Skip to main content

John Thain Just Messing About Bonus, Flummoxed Over Ousting

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Its hard to shake the disappointment associated with this weekend's Times piece on Bank of Amerillwide-- specifically, the graphic at left, which fails to pass the WWTPD (What Would The Post Do?) test. You know as well as I do that, at the very least, the Post would've had Lewis and Thain in a heart-shaped tub together, a ball gag off to the side for use later on, and an effete pinky sticking out of JT's grip on a champagne flute, the implication being J to the T is the woman. Nevertheless, there are a couple points of interest.
First, that Thain, who according to emails among senior execs at Bank of America never asked for a $10 million bonus, actually floated the idea for him to get a $40 million bonus. But he just threw it out there mostly as a joke to see if it'd get any bites, knowing all along the stiffs at BAC would probably shoot it down ("An internal debate with Mr. Thain over his bonus ensued; a person familiar with Mr. Thain's thinking said that a $40 million bonus was "never a subject of serious discussion.")
And then there's this:

Mr. Lewis, battered by analyst questions about the wisdom of the Merrill takeover, became disenchanted with Mr. Thain. In mid-January, he met with Mr. Thain at Merrill's downtown headquarters. After a five-minute meeting, Mr. Thain was out.
Furious, Mr. Thain paced the halls of Merrill, venting his frustration to at least two people. "I don't know how these people can run this company without me," he told them.

What the Times doesn't tell you is that, according to two sources, Mr Thain then went in to his locker, put on his singlet, and began shadow wrestling, calling out 'Lewis!' in a manner that made onlookers nervous for their safety, before being escorted from the building.


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]

John Thain Awarded The One Bonus That Can *Never* Be Clawed Back

When people think of John Alexander Thain, as people surely often do, lots of thinks come to mind. High school wrestling. Competitive bee-keeping. Masterful stewardship of Wall Street firms. $68,179 19th Century Credenzas. $35,000 commodes. $28,091 curtains. $87,784 area rugs. $1,405 garbage cans. A keen eye for interior design and fabulous taste in general. Though we knew the current CIT Group chief executive officer was a father, we probably wouldn't have included his parenting skills on a list his noted attributes and accomplishments, only because he has too many to mention. Apparently this represents a gross oversight because John Thain? Is a phenomenal dad. Award-winning, in fact. he National Father’s Day Committee, an entity of the Father’s Day/Mother’s Day Council, each year confers Father of the Year Honors on contemporary lifestyle leaders of our culture whose lives are dedicated to family, citizenship, charity, civility, responsibility and reverence. The funds raised by our Annual Father of the Year Awards Presentation are directed to the support of worthwhile concerns affecting men, fathers, and families. The objective of our program is to enhance the meaning of Father’s Day and encourage universal observance. 2012 Honorees include: Oscar Feldenkreis, Reynold Levy, Shaquille O'Neal, and John Thain. An award of this magnitude of course deserves a little more than a press release, so naturally, there will be a luncheon and presentation on June 14. Until then, the group is accepting nominations to add to the list, so if you think any of your favorite dads have been overlooked, do speak up today. Ken Lewis could use this. Father Of The Year Awards [M&D via BI]