Friday, January 23, 2009

Four reasons John Thain should have a living snake shoved up his ass

Former Merrill Lynch top dog, John Thain, was fired this week after it was reported that Merrill suffered more than $15 billion in losses in the fourth quarter of 2008. But, quite frankly, I don't think that's nearly punishment enough.

"But, Max," you say, "aren't you being a little harsh? Isn't every business losing money left and right."

True. But Thain's parting actions richly deserve the attorney general mandated investigation that Andrew Cuomo has green lighted. He has behaved far worse than a schmucky banker riding the hog. The man deserves to be taken out and maimed. Here are four reasons:

1) He recently spent more than $1 million redecorating his office -- which included a $68,000 credenza. (A frickin' credenza!)

2) He asked for between $30 and $40 million in personal bonus money last year, even as Merrill was bleeding money. (He was apparently shamed into forgoing a bonus.)

3) Merrill Lynch is already worth $10 billion less than it was when Bank of America bought it in December.

4) As Merrill Lynch was preparing for a January 1st merger with Bank of America, Thain proceeded to rush out billions of dollars worth of bonus compensation to the screw-up bankers who got America into this mess. (It should be noted that Bank of America is receiving billions of dollars in bailout money from Washington to help finance the deal.)

Point 4) is the only really relevant point. Your tax dollars went to giving a new Mercedes to some Merrill Lynch hotshot. These are the moments when one really does feel the Marxist urge to march the capitalist swine into the streets and shoot them right between the eyes.

It was argued to me today (by my father of all people!) that Thain needed to give out those bonuses; that Merrill Lynch needs to retain its talent. That bankers factor in bonuses as part of their compensation and took their jobs in good faith that their salary was only one part of their income.

You'll pardon my French, but give me a fucking break.

Yes, I know a lot of professionals who are unhappy that they didn't get their bonuses this year. But, quite frankly, they're lucky to have a job. Where, exactly, do these Merrill Lynch boys think they'll go if they don't get a bonus this year? Is anyone -- and I mean anyone -- hiring right now? Of course not. These Merrill boys would have done what everyone else has done had they gotten no bonus: Lived with it.

Michael Moore (a man I really do hate) had a line about the bailout a couple of weeks ago that has really grown on me. He said that we should say to all these banks, "After we give you all this money, just know this: We own your ass."

Well said, Mike. We do own their ass. And I think Thain should be thrown in prison for ripping off his employer, the U.S. taxpayer.