• 11 Jan 2008 at 2:16 PM
  • bonuses

Setting The Story Straight On The Merrill Bonus Rage

MerrillLynchDumpOnYourDesk.jpgEarlier this afternoon, CNBC’s Charlie Gasparino reported that some guy in Merrill Lynch’s fixed income research group had “inappropriately relieved” himself in protest of the downsizing of his bonus. Merrill has officially explained that this was simply an unfortunate accident, and then the bank turned red and scurried to the other side of the room.
We’ve been digging into this story because the way it’s told by the delicate souls at CNBC, it’s way to vague. What worse, the vagueness is giving rise to rumors that are totally untrue. It’s fast becoming the Wall Street equivalent of an urban legends. Here’s what didn’t happen: a guy did not urinate on his desk because he was “pissed off.” The real story is so much worse.
In the first place, it wasn’t piss. It was shit. DealBreaker can confirm this much. After that the details get a bit fuzzy. The way we first heard it is that a guy took a dump in the rest room, stomped in it, and then dragged it all over the place by walking around with it on his shoes. Merrill’s story is that there was “an unfortunate accident” in one of the stalls—which we take to mean that some guy smeared his shit all over the bathroom because how the Hell could you miss the toilet—and that another person inadvertently stepped in it and tracked it all over.
So now you know.

96 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (96)

  1. Posted by Cayne's roach clip | January 11, 2008 at 2:29 PM

    If the bathroom version is true, than the anger is really misdirected. The real suffering goes to the poor janitor who has to clean that up. That poor guys has nothing to do with the poor bonus #’s.
    A better solution would be to make a drunk weekend trek to your MD’s house, and drop one off in his mail box.

  2. Posted by Nominate me | January 11, 2008 at 2:35 PM

    @ roach clip
    You are 100% correct, the poor bastard who would sell a kidney for a “shitty” (see what I did there) $50k bonus has to deal with aftermash.
    Is a burning sack of poo an option on Wall Street? Seems to be a better use of a steamy deuce.

  3. Posted by not Patel | January 11, 2008 at 2:38 PM

    When you gotta go, you gotta go…

  4. Posted by Ken Lewis | January 11, 2008 at 2:41 PM

    At least the janitor is getting is paid

  5. Posted by Falcon | January 11, 2008 at 2:41 PM

    The truth is that some guy on the 20th flooor upper decked one of the stalls… far less dirty, much more funny.

  6. Posted by jag | January 11, 2008 at 2:44 PM

    Glad to see that Merrill corporate culture has survived the recent management shake up. Stay classy, you fat smelly retail brokers!

  7. Posted by jojo | January 11, 2008 at 2:44 PM

    was there any corn identified in the deucage?

  8. Posted by jojo | January 11, 2008 at 2:45 PM

    was there any corn identified in the deucage?

  9. Posted by Anonymous | January 11, 2008 at 2:45 PM

    If you’ve been wronged, you do something either brave or constructive about it. You don’t shit someplace anonymously. This is so fucked and cowardly.
    Could be though that the guy already spent not only this year’s bonus but next year’s too, in which case he basically went postal.

  10. Posted by jojo | January 11, 2008 at 2:46 PM

    was there any corn identified in the deucage?

  11. Posted by Anonymous | January 11, 2008 at 2:48 PM

    how do you upper deck a commercial toilet with no tank? I believe the poo on the floor story

  12. Posted by Anonymous | January 11, 2008 at 2:48 PM

    @2:44 Actually, the retail guys are doing good, fat or not. Its the presumably good looking institutional side of the biz that’s causing all the problems.

  13. Posted by Anonymous | January 11, 2008 at 2:50 PM

    @2:44 Actually, the retail guys are doing good, fat or not. Its the presumably good looking institutional side of the biz that’s causing all the problems.

  14. Posted by Joe | January 11, 2008 at 2:57 PM

    I think “was there any corn identified in the deucage?” may be the best DB comment of all time. I’m glad it got posted three times, though I’m not sure that’s enough.

  15. Posted by Joe | January 11, 2008 at 2:58 PM

    I think “was there any corn identified in the deucage?” may be the best DB comment of all time. I’m glad it got posted three times, though I’m not sure that’s enough.

