David Kirkpatrick

January 27, 2009

Thain digs grave a little bit more deep

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:58 pm

One, why is he talking to anyone in the press? He has nothing to gain and is now a great case study in bad public relations.

Two, I will never understand why C-level incompetence is almost always rewarded. This ass clown will get another job , probably soon, with the keys to the bus, a foot on the pedal and a big cliff looming after his first twist of the steering wheel.

And our tax dollars will be there to bail him out again.

From the link:

Former Merrill Lynch & Co. Chief Executive John Thain defended the acquisition of the brokerage by Bank of America Corp., saying the bank knew of the company’s losses and bonuses before the purchase closed.

Thain also said he plans to reimburse Bank of America for a $1.2 million renovation of his office a year ago, saying in an interview with CNBC Monday that “it is clear to me in today’s world that it was a mistake.”

“I apologize for spending that money … on those things,” Thain said in the interview.

He made similar comments in a memo to employees released Monday by media outlets.

When asked why he made the renovations in the first place, Thain said during the CNBC interview that former Merrill Lynch CEO Stan O’Neal’s office “was very different than the general decor of Merrill’s offices. It really would have been very difficult for me to use it in the form that it was in … It needed to be renovated no matter what.”

“I should have simply paid for it myself,” Thain added.

Spokespeople at Bank of America and Merrill Lynch declined to comment on the office renovation reimbursement.

December 10, 2008

Bailout already panned by oversight board

Who could have seen this coming? A crazy, somewhat ad hoc tossing of money toward Wall Street, and looks like the Rust Belt very soon.

Then you have the spectacle of Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain asking for (and quickly backtracking on) a $10 million bonus in a year that saw his company get bought out after recieving $10 billion in government money in October. Talk about out of touch, and exactly why this bailout is ridiculous. Wall Street is still playing by different rules.

I’m no fan of oversight and regulation, but the rules change when government money is involved. Business is one thing, but once you go on the dole the rules change and any business ought to expect and accept a high level of oversight, and maybe even a higher level of regulation (wait, while I take a deep breath after typing that), until that business can repay the government and go back to market on its own two feet, so to speak. 

From the first link:

The report said that Treasury must establish clear measures to gauge the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. The special panel, which was set up by Congress to oversee the bailout, also said it is “essential” that the Treasury ensure taxpayer funds are being used for their intended purpose.

“American taxpayers need to know that their money is having a tangible effect on improving financial stability, credit availability, and the economy as a whole,” the draft report said. “As a first step, Treasury needs to provide a detailed assessment of whether the funds it has spent so far have had any effect – for better or worse – in these areas.”

December 4, 2008

Crude below $44

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:36 pm

Oil is at its lowest point in four years. I’ve blogged before a relative of mine with a vested interest in, and knowledge of, the petro industry is predicting a floor in the $20s. I read today that Merrill Lynch agrees with my relative.

From the link:

Oil fell more than 6 percent on Thursday to its lowest level in nearly four years in response to further bleak economic data that could spell a deeper decline in global energy demand.

The number of U.S. workers on jobless rolls hit a 26-year high last month, the government said, while another report showed U.S. factory orders fell sharply for the third month in a row.

U.S. light crude dropped $2.86 to $43.93 a barrel by 1:13 p.m. EST after slipping as low as $43.77 — the lowest since January 2005. London Brent crude fell $2.87 to $42.57.

Oil prices have dropped more than $100 a barrel from record highs over $147 in July, as the global credit crunch has eaten into demand in large consumer nations.

September 15, 2008

Big bank bust up

Wow. Merrill Lynch agrees to be sold to Bank of America and Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcy. The piper is being paid in spades.

From the link:

In one of the most dramatic days in Wall Street’s history, Merrill Lynch agreed to sell itself on Sunday to Bank of America for roughly $50 billion to avert a deepening financial crisis, while another prominent securities firm, Lehman Brothers, filed for bankruptcy protection and hurtled toward liquidation after it failed to find a buyer.

The humbling moves, which reshape the landscape of American finance, mark the latest chapter in a tumultuous year in which once-proud financial institutions have been brought to their knees as a result of hundreds of billions of dollars in losses because of bad mortgage finance and real estate investments.