This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Today's Outrage: Thain's Uncool $10M

So John Thain wants a little something extra for his work at Merrill Lynch (MER).

According to The Wall Street Journal, that means a bonus of up to $10 million. Why not? The former head of NYSE Euronext (NYX), who has been chairman and CEO of Merrill for less than a year, has only been in the executive suite for billions of dollars of writedowns, losses in the last three quarters totaling more than $11 billion and a stock price that has dropped more than 70% in 2008.

Now, in fairness, Thain joined Merrill at a terrible time for the securities firm and the financial sector in general, and many of this year's writedowns are the result of soured bets that were made when Thain was still running the stock exchange. The Journal report, citing people with knowledge of the situation, said that Thain's argument is that without his September move to sell Merrill to Bank of America (BAC - Get Report), the firm and its thousands of employees might have suffered a much worse fate than a loss of independence.

Of course, even if Thain did save Merrill from vanishing from the face of the Earth, the sale of the firm isn't likely to preserve all of the jobs that BofA will be acquiring. Here then is a thought for a much better use for that $10 million: Take any bonus requests, and if the funds are in fact available, put them in a severance pool.

Thain certainly isn't in danger of going hungry without another $10 million in his pocket, but some of his rank-and-file charges might not be so lucky once their new bosses in Charlotte take over. At this point, it should be clear that the job market isn't getting any better any time soon, so going the human route might not be a bad idea for Merrill.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
NYX $0.00 0.00%
BAC $14.56 0.00%
AAPL $93.74 0.00%
FB $117.58 0.00%
GOOG $693.01 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs