Sunday, April 19, 2009

John Thain

- The last CEO of famed investment bank Merrill Lynch -- before its balance sheet collapsed and it was auctioned off to Bank of America in 2008!

- Lives on a $10 million estate in leafy, exclusive Rye, New York.

- Before joining Merrill, served as CEO of the New York Stock Exchange -- and president, COO, and CFO of (you guessed it) Goldman Sachs!

- At Goldman, proved he was CEO material by forcing out his mentor, Jon Corzine!

- One of the highest paid CEOs in corporate America in 2007, "earning" $83 million as Merrill CEO!

- In January 2008, told the Wall Street Journal that yes, Merrill had been affected by subprime investments -- but that the crisis "is for the most part behind us"!

- That same month, began a $1.2 million redecoration of his office -- with purchases including a $35,000 commode and a $1,400 waste paper basket!

- Claimed it would have been "very difficult" for him to work in the prior CEO's office without making the renovations!

- Apparently let the pressure get to him that summer -- when he blew up during a meeting, and threw a chair through a glass panel!

- With the bank facing a liquidity crisis due to subprime exposure, sold Merrill to Bank of America in late 2008!

- To date, BofA has received $45 billion in federal bailout funds!

- During negotiations with BofA, failed to reveal the full extent of the weakness in Merrill's investment portfolio!

- After agreeing to the BofA takeover, accelerated bonuses totaling $4 billion to senior Merrill execs -- to get the bonuses paid out before the BofA transaction became official!

- In December 2008, while the BofA deal was being finalized and Merrill's financial weakness was becoming more apparent, went skiing in Vail!

- Forced out of his position when Q4 2008 results became clear -- and showed Merrill losses in the quarter totaling $15.3 billion! (Yes, "billion" with a "b"!)

- Claimed he deserved a 2008 bonus of $10 million -- since the bank's sale to BofA "saved" Merrill!

- Drove one of Wall Street's oldest, most prestigious banks off a cliff -- but was still compensated to the tune of $15 million in 2008!

- Idiot!

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