Jamie K remarks that Thaksin Shinawatra's botched attempt to buy Manchester City FC and install Sven-Goran Eriksson is the worst deal he did, except for the time he tried to swap SARS-condemned chickens for Russian jet fighters.
It's more impressive that Man City's management's due diligence appears to have consisted of running around the office waving the cheque whilst sticking their fingers in their ears and shouting "Nurrr-nurr-ny-nurr-nurr!" Just reading the bloody newspapers would have told them that he, well, promised the buyers of his mobile phone network a 3G licence in defiance of the law, then sold the company for a quid to his son, thus establishing a giant tax loss, and then, after the son sold the company to the buyers, got him to give him the money back as a gift. (I paraphrase, but only a bit.)
Not that the original source of his wealth demonstrates epic business acumen. In the second half of the 90s he owned a GSM network in a fast-growing middle-income country - which is functionally equivalent to being caught outside naked when it rains money. All he needed to do, having obtained the licence by some means, was to give Ericsson a lot of borrowed (and inflating) money and watch them build it, then profit.