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How Should Ken Lewis Help Clear John Thain's Name?

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The Post makes two bold claims this morning. The first is that John Thain feels vindicated by Ken Lewis's resignation (which we buy, and would probably say is an understatement) but simultaneously "harbors no ill-will toward Lewis" (really? because that doesn't jibe with the account we have of Thain smearing on red lipstick and running his finger over KL's name, which is at the top of his "To Kill List," nightly since January).
The second, more pressing one, is that Thain supposedly has it in his head that Lewis is going to help him "rehabilitate" his image on Wall Street. Buying this alleged dream of JT's would of course require proof that Thain came up with the idea towards the end of a night of very heavy drinking, telling a friend "Hey! You know what I should do? I should get that guy who had the genius idea to buy the asbestos company I was running, who probably has a worse reputation than this guy [points to self] at this point, to vouch for me...what's his name again, Ben?" before falling off his bar stool, but no matter. It's out there, and it's probably going to catch KL by surprise.

Nevertheless, Lewis is happy to help (all that shit that happened between the two is Boone's off a duck's back), he's just not sure what he could do. So we need to focus. How exactly should the departing CEO do his part to "rehabilitate" Thain's image? Admit to CNBC the redecorating spree was all his idea? ("I said to John, I says, 'You can't live with out one of these fancy toilets, I'm telling you, it's the only way I get business done'.") Take out a series of ads in the Journal endorsing JT as his successor (or for Citi CEO, whichever)? Film a late-night YouTube confessional, in which he tearfully comes clean about being being a key source of Charlie Gasparino's investigation into Thain's office renovations, but that he never meant for things to get out of hand like they did, and he wouldn't have turned over the receipts unless he legitimately thought CG would make good on his claims to "break your fuckin face"? Pull a reverse Sheryl Weinstein, and tell the world Mr. Thain has a 16" cock ("need I say more?")? Stumble onto the floor of the NYSE during Closing Bell, rip the mic off Maria Bartiromo's lapel and slur, "Let me tell you about my friend John, Trixie" before asking Bob Pisani "does this bar have any snacks"? Help us out here.


John Thain Kept His Promise To Never Redecorate An Office To The Tune Of $10 Million Again

In February 2010, a year after he'd been fired from Bank of America Merrill Lynch for redecorating his office with $90,000 area rugs, $1,500 garbage cans, and $20,000 light fixtures, and just before he started his job as CEO of CIT Group, John Thain made a bold claim. "I think I'll keep my office exactly the way it is,"  he told Bloomberg TV. At the time, we went on record saying that there was no way Thain would stick to this pledge, because like any other junkie with a substance abuse problem-- in Thain's case, fabulous furniture-- he was at the stage of the recovery process when you have no idea how truly brutal and demanding the road ahead will be. You want to overcome the demons, and you'll certainly try, but you're naive enough to think that you're bigger than the drugs and it'll happen on the first attempt. We assumed that, like most fiends, he would relapse at least once or twice, especially considering the high risk environment he was about to go into, which was the hideous office of his predecessor at CIT, a place that had never met good taste. Today, however, we stand corrected. According to Fox Business News' Senior Interior Decorator Charlie Gasparino, who first rose to fame with his report on Thain's decorating spree at Merrill, JT has kept his word. "Sources tell the FOX Business Network that Thain’s new office is a low-key affair, far different than the $1.22 million renovated palace he had as CEO of Merrill Lynch that became the object of scorn during the financial crisis. ‘Lots of plastic and formica, and no expensive paintings or area rugs,’ is how one visitor described it to FOX Business. Gone are the $35,000 ‘commode on legs’ and $1400 ‘parchment waste can,’ according to one person with direct knowledge of the matter. ‘It looked like an insurance office…he seems to have learned his lesson,’ this person said.” He may have broken out in hives for the first three weeks, he may have wanted to rip the wallpaper down in a psychotic rage, he may have been serious when he came home after Day 1 and told his wife, "I may have to quit my job tomorrow," but, god damn it, he stuck to his promise and for that we should reward him. CIT GROUP CEO JOHN THAIN’S OFFICE LOOKS “FAR DIFFERENT” FROM MERRILL LYNCH OFFICE [FBN]