New York Stock Exchange chairman Richard Grasso, after weeks of controversy, resigned yesterday over his $139.5 million payout last year. Grasso, who worked his way from a lowly position to the chairmanship over 36 years, was generally considered an excellent manager. He also brought the tradition of celebrities ringing the opening bell to the trading floor, which injected "glamor" into the gritty trading floor. Though he was a public face of capitalism and was active post September 11, trying to open up the stock market again, the Times notes, "Mr. Grasso failed to realize that his statesman role required him to be beyond reproach in his activities and in those of the institution." Specifically like how he joined boards of companies listed on the NYSE and how the NYSE had been calling for tougher governing standards for companies while not adhering to them itself.

Gothamist has been following this story not just because of its financial implications but also because Grasso looks a lot like Brain from Pinky & the Brain. What Grasso was doing with his extravagant pay? Trying to take over the world, of course.