You probably think this post is about you.  And it is, John Thain. 

How could you?  How does your head work?  Can I screw the top off and look inside your brain?  I really need to know.

Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis gave John Thain the boot this week.  Thain used to be CEO of Merrill Lynch, and continued on at BoA with a fancy title after the bank bought the brokerage.

Merrill lost a record $15.4 billion in the fourth quarter.  That’s really why Lewis showed Thain the door.

"What, you didn't like the commode?"

Thain to Lewis: "What, you didn't like the commode?"

But it gets better!  Just before the takeover, while he was still in control, Thain handed out billions in bonuses to his people.  BILLIONS.  And after the acquisition, BoA asked the government for billions, $138 billion, in part to cover Merrill’s losses.  So, in essence,  taxpayers handed out billions in bonuses.  You.  And me. 

But wait, there’s more!  Thain, standup guy that he is, did not take a bonus.  But according to CNBC, he did spend $1.2 million redecorating his office.  He brought in decorator Michael Smith, who’s now helping the Obamas pretty up their new place. 

Through Smith, Thain spent $87,000 for area rugs…$68,000 for a 19th century credenza…$35,115 for a “commode on legs”…$28,091 for curtains…$25,000 for a pedestal table…$18,468 for a George IV chair…$10,967 for Roman shade fabric…$7,315 for Roman shades …$5,852 for a coffee table…$2,741 for wall sconces…and $1,405 for a parchment waste can.

Welcome, John Thain, to the Dennis Kozlowski Hall of Shame.  Go have a drink with your predecessor, Stan O’Neal.  He’s over there in the corner, chatting with the ghost of Ken Lay.

By the way, I come from three generations of plumbers, but I’d never heard of a “commode on legs.”  As it turns out, you would not want to drop your pants and have a seat. 

Or maybe you would.


About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
This entry was posted in Diatribes, News, People and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to YOU’RE SO THAIN

  1. Cathy says:

    I am getting so fed up with these so called CEOs….They all should be put in jail for fraud.I live paycheck to paycheck and I PAY MY BILLS on time.I work hard for MY money,but still my TAXES are being used for bonuses,or fixing up an office for millions of dollars…Wheres the justice?Americans are losing their homes,jobs,cant pay for medicine,barely able to buy food, but these men can still spend,spend ,spend MY MONEY…

    I think Mr Thain should have to payback all the money he spent on his office–oh yea I forgot-he got FIRED..but he still should pay back the money….maybe he’ll realize what its like to not have any money at all…no more million dollar bonuses for you Mr Thain…welcome to the REAL WORLD!

  2. LadyPatsFan says:

    When I heard about this earlier this week, I was just appalled and disgusted. I can’t imagine why someone would think it’s appropriate (read “sane”) to spend more than $1 million to “redecorate” an office. You could build 3 or 4 decent houses with that kind of money. Or help homeowners desperately in need. Or feed hundreds of families for weeks. And the creep did this with taxpayer money! Thain must think he’s something really special; an ego gone ’round the bend. When and how do we get the money back, fella?

  3. Melissa says:

    This makes me very upset. Where do the people get off spending so much money so freely when hard working people are suffering.We are a family of four living on $400.00 a week

    I can only hope this economy straightens out and the greedy people of wall street get punished.

  4. Kentucky Monkee says:

    Now I appreciate the bargain I got when I purchased my $15,000 commode. It’s time to consider upgrading my waste basket.

  5. tbone says:

    maybe they read welch’s book on how to drag a company down by getting as many perks as you can before you leave it…poor GE

  6. Debbie Baldwin says:

    Wow, Gerry is it really true the decorator is now working with the Obamas in the White House? I’m a little worried now.

  7. Gerry says:

    Now that’s an interesting variety of comments…from the ridiculous to the outraged. Thank you all (in varying degrees).

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