Where does one even begin?
Rye resident and Merrill Lynch boss John Thain got tossed today by his new boss Ken Lewis at Bank of America. Lewis hit the eject button on Thain because Merrill is still leaking like a sieve and because Thain handed out billions in bonuses days before he handed over one seriously hot potato to boss Lewis.
But that's not even the good part.
We might be able to recover some of that $700 billion in Fed bailout money if John Thain holds a garage sale at his Rye home. That's because while economic hell has been breaking loose, John Thain ordered up a $1.2 million dollar re-decoration of his office at Merrill Lynch. Really.
Thanks to Charles Gasparino at The Daily Beast who reported:
…Thain spent $1.22 million of company money to refurbish his office at Merrill Lynch headquarters in lower Manhattan. The biggest piece of the spending spree: $800,000 to hire famed celebrity designer Michael Smith, who is currently redesigning the White House for the Obama family for just $100,000.
Big ticket items included $87,000 for an area rug, four pairs of curtains for $28,000, a pair of guest chairs for $87,000 and fabric for a "Roman Shade" for $11,000…
…The documents also show that Thain signed off on the purchases personally… Thain has hired Smith—whose celebrity client list includes Steven Spielberg, Michelle Pfeiffer, Cindy Crawford and Sir Evelyn de Rothschild—to design and decorate his private residences. They include a Manhattan apartment at 740 Park Avenue, and his 10-acre mansion in Rye, NY."
Here is the itemized list, according to Gasparino:
"1) $2,700 for six wall sconces.
2) $5,000 for a mirror in his private dining room.
3) $11,000 for fabric for a "Roman Shade.”
4) $13,000 for a chandelier in the private dining room.
5) $15,000 for a sofa.
6) $16,000 for a "custom coffee table.”
7) $18,000 for a “George IV Desk.”
8) $25,000 for a "mahogany pedestal table.”
9) $28,000 for four pairs of curtains.
10) $35,000 for something called a "commode on legs.”
11) $37,000 for six chairs in his private dining room.
12) $68,000 for a "19th Century Credenza" in his office.
13) $87,000 for a pair of guest chairs.
14) $87,000 for an area rug in Thain's conference room and another area rug for $44,000.
15) $230,000 to his driver for one year’s work.
16) $800,000 to hire celebrity designer Michael Smith, who is currently redesigning the White House for the Obama family for just $100,000."
Or just take a look at the actual Merrill Lynch paper work and look at Thain's fiscal responsibility – at $1,222,808.98 he came in $44,650.02 under his approved budget.
See you at the garage sale. I have dibs on the area rug, so back off…
What do you think of all this? Leave a comment below.