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Who Will Give John Thain A Job?

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We're not just asking for ourselves, we're asking for Mrs. Thain. I'm sure the lot of you probably figured after being unceremoniously asked to leave the building back in January, John Thain would've gone to his locker, put on his singlet, taken five on the mat to get his aggression out, and moved on. Perhaps to an early retirement, maybe consulting every now and then, but mostly just taking it easy. Sure, in the beginning there'd be recurring night terrors that included the smell of Boone's on Ken Lewis's breath when he got up real close to JT's face and whispered "You're finished, toilet-boy." And on more than one occasion he'd mutter to the neighborhood kids he was hanging out with, "I don't know how these people can run this company without me." But ultimately the shock, sadness, and anger would subside, and reality would set in. That's what you thought would happen. But that's not what actually happened. Rather, Master Thain has refused to accept his newfound status as a househusband, instead choosing to cling to a (professional) life that no longer exists.

When Mr. Thain left Goldman after almost 25 years to run the Big Board, he said at the time that it was his chance "to be CEO." Now he spends his time networking and says he is optimistic that he will get another chance to run a publicly traded company. He still puts on a suit nearly every day, although he no longer has an office to go to.

What the Journal doesn't tell us is that as part of this morning routine, after putting on the $10,000 suit, Thain takes advantage of the fact that with this daughter off at college, there are a gaggle of stuffed animals just sitting around the house with nothing to do but his bidding. So every day promptly at 8AM, he scoops them up, places them in his "office" (i.e. the extra bedroom) and begins delegating. For instance, today Sunshine Bear was told to "figure out how to avoid marking-to-market some of our more difficult structured products," Mr. Bigglesworth was staffed with "taking care of that little pissant short seller," and Clydefrog was saddled with the unsavory task of "redecorating this place" ("cause the boss can't work in these conditions"), in addition to booking the executive dining room for this afternoon's tea party.
Which is to say, he's got to get a (real) gig, stat. You probably wouldn't even have to start him of at CEO, but just some sort of management position and the promise of "bigger things to come." Write it off as charity, whatever, just throw the guy something.


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]