2013 was a year of anticipation and perhaps disappointment. For those hoping the 2012 election would have settled some of the dysfunction in Washington, that did not happen. In fact, we doubled down on fights already settled as if there were no new business. Equity markets impressed, but few saw it as anything other than the hand of the Fed. Mercifully, the Fed signaled the beginning of the end of QE3 by year-end.
In a year dominated by crises — both natural and political — squeezing our annual list of largest influencers down to 20 was difficult. One thing this year highlighted was that money and power trump all as we learned that — at least in the banking world — there are some that are too-big-to-prosecute.
Russell Wasendorf Sr., the founder of now-bankrupt commodities firm Peregrine Financial Group Inc., was sentenced to 50 years in prison for what prosecutors said was a theft of more than $215 million from customers.
Russell Wasendorf has pleaded guilty to fraud at Peregrine Financial Group and is behind bars. Now, his estate is up for sale to try and recoup some of his theft. The "Des Moines Register" got a look inside his estate.