranded there, but he only had enough room to take one back to civilization. He had private conversations with each one. He disclosed the location of his departure, and wanted to see what each executive would do with the insider information. As greed coated the rainbow sherbet sunset, each islander played coy about the knowledge, yet all seven rushed to the site at the designated time. Welch was gone. He had left alone an hour earlier.

Sam Waksal wore on the nerves of the others.

"I told you we should've all jumped off the charter," he said during times of strife. "Heck, I warned you even before the storm hit. We could've gotten out while the going was still good. Again."

Eventually, food ran scarce. The animals and shoreline marine life fled in distrust, and the island's lush vegetation was neglected to the point of fruitlessness. The executive islanders came to the painful realization that cannibalism was the only path to survival.

One night, they set their tiki torches aglow and snaked their way to a tribal council meeting. One by one, each executive argued why his or her continued existence on the island was relevant. They each argued for who they thought should be the first consumed.

Even as the tense night unfolded, there was levity amongst the flicker. The first round of voting was unanimous. All seven scribbled the same thing. The shareholder. They chuckled. Uncomfortably at first. Then uncontrollably.

They tried a different approach. Instead of voting for dinner, they would vote on who should remain. Former Arthur Andersen chief Joseph Berardino agreed to tally the vote. Once again, they scribbled away. Then came the audited results. The first six submissions were for six different executives. The next 37 were for Berardino. They chuckled. Uncontrollably at first. Then uncomfortably.

Blodget picked up a useless fishing spear and eyed Bernie Ebbers.

"Piggy," he shouted. The other islanders stood up and licked their lips at the sight of Bernie.


They began to chase a frantic Bernie around the island. Their savage ways got their adrenaline pumping, and it wasn't long before they cornered a bewildered Bernie atop the island's highest cliff. They closed in. Bernie pled for his life.

Just then, Warren Buffett flew by on his executive jet. Against his better judgment, he stopped to rescue the executives. As they left the island, humility got the better of them.

"You saved our lives," they said.

"That's funny," Warren said, as they headed toward civilization. "I was about to say that you ruined yours."

Next: The Craven »

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