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Opinion:Thain's Undoing Was Thinking He's Worth It

Stocks in this article: MER BAC C GS NYX TYC AAPL JPM GE

The stunning announcement of John Thain's departure from Bank of America (BAC - Get Report) yesterday, less than a month after merging Merrill Lynch (MER) into the bank would have been unthinkable a few weeks ago.

After announcing the shotgun marriage of Merrill Lynch with Bank of America in September, hours after Lehman Brothers collapsed, the sterling reputation of John Thain was cemented: This was a CEO who could do no wrong.

Analysis
Discussion
Stock Rating
Vincent Farrell Jr.:
Thain Spent What?

Revelations leaking out of Bank of America in the last few days, and Thain's departure today, alter his image -- perhaps irreparably. Observers now wonder how this quiet, smart overachiever could have shown such poor judgment. After all, this is a man who rose through the ranks at Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report), turned around the New York Stock Exchange (NYX) and merged it with Euronext and then had headhunters and corporate boards falling over themselves offering him numerous CEO spots.

There are 5 puzzling decisions Thain has made in recent weeks that ended up being his undoing:

1 of 4

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