Friday, January 23, 2009

So the biggest merger in the financial services sector in 2008 seems to be unravelling faster than a pair of too-cheap trousers on a too-fat man just weeks into 2009, much like other mega-bank mergers which preceded it. After Merrill's $15.3 billion in losses in the fourth quarter of 2008 alone, and news about the accelerated secret last-minute bonus payments to Merrill's staff (a bonus pool of $15 billion, up 6% year-on-year and to be shared out amongst fewer staff after the job cuts of the past 12 months), former financial services pin-up boy John Thain has been given the boot.

And rightly so, in my opinion!

In related news, more evidence that the senior guys at Merrill really don't give a crap about the economy and what almost happened to their company. In addition to John Thain spending $1.2 million on redecorating his office last year, he, as reported in today's Guardian, apparently "booked a trip to Davos, Switzerland after [B of A CEO Ken] Lewis said he should not go. He also left for a family holiday in Vail, the exclusive Colorado ski resort, after the Merrill losses came to light."

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