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The Worst Mistakes In History (Part-II)

The Worst Mistakes In History (Part-II)

Safety inspectors forget to replace a valve at the Piper Bravo Oil Rig

Money lost in 1994: $3.4 billion in repairs
Inflation adjusted price: $5.1 billion

                                         
In July of 1988, oil workers were evacuated from the Piper Bravo Oil Rig after an explosion. The explosion killed 167 of the 226 men working.
During a routine check, inspectors removed and replaced all safety valves, except for one, which was never put back. Unaware that the safety valve was missing, a worker pushed the start button, and gas began to leak out.

Capitain Joe Hazelwood crashes the Exxon-Valdez into Prince William Sound

Money lost in 1989: $4.4 billion in clean up and repairs
Inflation adjusted value: $7.8 billion 

In 1989, an Exxon oil tanker was on its way to California when it hit the Prince William Sound off the coast of Alaska. The tanker spilled as many as 760,000 barrels into the water off the Alaska coastline. Captain Hazelwood was accused of being drunk at the time of the accident and convicted of negligent discharge of oil. 

Faulty equipment causes the Columbia to crash on liftoff

Lost in 2003: $13 billion was the cost of building the space shuttle
Inflation adjusted value: $15.6 billion
                                                                                              
The Space Shuttle Columbia was destroyed in February of 2003, just six minutes before it was scheduled to land. When the space shuttle launched, a hole was punctured in one of the wings, which could have been part of the problem for this crash.
All seven crew members died in the crash.


Terra buys Lycos 

Overpayment in 2000: $11.6 billion
Inflation-adjusted: $15.7 billion

                                         
In 2000, Spanish telecom company, Terra took a gamble on Lycos, an internet search engine. Lycos was at the time the third most visited site in America, but after the dot com bubble burst, Lycos faded. In 2004, the search engine was sold to South Korea-based Daum Communications Corporation for $95.4 million in cash.

Mercedez-Benz buys Chrysler

Overpayment in 1998: $20 billion
Inflation-adjusted: $26.6 billion


In 1998, Mercedes-Benz merged with Chrysler to create Daimler Chrysler, for $37 billion. But the merger didn't work out as planned and by 2007, Mercedes sold Chrysler Cerberus Capital Management for only $7 billion.

AOL buys Time Warner for $182 billion, spins off at $36 billion

Overpayment in 2000: $146 billion
Inflation-adjusted: $183 billion

AOL bought Time Warner for $182 billion at the peak of the Dot Com Bubble. Nine years later, Time Warner spun off with a market cap of $36 billion -- a $178 billion loss. The newly separated AOL was valued at only $2.5 billion.
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