Monday, December 08, 2008

Wall Street's Pain and Thain's gain

Nothing can better describe the excesses of Wall Street captains. 

John Thain is a smart guy - no doubt.  He had successfully (without a choice) overseen the sale of his firm to Bank of America during the credit crisis.  However, wasn't that part of his regular job? I mean, to safeguard the interests of his firm's shareholders? He is getting paid close to 750,000 USD annually for doing that.  Now, he has the audacity to claim that he deserves his bonus for doing this.  A bonus of 10 million USD for a year in which almost all of Wall Street has been wiped out, billions have evaporated and Merill Lynch has practically ceased to exist.

His behavior is not surprising given the unnecessary adulation that the business world has placed on CEOs per se.  No doubt, great leaders are a rarity, but John Thain is no Alfred Sloan.  He is just John Thain and he should be glad that the lynch mob is not there out to get him.