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'Champagne' John Thain Out at Bank Of America

Former Merrill Lynch chief executive John Thain has resigned as a top executive at Bank of America less than one month after he engineered Merrill's $28 billion sale to Bank of America.

Bank of America is probably glad to get rid of Thain, if only because he probably didn't have time to re-decorate his new office (see below).

Bank of America was surprised by Merrill's huge losses when it absorbed the brokerage and considered backing out of the deal. Thanks to Merrill, Bank of America reported a $15 billion quarterly loss last week.

Thain clashed with Bank of America chief executive Ken Lewis. After the merger, Thain ran Bank of America's wealth management and corporate and investment banking divisions.

Thain had been in trouble for some time but his ouster was first reported today by CNBC's Charlie Gasparino.

Gasparino also obtained Thain's re-decorating bill for his office at Merrill when he became chief executive last year. It's reminiscent of some of the over-the-top spending of a recent era, when Dennis Kozlowski was dropping $2 million on a birthday party for his wife that was more like a Roman bacchanal.

Here's what Thain spent on this office:

- Total bill: $1.22 million.

- Fee for decorator Michael Smith, also Michelle Obama's interior decorator: $837,000.

- Area rug: $87,000.

- Mahogany pedestal table: $25,000.

- 19th-century credenza: $68,000.

- Pendant light fixture: $19,000.

- Four pairs of curtains: $28,000.

- A pair of guest chairs: $88,000.

- A George IV guest chair (probably like this): $18,000.

- Six wall sconces: $2,700.

- Waste basket (no kidding): $1,400.

- Coffee table: $5,852.

- Commode, with legs: $35,115. (Probably not this kind. Probably more like this kind.)

-- Frank Ahrens
The Ticker is Twittering!

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 22, 2009; 1:17 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Thain  
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What is it going to take to get the attention of the Wall Street executives and return some sense of proper scale to their lives?

Perhaps some high noon hangings near the bronze bull, cheering public, contrite successors as front-row witnesses.

At $128,000 in overtime, even his driver could hire a driver.

Posted by: roboturkey | January 22, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

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