We talk a lot of trash about (to? at?) Merrill Lynch here, most of it warranted. That's not going to change any time soon (barring Thain agreeing to the terms of the bribe* I recently laid before him, in which case we'll be pumping that stock like gangbusters). BUT! In an effort to show you that we are capable of more than simply throwing stones, we've come up with what appears to an untapped revenue stream that, if put to work, will put the bank back on the road to profitability. The plan is slightly self-serving, but that's of little consequence and besides--all the great ones are. To the Merrill executives reading (and we know you are), if the aforementioned money-making scenario sounds like something you'd be interested in, pay close attention. Short-sellers who stand to gain if Merrill falls (categorically impossible if they do exactly as I say), I'm willing to talk, provided we can come to some sort of agreement such as the one Thain's yet to submit t0. Everyone else--if you like what you see here, get in touch and, for a price, I'll whip something up for you, too. First, let's deal with MER.
One half of the brain trust here at DealBreaker was stuck in traffic this weekend that resulted in six and a half hours of travel time from Cape Cod to New York. This prison sentence was made exponentially more torturous by two things. The first: an obscene number of mosquito bites on the backs of our legs, the itchiness of which could not be dampened in the slightest by digging our nails into our skin like a common meth addict. The second: having to stare at this for at least half the drive:
*Not interested in some outlandish lump sum but merely an understanding that whenever I want/need to I can stop by the office and hit him up for the cash contents of his wallet.
It's a rubber flap called the BumperBully, a new product that people apparently stick on their cars when they're looking for a. a little added protection b. to proclaim that yes, my fellow riders, you are in the presence of a power tool. I can't exactly articulate why it bothered me so much, it just did, and I'm sure it would have gotten a rise out you, too. Perhaps it reminded me of those people who put those asinine "Baby on Board" stickers in their window. I don't know and it's not really important, for the purposes of Merrill.
What's important is the fact that the makers of the BumperBully are clearly violating some sort of trademark law by using the Merrill Lynch logo on their product.
I did a little research (Google search with BullyBumper + Merrill Lynch in quotes, to the layperson) and it does not appear that any permission was granted to do so. At this juncture, Thain and Co. have two possible ways to proceed. The first is that they get in contact with BB arrange to get in on the profits. The second is to sue their asses and shut this shit down, in which case, everybody wins (shareholders and myself). We are recommending the latter.
**Two points for the nitpickers who will disagree regardless: 1. Yes, the tail is on the other side, and the BumperBully bull's balls aren't in your face like the Merrill bull's are, but my legal counsel informs me that we can still nail these guys. 2. I am well aware that any recoveries will likely not do much for Merrill's EPS, which is why I said *ROAD* to profitability.