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.
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.
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.