Skip to main content

How Are Things At Merrill? No One (At Merrill) Can Really Say

  • Author:
  • Updated:

So it seems there's been a slight mix up at Merrill vis-a-vis capital. CEO John Thain was under the impression that they had some*, while senior executives beg to differ. Sources tell CNBC's Charlie Gasparino that after Thain told anyone who would listen that things were a-okay, MER Chief Financial Officer Nelson Chai muttered to himself, "I wish he hadn't say that," before sighing audibly, and strategizing new and inventive ways to spin what many believe will be a $6.5 billion writedown announcement this week. Close personal friend of DealBreaker E. Stan O'Neal tells us that Thain had been under the impression that he'd be able to sell the stuff he stole from his daughter's apartment for at least twenty grand, when in reality, the computer, iPod and tank tops didn't go for more than 9.
Merrill May Need to Raise More Capital, Insiders Say [CNBC]
*or "enough"


No One Told Ken Lewis Shareholders Needed To Know About Merrill's Massive Losses, Okay?

Remember in 2008, when Ken Lewis was all, “Oooh, wait, I don’t know about this Merrill Lynch thing, it looks kinda bad, I don’t think I want to buy it anymore, I’m nervous [bites nails, shifts weight from one foot to the other like he has to pee]” and tried to back out of the deal? And Hank Paulson threatened to stuff him in a meat locker if he did so Lewis said okay, fine, I’ll buy it and then did, without mentioning anything to shareholders about Merrill's impending losses? Well 1) People are still upset about it but 2) Ken was under the impression shareholders were on a need to know basis. Top executives at Bank of America Corp did not tell shareholders just prior to a 2008 vote on its purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co that losses were mounting and expected to weigh down earnings for years, papers filed in private shareholder litigation show. But the bank and former Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis said in their own court papers that they should not be liable to shareholders who claimed to have lacked information they needed to vote on the once $50 billion merger. Lewis also said he had been advised by the bank's law firm and chief financial officer that no disclosure was necessary. No further questions. BofA masked Merrill loss before 2008 vote: filings [Reuters]