Michael Saylor,

35, software and Internet company executive, lost $6 billion (on paper) in one day when the stock of his company, MicroStrategy, lost 62% of its value on March 20. MicroStrategy “cooked the books,” overstating revenue in 1998 and 1999 to appear more attractive to investors. The creative accounting practice is not illegal, but auditors did force the company to restate earnings, which precipitated the free fall. A week earlier, Saylor had announced plans to create a free online university with $100 million of his own money.