Last week, Wachovia posted a quarterly loss of $23.9 billion, the largest ever for a bank. Where did it lose the money?


$473 million—Refer a Friend, Get a Free Bar of Gold Bullion promotion

$145 million—Written off as lost when St. Louis branch manager forgot combination to safe

$1.1 million—Mascara to make tearful apologies to customers more convincing

$2.7 billion—Investing in customers like you

$18 billion—Attempt to launch Wachovia branch into space

$2.6 billion—Contest with Bank of America to see how many tellers each bank could have working at once


$550,000—Outbid Todd McFarlane for autographed Mickey Mantle bat

$11.2 million—Advertising that, in retrospect, is kind of silly