Skip to main content

Forced Nakedness And Sexual Humiliation Is Next

  • Author:
  • Updated:

This is not the environment in which to mess with Cuomo. Particularly if you are John Thain. Seriously. Says Dealbook:

Merrill Lynch's former chief executive, John A. Thain, was questioned by the New York State Attorney General Office last week. In a six-hour session [complete with stress positions, extended standing, cultural humiliation (for example, exposure to retail banking executives, state employees), exploitation of phobias (for example, the use of dogs, poor people, coach class seating)]* Mr. Thain answered wide-ranging questions about the bonuses he paid Merrill employees and about his interactions with officials at Bank of America, which acquired Merrill at the end of the year.
Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo was not satisfied by Mr. Thain's answers, and he filed a motion on Monday asking that Mr. Thain return and provide more details about the bonuses .

What did the Thain dish? Take a look after the jump.
* Dramatization. May not have actually happened.

Mr. Lawsky: Did Andrea Smith focus in on any particular people, do you recall, whose numbers she thought were too big?
The Witness: She did--
Mr. Lawsky: Or too small?
The Witness: I don't recall any of them being too small. Yes. She did have some individuals who she thought were high, who we changed and brought down.
Mr. Lawsky: Who do you remember of those people?
Mr. Levander: I've been directed not to disclose by the company individual names other than the names of the top people who are under Section 16. We were directed by Bank of America counsel, if you want to get on the phone with Mr. Liman [?]--
Mr. Lawsky: If you don't want to tell us the names, you can just say "I don't want to tell you the names."
Mr. Levander: He has no problem telling the names. We were directed by counsel for Bank of America and I'm following that direction.
Mr. Lawsky: I'm asking. Do you want to give us the names?
Mr. Levander: He's given you the category --
Mr. Lawsky: I'm not asking you for the numbers that people got. I'm asking who Andrea Smith asked numbers to come down for. Are you telling me Bank of America doesn't want you to disclose that?
Mr. Levander: That's my understanding, but I'll tell you what. At the next break I'll try to find out if that's what the direction was.
Mr. Lawsky: Let the record reflect that the witness is refusing to answer.
Mr. Levander: At the direction of counsel -- at the direction of Bank of America's counsel.

A Look at Cuomo's Questions for Thain [Dealbook]


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]

Bank Of America Investors Still Don't Feel Properly Compensated For Having Merrill Lynch Rammed Down Their Throats

Remember in 2008, when Ken Lewis was all, "Oooh, wait, I don't know about this Merrill Lynch thing" and tried to back out of buying the bank? And Hank Paulson threatened to stuff him in a meat locker if he did so Ken Lewis said okay, fine, I'll do it? BAC investors are still upset about that. Bank of America directors’ $20 million settlement of investor lawsuits alleging the bank overpaid when it bought Merrill Lynch & Co. amounts to just 4 percent of the board’s $500 million in insurance coverage and is inadequate, lawyers objecting to the accord said. Attorneys for Bank of America shareholders suing in Delaware over the $50 billion acquisition of Merrill Lynch have asked a judge in that state to keep their claims alive even though a federal judge in New York is considering a $20 million settlement of almost identical suits brought by other bank investors. If that accord is approved, it could wipe out the Delaware claims. “The proposed settlement is grossly inadequate and represents only 0.4 percent of the value of the $5 billion derivative claims that the Delaware Derivative Plaintiffs have been vigorously pursuing,” lawyers for the Delaware investors said in a Delaware Chancery Court filing late yesterday. The settlement also amounts to “only 4 percent” of available insurance, they said. Disgruntled shareholders contend the board and former Chief Executive Officer Kenneth D. Lewis misled them about the brokerage firm’s losses leading up to the buyout and should have pulled the plug on the deal. Lewis, who left Bank of America in 2009, is now chairman of Chicago-based LaSalle Bank NA. [Bloomberg]

CEO Who Dropped $16,000 On Designer Commode For His Office Not Feeling SEC's Pay Ratio Rule

John Thain's not sure why the disparity between his pay and his employees' pay is anyone's business but his own.