  16. Posted by Consultant | January 11, 2008 at 3:00 PM

    did this guy happen to take out a Bear Stearns collateralized subprime loan too?
    LMFAO

  17. Posted by Lumbergh | January 11, 2008 at 3:01 PM

    Haha…that is THE funniest thing I’ve ever read on DB. And the graphic is golden. These greedy d-bags should be thankful they’re getting paid so much to contribute absolutely nothing to society. I expect this behavior from Wells Fargo but not Merrill.

  18. Posted by Anon | January 11, 2008 at 3:04 PM

    was there any corn identified in the deucage?

  19. Posted by anonymous | January 11, 2008 at 3:04 PM

    I bet they could use DNA to identify the person and take recourse against him

  20. Posted by Anon | January 11, 2008 at 3:08 PM

    It was me.

  21. Posted by k | January 11, 2008 at 3:08 PM

    was there any corn identified in the deucage?

  22. Posted by Anonymous | January 11, 2008 at 3:09 PM

    The guy was just delivering a “Holiday log” a little late… Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanza! Joy to the World!

  23. Posted by Marsel Shacon | January 11, 2008 at 3:09 PM

    This is really “Sick” but good for a Friday!! What is this world coming to??

  24. Posted by Marsel Shacon | January 11, 2008 at 3:10 PM

    This is really “Sick” but good for a Friday!! What is this world coming to??

  25. Posted by Willie the Janitor | January 11, 2008 at 3:12 PM

    I had to clean it all up. I think the paint was peelin’ off the walls.

  26. Posted by k | January 11, 2008 at 3:14 PM

    was there any corn identified in the deucage?

  27. Posted by C-Dubs | January 11, 2008 at 3:14 PM

    I have a friend in OPS who just checked FID and Equities…COMPLETELY FALSE!
    U lazy f4cktards are too hungover from a thurs nite happy hour you got nothin else to do! No wonder everyone got sh1tty bonuses this year!

  28. Posted by Anonymous | January 11, 2008 at 3:17 PM

    All the freaky IBs with scat fantasies have already unloaded at their desks… Can those with ‘wet’ dreams be far behind? Don’t let that guy near the water cooler.

  29. Posted by LexSteelz | January 11, 2008 at 3:18 PM

    Ran this by with one of my boys over at the World Financial and he claims to have checked every bathroom on both Fixed Income floors and the Equities floor and swears it’s not true…until he checked his own shoes.
    BTW, Lumbergh, get back to watching your AppleBee’s training video…

  30. Posted by LexSteelz | January 11, 2008 at 3:21 PM

    Ran this by with one of my boys over at the World Financial and he claims to have checked every bathroom on both Fixed Income floors and the Equities floor and swears it’s not true…until he checked his own shoes.
    BTW, Lumbergh, get back to watching your AppleBee’s training video…

  31. Posted by Crapshooter | January 11, 2008 at 3:22 PM

    Reminds me of this story:
    (Bath)room For Improvement At Firm
    The restrooms at Bridgewater Associates apparently have gone to pot-ty, and the firm, flooded by complaints from staffers about the horrid conditions, turned to an e-mail campaign to help flush out the perpetrators and restore the facilities to a relatively pristine state. Now, getting office staff to cooperate in housekeeping matters is always a crapshoot, but Bridgewater could no longer stall taking action, as a “serious cleanliness issue” overflowed. Recently, the firm circulated an internal e-mail stating that employees have found “very unsettling” and “disturbing” the conditions cropping up in the bathroom. The e-mail did not detail the actual problem it identified, but in a delicate way did advise, “If at any time you are not feeling well or experience extreme sickness, please advise someone on the Facilities team so that an ‘out of order’ sign can temporarily be placed [on] that particular stall or restroom while the necessary people who can properly disinfect and sterilize the area, are contacted.” The clean-up crew usually reports after 5 p.m

  32. Posted by girl | January 11, 2008 at 3:25 PM

    i’m literally laughing so hard i’m crying

  33. Posted by FGT | January 11, 2008 at 3:28 PM

    Now this is news I can use! Please stop trying to do posts on serious business topics (they only make you look bad), and stick to stuff like this.

