7. The Troubling Lack Of Candor
Under Thain, Merrill appears not have been as forthcoming as it might have been with its new owner about the state of its books. A Bank of America spokesman tells the Journal today: “Their fourth quarter was way beyond anything they said would happen.” Even worse, Thain may also have been less than straight with Merrill itself. He doesn’t fully inform his own board that, thanks to Merrill’s losses, the federal government might need to step in to ensure the B of A deal goes through, according to complaints from board members.
8. The Other Bonus Fiasco
Merrill, with Thain still in charge, accelerates its yearly bonus payments, doling out an estimated $3-4 billion in bonuses before January 1, 2009, when Bank of America will take control. Some at B of A believe the expedited schedule is designed to avoid giving B of A a chance to cut those payments. New York AG Cuomo is now reportedly investigating.
9. The In-Retrospect-Ill-Advised Planned Trip to Davos
Thain plans a trip to Davos to attend the World Economic Forum next week — even though Bank of America has discouraged the idea.
10. The Final Act
Thain pays $483,320 for 84,600 shares of Bank of America. The following day, he’s fired.
Well, at least now he can make it to Davos.