Skip to main content

John Thain, Withholder of Truth?

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Evidence is mounting that John Thain is a—and we don’t want to say liar, ‘cause that’s not the right word, but how about a—con man? Swindler? Used Car Saleman? Whatever you’re comfortable with. The case made by threeformer NYSE seatholders against the NYSE, who sold their seats in late 2005 for around $1.5 million each, claiming that Chief Executive John Thain did not inform them of appending merger with Archipelago, which caused seats to jump to $2.4 million, and a $4 million sale that December, was thrown a bone today, according to the Post.

"The folks at Wall and Broad don't get it. It would take one to two years to go public and we have no plans for that," Thain allegedly said, referring to a popular seatholder-only Web site then rife with speculation about the exchange's future.
Thain has said he has no recollection of the statement. But The Post has obtained sworn declarations from three attendees of the Feb. 15, 2005, meeting that support [seatholder] Richard Wey's claims.
Held at the NYSE in a swanky room numbered 630, the 10-person breakfast meeting was meant to be a chance for Thain to address concerns and questions about the NYSE from some of the exchange's most respected specialists and brokers.
In sworn testimony, Glenn Carell, a specialist at Bear Wagner Specialists, said that after Wey asked "[if] the NYSE was going public," Thain replied, "No. It would take at least one to two years or longer to go public and we have no plans for that."

Fishy (though that could just be an old piece of lox from the "swanky" breakfast). But not uncharacteristic of a man who has been known to harbor a secret or two in the past.