  34. Posted by FGT | January 11, 2008 at 3:28 PM

    Now this is news I can use! Please stop trying to do posts on serious business topics (they only make you look bad), and stick to stuff like this.

  35. Posted by Happy | January 11, 2008 at 3:30 PM

    He called the shit poop!

  36. Posted by Anonymous | January 11, 2008 at 3:31 PM

    Got the word from someone in FI sales that this was indeed true.

  37. Posted by mbaer | January 11, 2008 at 3:32 PM

    hilarious if it is true..

  38. Posted by Bud Fox | January 11, 2008 at 3:36 PM

    Will this show up on my performance review?

  39. Posted by Johnny banker | January 11, 2008 at 3:37 PM

    Well, I heard it was on the 19th fl……… this is crazy, I am getting calls from friends asking me about this story……

  40. Posted by Joe B. from NJ | January 11, 2008 at 3:39 PM

    This person has no skill. I mean who would get poop on their own shoe.

  41. Posted by anonymous | January 11, 2008 at 3:44 PM

    I bet they could use DNA to identify the person and take recourse against him

  42. Posted by Anonymous | January 11, 2008 at 3:44 PM

    d rhatigan does it everyday in Ft Lee if he’s still hungover.

  43. Posted by jan scott | January 11, 2008 at 3:47 PM

    what will brown do for you

  44. Posted by Anonymous | January 11, 2008 at 3:48 PM

    It was on the 19th floor and is true….they changed the wallpaper in the bathroom this morning.

  45. Posted by Anonymous | January 11, 2008 at 3:58 PM

    This sounds like some bullshit. Get it. Bull (Merrill) shit (poop).

  46. Posted by jojo | January 11, 2008 at 4:06 PM

    did anyone gather the width and diameter, im thinking a 4-7 market

  47. Posted by ExSovereignWealthy | January 11, 2008 at 4:08 PM

    Nice maturity level from the supposed elite of NYC, esp. considering that whatever this guy makes is probably a multiple of what the average NYer does. Sounds like somebody misses the frathouse a bit too much.

  48. Posted by Rita | January 11, 2008 at 4:12 PM

    That’s not that crazy! Sometimes I play with a little bit of my poop in the workplace…makes me feel alive.

  49. Posted by 2WTC63Fl | January 11, 2008 at 4:14 PM

    The spirit of Jerry Finneran lives!

  50. Posted by former Merrill analyst | January 11, 2008 at 4:16 PM

    What’s funny to me is that this person had to have been at least at the associate level or higher. Analysts don’t get paid until summer!

  51. Posted by former Merrill analyst | January 11, 2008 at 4:17 PM

    What’s funny to me is that this person had to have been at the Associate level or higher. Analysts don’t get bonuses until summer!

  52. Posted by joe | January 11, 2008 at 4:18 PM

    How many Courics was the shit?

  53. Posted by Mike | January 11, 2008 at 4:25 PM

    they should take a DNA sample, then throw the book at the guy.

  54. Posted by Iowa Boy | January 11, 2008 at 4:26 PM

    If corn was found, better hold on to it. That corn will end up being more valuable then any of the bonuses.

  55. Posted by Anonymous | January 11, 2008 at 4:26 PM

    Funny, just got a bloomberg from our broker at merrill offering “more defeased floaters”

  56. Posted by Anonymous | January 11, 2008 at 4:27 PM

    Funny, just got a bloomberg from our broker at merrill offering “more defeased floaters”

  57. Posted by Anonymous | January 11, 2008 at 4:29 PM

    Funny, just got a bloomberg message from a broker at Merrill offering “more defeased floaters”

  58. Posted by Anonymous | January 11, 2008 at 4:29 PM

    Funny, just got a bloomberg from our broker at merrill offering “more defeased floaters”

  59. Posted by slimjim | January 11, 2008 at 4:31 PM

    what ever happened to just taking a poop in the urinal. Good clean american fun for the people who come in after and discover it.

  60. Posted by Anonymous | January 11, 2008 at 4:33 PM

    Quadrooplicate!

  61. Posted by Anonymous | January 11, 2008 at 4:35 PM

    Was it brown, Michael?

  62. Posted by Anon | January 11, 2008 at 4:36 PM

    Was it brown, Michael?

