John Thain: His Office Is His Castle

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[Genesis Of The Financial Meltdown]

John Thain, infamously known as I Robot when he was Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, is merely another avatar of the invincible, at least to himself, Chairman of a Wall Street Brokerage Firm.

Thain has outdone Dennis Kozlowski; he of the infamous ice sculpture of the Statue of David urinating Stolichnaya vodka. Kozlowski, ex-Tyco CEO was widely ridiculed for spending $7,000 for a shower curtain. Thain did not spend $7,000 for one shower curtain—Thain spent $28,000 of Merrill Lynch's money for four curtains-four times $7,000.

Thain, who owns an apartment at 740 Park Avenue where many billionaires of Wall Street reside, must have a problem with his posterior for Thain purchased with Merrill Lynch's money a pair of chairs for $87,784, a stationery cabinet for $68,179, etc.

Thain also used Merrill Lynch funds to pay $800,000 for a redesign of his office by Michael Smith, who is currently designing the Obama White House Office for $100,000. The total cost of Thain's Merrill Lynch office makeover was $1.2 million- and there was no vodka.

Thain, a mortgage bond trader who worked at the mortgage bond trading desk at Goldman Sachs and became President of Goldman Sachs prior to his ascension as Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, obviously has a sense of entitlement.

Perhaps Thain's spendthrift ways would not be so outrageous if Merrill Lynch had been a profitable firm. Merrill Lynch, which Bank of America purchased in a stock deal for $40 billion, had a 2008 fourth quarter loss of $15.4 billion; preceded by a 2008 third quarter loss of $5.1 billion and a 2008 second quarter loss of $4.7 billion.

Thain a former mortgage bond trader sold Bank of America a blind and lame horse, which Thain stated was as fast as Secretariat.

Perhaps Thain deserved the money-from those who sold Merrill Lynch short and who made billions as Merrill Lynch sank into oblivion.

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