January 14, 2010
Surely you remember Merrill Lynch. Founded in 1914 by Charles Merrill and Edmund Lynch, it prospered well for 94 years. Then in 2008 it went bust and was purchased by Bank of America using taxpayer money. The man at the helm before and during its bust was John Thain. How can one forget him?! He may be most remember for his excesses on his office at Merrill. As Chairman and CEO of Merrill, he went with the company to BofA, but left under duress (he got fired!) in early 2009. Well, he’s baaaaaaaack!
CNBC reports that Thain is in talks to take over the head of CIT Group. CIT, you may remember, just emerged from bankruptcy, a bankruptcy that wiped out $2.33 billions of TARP funds from the taxpayers.
Well, you know what they say — s**t always rises to the top; and this is living proof.
It will, of course, be interesting to see what CIT looks like a year from now if Thain gets the job. Naturally he will — shall we say — behave himself in the beginning, but we can all rest assured his employment contract will be a very lucrative and unbreakable one. He went to Merrill for a package worth $64 million, plus a $15 million bonus for simply walking through the door on his first day. He was there about two years. Very nice “hourly” ($19,000) salary, wouldn’t you say?
Never underestimate the difficulty of changing false beliefs [with] facts.
Economist Henry Rosovsky