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Cuomo And Thain To Duel?

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As you know, UBS, Citi, Morgan Stanley et al all chose over the last several weeks to pay back billions in auction rate securities to avoid going to court with Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. No agreement was reached with Merrill Lynch, however, with talks having grown "contentious," which we assumed meant Thain breaking the onesie out of mothballs and Cuomo renting a Viking costume. We also assumed that MER would eventually decide to roll over and take it, but, apparently, not so. Obviously Andy is none too happy about the lack of cooperation, telling CNBC this morning that he's-- paraphrasing here-- sick of their shit. "Today is the last day," he told Erin Burnett and Mark Haines. "If we don't settle today, tomorrow at this time we'll be in court."
Cuomo added that he "doesn't like to go to court." Regardless of whether or not that's true (and we're actually inclined to believe he loves "playing lawyer") it would be a damn shame if we were robbed of the opportunity to watch him get all up in Thain's face whilst Stan snickers from the back of the room. We vote for no settlement. Hopefully MER's with us.
Cuomo Threatens to Sue Merrill Over Auction-Rate Debt [CNBC]
**Spare us the "that's not how it actually works" crap. This is our fantasy and it'll play out however we see fit. If that includes Charlie Gasparino as court stenographer, SO BE IT.


John Thain Is Ready For His Next Challenge

After he was unceremoniously fired from his post at the newly formed Bank of America Merrill Lynch, for reasons that included paying out big bonuses to ML executives and decorating his office with $1,500 garbage cans, John Thain understood that he would have to recede from the limelight for a bit. Take a job at a smaller firm and keep his head down for a while. Spend more time with his honeybees. Get back to his fighting weight. Drink a raw egg for breakfast every day. Run up and down the stairs of the Met. Work in a hideously decorated space, no matter how much it hurt.  Win some awards. Get his confidence back. Let people miss him. Well, Thain did all that. And now? He's ready for you to make him an offer. Thain, currently the CEO of a small lending outfit called CIT Group, has been quietly shopping the firm to a larger player with the goal of selling possibly to a big bank and emerging as a candidate to run the bigger company, according to investment bankers with direct knowledge of the matter. Bankers say Thain began putting out feelers to sell CIT after the firm failed in its bid to purchase ING Direct earlier in the year. “They've been shopping themselves off and on because they have virtually no deposit base and thus no low-cost source of funds to run their business,” said one banker at a major firm with knowledge of CIT’s activities. “Thain may also be putting out feelers, trying to get a drumbeat going. Who knows, but it's certain he's up to something.” Anyone want to give him a big boy bank (or something) to run? Read more: Looking For A Comeback, John Thain Shops CIT [FBN]