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Merrill Really Taking $9.7 Billion Writedown Seriously

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Merrill Lynch is really turning things around, post Holocaust of a second quarter. According to the Financial Times private jet use among the investment bank's senior managing directors is being curbed slightly. The staff must now get permission from the division's global head and prove that no cheaper means of travel is available. For those of you MER executives out there shivering in fear at the idea of boarding a plane of plebes without hermetically sealing yourself in a full-body condom first, take solace--the FT has crunched some numbers and apparently private jets can be a more cost-effective means of transport, if you're making it a group thing. A Cesna Citation CJ3, carrying six passengers, costs $14,000 (€8,800) for a trip from Teterboro to Indianapolis, on to Cincinnati and back, whereas a last minute return ticket from Newark just to Indianapolis will set Thain back about $1,000 in first class. Also, we have it on good authority the U.S. commercial airline industry is seriously considering Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary's suggestion to add in-flight blow jobs to the menu. So there's that.
Private jets grounded for Merrill's top brass [FT]