…when you’re John Thain or any other banking exec for that matter. I’ve commented on this guy before and now it has gotten completely out of hand. Are these guys that clueless, or are they just that greedy and gluttoness? I think all of those individuals that continue to take advantage of their position of power and have willingly and knowingly forced this country into economic ruin should be tried for treason, starting with this idiot:
Media reports Thursday said former Merrill Lynch & Co. CEO John Thain has resigned from Bank of America Corp. following news that Merrill had moved up its yearend bonuses, paying them just before BofA’s government-brokered acquisition of Merrill was completed.
The bonuses to Merrill Lynch executives were also paid out as the company prepared to report a $15.45 billion fourth-quarter loss _ a loss that led Bank of America to request and receive $20 billion in additional government bailout money. Merrill also received bailout funds.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America has increasingly come under criticism in recent weeks for its acquisition of Merrill Lynch, a deal fostered by the government to save Merrill Lynch on the same day that Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed amid the ballooning credit crisis. On Thursday, Bank of America said it knew of Merrill’s plans to more up the bonuses.
“Merrill was an independent company until Jan. 1 of 2009,” said Bank of America spokesman Scott Silvestri. “John Thain decided to pay year-end incentives in December, as opposed to their normal date in January. Bank of America was informed of his decision.”
The bonuses raise the question of how proper it was for executives in a struggling company to be given big payouts even as its soon-to-be-parent was accepting billions of dollars in government money. Bonuses are widely seen in the investment banking industry as necessary to retain top performers, but the fact that they were granted while tens of thousands of jobs were being eliminated across the securities and banking industry raises another question: How necessary were they to prevent defections?
More about Thain below. This is ridiculous:
In early 2008, just as Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain was preparing to slash expenses, cut thousands of jobs and exit businesses to fix the ailing securities firm, he was also spending company money on himself, senior people at the firm say.
According to documents reviewed by The Daily Beast, Thain spent $1.22 million of company money to refurbish his office at Merrill Lynch headquarters in lower Manhattan. The biggest piece of the spending spree: $800,000 to hire famed celebrity designer Michael Smith, who is currently redesigning the White House for the Obama family for just $100,000.
The other big ticket items Thain purchased include: $87,000 for an area rug in Thain’s conference room and another area rug for $44,000; a “mahogany pedestal table” for $25,000; a “19th Century Credenza” in Thain’s office for $68,000; a sofa for $15,000; four pairs curtains for $28,000; a pair of guest chairs for $87,000; a “George IV Desk” for $18,000; 6 wall sconces for $2,700; six chairs in his private dining room for $37,000; a mirror in his private dining room for $5,000; a chandelier in the private dining room for $13,000; fabric for a “Roman Shade” for $11,000; a “custom coffee table” for $16,000; something called a “commode on legs” for $35,000; a “Regency Chairs” for $24,000; “40 yards of farbric for wall panels,” for $5,000 and a “parchment waste can” for $1,400.
Thain was tapped to run Merrill Lynch as the firm suffered massive losses from investments tied to the depressed real estate market under his predecessor Stan O’Neal, who was ousted in late 2007. Those losses continued through 2008, forcing Thain and his management team to sell the brokerage firm to Bank of America in mid-September or face near certain liquidation as investors fearing further losses began pulling lines of credit and other financing.
Just last week, Bank of America announced that Merrill has suffered an unexpected loss of $15 million for the fourth quarter of 2008, nearly collapsing BofA’s purchase. Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis said that without $138 billion in government assistance, including the infusion of $20 billion from the federal government he would have pulled out of the Merrill deal, which was approved by BofA shareholders in early December.
SERIOUSLY?! This guy knew the ship was sinking and continued to live the high class lifestyle in and out of the office. Now the ripple effect continues into Bank of America due to Thain’s piss poor management scheme and we can all be sure that Bank of America will be coming for a handout soon. This man should be locked up in federal prison for this garbage. Doesn’t this piss anyone else off, or am I alone in this country that has been tarnished by mass corruption, greed, and gluttony?