  63. Posted by blah | January 11, 2008 at 4:36 PM

    0 bonus 1 cup?

  64. Posted by Iowa Boy | January 11, 2008 at 4:37 PM

    If corn was found, better hold on to it. That corn will end up being more valuable then any of the bonuses.

  65. Posted by John Amaechi | January 11, 2008 at 4:37 PM

    I find this picture offensive, not all blacks fling poop.

  66. Posted by J McGreevey | January 11, 2008 at 4:40 PM

    i think slimjim plays with his own shit

  67. Posted by Levittown | January 11, 2008 at 4:40 PM

    On Wall Street shit goes from the boardroom to the bathroom and back again to be given to their clientele as
    hot inside stuff.

  68. Posted by Southern Beale | January 11, 2008 at 4:44 PM

    I always knew Merrill Lynch must be a crappy place to work.

  69. Posted by Southern Beale | January 11, 2008 at 4:45 PM

    I always knew Merrill Lynch must be a crappy place to work.

  70. Posted by Betty Boop | January 11, 2008 at 4:45 PM

    Funny, the specialty in the cafeteria was bean burrito…

  71. Posted by slimjim | January 11, 2008 at 4:46 PM

    I feel bad for the poor wetback who has to clean that up.

  72. Posted by chad | January 11, 2008 at 4:46 PM

    Much like high school shootings, this will be a catalyst to dozens of similar acts. I don’t think a single trader is going to be able to get through 2008 without some form of Hepatitis.
    They’re going to have to start putting poop wind shield wipers on all the monitors.

  73. Posted by Seton Hall '07 | January 11, 2008 at 4:48 PM

    i can see dropping a deuce on the floor, either in the bathroom or on the desk. the smearing with one’s own shoes is where i draw the line

  74. Posted by John Amaechi | January 11, 2008 at 4:52 PM

    You can smear some poop on me.

  75. Posted by astounded | January 11, 2008 at 4:55 PM

    Wow. No doubt this moron will head right to the shoeshine guys on the floor with his Cole Haans, after the cleaning person has cleaned up his shit.
    Here’s the thing: these guys are not elite by any other measure besides money. The better than average ones make about a hundred times what a nurse makes per year, maybe ten times what a family doctor makes, and this is their quality humor.
    And they get rich by churning bubbles. There are greater externalities to the game than the smell of shit wafting through the Merrill trading floor.
    Burn, man.

  76. Posted by becjt | January 11, 2008 at 4:55 PM

    What tower 4 WFC??

  77. Posted by Anonymous | January 11, 2008 at 4:59 PM

    @4:55 Cole Haans at work? Where are you Iowa?

  78. Posted by becky | January 11, 2008 at 5:00 PM

    What tower 4 WFC??

  79. Posted by Anonymous | January 11, 2008 at 5:00 PM

    @4:55 Correction: Cole HAHNS at work? Where are you Iowa?

  80. Posted by Willie the Janitor | January 11, 2008 at 5:13 PM

    I’m serious, someone left a big ol’ smelly dump in the bathroom and if I gotta clean one more of them logs, I’m gonna urinize in someone’s gas tank!

  81. Posted by KY | January 11, 2008 at 5:45 PM

    haha. i too got squeezed by mother merrill and so I slid my 1st yr analyst bonus check back across the desk of the future global head of Inv. Banking and said “keep it. apparantly you need it more than i do.” i walked out and when the check reappeared in my mailbox… i spent it all on one of the greatest rooftop parties ever to hit manhattan. hell, we even had midget bartenders.

  82. Posted by Anonymous | January 11, 2008 at 6:07 PM

    Not surprised most people in the finance industry are huge d bags, I guess the tasteless responses arent surprising either.

  83. Posted by larry balboa | January 11, 2008 at 8:26 PM

    Schmidt?

  84. Posted by anon | January 12, 2008 at 2:49 AM

    was there any corn identified in the deucage?

  85. Posted by Anonymous | January 12, 2008 at 4:25 PM

    I miss banking. They just don’t have the same sense of humor / revenge in pe. Good times.

