BOSTON (TheStreet) -- Years ago, Marvel Comics had a regular title called What If, a series that delved into the alternate universe of superheroes such as, "What If Peter Parker Was Never Bitten by a Radioactive Spider?" (But also "What if Aunt May instead of her nephew Peter had been bitten by that radioactive spider?" from issue No. 23.)
Sports fans also argue about "could have been" moments all the time (What if Bill Buckner hadn't missed that catch in the World Series?) as do political pundits (Should McCain have picked Palin? Should Obama have staked so much political capital on health care reform?).
The world of business and finance often dabbles in "what if" scenarios as well. By nature, succession plans are just such an exercise (What happens if our CEO gets hit by a bus?) and wealth managers often pose questions, though diplomatically, as to what happens if your wife gets pregnant, you get divorced or your doctor discovers the worst.
Unscientific, and as open for debate as it may be, we took a look at moments and moves that might have forever changed the fate and fortunes of companies, their leaders and the economy as a whole.