That didn’t take long, said Zachary Roth in Talkingpoints-memo.com. As soon as Bank of America announced last week that John Thain had been ousted as head of the bank’s newly acquired Merrill Lynch brokerage firm, the stories of Thain’s alleged “greed, callousness, obliviousness, and general incompetence” came spilling out. For example, last year, “well after Merrill’s huge losses on mortgages” were disclosed, Thain spent $1.2 million of the firm’s money to renovate his office. That money bought, among other things, a $35,000 “commode on legs.”
What’s more, sources say, BofA CEO Ken Lewis was blindsided when Merrill announced $15.3 billion in additional mortgage losses after the merger was completed. Thain was skiing in Colorado when the losses were disclosed. Thain, who has agreed to reimburse Merrill for the office renovation, denied withholding information about the losses from Lewis and the bank’s top management.