This blog post originally appeared on RealMoney Silver on Jan. 17 at 8:17 a.m. EST.
Let me make this simple.
has now taken over $20 billion of writedowns over the last three quarters.
I want to put this loss into perspective -- just to show how devastating Stan O'Neal's regime has been.
Mother Merrill began 2007 with shareholder equity of "only" $39 billion.
Citi, Merrill Deals No Threat to Shareholders
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In other words, Merrill has taken write-offs of approximately 50% of beginning-year equity.
These words speak volumes about Merrill's formerly inept management, which, from my perch, do not only
deserve their remarkably large severance packages but they are now uncovered as total posers. On top of O'Neal's huge severance package are years of overcompensation that, if we totaled it up, should make investors ill.
That said, Thain is the type of executive who can possibly turn Merrill back into what it stood for before the O'Neal regime. In the meantime, Thain should demand the firing of every single member of
who presided over this remarkable and unprecedented destruction of value.
Merrill Lynch's board of directors is the Board of Shame.
At time of publication, Kass and/or his funds had no positions in the stocks mentioned, although holdings can change at any time.
Doug Kass is founder and president of Seabreeze Partners Management, Inc., and the general partner and investment manager of Seabreeze Partners Short LP and Seabreeze Partners Short Offshore Fund, Ltd.