  86. Posted by Sean | January 12, 2008 at 5:22 PM

    Maybe this guy should’ve felt lucky he even got a bonus. Most Americans nowadays are getting pay cuts, laid off, no vacation time, no sick pay, no bonuses and no pay raises. Yeah it sucks that mutil-billion dollar corporations are ripping everyone off, but some bonus is better than no bonus.

  87. Posted by Mike | January 13, 2008 at 12:52 AM

    Perhaps this is the Wall Street version of “going Postal”?

  88. Posted by I'm so outta here | January 13, 2008 at 3:29 PM

    Wachovia Bonuses Out and Suck
    Flies on the wall – the VPs and Associates – were really screwed. Fixed income bonuses down from last year by 80% to infinity (that’s right, some got nada). So if your base + bonus last year was $300K, this year it was marketed as 40% of last year’s total comp. If your base this year was $100K, guess what your bonus was. Yes, you are right, $20K. And just for fun, part of that is deferred over 3 years, because you are a “highly compensated employee”. So you actually get a $15K bonus, or $8K after tax.
    The low performers at Wachovia who got laid off in 2 rounds got paid more (25% of last year’s bonus + 3- 6 month’s pay = 50% of last year’s bonus). In my example above, the poor Associate/VP got 10% of her bonus. Shit, even my friends in non-fiance corporations work half the hours and have half the stress made the same amount.
    On the other hand an MD, for example, made $2MM last year. He goes home this year with a $650K bonus ( = $2MM x 40% – base).
    On the Corporate Finance / Equity sides, bonuses were down 20 – 30% from last year.
    So, let me summarize this for you:
    (1) A VP gets $20K for performing above expectations and an MD gets $650K for making bad calls and losing money.
    (2) The low performers that were let go get paid more, and are on payrolls for 3 – 6 months without the need to come to work. The high performers that were retained busted their ass for the next 4 months and got paid shit.
    (3) First year Associates in corporate finance with 0.5 years of experience got paid more dollars than VPs in fixed income with 5 years of experience.
    Great strategy Wachovia. You now have totally demotivated and disinterested the high performers in your money making machine (As is well known, fixed income has always made most of the money for Wachovia, not corporate finance or equities). These high performers will leave at the first chance they get…3 months, 6 months, 1 year…doesn’t matter, they will leave. Unless 6 months from now you start scrambling and giving them retainers. Great strategy Wachovia.
    Wonder which Charlotte Ken is dumber – The Ken on Tryon St for buying Countrywide, or the Ken on College St for ensuring that his banking money machine, or what’s left of it, dies in 2008 as people leave. Headhunters, you know where to look for high quality talent motivated to leave.

  89. Posted by Jesse | January 14, 2008 at 10:07 AM

    A more effective move would be to have taken a dump in his boss’ inbox or lap drawer, or even the front seat of his Mercedes two seater, while his boss was in it.

  90. Posted by Anonymous | January 14, 2008 at 10:24 AM

    3:29 Tryon St? College St? Obviously a Charlotte inside joke. The “high performers” you talk about are big fish in a little pond. Beleive me, the world is not standing by itching to scoop them up.

  91. Posted by Anonymous | January 14, 2008 at 10:28 AM

    @3:29 Tryon St, College St: is this a Charlotte inside joke? These wronged VP’s are big fish in a very small pond. Believe me, no one is itching to recruit them.

  92. Posted by Anonymous | January 14, 2008 at 10:32 AM

    bet you get a lot of house in Charlotte for $20K

  93. Posted by rob | January 14, 2008 at 4:31 PM

    i heard he was relieved of his doodies…

  94. Posted by nemo | January 17, 2008 at 8:01 PM

    do you seriously think a guy would through his shit around if he would have been cut a couple of hundreds of thousands?well, according to some of you these guys are swimming in millions, not true… their bosses may be, but not the ones who make enough to afford a phone booth like apartment and make a living for their families. so, believe it or not, sometimes it’s actually logical to take a shit on your desk, after spending all the week-ends at it in hope of getting smth in reward:)

  95. Posted by west coast bankin' | January 21, 2008 at 5:58 PM

    8:01 — no sh*t. ;-)

  96. […] assumed having the firm listed as a one-time employer on the résumé would be the equivalent of pulling a Merrill, i.e. it would make you categorically unemployable. Apparently these people had never heard of a […]