And the worst footnote of the year is…

Last week, I asked readers to vote on the worst footnote in 2007. While I had picked it on my own in the past, I figured in this age of social media, it made more sense to put it out to a vote. Just over 600 people voted and it wasn’t much of a contest: Qwest’s (Q) decision to amend its employment contract with Ed Mueller, which as we footnoted here gave Mueller’s family access to the corporate jet, won hands down. Just under 60% of those who voted selected that footnote as the worst in 2007. Coincidentally (or perhaps not) the stock is down nearly 30% since the contract was amended. Coming in second was Countrywide’s (CFC) decision to award COO David Sambol a hefty bonus and some other goodies as we footnoted here, shortly before the stock tanked.

One of the things that I thought was pretty interesting about the poll was the graphic that showed where votes were coming from:


Turns out that there’s a lot of readers (or at least voters) on the east coast as well as in the Midwest and southeast. But not a single person in Montana. And, while this map doesn’t show it, there was a small European contingent who voted and they were most outraged over the $30K a month that Morgans Hotels (MHGC) was willing to spend on a Manhattan apartment.

Speaking of reader interaction, for the past month, I’ve turned over the space in my sidebar to four non-profits that were suggested by footnoted readers. On this last day of 2007, please consider making a donation to one of these organizations. As more readers (and more advertisers) move over to electronic content, it’s important for all of these new media outlets sprouting up to continue the long tradition of public service advertising.

Finally, as this year draws to a close, here’s wishing all readers (and especially my regular tipsters) a year full of good eyesight and good insight, the better to avoid investing in whatever company will be honored as 2008’s footnote of the year.