NEW YORK – Inspired by the Department of Defense's deck of cards featuring Iraq's most wanted, two Atlanta men have released a deck including the men and women they believe should be the country's least-wanted domestic villains.
The "Stacked Deck," as creators Douglas Quinby and J. R. Mayhew call it, depicts 54 of the most notorious figures in American corporate scandals.
Each card features a caricature of one of the all-stars of corporate dirty-dealing and an explanation of why he or she made the cut.
Quinby and Mayhew were both laid off from their jobs in the high-tech market as the economy was rocked by scandal after scandal. As the pair watched the value of their stock portfolios dwindle with the souring economy, they decided to draw up the deck.
The whimsical cards include notable white-collar shysters like queen of clean cum Queen of Hearts Martha Stewart (search) and bad-boy former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay (search). The inscription beneath Lay's mug on the Ace of Spades reads: "This part-time Bush advisor and full-time millionaire was selling company stock while telling employees to buy. Big surprise, Enron folded under his watch. Note: he's still a free citizen ..."
Quinby said the Stacked Deck was meant to inform as much as it was to entertain or make a buck.
"To be perfectly frank, there's not a huge commercial opportunity for us here," Quinby said. "We might do OK, but I think the real motivation for us was it was a tremendous amount of fun to put together and tremendously educational for the public."
The Stacked Deck also includes figures not directly implicated in scandals, but controversial nonetheless. The pair reserved the jokers for former Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission Harvey Pitt (search) for his "incredible inaction over repeated scandals" and current SEC Chairman William Donaldson for his settlement with 10 major Wall Street firms.
Quinby says that the pair has sold thousands of the $12.95 decks through their Web site, www.thestackeddeck.com. And the site has been flooded with e-mails suggesting more villains to add to the deck.
At least these corporate crooks, if they end up in the slammer, will have their own personalized cards to use while playing solitaire in solitary.