A Match Made in Hell

The New York Times takes apart John Thain and his tenure at Merrill Lynch. A dismal portrait of self-importance and self-aggrandizement, it will do more to damage Thain’s reputation than the office decorating. Just to cite a few random examples, Thain asked for $40 million in bonus for getting the Bank of America deal done; he remained disconnected from Merrill’s operations and allowed his closest lieutenants to hold the same defensive, I-didn’t-make-this-mess attitude. But for all of Thain’s faults, the story ultimately indicts Ken Lewis for taking the virus on board his own mothership:

“When you go into a deal, you hope for the best but expect the worst,” says Nancy Bush, a banking analyst. “I think Bank of America did plenty of due diligence; they just ignored what they found. They knew it was there. They just didn’t completely grapple with the fact that it could get uglier. And it did.”

Source:

For Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, Love Was Blind
LOUISE STORY and JULIE CRESWELL
New York Times; February 8, 2009
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/08/business/08split.html

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